Bristol City’s Championship rivals dragged into heart of relegation battle after six-point deduction

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One of Bristol City’s Championship rivals have been thrown into the relegation battle

Bristol City’s rivals, Reading, have been handed an immediate six-point deduction for violating agreed budget restrictions after a previous breach of the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.

The sanction has been placed on the club almost two years after the initial breach which carried a six-point penalty with a further six points suspended until this season, and that has now been enforced. The Royals have also been under a transfer embargo since the summer of 2021 as a result.

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Reading previously looked set for another year in the Championship as they sat seven points above the relegation zone. However, the point deduction has plunged their future in the second tier into doubt as they are now only a point from the bottom three and are without a win since February.

A Reading statement said: “Despite radical changes implemented at first team level and right across the structure of the business to its very core - and a rigid adherence to a strict league-monitored wage structure and transfer embargo, the club accepts that it has not sufficiently satisfied certain elements of the planned budget and that, as a result, the independent club financial review panel has been unable to ratify that the club has met its forecast for compliance.

“We have worked closely with the EFL and the independent club financial review unit throughout the process in our aims to achieve the targets set out in the agreed business plan and every reasonable effort has been made to construct a competitive squad of players whilst avoiding further punishment.

“However, despite the substantial progress we have undeniably made and the lessons that have indeed been learned, as promised, we accept that the situation was never going to be easily or quickly fixed.”

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Reading were only three points behind Bristol City prior to their point deduction following the two teams’ 1-1 draw at the weekend. Paul Ince’s side will now look to secure their Championship status as they face the likes of Wigan Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City in their final seven matches.

They are just one point above the Terriers, with the two sides set to do battle in West Yorkshire on the final day of the season.

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