Former Liverpool man John Aldridge has called for ‘fairness to prevail’ following Everton’s 10-point deduction for breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

The Toffees were found guilty of breaking the rules, with it confirmed last week that they had been given an immediate 10-point deduction, leaving them in the relegation zone. The decision led to questions over any punishment that may be given to Man City or Chelsea, something which could impact Aston Villa.

Man City are the only other club to have been charged by the Premier League for breaking more than 100 FFP rules between 2009 and 2018. Chelsea have not been charged by the Premier League but face scrutiny over reported payments to former owner Roman Abramovich.

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With Villa challenging towards the top of the table, any punishment that includes a points deduction, or even relegation from the league for either team would strengthen Villa’s challenge for a Champions League spot. Aldridge however believes that the money the two clubs have could have a big impact.

“To me Everton were a sitting duck,” he wrote in the Liverpool Echo. “I don't know how you gauge it so I guess it all comes down to what happens in future. We've all seen what's gone on with Chelsea under Roman Abramovich or everything at Man City - 115 charges.

“Was it because the other teams have gone on to do well? The others are in the top six?

“Perhaps it's to do with Everton not having the money to fight it. City have got unlimited amounts, Chelsea have got unlimited amounts, so they've scared off the people who are trying to do them for years, delaying and delaying and delaying.

“Everton physically could not do that - I'm sure they would have done too with the same resources - so it very much looks like the Premier League have taken the easy option by going after Everton.

“If they deserve it, if a team doesn't keep to the financial rules, they know the consequences well beforehand. Do I feel sorry for them? Yeah, of course, but now I'm keen to see what happens with City. And Chelsea, to a certain degree.

“If they've gone and made a subject out of Everton, there are others to be hit as well. City say they haven't broken any rules but we'll soon find out. Now the league are under pressure to do something and I'm waiting to see if they follow suit now, with that club in particular.

“I hope that fairness prevails at the end of the day - if it is good enough for Everton then it is certainly good enough for City and any other club.”

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