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EFL threaten further punishment for Reading and issue new statement on club’s problems

The EFL reportedly threaten further punishment for Reading and also issue a new disciplinary statement on the club’s off-field problems.

Reading have been referred to an independent disciplinary commission by the EFL because of money owed to His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The League One outfit has failed to pay money owed for unpaid debts in September and October 2023 and were also handed a second winding-up petition in four months over the issue earlier this week.

The EFL commission will decide if another sanction is appropriate, after the club have already been deducted four points this season for failing to pay wages on time and sit bottom of the third tier table having lost their last five matches.

They were also placed under another transfer embargo on the 29th of September by the EFL and can’t pay to sign any players for the next three transfer windows.

An EFL hearing against owner Dai Yongge is due to take place at the end of November.


Reading Football Club has been referred to an Independent disciplinary commission (IDC) for continued non-payment of monies owed to HMRC.

The Club has defaulted in relation to the amount owed to HMRC for September and October 2023 and as a result is currently under a registration embargo.

In addition to the current embargo, the Club is already subject to a fee restriction for the next three transfer windows after it accumulated 30 days or more of late payments in the current 12-month period (1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024). The current default period as of 31 October 2023 was 79 days.

Where a Club continues to fail to make the payment as in the case of Reading, EFL Regulations agreed by EFL Clubs provide for a Club to be referred to a commission independent of the EFL who shall determine an appropriate further sanction.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said: “This is a challenging situation for all involved and we understand the frustrations of supporters and the negative impact sporting sanctions and further charges are having on the football club.

“As a League, we are required to ensure all 72 members are treated fairly and consistently on all matters so that the integrity of the competition is maintained. These consistent failures of the Club’s ownership to meet its ongoing obligations have a knock-on effect on all Clubs and as such, the deterrents in place must be actioned when breached.

“We have today met with the Reading Supporters Trust to discuss the ongoing challenges and will continue to work with the Club in an attempt find a positive solution moving forward.”

Meanwhile, the proceedings against Mr Yongge Dai, the Club’s current owner, continue following the failure to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account.

The hearing for Mr Yongge Dai is expected to take place by the end of November.

Sell Before We Dai respond to latest EFL statement

“Sell Before We Doi” a pressure group set up to demand a change of ownership at Reading FC, has responded to today’s EFL statement.

Nick Houlton, spokesman said: “Since Sell Before We Dai was formed, we hove always been clear that the actions of Doi Yongge – and his incompetent advisers are most responsible for the appalling situation at Reading Football Club.

“As a result, we have always been respectful of the EFL’s need to apply their rules and regulations. We have been hit with points deductions and transfer embargoes and have always ‘taken our medicine’. The question now is, how much more do we need to take?

“The latest EFL statement is concerning. While we acknowledge that they must be even-handed in their treatment of clubs in violation of their rules, it should be clear that an individual is at fault here – not a football club.

“Reading’s backroom staff worry every month about getting paid, Reading’s fans worry about the future of their club, Reading’s players worry about their efforts on the pitch being erased by incompetence in the boardroom.

The only person that doesn’t care is Dai Yongge. If previous independent disciplinary commissions are any precedent, he will be the only individual unharmed by the panel’s ruling.

“We believe it is time the EFL are held accountable for their role in footballs ownership problem, starting with an acknowledgment that the tests that allowed Dai Yongge anywhere near a football club were deeply flawed.

Moreover, there are still no tests in place that could guard against a man of his ill-repute becoming an owner at another EFL club.

Club 1871 statement

Tonight we have received an email from Reading Football Club regarding items being thrown onto the pitch.

We have been made aware that *SOME* items that could be seen as dangerous have been thrown onto the pitch such as **GOLF BALLS**.

The club have been told that the EFL and FA are starting to lose their temper with this, and this could result in fines and possible points deductions.

So our message to the fans who sit in the south stand, and the other 3 sides of the ground is please do not throw DANGEROUS ITEMS such as **GOLF BALLS** onto the playing area

We have responded to RFC about the irony of the threat of a points deduction after tonight’s news.

We appreciate where the club are coming from in regards to **GOLF BALLS**, and we agree this is not acceptable and potentially dangerous to fans in the stand.

We also urge the EFL to help get the club sold ASAP rather than focusing on us protesting against the owner .

Supporters’ Trust At Reading statement

We, Supporters’ Trust at Reading (STAR), are deeply concerned and disappointed by the latest developments regarding the financial situation of our beloved Club.

The EFL have tonight confirmed that Reading FC has been referred to an Independent disciplinary commission (IDC) for continued non-payment of monies owed to HMRC.

This is in addition to the existing registration embargo and fee restriction that the club is already facing for accumulating 79 days of late payments in the current 12-month period.

Furthermore, the proceedings against Mr Yongge Dai continue, following his failure to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account.

We remain appalled by the lack of transparency and accountability from the Club’s ownership, who have repeatedly failed to meet their obligations and responsibilities to the Club, the EFL, HMRC, and most importantly, the fans.

We have seen our club suffer a points deduction that contributed to our relegation from the Championship last season, and we are now facing further sanctions that could jeopardise our survival in League One. We continue to watch the deterioration of the club that we all love.

We urge Mr Dai to quickly sell the Club to a suitable buyer who can restore its stability and sustainability.

We recognise the EFL’s role in maintaining sporting integrity, but at the same time call on the EFL to ensure that any further punishment imposed on the Club is fair and proportionate, and that it does not penalise the innocent parties, namely the players, the staff, and the supporters.

We believe that Reading FC deserves better than this, and we will continue to voice our concerns until we see positive change.

Further to our meeting with the EFL today we hope to be in a position to publish notes from it by the end of the week.

Today’s announcement is just another example of why we firmly believe, given the complexity of the situation at Reading FC, that the Club should be the test case for the independent football regulator.

For the good of football we want to see that the regulator has teeth, is fit for purpose, and stops other clubs getting into the situation we find ourselves in.

We would like to thank all Reading fans for their unwavering support and loyalty during these difficult times. We know how much this club means to you, and we share your passion and frustration. We ask you to stand with us as we fight for our club’s future. Together, we are stronger.

Supporters’ Trust at Reading (STAR)

Here’s what fans said in reaction as the EFL threaten further punishment for Reading and issue a new statement on the club’s problems…

@ManOnPod_Martyn: Absolute clowns 🤡

@dinghugo6: You started this. Remember that

@qprdel: Fit for purpose checks by the efl is obviously fit for purpose.

@unknownman146: EFL are not helping things. Should be trying to help to fix things, not make it worse

@Davidswindle14: Pay up reading, reading pay up

@ChrisH1871: Our hat trick of terrible owners, do you think the governing body who pass these people to take over might have some answering to do?

@louise_looker: It’s not football clubs that need to be referred to independent inquiry, it’s you! The EFL, (You) approved Dai as a fit and proper owner, when he wasn’t. That’s not ReadingFC ‘s fault. It’s yours!!

@randallsroyals: Choose your words very carefully EFL – fans are genuinely struggling to deal with the situation which is absolutely no fault of their own. You approved Dai, never forget that. We won’t. Stop punishing the fans. 💙🤍💙🤍 #sellbeforewedai

@Tooneyram: Stop punishing the club and its fans. Concentrate on punishing the owner(s) that use football clubs as toys that they get bored of.

@Dan_CS1: How do you consider these actions as a ‘detterent’ when this repeatedly happens, at multiple clubs. Football not only has an ownership problem but a governing body problem also. #SellBeforeWeDai

@CraigAFCB: Why is the proceedings against the owner at the end if November? Yet you sting the football clubs fans for something they want to get rid of. You should be encouraging the new buyer(s). Your a disgrace and your fit and proper persons tests are a joke. He should have failed!

@Bez1975_: Owners should be made to leave a deposit with the EFL when they buy a club. Say 10m for a smaller club or more if it’s a bigger club. Money is refunded when owners sell if club is stable or used to rescue club if owner fucks it up.

@cordery180786: Also time to maybe go to the efl headquarters give them something to worry about. They say they are doing these things to help keep the club going to be around for years to come this was 2 season ago. Now they are literally running us into the ground.

@FPL_WadeWilson: It’s about time that the EFL themselves were held accountable. Time and time again they’ve allowed clubs to be placed at the mercy of unfit ownership.

@Connor12366: Got to feel for the supporters

@mish_1974: I don’t miss these tweets at all! Here we are again tho with EFL putting out these awful comms of owners they approved were for fit & proper to own/run a club! When are the EFL going to be brought to task? Feel for you Reading fans, hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel soon

@Readingfan106: Lads we are already bottom of the league, any points deductions won’t make a diddly squat of difference. You started all of this. Stop punishing the fans of the club, and start punishing the owner.

@reece_w99: Dock them more points imo

@lankylibero14: Fit & unproper yourselves as much as Dai Yongge. 😡

@RussellBeaven: I know EFL have to work within a framework surely they or independent commission can work on a suitable timeframe with potential new owner rather than further punish the club and the fans? They should punish the current owner personally not us. #readingfc

@georgey_doors: I think this is a fantastic idea. After the success of previous points deductions, transfer embargos and ensuing relegation, surely more points deductions and transfer embargos will do the trick?

@HannahJM1806: Then force his hand, make him sell the club!!!! You deemed him fit and proper. Why are the sanctions only against him and not the co owner sister?? Oh yeah, that’s because it was fraud!!!

@Dixeyroyal: To maintain the integrity of the competition! How about maintaining the integrity of the organisation that governs it?

@MattAllSportAck: Why can’t they bring the meeting with Dai forward? He has no intention of paying anything and he needs to have action taken against him. He has to sell and maybe EFL sanctions should make that a necessity.

@coopzz360: Punish the owners, not the club and the fans It’s so wrong!

@JACKMlLLER: Football needs a governance change from the very top. Too many clubs being subject to this.

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