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Reading handed further two-point deduction | Drop to 19th in League One

Reading have been handed a further two-point deduction after owner Dai Yongge failed to meet HMRC payment obligations, the EFL has announced.

They are to be deducted two points from the 2023/24 League One table with a further two points suspended after the club failed to meet HMRC payment obligations, in accordance with EFL Regulations.

It means Reading have now been deducted a total of six points so far this season, and sees them drop from 16th to 19th in the third tier.

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Good Morning Sports Fans provides an explanation as to why Reading fans are protesting against the club’s owners

An EFL statement read: “An independent Disciplinary Commission (IDC) has determined that Reading Football Club are to be deducted two points from the 2023/24 League One table with a further two points suspended after the club failed to meet HMRC payment obligations in accordance with EFL Regulations.

“The sporting sanction will be applied immediately resulting in the club being deducted a total of six points in the current season, having received a one-point penalty in August 2023, before a further three points were removed in September 2023.

“The suspended points deduction will be activated in the event the club fails to pay amounts owed to HMRC, other clubs or any other football creditor claims by the required due dates up until the end of the 2023/24 season.

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Jobi McAnuff discusses the ownership issues and financial problems at Reading after the abandonment of their fixture against Port Vale

“Following separate charges being issued, the Club’s owner, Mr Dai Yongge, has been fined £100,000 for his repeated failures to deposit an amount equal to 125 per cent of the club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account. He is required to pay the fine by 18 March 2024.  

“If Mr Dai fails to comply with the prior order of the IDC to meet the deposit requirement within 28 days a further suspended fine of £100,000 will be activated and an additional fine of £100,000 will be imposed if the money is not received within five weeks.

“The EFL notes the written reasons issued by the Commission who have again opted not to disqualify Mr Dai because of the potential adverse consequences for the club. However, as the League has previously stated, Mr Dai has demonstrated an unwillingness to support the club’s current financial commitments, in contrast to his approach following the change of control in 2017. That is creating significant uncertainty, and the current impasse has to be broken.

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Jobi McAnuff discusses the ownership issues and financial problems at Reading after the abandonment of their fixture against Port Vale

“Therefore, the League urges Mr Dai to provide his club with the appropriate resources needed while at the same time accelerating his efforts to sell his majority shareholding to new owners, so that everyone associated with Reading FC, including staff, supporters and the local community, can move on and prepare for a positive future.”

The club have been hit with points deductions previously over missed payment of player and staff wages by their owner, while Dai has also been fined personally over his failure to fund an account to ensure future payments were not missed. The EFL sought his disqualification in November but an independent commission rejected that and imposed a fine instead.

He was fined a further £50,000 on January 15 for failing to fund a deposit account set up to cover staff wage costs – meaning he has been in default for nearly four months.

The club also agreed to a suspended three-point penalty with the EFL after a pitch invasion forced the abandonment of their League One match against Port Vale in January.

Around 1,000 Royals supporters entered the pitch in the 16th minute of the match on January 13 in protest against the club’s owner.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source