Championship’s troubled pair Rams and Reading braced for ‘deduction derby’

Derby County’s off-field problems have been well-publicised and tonight the Championship club welcome a Reading side who have their own worries on the horizon

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Derby County are in administration – video with voiceover

Tonight sees an upwardly mobile Reading team travel to take on bottom-of-the-table Derby County.

The Royals sealed a third straight win last weekend, and victory tonight at Pride Park could see them level on points with sixth-placed Blackburn.

As for Derby, they have won just twice this season and are a whopping nine points from safety.

However, in reality there is just three points separating the two teams ahead of this evening’s meeting.

The Rams, of course, were hit with a 12-point handicap for entering administration last week. It undid a large portion of the work that Wayne Rooney’s side had put in and dropped them down to minus-two points.

Wayne Rooney’s Derby are on minus points heading into tonight’s game

There is talk of a further points hit, for a breach of financial rules, and if it is handed down it would effectively mean Derby have one foot in the third tier already for next term.

Whilst the on-pitch situation is looking far rosier for tonight’s opponents, they too have cause for concern when it comes to finances.

Reading are said to be in discussions with the EFL over a points deduction, after they breached profit and sustainability rules.

It was thought the punishment could be as much as nine points but fresh reports indicate it could be just six.

Reading sealed a third straight win in the league last weekend

Even if that is the best case scenario, it would be a gut-wrenching blow for Veljko Paunović and his side. It would drop them down to seven points (before the outcome of tonight’s game) although it is far from irretrievable.

Some fans have crudely classed tonight’s Pride Park clash as the ‘deduction derby’. But the off-field situation at both clubs is far from a laughing matter according to EFL pundit Keith Andrews.

He recently touched on the financial worries of both clubs – and spoke of his concern at how often this is happening across football.

Speaking on Sky Sports , the former Republic of Ireland midfielder said: “One of my biggest bugbears is that we kind of know what clubs pay and some of them live beyond their means and it goes on for season after season.

“Ultimately, if they don’t get to the promised land where all those fortunes are – and that’s what they want – the arrogance of some owners and how they deal with it…it’s not their football club – they are only the guardian of the club while they own it.

“These football clubs have existed for so long which such history and pride and they are at the centre of the community in a lot of places, and ultimately, they [owners] can destroy them.

“We’ve seen it already happen at Bury – it’s so, so sad to see the way clubs go and at times not just the owners, but people employed in very powerful positions within the club misread the club.

“They chase the greed of the Premier League and something more stringent needs to be done to stop this because it’s happened far too quickly.”

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