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EFL Statement: Reading FC

EFL Statement: Reading FC

Reading v Port Vale 

The EFL Board has determined that the Sky Bet League One fixture between Reading and Port Vale should be replayed in full following its abandonment on Saturday 13 January 2024. 

Following a 16th minute pitch incursion by a number of Reading supporters in protest at the ownership of the Club, the players and coaching teams were removed from the pitch, and it soon became clear that re-starting would not be possible.   

Having considered all relevant factors relating to the decision taken by the match officials and club stadium staff, alongside the options available to them in accordance with the Regulations, the Board felt the most appropriate course of action was to reschedule the fixture in full. 

The game will now take place on Tuesday 20th February 2024, kick-off 8pm.  Both Clubs are liaising on the issue of ticket sales and will communicate arrangements via the normal channels.  

Sanction for Non-Fulfilment of a Fixture   

Following the abandonment, the League entered discussions with Reading in respect of the potential sanction to be imposed as a result of the Club failing to fulfil its fixture obligations and have now reached a consensus by way of an Agreed Decision, in accordance with EFL Regulations.   

The Club is now subject to a suspended three-point deduction with the sanction to be activated in either the 2023/2024 season or the 2024/2025 season if any fixture played in any EFL competition is postponed or abandoned due to disruption (including incursion onto the field of play) by the Club’s supporters. If it is required, the suspended three-point deduction will become active with immediate effect in the season during which the breach occurs.  

This level of sanction remains consistent with action taken in previous circumstances where an abandonment of an EFL fixture has taken place. The League continues to recognise the ongoing challenges for the Club and its supporter base and notes the views expressed at the supporter meeting held with the EFL last week in respect of imposing further immediate points deductions on the Club.  

This approach aims to balance the requirements of the EFL as the competition organiser to uphold its Regulations on behalf of all member Clubs whilst providing clarity to all associated parties on the impact of any future non-fulfilment of a fixture, coming as direct result of supporter protests.   

The decision is available HERE

Mr Dai Yongge  

The owner of the Club, Mr Dai Yongge, has today been charged with misconduct for his repeated failures to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated bank account.  

Mr Dai did not meet this month’s deadline, meaning he has been in default for nearly four months and remains in breach of both the first decision (August 2023) and second decision (December 2023) as ordered by the independent Disciplinary Commission. 

He has also been charged with bringing the Club and/or League into disrepute as a result of his actions.  

Both charges have been referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission. 

EFL Statement: Mr Yongge Dai

EFL Statement: Mr Yongge Dai

In September 2023, the Reading FC owner Mr Yongge Dai was charged with misconduct after failing to comply with the order of an independent Disciplinary Commission which required him to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated bank account. 

The matter was referred by the League to an independent Disciplinary Commission in accordance with its Regulations and at the hearing, which took place on 23 November 2023, the EFL put forward that Mr Dai should be disqualified from all football activity, including ownership and control, for a period of 12 months.  

In its submissions, the EFL also made it clear that it did not feel a sporting sanction against the Club was appropriate in this case as this was direct action being taken against the owner.  

On review of all the arguments, the independent Commission were ‘unimpressed’ by Mr Dai’s failure to provide detailed evidence as to the ongoing reasons for failure to pay and as to his future intentions but felt a disqualification would not achieve the immediate objective of sourcing the required funds for the deposit account.  

Therefore, the Independent Commission has determined that Mr Dai be fined £20,000 with a further £50,000 suspended and to be activated on 12 January 2024 unless the required deposit is made in full. In addition, Mr Dai is required to maintain the deposit at the levels set out previously until, at the earliest, 31 August 2024.  

It is clear that the Commission are critical of his handling of matters labelling it a ‘serious case ‘and ‘deliberate misconduct.’ 

It is hoped this latest financial sanction, and the threat of further monetary penalties will bring a resolution to the short-term issue of funding the deposit account, which in turn should provide some re-assurance to the management, staff, and players at the Club, who continue to act as outstanding ambassadors for Reading FC, despite the challenging circumstances.  

The League will have no hesitation in bringing further charges against Mr Dai if he fails to comply with the Commission’s directive and is also ready to support the Club in quickly progressing a change of control at the Club once a purchaser has been identified.  

The independent Disciplinary Commission’s Written Reasons can be viewed here.

EFL Statement: Mr Yongge Dai

EFL Statement: Mr Yongge Dai

Reading FC’s owner, Mr Yongge Dai, has been charged with misconduct after failing to comply with the order of an independent Disciplinary Commission which required him to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account by 12 September.

The League considers these further proceedings against him personally are necessary given the repeated failings in meeting the Club’s funding requirements which have only a detrimental impact on the Club and its wider stakeholders.

This matter will now be considered by an independent Disciplinary Commission in accordance with EFL Regulations. 

EFL Statement: Mr Dai Yongge

EFL Statement: Mr Dai Yongge

As Reading FC supporters are only too aware, it has in recent months become increasingly clear that Mr Dai Yongge is no longer in a position - or does not have the motivation - to support the Club financially as he did following the change of control in 2017.     

In November 2023, the EFL called for the disqualification of Mr Dai following the failure to fund the deposit account to cover player and staff salaries following repeated breaches of EFL Regulations. This was ultimately rejected by an Independent Disciplinary Commission and a financial sanction was imposed instead.   

The EFL has now received confirmation that Mr Dai did not meet last Friday’s latest deadline to fund the deposit account as ordered, meaning he has been in default for nearly four months.  As a result – and as per the terms of the 15 December decision - a further £50,000 fine has now been imposed, taking the total to £80,000.   

His continued failings mean that once again the Club's hardworking staff have no reassurance as to payment of wages and demonstrates a clear disregard for his obligations as a director of the Club.   

In respect of this issue, the League will now consider all available options it has under the Regulations and will have no hesitation in bringing further charges against Mr Dai.  

In the meantime, and for the sake of the future of Reading FC, its staff, supporters, and local community we urge Mr Dai either to fund the Club adequately or to make immediate arrangements to sell his majority shareholding to appropriate new owners so everyone can move forward with renewed optimism.   

For our part, we will work with Mr Dai, his team, and the Club plus any potential purchaser to navigate and meet the requirements of the Regulations as quickly as is physically possible and bring an end to this difficult period for all parties.   

What followed the events at the end of last week were the unfortunate scenes on Saturday afternoon that led to the abandonment of the fixture versus Port Vale, and further demonstrated the impact the current situation is having on everyone associated with the Club.   

However, entering the field of play is a criminal offence and puts the safety of all participants at risk.  The EFL Board will discuss events at Saturday’s match during its meeting later this week as it has a responsibility to the League’s member clubs and the competition to ensure all 72 Clubs meet the requirements of the rules as previously agreed by EFL Clubs.   

Finally, the League has been in regular dialogue with the Supporters Trust at Reading (STAR) in recent months and has always made – and will continue to do so – itself available to recognised supporters’ groups to discuss challenging situations and, regarding current matters involving Reading, has arranged to meet with representatives of a number of groups in the next 24 hours. 

EFL Statement: Reading FC

EFL Statement: Reading FC

Reading Football Club has been referred to an Independent disciplinary commission (IDC) for continued non-payment of monies owed to HMRC.

The Club has defaulted in relation to the amount owed to HMRC for September and October 2023 and as a result is currently under a registration embargo.

In addition to the current embargo, the Club is already subject to a fee restriction for the next three transfer windows after it accumulated 30 days or more of late payments in the current 12-month period (1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024). The current default period as of 31 October 2023 was 79 days.

Where a Club continues to fail to make the payment as in the case of Reading, EFL Regulations agreed by EFL Clubs provide for a Club to be referred to a commission independent of the EFL who shall determine an appropriate further sanction.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said: “This is a challenging situation for all involved and we understand the frustrations of supporters and the negative impact sporting sanctions and further charges are having on the football club.

As a League, we are required to ensure all 72 members are treated fairly and consistently on all matters so that the integrity of the competition is maintained. These consistent failures of the Club’s ownership to meet its ongoing obligations have a knock-on effect on all Clubs and as such, the deterrents in place must be actioned when breached.

We have today met with the Reading Supporters Trust to discuss the ongoing challenges and will continue to work with the Club in an attempt find a positive solution moving forward.”

Meanwhile, the proceedings against Mr Yongge Dai, the Club’s current owner, continue following the failure to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account.

The hearing for Mr Yongge Dai is expected to take place by the end of November.

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