Championship mainstays Reading are facing a possible nine-point deduction because of a breach of EFL financial regulations.
The Royals are currently in talks with the EFL over the possible infringement under the ‘agreed decision’ process. This allows clubs to reach an agreement with the league itself over potential penalties, as opposed to going through a formal disciplinary hearing.
The Telegraph report that Reading are currently under embargo after breaching EFL profitability and sustainability rules. These permit clubs to make losses of up to £39m over a three-year period.
If they are docked points they will become the second Championship side to be handed a deduction this season, with Derby County already punished after entering administration. The normal penalty for this is a 12-point deduction but the Rams could be docked even more by the EFL soon.
Sheffield Wednesday also breached financial rules last season, for which they had six points removed, while back in 2019 Birmingham City were deducted nine for the same reasons.
If Reading do become the latest Championship side affected, it would not be a disaster, though it would deal a harsh blow to any faint hopes of promotion.
The Royals have picked up 10 points from eight games this season and currently sit just three points away from the play-off spots. Being docked nine points would see them slump into the relegation zone with only Derby below them – after their own deduction is applied.
News of Reading’s plight provides another reminder of the precarious position most EFL clubs find themselves in after having their income decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent years both Bury and Macclesfield have dropped out of the league altogether. This, combined with the European Super League crisis, led to the government setting up a fan-led review on the future of English football governance. The report published its preliminary findings in July with further updates to come over the next few months.