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Reading boss makes plea as club faces possible points deduction

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic makes a plea as the Championship club faces a possible points deduction from the English Football League.

The Royals are facing uncertainty going into the summer transfer window, with decisions to be made over possible sanctions on their financial situation.

The 43 year old Serbian has called on the EFL to consider the current season when it comes to possible sanctions for the club.

Reading are currently working to reduce the budget due to a delicate financial situation.

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However after looking at the latest set of accounts released last month, and it showed that the Berkshire outfit made operating losses of £43.5million in 2019/20, though steps have been taken to get Reading back on a more even footing, with just one permanent signing made for a fee (Ovie Ejaria) in the last three transfer windows.

Paunovic has insisted there are “a lot of positives” on the financial side of the club over the past nine months, but asks for that to be taken into consideration by the relevant authorities when it comes to decisions be made.

“I’m hearing about this [possible sanctions] and could worry [about the possibility of a transfer embargo or points deduction], but I don’t want to worry, I want to find solutions so that doesn’t happen,” he said.

“I think there are a lot of reasons that it shouldn’t happen.

“Look at our season this year and look at how we disciplined we were. Our attempt to fix previous issues is proven and shown on the pitch. We didn’t contribute to worsening the situation that was done in the previous years.

“We fought on the field, fixed the results and developed more talent.”

The Reading boss makes a plea, calling for the EFL to give Reading a fair chance to compete next season when it comes to attempting to push for promotion again next season, having missed out on the playoffs during the 2020/21 campaign, as the club faces a possible points deduction

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That includes the possibility renewing contracts of players whose deals are set to expire this summer, including Michael Morrison, Tom McIntyre and Luke Southwood.

“If something is going to happen in the future, that should be considered and we should be given the opportunity to compete and be given a fair chance to be promotion contenders,” he said.

“That’s what I’m hoping. I want that to be heard.

“If there are restrictions from the authorities, I would say to them to consider this season.

“Consider our football and our financial behaviour and how many restrictions we have put on our budget and our resources to try and fix it.

“Not just to give an impression, but our actions showed that whatever happened – give us a fair chance to fix it. This includes giving us the chance to make signings and to renew the guys we have.

“If we cannot use our resources, how is that fair? How is it fair against teams with parachute payments?

“The only direction we have is the right direction which is our approach and what we have done in a Covid year, on and off the field.

“We should open up our perspective a little bit. I’m asking for this club to be given a chance.”

Meanwhile, Reading’s chief executive Dayong Pang has sent an open letter to Royals fans, thanking them for their support this season as well as providing details about tickets.

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“Dear Royals Supporter,

“Firstly, and most importantly, I hope you, your family and your friends are all safe, well and remaining positive as we collectively continue to navigate our way through this global pandemic.

“We have spent more than a year almost entirely without live football in our lives, without the lift it gives us, the adrenaline rush it can inject, the unity and togetherness it naturally fosters, the camaraderie supporters thrive on.

“During a year which has forced us all to isolate and has seen us all depend on the support of others, we have been without our extended family as a football fan.

“The players, the coaching staff, the staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver behind-closed-doors football as a focus for us during these difficult times…we have missed you.

“But the light at the end of this tunnel is starting to shine a little brighter as restrictions continue to be cautiously eased by the government’s roadmap back to regular life.

“So, with similar levels of caution, we believe we might soon be approaching a day when we will again be able to welcome supporters back to Madejski Stadium.

“There is no date in the diary yet. But ever since our home fixture with Stoke City was postponed back in March 2020, the logistics surrounding the return of fans to our stadium have been discussed and drawn up – and the health and safety of our supporters has been considered the highest priority in all our planning.

“For just three of our first team games this season, we were thrilled to invite 2,000 fans through the turnstiles and we were very proud to demonstrate how football could safely operate for its fans.

“Many of those supporters fed back to the football club after that experience and confirmed how safe they all felt following our fortunes from the East Stand, commending the club on the practices and procedures we had put in place in order to welcome you back to Madejski Stadium.

“I am also proud of the way our supporters responded to the challenges faced when bringing football back to restricted capacities. You were sensible, understanding and supportive – the backing you gave the team against Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City and Norwich City at the end to 2020 was loud and proud and the stadium came alive once more.

“The reintroduction of a small number of supporters whet everyone’s appetite for a full house once again. And, given the guidance from the government which includes the planned return for outdoor events, we are again preparing for the return of fans so we are ready to go when we are given the green light to reopen our stands to supporters.

“These plans will be finalised and communicated to supporters in the coming weeks and we are hopeful that we will be able to offer a full Season Ticket to our fans for our 150th anniversary season in 2021-22.

“Those who signed up for a Season Ticket retainer this season will of course see that fee credited towards their Season Ticket purchase next season – not a penny will have been wasted in pledging your loyalty to our club during what has been an exciting season on the pitch but an undeniably difficult one for all concerned off it.

“And those who have signed up to their Season Ticket retainer will also get first priority on which seat they’d like reserved for 2021-22.

“If you have yet to purchase a Part 1 Season Ticket, you still have time to pay a retainer fee to enjoy priority access for our 150th anniversary campaign next season.

“We follow the government’s approach in stressing caution as we take steps towards a return to some form of normality. So, for now, we kindly ask you to remain patient and to ‘watch this space’ for news on the launch of Season Tickets for 2021-22.

“But I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and your incredible support.”

Reading boss makes a plea as club faces possible points deduction – what do you think should happen? If they receive anything, should it be applied this season or next season?

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