Reading FC have been dealt a suspended three point deduction from the English Football League (EFL) after thousands of fans stormed the pitch in their match with Port Vale which was abandoned.
To protest against owner Dai Yongge, thousands of fans took to the pitch to show their anger at the club’s mismanagement and after more than an hour and with fans still on the playing field, the game was called off.
Avoiding a points penalty for now, Reading have also avoided a fine.
A statement released by the EFL reads: “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.
“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.
“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 a a result of his actions. Both charges have been referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.”