Reading have been hit with a six-point deduction for breaking the English Football League’s financial regulations.
The Sky Bet Championship club has also had a further six-point deduction suspended after admitting to breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.
An EFL statement read: “Reading Football Club has been deducted six points from this season’s (2021/22) points tally, with a further six points suspended until the end of the 2022/23 Season, after admitting to breaches of the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules.
“It follows a review of the financial submission from the club for the four-year period 2017/18 to 2020/21 where it was determined the club had recorded a loss of £57.8million, £18.8m in excess of the £39.0m Upper Loss Threshold.”
Reading said they had accepted the points deduction and that owner Dai Yongge remained “wholeheartedly committed to the club”.
A club statement read: “The breach of regulations was calculated across a period of four years, two of which were unavoidably yet significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While there are undeniably extenuating and unforeseeable circumstances that have contributed to this breach, we accept this to be a fair and reasonable punishment and will learn the lessons from our recent past which have resulted in this deduction.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the EFL for their co-operation, professionalism and positive, open dialogue throughout this process.”
Reading have now dropped from 16th to 19th in the table, four points above the relegation zone.
The Royals, who were placed under a transfer embargo in 2018, must now stick to a strict EFL-imposed business plan in order to avoid incurring another six-point penalty.
The EFL added: “The club has also agreed to adhere to a Business Plan focused on a number of financial targets, including controlling player-related expenditure, with the objective of moving the club towards P&S compliance in forthcoming reporting periods.
“The decision is final and not subject to appeal, with the Championship league table being amended with immediate effect.”
Fellow Championship side Derby, handed a 12-point deduction for going into administration in September, were given a further nine-point penalty on Tuesday for breaking the EFL’s accounting rules.