Nottingham Forest can dodge PSR bullet without sales today - on one condition

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Premier League clubs are frantically scrambling to complete transfer deals to stay on the right side of the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). The football financial year ends today and top flight clubs are trying to make sure their balance sheets read well enough to avoid potential punishments.

Nottingham Forest and Everton's points deductions last season ramped up fears, and several clubs are active in the market today. Forest are doing deals of their own, and Moussa Niakhaté is on the verge of a transfer to French side Lyon for a reported £26 million.

The Reds are putting that money towards a deal to sign midfielder Elliot Anderson from Newcastle United. Newcastle are one of the most active clubs in the market after spending big in recent seasons.

But all is not completely lost for Forest and their rivals if they don't sell players today. There is a race to get business done, but players might not be required to have signed on the dotted line and be plastered all over social media by their new clubs to satisfy the Premier League.

READ: Forest agree £30m to £40m deal with Newcastle for Elliot Anderson

READ: Four Nottingham Forest players heading into crunch pre-season

Everton's £60m sale of Richarlison to Tottenham in 2022 was not announced until July 1 but still went into the accounts for 2021/22 and last year's £6m sale of Ellis Simms to Coventry went in the books for 2022/23 despite not being concluded until July 7. As long as the Premier League are notified that a deal has been agreed and is imminent, clubs could count deals in the first week of July towards their total.

What they cannot do is attempt to emulate what Forest did with Brennan Johnson last year. The Reds tried and failed to backdate Brennan Johnson's £47.5m transfer to Spurs, which went through on September 1. Had that deal gone through before Johnson appeared four times in a Forest shirt at the beginning of last season, the club might have avoided a points deduction.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire told The Athletic: “What you can argue is that it might fall under the definition of an adjusting post-balance sheet event. Under those circumstances, you could say you’ve agreed a sale of player X from one club to another — ‘We’ve broadly agreed the fee, all of the main issues have been dealt with, but there are still a couple of issues outstanding with regards to personal terms’.

“The clubs had broadly agreed a fee but were still waiting for the player to sort it out. Therefore you can back-date it to June 30. An adjusting post-balance sheet event is where you’ve got evidence of something that had broadly been agreed before the balance sheet date. You would need to have evidence of that, but it shouldn’t be that difficult.”

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