Nottingham Forest dropped into the relegation zone with their points deduction

Nottingham Forest have been docked four points for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules, BBC Sport understands.

The immediate loss of points mean Forest drop below Luton Town into the Premier League’s relegation zone.

They are the second top-flight team to be penalised for PSR breaches after Everton lost 10 points in November, which was reduced to six on appeal.

Forest, who are likely to appeal the ruling, had a hearing on 7 and 8 March.

Premier League clubs can lose £105m over three seasons – £35m per campaign – but, because Forest spent two years of the assessment period in the Championship, their maximum loss was only permitted to be £61m.

The league’s rules state any appeals process should “conclude no later than and if possible some time before 24 May”, five days after the final day of this season.

Graphic showing the bottom six Premier League teams and how Nottingham Forest's six-point deduction has put them in the relegation zone below Luton
*Both Forest (4) and Everton (6) have now been deducted points this season – pending a Forest appeal and a further Everton case to be heard

Forest were charged in January and the Premier League said in a statement that both they and Everton “confirmed that they are in breach of the league’s profitability and sustainability rules”.

Forest, who hired leading sports lawyer Nick de Marco to defend them, are thought to have based their case around the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham Hotspur in September.

The move, worth more than £45m, took place after the accounting deadline but Forest argue selling Johnson at a later date allowed them to earn a higher fee than if they had sold him by 30 June.

Forest were promoted in May 2022 and signed a British-record 22 new players that summer, reportedly spending £150m.

After the charge two months ago, Forest said they were “confident of a speedy and fair resolution”.

Everton are waiting on a potential second punishment, relating to the assessment period ending with their 2022-23 accounts.

Manchester City were also referred to an independent commission in February 2023 after more than 100 alleged rule breaches.

Timeline of Forest case

15 January – Everton and Nottingham Forest are charged by the Premier League for breaches of the league’s profit and sustainability rules. The hearing has to be concluded within 12 weeks of this date, which is 8 April.

7/8 March – Forest’s hearing takes place.

18 March – Forest are docked four points and drop into relegation zone.

25 March – The deadline for any appeal from Forest has to be submitted.

1 April – The latest deadline for the response to the appeal, given it must be within seven days of the plea being received.

8 April (approximate) – ‘Directions hearing’ to set a date for an appeal hearing, which will last between one and three days and conclude no later than 24 May. It is likely to be much earlier in Forest’s case.

19 May – The final day of the Premier League season, when Forest will play Burnley (16:00 BST).

24 May – The latest possible date for an appeal hearing into either the Everton or Forest cases to be concluded.