Reading “in a big, big hole” ahead of looming points deduction by EFL

The Royals secured a third successive Championship win by beating Middlesbrough but a hefty penalty for financial breaches could severely dent their progress

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Former Reading midfielder Jobi McAnuff says his old club are paying the price for financial mismanagement.

The Royals are expected to be handed a points deduction imminently for breaching financial rules.

The deduction could range between six and nine points and would likely mean a relegation battle for Veljko Paunović’s side.

Despite watching his old side seal a third successive league victory earlier today – Reading beat Middlesbrough 1-0 – McAnuff admits the likelihood of a punishment has been a long time coming.

Speaking on Sky Sports , he said: “Anyone who follows Reading FC will know that this is something that’s been bubbling under the surface for a while now.

Reading sealed a third straight win by beating Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon

“We’ve seen some examples of the over-spending, particularly on transfer fees and also wages.

“You’re always going to run into troubles (with that).

“That’s the big issue when you have a potentially rich benefactor who is bankrolling the football club and is prepared to stump up those losses.

“The problem is when that guy decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore, it leaves the club in a big, big hole.

Jobi McAnuff spent five years at Reading

“We know about the Financial Fair Play (rules) and it’s something I feel should be looked at more stringently than we’ve seen over the years to try and get clubs living within their means.

“Because we all know who gets affected really badly, and that’s the fans if their club ends up relegated or worst case scenario, goes out of business.”

Today’s win, achieved thanks to Alen Halilović’s second half strike, saw the Royals move to 13 points.

Ironically, their next game sees them travel to fellow crisis club Derby on Wednesday night.

The Rams were hit with a 12-point handicap for going into administration and started today on minus-two points.

There is even the possibility of a further docking, owing to financial breaches. That has been reported as a nine-point penalty, meaning Wayne Rooney’s side could be docked a mammoth 21 points in total – effectively consigning them to relegation to League One.

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