Reading docked two more points over HMRC bill

Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium
A six-match unbeaten run helped haul Reading out of the League One relegation zone

Reading have had two more points docked, their third deduction of the season, by the English Football League.

The League One side have had a further two-point penalty suspended after failing to pay dues to HMRC within an 80-day limit imposed by the EFL.

The club previously had four points deducted for their failure to pay wages on several occasions the previous year.

Ruben Selles’ side are now only three points clear of the drop zone with 11 matches remaining.

Another £100,000 fine for separate charges issued was imposed on owner Dai Yongge by an Independent Disciplinary Commission (IDC) alongside the latest points deduction – although the EFL again stopped short of disqualifying him as an owner because of “potential adverse consequences for the club”.

He has repeatedly failed to meet deadlines to pay a sum amounting to 125% of the club’s monthly wage bill into a nominated bank account, and is required to pay the fine by 18 March 2024.  

If Mr Dai fails to comply with the prior order of the IDC to meet the deposit requirement within 28 days, a further suspended fine of £100,000 will be triggered and an additional fine of £100,000 will be imposed if the money is not received within five weeks.

In total the club had been docked 12 points across the previous two seasons, meaning it is now 18 points they have lost under the ownership of Dai, who took control in 2017.

Last month the club were also given a suspended three-point deduction after fans stormed the pitch in protest against the Chinese owner, forcing the abandonment of the League One match against Port Vale on 13 January.

The EFL has previously issued a series of penalties against Dai for financial misconduct and has once again urged him to start funding the club or sell up as soon as possible.

A month ago former chief executive Nigel Howe said talks over the sale of the Berkshire club were ongoing, and that proposals from interested parties were likely to be presented to Dai in February.

After staff wages were paid late before Christmas, and amid reports players were having to cater for themselves at the training ground, the club made two staff redundant last month to further cut costs.

The Royals sold a series of first-team players during the January transfer window, with Nathan Abbey moving to Olympiakos, Tom McIntyre joining Portsmouth and Tom Holmes being sold to Luton before being loaned back to the end of the season.

Holmes and his team-mates head to rock-bottom Carlisle on Saturday.


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