Reading are set to be handed a points deduction by the EFL, which is likely to put them into a Championship relegation battle.
Negotiations between the Royals and the Football League are understood to be at an advanced stage, with an agreed sanction close to being finalised over breaches of financial rules.
It is reported by The Telegraph that Reading, currently 14th in the second tier standings, are facing a potential deduction of six to nine points, which will drop them into a relegation scrap if, as expected, the punishment is applied later this season.
Along with Derby County, Reading are in discussions over the EFL’s regulation 85 in their sanctions, which allows both parties to strike an amicable settlement and avoid going before a disciplinary commission, meaning Reading have to agree on a future business plan.
In July 2021, it was announced that the Berkshire outfit had broken the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules. They were then were put under a transfer embargo, which set them back to only being allowed to sign free agents and loans during the summer window.
The rules don’t allow clubs to exceed losses of £39 million over a three-year assessment period, but it seems Reading’s accounts have breached that amount by a huge number.
In the 2018/19 season, it was reported that Reading’s wage bill was £40m, working out as 194% of their turnover.
For the following campaign, their accounts revealed total accumulated losses of £138m, and their most recent pre-tax loss came at £93m over a three-year period.
Relegated from the Premier League in 2013, Reading have been in the Championship for the last nine seasons.
The club is owned by Dai Yongge, a Chinese businessman and investor who completed his takeover in 2017 and hasn’t given any interviews in that time.
Last month, Reading issued a statement to reiterate Yongge’s commitment and confirmed they “remain in positive, constructive dialogue” with the EFL.
Managed by Veljko Paunovic, Reading are set to come up against Middlesbrough at home in the Championship on Saturday.
On Tuesday, the EFL declined to comment. Reading were also unavailable for comment according to the Telegraph.
Fans reacted with Reading set to be handed a points deduction by the EFL…
@MariotheRam: Just Forest now then. Their finances can’t be in good shape considering the compensation of 68 managers in 10 years.
@stevejnorris: Why is it clubs struggling to make ends meet get penalised but when oil backed clubs fragrantly break FFP rules they don’t get caught or punished? #EFL #PremierLeague
@gempopmoo: I reckon there is more to come….
@GazThomas11: How many more this going to happen to as even if it goes pear shaped with Cooper we stay up from default of others lol champ is a mess at mo competing with parachute payment clubs is part problem
@NFFCRY: Puzzles me how you “agree” consequence. Imagine going before a judge and saying “No. I don’t agree to life in prison, give me community service in Derby = same punishment”
@1988Pete: Integrity of the competition still going well then, @EFL #buryfc
@agbnufc_: It is ridiculous how breaching FFP in lower leagues seems incredibly harsh while trying to leave the football pyramid for your own greed is a slap on the wrist.
@Backo10Db: If Derby have broke the rules then we get punished. I’ve no problem with that. But what I do have a problem with is the parachute payments giving an unfair advantage while the rest of the league has to play nicely. EFL rules are not right.
@DLindo11: how many clubs need to be punished before we start looking at the EFLs rules? Getting ridiculous now
@jasonhawkins87: We need 2 more teams and we have a chance of staying up haha
@blathers67: But when it was the #ESL 6 they couldn’t punish fans for the actions of the club….. Absolute hypocrisy.
@Deanogarratt: “Down with the Derby, you’re coming down with the Derby” …. Welcome 🙌🏻
@jonreading35: So we get told to get rid of players and still get hit
EFL: 15 point dediction it is, happy with that?
Reading: no, can we have 3points deduction.
EFL: what about 9 points?
Reading: ok, still too high but we will accept it in good faith.
EFL: thanks, sorry for the inconvenience
@ScottGretton: Like @GNev2 has said. Something needs to be done soon @EFL or all clubs will be going bust! #efl
@sjforsyth: Anyone staying above zero points could stay up this season… #DCFC #dcfcfans
@zdpj_: Ain’t it mad how every team can suddenly come to an agreement when we got slapped regardless 🤣
@KieranD83672193: Only another 21 more teams to get deductions and the promotion party can start #nffc
@Rfctomo: Never liked the championship anyways.
@leftfield_pod: First Derby, now Reading. Next… who knows. Bad times for former Premier League staples.
@dcooke1989: Thats 2 teams facing points deductions this season and Reading only just finished outside the top 7 last season, its wide open for the playoffs this year and if Stoke arent there with the squad we have then it will have been an absolutely huge failure from the management team
@BerkshireBoys_: Oh dear! Disgusting really how they treat the lower league clubs but the European super league clubs get a small fine (compared to their worth) and a slap in the wrist! #SackTheEfl #EFIsCorrupt
@james_e1871: Unfortunately was to be expected- I guess we’ve got to be thankful for such a poor quality division this season we should be able to claw our way out of it. Hopefully 🙏 #readingfc
@Kyledcfc18: You’ve seen the super league now get ready for the points deduction league
@trickytrees12: We’ll be out the relegation zone in no time at this rate #nffc
@dannylooseleaf: That’s two teams confirmed for relegation. Bournemouth and Fulham with their parachute payments sat in the top two. Season’s over and it’s only September. Football is broken.
@alexjhurley: #BCFC I know FFP is way from perfect but given the financial idiocy of those in charge of clubs, the EFL has to praised for taking some action. 4 Championship clubs now been done – sends the right message to owners to behave.
@DP_1875: As a Birmingham fan I’m glad clubs like Derby, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday are finally getting punished too
@MarkRobson15: At what point is this not hurting the fans. That’s what they want to do not hurt the fans. Why not give the owner a massive fine, not the club or the fans THE OWNER!! But that easy to think like that.
@VitalSwansea: Another Championship club, another points deduction. Another case of it’s been coming, their spending has been ridiculous over the last few years.
@_omeara_r: Fuck me. We’re off to League One and still can’t escape Reading away 🤢🤢🤢
@RollWithIt86: Again, another club showing abit of ambition to overcome the fooked up parachute system gets punished. Promotion or bust for clubs stuck in this league is the only answer sometimes
Waiting all the “relegate them now” and Wycombe to sue them for the unfair advantage tweets. pic.twitter.com/hvnj1Jr53b
— Rik P ⚽🐏🏳️🌈 (@Rik_JP1884) September 21, 2021
Derby and Reading fans right now…
— Ryan Bubba Burton 🇺🇸 (@RyanBurton92) September 21, 2021
— Rob Wilcockson 🐏🇬🇧⚽🇩🇪🐏 (@Rob_BowWow) September 21, 2021