By 90Min
September 14, 2018

Everton are nervously awaiting the outcome of an independent inquiry into their pursuit of Marco Silva which could end with the Toffees being deducted points or slapped with a heavy fine.

Premier League chiefs ordered the investigation to determine whether Everton acted illegally in trying to appoint Silva while he was in charge at Watford during the 2017/18 season, the Times reports.

Members of the Everton hierarchy, including majority owner Farhad Moshiri and Silva himself, could be required to hand over phone records and diaries to a QC to uncover if and when contact between the two parties took place.

The Premier League had tried to mediate a resolution between Everton and Watford, hoping that the latter would accept an offer of compensation, but these attempts were unsuccessful.

This is set to become the highest-profile case of alleged "tapping-up" in English football since Chelsea were found guilty of breaching Premier League rules to sign Ashley Cole from Arsenal in 2005.

Chelsea were fined £300,000 and given a suspended three-point deduction which was never enforced, while Cole and Blues manager Jose Mourinho were each fined £75,000.

Cole's agent Jonathan Barnett was also fined £100,000, and Silva's agent Carlo Goncalves could face similar sanctions if found guilty of facilitating an illegal approach.

Watford had started the season strongly under Silva, but their form took a nosedive after Everton's approach. When Silva was sacked in January, Watford blamed the "unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival" for their slide down the table.

A points deduction, although possible, is unlikely to be meted out, with a fine more likely.

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