Nottingham Forest’s four-point deduction upheld after appeal rejected

Nottingham Forest’s hopes of a boost in their fight to avoid relegation suffered a blow after their appeal for a four-point deduction for breaching financial rules was rejected.

Forest remain 17th in the table and just three points behind Luton, who currently occupy the final relegation spot, after an independent panel upheld the original sanction last month.

The decision comes as a boost for relegation rivals Burnley, who are five points off safety with just two games to play. If Forest had successfully argued for a one-point reduction in the points penalty, then Burnley would have been relegated on their vastly inferior goal difference, while two points would have mathematically confirmed relegation.

The Premier League slapped Forest with the four-point deduction in March after the club was found to have breached the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) by exceeding their £61m allowable losses by £34.5m.

Forest appealed the punishment, arguing that the £47.5m sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham on September 1, which fell outside the June 30 deadline, was effectively ignored.

Johnson’s exit was delayed by more than two months as Forest held out for a higher fee. Their argument was that waiting to secure a larger amount was a clear attempt to bankroll and remain sustainable.

An independent panel has now given their verdict to leave Forest frustrated as they were convinced the club had a strong case.

Everton’s record ten-point deduction was reduced to six after the appeal earlier this year, but Forest’s punishment will remain the same.

Forest have two games left this season, with a home game against Chelsea followed by a trip to Burnley.

A 3-1 win at already-relegated Sheffield United leaves Forest needing just a win against Chelsea to virtually guarantee safety.

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