Reading FC have been handed a points deduction after breaching financial rules set by the English Football League (EFL). 

A six-point deduction will be applied with immediate effect. 

A further six points could be deducted next season if the Royals do not comply with a business plan agreed with the EFL. 

The deduction was agreed after the Club admitted breaching the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Owner Mr Dai Yongge said: “As the owner of your club, I am naturally dismayed and disappointed to accept the punishment issued by the EFL. 

“And as a fan, I too am hurt by a deduction of six points this season. However, my determination to succeed has not diminished but has amplified.

“My team and I believe this settlement is just and will still enable us to be competitive as a football club this season and beyond. So, in the short-term, our aim is to fight for every point there is to fight for this season.

“In the long-term, we pledge to fix the issues of the past and together build a club capable of competing with the very best and challenging for honours. 

“But we can only do that with your support, so I would like to personally thank you for your loyalty to your club! It is truly appreciated by all who cheer on the Royals.”

Reading drop to 19th in the Championship from 16th with 16 points, four places clear of the relegation zone. 

Between the 2017-18 and 2020-21 seasons, the Royals lost £57.8m - the EFL's limit for that period is £39m.

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 (P&S)."

Trevor Birch, EFL Chief Executive, said: “The EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules are in place to discourage short-term overspending and it is appropriate that the League takes the necessary action on behalf of its membership when a transgression occurs.

“The League is satisfied that the sanction for the breach, being imposed by way of an Agreed Decision, is proportionate having considered all the relevant factors and will continue to work closely with the Club as it seeks to meet its obligations moving forward.”

Reading FC said the breaches were calculated across a period of four years, two of which were "unavoidably yet significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

A spokesperson added: "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."