Championship side Reading are set to receive an initial six-point deduction from the EFL for breaching Profit and Sustainability rules according to the Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan, with six more being suspended.
The Berkshire outfit have been waiting for news on this deduction for some time after being placed under a transfer embargo in the summer, being limited in the incoming business they could conduct as they recruited three loanees and three agents in their quest to stay competitive in the second tier.
With the potential of a deduction first being reported by The Telegraph back in September, supporters of the Royals were bracing themselves for this punishment for just under two months, but may be relieved by the news they aren’t set to receive the maximum docking nine points, something that was feared after seeing the club make a total loss of over £90m in their last three sets of accounts.
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Their punishment is three points lighter than Derby County who received their own deduction earlier this week for breaching the same rules, though the Royals could be set to lose another six points if they don’t comply with the business plan agreed with the EFL for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.
With the initial sanction set to be applied immediately when this news is made official, Veljko Paunovic’s side will drop down three places to 19th in the second-tier table.
This leaves the Royals just four points above the relegation zone but gives them a real chance of remaining in the division and achieving a respectable finish if no further punishment is applied this term.
In many Reading supporters’ eyes, this punishment could have been a lot worse considering the losses they have made since their heavy spending spree back in the summer of 2017.
Not only does this give the club a real chance of remaining in the second tier, but it may also be crucial in tying some of their best assets down to new contracts at the Select Car Leasing Stadium with the possibility of Championship football next season becoming greater.
But this has to be a lesson for the Royals who have lost far too much money in recent years.
They may have received a smaller deduction than some would have predicted, but the fact they have managed to get themselves into this situation in the first place has to be reflected on and utilised to create a more sustainable future at the club.
The most successful periods in Reading’s recent history have come at times when the club spent within their means and made shrewd, cheap acquisitions in the transfer market.
Football may have moved on since then, but the free signings of Josh Laurent and Michael Morrison in recent years shows they can spend wisely and be successful at the same time.