Former Reading FC owner Sir John Madejski has said has expressed his concerns about how long the second-tier side’s owners will want to continue funding the club, as he spoke to talkSPORT amid a potential points deduction.
The Royals are on the cusp of being docked points by the EFL after breaching their profit and sustainability rules, with a report from The Telegraph stating the two parties are currently in discussions about the terms of this penalty for a side who could lose up to nine points they have gained this term.
For many, this comes as no surprise after seeing the club lose over £90m in their last three sets of financial accounts, breaching the rules by well over £50m and being placed under a strict transfer embargo this summer.
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These losses come after a heavy period of spending by the Berkshire outfit between 2017 and 2019, breaking their transfer record twice to recruit Sone Aluko and George Puscas, being reluctant to cash in on some of their most valuable assets and allowing their wage bill to spiral out of control as Covid-19 made a huge impact on revenue generated by clubs throughout the EFL.
Reading are said to be in the final stages of negotiations over their punishment to avoid this matter going to the disciplinary commission with a deduction of six to nine points likely to be imposed – and former owner and chairman Sir John Madejski spoke out about the Royals’ current predicament after stepping back from the day-to-day running of the club a number of years ago.
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He said to talkSPORT this morning: “I think it’s extremely sad. I know the owners of the club are doing their best to get Reading into a good place. But if you break the rules you have to suffer the consequences.
“What I’m most concerned about is how long the owners will want to keep engaging. They’ve spent a tremendous amount on the club. You can’t deny their eagerness for success.”
Many Reading fans would agree that the owners have spent a huge amount on Reading, not just on keeping the club going during Covid-19 times, but also on transfer fees, retaining some of their most prized assets and building a new state-of-the-art training ground.
This is why they deserve to be rewarded with success – but he also shares a fear many other supporters of the club also do. How long are they going to keep funding the club for with no return on their investment and little success on the pitch to show for their spending?
With several key players in the final year of their contracts and some unlikely to sign extensions, a looming points deduction, a need to generate more revenue and more transfer embargo restrictions potentially coming their way, it may take several seasons for Reading to get into shape.
It doesn’t seem as though owners Mr Yongge and Ms Hawken will run out of money anytime soon as wealthy billionaires – but it still remains a concern.
Arguably, the Royals deserve a further punishment as well as their embargo after breaching the profit and sustainability rules by such a huge amount, but they are no longer spending recklessly and probably wouldn’t have done even without these restrictions.
Hopefully, this lack of spending in the last few windows will be a sufficient plea in mitigation to reduce the points they’re deducted.