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What Everton supporter plane said after carrying banner over Man City vs Liverpool

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What Everton supporter plane said after carrying banner over Man City vs Liverpool

Everton’s 10-point deduction is fueling protests and the flight over the Etihad Stadium was the latest effort in a campaign that is gathering momentum

Everton fans flew a banner over the Manchester City and Liverpool games that accused the Premier League of being “corrupt.”

Supporter organisation The 1878s chartered the plane as the latest effort to protest against the decision to award the Blues a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial regulations.

The unprecedented penalty is the most severe handed out in top-flight history, and, while it was signed off by an independent commission, it was awarded after the Premier League pushed for Everton to be hit with a severe sporting sanction.

The decision has sparked anger at the Premier League from the club and fanbase, with the fury and frustration fueling a sense of unity that is underpinning challenges to the punishment from the stands to Parliament.

That battle was taken to the sky on Saturday lunchtime as Manchester City hosted Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off. The decision to target the match was partly due to its profile but also influenced by Everton’s game against Manchester United on Sunday, which took place in darkness.

The banner, which read “UTFT: Premier League = Corrupt,” also maintained momentum after a series of fan-led protests launched on Friday night when dozens of supporters campaigned outside the Premier League headquarters in London.

The plane was booked by The 1878s, the supporter group that has been central to orchestrating fans to back the team so remarkably during recent relegation battles. The group raised more than £40,000 in protest donations after a fundraising campaign was set up within hours of the deduction being revealed. Their efforts will continue at Goodison Park, where tens of thousands of cards criticising the Premier League for its approach to the case will be handed out to supporters. A number of banners and flags have also been commissioned to make the views of supporters clear.

Everton has signalled an intention to formally appeal the deduction. Separately, the club has received political backing, with regional Merseyside mayor Steve Rotheram writing to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to express his concern and West Derby MP Ian Byrne tabling an Early Day Motion challenging the league’s stance and backing calls for an independent football regulator—legislation for which is due before the House of Commons after it featured in the recent King’s Speech. Other Merseyside MPs, including Alison McGovern and Bill Esterson, have raised the issue in various political forums.

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