Reading Football Club News: August 2023

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.

Button Arrival Confirmed

09 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper David Button who arrives on a free transfer having left Championship club West Bromwich Albion. Thirty four year old Button comes with mixed reviews but there is no doubting his experience in a career that saw his first appearances out on loan at Grays Athletic while on Tottenham's books in 2008. Button has played for 17 different clubs, mostly out on loan from Spurs before a move to Brentford where he came their number 1 in 2013.

He impressed at Brentford to earn a two million pound transfer to Fulham three years later. In the summer of 2018 Brighton paid four million pounds for Button but he went on to make just four League appearances for the side over two years. Button joined West Brom three years ago but only made 24 league appearances - including 13 last season in the Championship. Button could shortly be Reading's third goalkeeper to make a start after Boyce-Clarke playing in our League Cup victory and Bouzanis was in goal for Reading's opening day defeat at home against Peterborough. Button has signed a two year contract with the Royals.

Surprise Win As Young Royals Thrash Millwall

08 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading are through to the second round of the League Cup after a huge 4-0 win awau at Millwall. The win was earnt by a very youthful Reading side that averaged just over 20 years of age, and came as a huge surprise. It was Ruben Selles first win, or anything other than a defeat, as Reading manager and only the third of his managerial career. Reading's first win since February 2023 came completely out of the blue after Selles swapped out a large number of first team players and opted to give game time to fringe players.

New signing American 18-year old Tyler Bindon was handed his first start immediately after signing and fellow 18 year old Caylon Vickers was impressive in his first starting appearance. Ehibhatiomhan put Reading in front inside the first minute after being supplied by Vickers and Reading's young team never looked back. In the second half Ehibhatiomhan scored his second and Reading looked comfortable when Charlie Savage scored his first Reading goal and his second ever competitive goal. Late on Mamadi Camara made his four with his first career goal.

League Cup Round One: Millwall 0 Reading 4 - Fan Opinion - Read More...

Tyler Bindon Is Latest To Sign

07 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have confirmed the signing of 18-year old American central defender Tyler Bindon. Bindon was previously at Los Angeles FC as a youth player and then Washington before recently training with the Royals. Like Rushesha, who confirmed his signing on Friday, Bindon also featured in pre-season friendlies for Reading. Bindon signs a two year contract with the club after his successful trial. Bindon is an under 19 international have played twice for the United States of America this year.

Bindon is Reading's seventh confirmed summer signing after the arrivals of Harlee Dean and Tivonge Rushesha last Friday, as the Royals continue to mix youth and experience into the first team squad. Reading have also given contracts to Charlie Savage, Lewis Wing, Sam Smith and Harvey Knibbs. Reading will be waiting for Sam Smith to return from injury as he has been forced to miss the start of the season.

Reading Open League One Season With Defeat

05 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading began their League One campaign with a familiar feeling of defeat - but there were plenty of positive signs as Reading were unlucky to lose their opening game of the season. Despite the huge changes of playing staff over the summer, there was a familiar feel about Reading with only two new players in the starting eleven as Charlie Savage and Harvey Knibbs made their Reading debuts. Later in the game Selles introduced Lewis Wing, Tivonge Rushesha, and academy player Caylan Vickers who also all picked up their first Reading appearance.

The Royals were the better side in the first half, but despite their efforts found themselves a goal behind just before the break when a cross was headed past Bouzanis in the Reading goal. Both sides had chances in the second half with Bouzanis pulling off a excellent save to keep Reading in the game but Peterborough - who finished 6th last season in League One - held out to start the season with a win.

Reading 0 Peterborough United 1 - Fan Opinion - Read More

Harlee Dean and Tivonge Rushesha Join Royals

04 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Just as the new League One season is set to kick-off, and after our latest embargo was lifted as Reading settled tax debts, Reading have completed the signings of Harlee Dean and Tivonge Rushesha. Both players were without a contract and join Reading on free transfers. Tivonge Rushesha is already well known to those following Reading's pre-season campaign as he has played in our friendlies after leaving Swansea City in the summer. The midfielder played a single League Cup game for Swansea during the 2019/2020 season but failed to break through to the first team and joins Reading hoping to become a regular first team player.

Rushesha is joined by experienced 32-year old player Harlee Dean. Dean appears to be exactly the type of player we need to try and halt the slide and compete in League One. The centre back played nearly 200 times for both Brentford and Birmingham City and has a very impressive background for League One. Reading's defence looks to be strongest department this coming season and Dean will add substantially to that.

EFL Lift Embargo Again

03 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading FC have had their transfer embargo lifted once again after settling payments relating to debts owed to HMRC. The club had been removed from the ELF embargo list last month after being listed under three charges. Those charges were reduced one by one giving the Royals a clean slate, until last week when we were placed back on the embargo list once again. Fast forward a week and the EFL are now reporting "There are currently no Clubs under embargo.".

The question is, how long until we are back on the list? Reading will feel they will have to move fast as they still urgently need more players ahead of the new League One season starting this weekend. The Royals have brought in just four players this summer and will need to add more to the first team squad to compete this season. With the club now finally owning up that new investment is needed, we can't expect any players to arrive for a transfer fee or high wages, so options will remain limited.

Club Confirm Hunt For New Investment

02 August 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading FC have today issued a short statement to acknowledge the on-going financial issues at the club and confirm they are looking for new investment to continue to operate. The same statement says that current club owner Dai Yongge is "fully committed to the club". It's not clear if Dai Yongge is looking to move the club on or looking for someone to share the burden as the club struggle to clear their debts.

The club are currently back under a transfer embargo, enforced by the EFL after another failure to pay money owed to HMRC. The new embargo was imposed at the end of last week, but the club are looking to settle the debt "in the coming days" to lift the embargo to enable paid for incoming transfers as the new season gets underway.

The Royals currently have the thinest first team squad in League One with the season kicking off on Saturday as Peterborough United visit the Select Car Leasing Stadium. Despite a huge number of players departing during the summer, the Royals have only added four new senior players with Charlie Savage signing last week from Manchester United, following Lewis Wing, Sam Smith and Harvey Knibbs into the club.

Official club statement:

Reading Football Club can confirm that it is currently in the process of seeking investment to provide significant financial support to the business.

Our owner Mr Dai Yongge remains fully committed to the club and both he and Chief Executive Dayong Pang have been extremely active in recent weeks in trying to establish a sustainable source of financial backing for the football club going forward.

Despite ongoing complex cashflow constraints - related in part to the intense and protracted effects of the global pandemic which continue to impact business in China - the full wage bill has been satisfied for both players and staff at the end of the month and a late payment to HMRC - which temporarily placed the club back under a strict embargo at the end of last week - is due to be personally resolved by Mr Dai in the coming days.