News and Views

Reading Deducted One Point By EFL For Failing To Pay Players On Time And In Full

18 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

 Reading FC can't catch a break in the English Football League, even if they are actually winning matches. The team was just reprimanded by the League and one point was deduced from their League score. This is because they’ve failed to meet their obligations towards the players.

Apparently, Reading wasn’t paying their players on time and in full. This is prohibited by the English Football League rules and it has resulted in the deduction of points.

What Happened?

 Reading FC breached the League regulations by not paying their players on time, on three separate occasions. The regulation breaches relate to instances on 31 October 2022, 30 November 2022, and 28 April 2023. The owner Dai Yongge has also been fined £10,000. He was also ordered to deposit funds to avoid further deductions.

Dai has a 28-day deadline to make the payments before the team faces further consecutions. Chances are that these would be more severe and further damage the team. An account was created for this purpose, and Dai is supposed to pay 125 percent of the amount the team owes before the deadline.

The Explanation

Dai claimed that the reason for being late with the payment was events beyond his control. He said that there was a technical issue with transferring funds from Asia and that the payments were only a few days late. Dai also claims that his Chinese businesses are suffering due to the Covid restrictions, which lead to delays.

However, the League has issued a statement saying that the club didn’t provide a "sufficient or satisfactory explanation for the delays". Therefore, they went further with the measures against the team.

How Does it Affect the Team?

 Reading FC was sanctioned by deducting one point. This means that they now have 2 points overall and this drops them to 18th place in League One. It’s especially difficult because it came about after they won their first game in the season in six months.

It has also affected online betting. Reading is popular in the world of crypto sports betting. Those who bet on match results weren’t affected by the change since the team did win. However, those who bet on the team’s final placement in the League can be affected by the drop.

It’s not the First Time

 This isn’t the first time Reading FC has had this problem. In this calendar year, they’ve been docked twice, by a single point. Also, last April they were docked 6 points for breaching the terms of a business deal. At the end of the season, they were delegated to the third tier.

Reading FC was also placed under a transfer embargo for this infraction. However, this embargo was lifted earlier this month, allowing the team to get some fresh blood. There was also a three-point deduction at one point, but this was later suspended.

What do the Rules Say?

 The English Football League has non-binding guidelines in regard to making payments to players and others involved in the League. However, the teams can argue their points of view in front of the League. That’s what happened with Reading. The League wanted to deduct points and an additional four as a suspended sentence until they made the payments.

However, the team argued that all three late payments were actually a single offense because they happened for the same reason. The League changed the sentence to deducting one point instead and that’s what brought it down on the list.

The Reaction

 The team agreed with the charges on principle.

"Our dialogue with the EFL and the independent disciplinary commission has been open throughout the process and, in accepting that the repeated late payment of wages is wholly unacceptable, we believe the punishment is just," a club statement said.

"The wage bill has been satisfied in full and on time for the last three months and, as recently communicated to supporters, our owner will continue to seek and secure reliable sources of stable external investment which will ensure cash flow complications do not arise and result in any further breaches of EFL regulations."

How Did the Game Go?

 Even though good news was overshadowed by financial issues, it still remains an important fact that Reading won its first League game in six months. Reading dominated against Cheltenham and scored a goal in the 33rd minute. This was their first win since a 3-1 success over Blackpool in the Championship back in late February - a barren run of 15 games.

Cheltenham improved slightly in the second half but still didn’t have much to show for it. This much-needed win caused an uproar with the fans and that’s why the point deduction hits so hard.

What’s next?

 There’s little that the team can do now when it comes to the financial issues. It will have to eat the decision as it is and carry on. However, this will also affect the players on a personal level and that’s something that they need to deal with quickly.

Reading have signed Nigerian winger Paul Mukairu on a season-long loan from Danish side FC Copenhagen. This is an important transfer and chances are that it will affect the strategy and the overall chances of the team in the games to come. It’s the first transfer in a long time since there was an embargo put on transfers to and from Reading.

Other Transfers

 There have been a few other transfers in the works now when they are available.

Reading have signed Cameroon international midfielder Ben Elliott from Chelsea on a three-year contract. The 20-year-old made four appearances for the Blues under-21 side in the EFL Trophy last season and scored one goal.

It has signed experienced goalkeeper David Button on a two-year deal.

The 34-year-old has played for West Bromwich Albion for the past three seasons where he made 31 appearances in both the Championship and Premier League.

To Sum Things Up

 Reading FC has a point deducted because of the late payments to players. The League regulates this issue and the teams that don’t pay their players on time, get a deduction. This puts Reading at 2 points and now they are at the 18th place in the league.  This happens right after their first win.

The team got a few new additions as they are allowed to take part in transfers after a suspension. The team can still improve their standing since they broke a long dry spell of losses. They’ve accepted the deduction at the moment.

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