Everton have received an immediate 10-point deduction after being found to have breached the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.
The punishment is the biggest sporting sanction in the competition’s history and leaves Everton 19th in the table on a new total of four points.
The club said it was “both shocked and disappointed” by the “wholly disproportionate and unjust” ruling.
Everton have said they intend to appeal against the decision.
The Premier League referred Everton to an independent commission in March but did not reveal the specifics of the club’s alleged breach.
Everton posted financial losses for the fifth successive year in March after reporting a £44.7m deficit in 2021-22.
Premier League clubs are permitted to lose £105m over a three-year period and Everton admitted to being in breach of the profit and sustainability rules (PSR) for the period ending 2021-22.
Following a five-day hearing in October, the commission found in favour of the Premier League that Everton’s losses during that period amounted to £124.5m.
In a statement, Everton said: “The club does not recognise the finding that it failed to act with the utmost good faith and it does not understand this to have been an allegation made by the Premier League during the course of proceedings.
“Both the harshness and severity of the sanction imposed by the commission are neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection of the evidence submitted.
“The club will also monitor with great interest the decisions made in any other cases concerning the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.”
The points deduction comes at a time of significant uncertainty at Everton.
In September, owner Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his 94% stake in the club to American investment fund 777 Partners. The takeover is going through the regulatory processes and, before this ruling, sources said it was on course to be completed by next month.
The club are in the process of building a new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to open in late 2024.