Championship side Reading face a six-point deduction from the EFL for breaching profit and sustainability rules with three suspended, according to journalist Courtney Friday.
The Royals had been under a strict transfer embargo for the entirety of the previous transfer window, being hamstrung by these restrictions in the early stages of the summer but still being able to make six signings during the last month of the window to bolster their side for the 2021/22 campaign.
This comes after a severe breach of the EFL’s financial rules, losing over £90m in their last three sets of accounts after a heavy period of spending between 2017 and 2019 and failing to make anywhere near the amount of revenue needed to remedy their losses.
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After seeing Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday receive their own deductions in the past for breaking the rules, with Derby County being slapped with an automatic 12-point deduction following their entrance into administration this month, there were concerns over the possibility of the Royals being docked points for their own misdemeanours.
This fear became a reality last week when The Telegraph reported the club faced a potential points deduction of nine after spending in recent years, but journalist Courtney Friday is reporting a six-point deduction with a further three suspended is currently being discussed between the club and the EFL.
At this stage, a punishment of this magnitude would leave the Royals level on points with 21st-place Peterborough United.
For the Berkshire outfit, the punishment could be a lot worse so they would probably take that every day of the week considering how badly they broke the financial rules with such heavy losses, even without the impact of Covid.
However, there are a few pleas in mitigation that can be made. Firstly, the club’s finances will look a lot better for the 2020/21 and probably the 2021/22 sets of accounts, barring a near-impossible spending spree in January.
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A lot of players have left the club since the end of the 2019/20 season including quite a few top earners, so whilst the club may still make a loss like many other Championship teams have in recent years, it won’t be anywhere near as bad as previous seasons.
Secondly, the club have also got to work in sealing quite a few sponsorship deals and whilst it may not generate too much revenue, money is money and if they can show themselves to be more sustainable, then the EFL’s firm grip on the club may start to be untightened at some point.
And finally, the club were completely transparent with the state of their finances and submitted their accounts promptly, something that may have proved to be a crucial factor in limiting their punishment to losing six points.