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Jeff Stelling slams former employers Sky Sports over their coverage of Reading protests

Jeff Stelling slams former employers Sky Sports over their coverage of the protests from Reading fans in the game against Port Vale.

Jeff, who used to be the presenter on Soccer Saturday, criticised the broadcaster when they updated viewers on the ‘biggest story of the day’.

The game was halted due to tennis balls thrown onto the field followed by a pitch invasion, with fans voicing their anger towards club’s owner Dai Yongge. This led to officials abandoning the League One fixture.

Twitter user @SQirl74 recorded footage of what was being said about the protests: A few tennis balls on the pitch. That’s the gist of what @SkySports is giving us. Their backing would be such a help, but this is lame.

“Come on #SoccerSaturday, #ReadingFC needs the publicity you can provide!

This caught the attention of Jeff Stelling, he replied to the tweet: When a club which was in PL not long ago is in the position they are in this the biggest story of the day imo. Why no reporter there ? Everyone knew there was going to be a protest!

As per the Reading club website, manager Rubén Sellés said: “Firstly, our primary objective today was to complete the full match and secure a victory against our opponents. We were aware of certain issues being discussed and planned by supporters on social media, but my focus remained on the aspects that I could control.

“We always aim to play football matches, and while we understand the frustrations of the fans, as long as it doesn’t turn violent or aggressive, we respect their feelings. Together, they expressed their point, finding ways to communicate their desires.

“From my perspective, the players’ side, and our collective priority, is to play football, represent the club in the best possible manner, and, of course, win games to send the fans home happy.

“Currently, we haven’t received direct communications from the EFL to determine the outcome, but we hope to proceed with the game as planned. Ideally, a full house supporting the team would be the best scenario for us, enabling us to secure maximum points and maintain our positive league form.

“As a group, we’ve faced numerous challenges, and within the players, coaches, and the entire team, we’ve cultivated a strong working environment. The level of focus displayed by these boys is extraordinary, as seen in overcoming challenges and delivering impressive performances, contributing to our climb up the table.

“Despite the early stoppage after the first four to five minutes, we believe the challenge on Harvey Knibbs warranted a foul and a red card. Additionally, there was an incident with Paul Mukairu in the box that we believe should have resulted in a penalty—a decision that we’ve seen given against us.

“Despite the frustrations from today’s abandoned game, we will return to training this week with a sole focus on what we can control. Our aim is to execute our roles to the best of our abilities and be fully prepared for the next game.”

Ruben Selles also spoke on abandonment and possible punishments…

The protest group Sell Before We Dai said after the game: “Today is a dark day for Reading Football Club.

The first fan-led match abandonment in our long history should not be celebrated, but the spontaneous, unfiltered passion, as well as the will and determination of our fans, should be. Today has proven beyond any doubt that Reading fans will not be ignored and will fight to the bitter end for our club.

“Our ownership is duplicitous and destructive. Players are being sold without the manager’s knowledge, staff are being made redundant, potential investors are being put off by those meant to be facilitating the sale. We either have no communication or we are lied to.

“We understand that we will be punished by the EFL, but what we really need is help. Today was an outpouring of emotion from a fanbase not known for its hostility. We are scared for the future of our football club and the threat could not be more real. Our owner has already killed two clubs. We cannot be the third.

“We call on the EFL to continue with their aim to expel Dai Yongge as an owner and we call on our fans to stay organised and united. We want this to be our last abandoned match, but it is just the start of this elevated protest action.

“Finally, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks and apologies to the travelling Port Vale fans who showed us unwavering solidarity throughout today’s protest. We won’t forget it.”

Twitter users gave their reaction as Jeff Stelling slams former employers Sky Sports over their coverage of the Reading protests…

@RangersFanNI: we miss you on Soccer Saturday Jeff, not the same

@randallsroyals: Thanks Jeff 💙🤍💙🤍

@Wilson78Dale: Sky are not interested in the lower leagues fact, remember when bury and Bolton faced expulsion and they decided to do a countdown like transfer deadline day clearly seeeing the funny side, if this was a prem team they would be all over it like a rash

@pete_straw: YES JEFF! thank you. switched off sky as they evidently had no idea what was going on. pathetic reporting from your former employers.

@steveyroyal: Thank you for highlighting @JeffStelling We want our club back #readingfc

@Neil_Harman57: The programme is a hollow embarrassment now. A hopeless presenter, terrible replacements for excellent reporters like Dickie Davies and Johnny Phillips & gibbering studio guests.

@NorthDevonRoyal: Thanks Jeff, if you knew why didn’t the so called big media have camera presence there, the story of the day and where are the cameras and reporter’s from Sky/BBC, there is a genuine concern that Reading FC formed in 1871 won’t exist soon

@F8RDR: Thank you Jeff. We need key figures in the media to help call this out, not sweep it under the carpet. We appreciate any support you can give to magnify our plight. #readingfc

@JamesRKnight: Because Sky are now a box ticking company who all they want to do is take money while making sure the smallest minority with the loudest voice are happy. An organisation only heading one way.

@Robev86: Unfortunately it’s taken today’s events to make the rest of the Footballing world sit up and take notice. Far too many clubs have gone under due to having owners who aren’t fit to run a hot bath, never mind a football club!! When will the EFL do something about it? #readingfc

@skol_ding: This. Sky too busy finding two bob shitcunt YouTubers to put on their bullshit shows to actually do some credible broadcasting sadly #readingfc

@charlie_r_17: not been the same since you left absolute legend you are jeff

@Gallagherlad95: Stelling would have been Reading’s biggest supporter if he was still hosing Soccer Saturday. Just another example of what a shambles that show is now.

@Hye55897059: Both @EFL and @SkySports could not care less about fans and our voices. Both complicit in the disgusting treatment of football clubs, communities and fans by mostly foreign rich capitalists. Whole lot of them only interested in one thing, money.

@EthanLewendon: Jeff Fucking Stelling 👏 any other ex PL club and they highlight this. The fact there wasn’t even a reporter there is astounding and to add insult to injury they get facts totally wrong. Would never have happened if the GOAT was still there. He would understand.

@fred_partington: Spot on from Jeff 👏👏

@Mike_Heff: They aren’t top six Jeff, that’s why. Nothing matters outside of the top six in the Premier League anymore.

@gjp12775: Because Sky didn’t want to upset the cart with @EFL. Think what’s happening at @ReadingFC is shocking.

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