Nuno unhappy with Forest appeal verdict timing

Nuno Espirito Santo on the touchline



Boss Nuno Espirito has criticised the timing of Nottingham Forest's appeal defeat against their four-point deduction.

Forest lost their appeal against breaching the Premier League's profit and sustainability Rules (PSR) this week, with an independent three-person board upholding the original decision.

It means they remain in 17th place, three points above the relegation zone with two games to play.

Nuno said he had not understood every reason for the rejection as he had focused on keeping Forest in the Premier League - and will digest everything at the end of the season - but was still unhappy with the timing,

“I think the integrity of the league was harmed by all these issues that happened with the points deductions, especially the timing," he said before Saturday's visit of Chelsea.

"Two games to go is when comes, the decision, and you wonder why it didn't come before? Then you start wondering why is this the decision? It will impact on the other clubs also.

Nuno said there are "still things to be explained" at the end of the season.

He added: "Why the decision came so late? Why we didn't win the appeal? All these issues I would personally would love to know [the answer to].”

The 17-page appeal verdict document outlined by the appeal board arrived at the “unanimous" decision to uphold the original ruling by the commission, describing it as "commendably clear and comprehensive".

"Some of the criticisms of the [original] decision have involved a minute examination of the words used by the commission," the board said of Forest's appeal.

"Decisions such as these should not be subjected to microscopic forensic examination and interpreted as if they were statutes which have been drafted by parliamentary counsel.

"Allegations of infelicities of language or errors which are not material to the ultimate decision add to the complexity and costs of proceedings and are rarely likely to lead to a successful challenge of a decision."

Premier League clubs also voted for the timeframe for PSR cases to be resolved, with Forest's case initially handled within the 12-week fast track period, designed to deal with cases and hand out he punishments in the same season.

Given the process was independent the Premier League had no control over the overall appeal timeframe.

In March an independent commission found Forest's losses over three years to 2022-23 breached the threshold of £61m by £34.5m.

They were 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.

Last month, Nuno called the situation at the bottom of the table "a mess" while they waited for an appeal verdict, adding that it was damaging the league's integrity.

“We were all disappointed. We had the hope and the belief they [the independent appeal board] could give us points back. But the decision is over,” said Nuno.

“We spoke about it with the players, about how this is the reality, this is what we have, this is what we have to face. Let’s focus on ourselves, because it [safety] is in our hands.

"Since the beginning, when there was the possibility of a points deduction, we have always faced it the same way - what we have to focus on is ourselves and on our job. It’s in our hands. We have already moved on.”