Discovery+ and Quest pundit Jobi McAnuff says he does not believe that Reading’s point deduction will see them relegated from the Championship this season, but could lead to them losing players further down the line.
It was announced last week that Reading had been deducted six points effective immediately, with a further six point suspended until the end of the 2022/23 season.
The punishment was brought against the Championship side for a breach of the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability rules across a period of four years in the lead up to the start of this season.
That additional penalty will be imposed if the Royals fail to stick to a business plan that has been agreed between the club and the EFL before the end of next season.
As a result of that six point deduction, Reading now sit 20th in the Championship table, two places and two points clear of the relegation zone, after 18 games of the campaign.
However, McAnuff believes that the quality in Veljko Paunovic’s side means they will have enough t ensure they do not drop into League One next season.
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But despite that, the former Reading midfielder does fear that the business plan the club have agreed to, could make it hard for the club to keep hold of current players, or bring new ones, in the upcoming transfers windows.
Asked how he thought that six point deduction would impact Reading, McAnuff, who made over 200 appearances for the Royals between 2009 and 2014, exclusively told Football League World:
“I’ll be honest, the whole club and everyone around it will probably see it as a bit of a relief that they only got six points.
“When you’re looking at some of the other clubs, and I know it’s different circumstances, although it is still financial situations and going over budget, it could have been worse.
“So for them it’s probably more of a slap on the wrists, I don’t think they’re going to be in any danger.
“Of course it has dropped them down, but I certainly think they have more than enough quality now to stay up which I think is now going to be the aim.
“There a club that has to get their finances in line with the rest of the league, they’ve been way way over what they should be in terms of spending.
“It’s all well and good when you’ve got an owner whose willing to suck that up, but the question is – and we’ve seen it at other clubs – what happens when that sole owner disappears, or decides he’s had enough and he leaves the club saddled with debt.
“Clearly the rules and regulations are in place to avoid that, so I think for them it’s a bit of a slap of the wrists, ‘make you sure you get your house in order’.
“Otherwise there’s going to be another six points hanging over them. So from a football point of view I don’t think it’s going to impact their season in terms of relegation, though it will probably put paid to any play-offs hopes.
“But for the football club it’s just about navigating their way through this period. They’re probably going to lose some players in the coming months and certainly by the end of the season, they’ll probably be very restricted in terms of what types of contracts they can offer, if any.
“So I fear they will lose some good players unfortunately.”
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