Nottingham Forest have been docked four points for breaching Premier League financial rules.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look.

What has happened?

A flag at Nottingham Forest

Forest have had four points taken off their Premier League total by an independent commission, which drops them into the relegation zone. The club admitted breaching the league’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

What are the PSR?

A view outside Nottingham Forest's City Ground

These are the regulations governing a club’s maximum permitted losses. Normally clubs can lose up to £105million over the three-year assessment period without being in breach, but this is reduced by £22m per season when a club is in the Championship. In Forest’s case, the maximum they were allowed to lose was £61m over the assessment period.

How much above that limit were Forest?

The club were found to be £34.5million over the threshold. The written reasons published on Monday show the Premier League was pushing for a six-point deduction – eight points to reflect Forest’s excess was 77 per cent greater than Everton’s breach in 2021-22, but with two discounted for Forest’s early plea and exceptional co-operation.

What was Forest’s argument?

A view inside Nottingham Forest's City Ground

Forest relied on various points in their defence, but their “golden mitigation” was the timing of the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham for £47.5million. Had this occurred before the end of the assessment period on June 30, 2023 they would not have been in breach, however the player did not leave until September 1, the day the summer 2023 transfer window closed.

The commission said the decision not to sell until so late in the window “flies in the face of mitigation” and rejected all other mitigation except for the early plea and co-operation.

What have Forest said?

Forest issued a strongly-worded statement indicating they would appeal. The club said they were “extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions” to the commission which had “harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League”.

The appeal outcome must be known prior to June 1 under ‘standard directions’ for PSR breaches agreed by clubs last summer, which are designed to be completed within the same season as a charge is laid.