Reading breached the Profitability and Sustainability rules and have been hit with a 6-point deduction, dropping to 19th position on the table
Reading, who have Nigeria-born midfielder Ovie Ejaria on their payroll, have become the latest English Championship side to have points deducted by the English Football League (EFL) Board for flouting its Profitability and Sustainability rules.
The club was handed a six-point deduction sanction to be effected immediately and another six-point deduction sanction suspended till the end of next season.
Reading were found to have incurred losses of almost £20m more than the permitted EFL threshold from the 2017/18 – 2020/21 financial records. On a review of the club’s accounts between 2017/18 to 2020/21, the EFL discovered that the club had lost £57.8m.
This is £18.8m more than the £39m threshold that was permitted for the club. The EFL’s regulations are aimed at discouraging clubs from short-term overspending and curbing excessive expenses on players’ wages.
The Chief Executive Officer of the EFL Trevor Birch confirmed the sanctions on Wednesday. He explained the rationale behind the sanctions whilst speaking to the media.
“The EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules are in place to discourage short-term overspending and it is appropriate that the league takes the necessary action on behalf of its membership when a transgression occurs,” Birch said.
“The league is satisfied that the sanction for the breach, being imposed by way of an agreed decision, is proportionate having considered all the relevant factors, and will continue to work closely with the club as it seeks to meet its obligations moving forward.”
Reading have accepted the points deduction and also committed to following a business plan after admitting to flouting the EFL’s rules. The Club released a press statement on its official website on Wednesday accepting the sanctions.
The statement read: “The breach of regulations was calculated across a period of four years, two of which were unavoidably yet significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While there are undeniably extenuating and unforeseeable circumstances that have contributed to this breach, we accept this to be a fair and reasonable punishment and will learn the lessons from our recent past which have resulted in this deduction.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the EFL for their co-operation, professionalism and positive, open dialogue throughout this process.”
The docked points have seen Ejaria and Reading drop to 19th on the Championship table, just four points above the relegation zone. Derby County were recently sanctioned also, with The Rams punished by a nine-point deduction for breaching the League Board’s profitability and sustainability rules.
Super Eagles hopeful, Ejaria, 23, has featured 12 times in the Championship this season for the club, scoring two goals.