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EFL release statement on Reading points deduction as Paul Ince hits back at fans over chant

The EFL release a statement on the Reading points deduction as Paul Ince hits back at fans over a chant heard at the weekend.

The Royals have been docked six points for breaches of financial rules. EFL statement confirms two separate breaches related to budget.

Reading are now a point above the Championship relegation zone with seven games remaining.


A statement from the independent Club Financial Reporting Unit:

Reading Football Club will be deducted six points from the 2022/23 Championship table, after the Club admitted that it has failed to comply with the budget restrictions imposed, following a previous breach of the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (P&S).

The points deduction is an activation of a suspended six-point penalty, which was set out in the terms of an Agreed Decision between Reading and the EFL in November 2021.

The EFL has been notified and will apply the sanction with immediate effect.

This is the first time a Club in the EFL has been subject to a review by the newly formed independent Club Financial Review Panel (CFRP), chaired by Christopher Quinlan KC, which considers matters put forward by the EFL’s independent Club Financial Reporting Unit (CFRU). The entire process is independent of the EFL Board and seeks to ensure EFL Clubs’ compliance with relevant financial regulations.

After reviewing information submitted by Reading in March 2023, it was determined the Club has breached the original Agreed Decision in two ways:

I. The Club is relying on a ‘related party transaction’ in its P&S Submissions by seeking to include profit from a proposed sale of an investment to an entity controlled by the Club’s owner. This sale was not completed at the time of the Club’s P&S submissions on 1 March 2023. This is a breach of the original Agreed Decision, which makes clear that Reading needs to be P&S compliant without relying on player sales or related party transactions conducted after 1 March 2023. The Club has agreed it would not be compliant without the proposed transaction.

II. The Club has not generated profit required from player sales in line with the budget which formed part of the original Agreed Decision.

The Club has admitted to the two breaches of the original agreement with the EFL and has agreed to this six-point points deduction by way of an Agreed Decision with the CFRU. The Panel has ratified that decision. Both decisions are available here.

In addition, the Club will be required to agree a new budget with the independent Club Financial Reporting Unit for the 2023/24 season aimed at ensuring future compliance with the regulations. This will be finalised once the Club’s full P&S Review has been completed for the current season.

Director of the independent Club Financial Reporting Unit, John Potterill-Tilney said:

“I would like to thank the Club for its transparency and cooperation during this process and the Club Financial Review Panel for helping us deliver an agreed sanction in just over one month since submissions were provided.

“This Decision and sanction, as confirmed by the Club Financial Review Panel in a short time frame, within the relevant season, will now give the Club clarity to plan for the period ahead, on and off the pitch.

“The EFL’s regulations establish the CFRP as an independent panel with the responsibility of reviewing the financial performance of EFL Clubs. This decision, the first of the Panel under the new Regulations, confirms its determination that Reading FC breached the terms of an earlier Agreed Decision, and the approval of the sanctions that follow from those breaches.”

SEE MORE: Mark Bowen posts open letter to angry Reading fans into reasons behind deduction and club’s aims

As mentioned, Paul Ince hits back at Reading fans after the ‘don’t know what you’re doing’ chant during the draw with Bristol City.

“I don’t understand it,” he said, as per Berkshire Live. “I’m not sure what they expected. If you’re trying to win the game and you look at the bench, there are three or four kids, Azeez, Joao and the goalkeeper, I’m not sure who you’re going to change.

“The only players who can change the game are Azeez and Joao. I love the fans, they’ve been great but it’s important we all stick together.”

A section of the away fans at Ashton Gate weren’t happy by Ince’s double change in the second half, bringong Lucas Joao and Femi Azeez to swap with Nesta Guinness-Walker and Tyrese Fornah.

Reading’s equaliser was scored by Joao, heading the ball home in the 73rd minute to cancel Tommy Conway’s strike at the end of the half.

Royals sat 18th in the Championship table come the end of the game, seven points below the relegation zone going into the final seven matches.

But the points deduction now sees them just a point from safety.

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies


Reading Football Club can confirm that we have accepted a second six-point penalty which has been applied following the club’s failure to fully satisfy a business plan agreed after a historical breach of the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability limits.

The points deduction will be applied to our total with immediate effect.

In November 2021, the club were issued with a six-point deduction for a cumulative breach of the regulations – with a further six-point penalty suspended until 2022-23.

At the time of the original breach, it was agreed with the League this further six-point penalty was due to be applied if the club could not meet the demands of an agreed business plan for 2022-23. And, despite radical changes implemented at first team level and right across the structure of the business to its very core – and a rigid adherence to a strict league-monitored wage structure and transfer embargo, the club accepts that it has not sufficiently satisfied certain elements of the planned budget and that, as a result, the independent Club Financial Review Panel has been unable to ratify that the club has met its forecast for compliance.

Back in November, we vowed that lessons would be learned. And the strides which have been made have been significant; it is evident in our methods, procedures and actions over recent years – and most notably throughout this season – that the mistakes of the past have been understood, corrected and won’t be made again.

In abiding by the EFL rules, the club have not spent a penny on transfer fees since the summer of 2020 and have not paid a loan fee to any club since the summer of 2019. Our squad has been entirely rebuilt from free transfers, free loanees and Academy graduates.

Every single professional contract proposed has been scrutinised and ratified by the EFL before it has been offered and we have operated under a mutually-agreed capped wage bill imposed following our breach of the Profit and Sustainability regulations – our wage bill has been almost halved since the start of the 2019-20 season.

We have worked closely with the EFL and the independent Club Financial Review Unit throughout the process in our aims to achieve the targets set out in the agreed business plan and every reasonable effort has been made to construct a competitive squad of players whilst avoiding further punishment.

However, despite the substantial progress we have undeniably made and the lessons that have indeed been learned, as promised, we accept that the situation was never going to be easily or quickly fixed.

The progress made has been recognised; it has been agreed with the EFL that the club’s restrictive embargo status will effectively end this summer and the club will, for the first time in years, be able to act sensibly in the transfer market – within a budget currently being reviewed by the Club Financial Review Unit and compliant with Profit & Sustainability boundaries, but free of the strictest limitations which have proven problematic in trying to piece together a team capable of challenging in the Championship and a squad tasked with taking this club towards a brighter more self-sustainable future.

However, in the here and now, we find ourselves with another huge fight on our hands.

The part you played in the run-in last season should not be underestimated. And we will need our fans’ support once more! We know you, our loyal supporters, will rise to the challenge again and give this group of players the impetus they need to scrap and battle until the final whistle at Huddersfield on Monday 8 May.

So for the next seven games, get behind us. We need your support!

These continue to be challenging times for our club, your team. Thank you, as always, for your dedication to Reading Football Club and your magnificent support so far this season.

Twitter users reacted as EFL release a statement on the Reading points deduction as Paul Ince hits back at fans over the “you don’t know what you’re doing” chant…

@10000miles_away: Wow. So not only were we not allowed to sign anyone we also had to sell players to adhere to the financial plan.

@CScott___: Disgusting club. Dai Yongge, Mark Bowen and Kia can fck off out of this club. And take the bog eyed manager with them.

@OneGFB: Reading, Oxford & Bristol Rovers in League One while Swindon rot in League Two… dont piss me off

@maxiebadger: League one here we come. Cheers Ince. Cheers to the board absolutely screwing this club over too.

@marcarocker: So we’ve made sufficient progress to lift the transfer embargo, but not to satisfy the EFL demands? Anyone else find this strange?

@eddunlop2: Attended the Q&A with Mark Bowen at the @PoppyLegion last year. Assurances to the fans that another points deduction would not happen based on the fact the clubs finances are in line with the constraints the @EFL had placed on the club. How have the club got into this mess again?

@Dixeyroyal: Today I am ashamed to support this club. Been letting supporters down for a number of years, and today highlights the absolute incompetence of everyone responsible for running this club. No doubt those responsible will still continue to run us into the ground 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

@iJC106: Would not be surprised if Ince takes us down now. What a mess

@BenRFC10: The club is an absolute disgrace! How you can breach clear guidelines is beyond me. Despite the shit s

@wsz1_: So basically you’re still not taking accountability for letting down the fans for the second time, which will take us down, but let’s all get behind the team for the last 7 games? Absolute joke of a club

@Reading106: But let’s not speak badly of the owners, let’s clap Liam Moore, let’s get behind Ince. Shambles. Hopefully the next treatment will be announcing who has been sacked. Absolutely disgraceful from the Club. #Readingfc

@royal_elvis: I know people are justifiably angry but we got to get behind the team now. We can point fingers in the summer with us hopefully still in the Championship.

@JosephGLodge: Fuck the board, fuck EFL (for the timing) and fuck the management. It is time to get behind the team though. League 1 is a disaster and I think we’d be more likely to get into league 2 rather than back into the championship first #readingfc

@cian_paris: This is what happens when you have an incapable owner, time people realise it isn’t the fault of the EFL but Dai Yongge and his army of incapable board

@Rowe1989: Every single director and member of senior management team should be handing there notice in. To have one points deduction is bad but to have second by not following the outlined plan is horrific miss management. Those responsible need to go.

@alights98: Couple of weeks back was certain we were down. Now there’s 4 teams easily within our grasp. Just beaten one of the best teams in the league. Warnock working miracles. The great escape is well and truly on! 😍 #htafc

@lines_aviation: All we can do now is get behind the club and do everything to stay up. This is a complete disaster. League 1 would be an even bigger disaster. Obviously, something needs to be done about this, but there are far bigger problems on our horizon than just this. #Readingfc

@TheBurnleyWay: Deserved for their manager being the biggest whopper to grace the Turf this season

@connordavies612: Sad reality tho that if we survive relegation again this season it’s been done by other teams getting deducted points. We need to seriously improve we can’t keep being this close to relegation and relying on other teams having points deducted #bluebirds

@CraigyG123: So many clubs on their arse at the minute football is mental these days! Just be happy to have a club whatever league they’re in, stick with them 👊🏻

@RyanWatkins20: Nothing more than we deserve for how this club has been ran, actually pretty surprising that we’ve got the embargo lifted. Will either mean we can start again with a fresh squad in League 1 or build sustainably in the championship. Either way it has to be with a new manager.

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