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Reading points deduction: Fans respond with x-rated hidden message

Reading fans have responded to their latest points deduction by issuing an open letter to the EFL. The fan group “Sell before we Dai” published a statement on Twitter yesterday after the news broke that the Royals were set for their third point deduction the season after they failed to make HMRC payments on time.

Reading have been docked two points for the infringement and are now just three points clear of the relegation zone with 11 games still to play. Fan group “Sell before we Dai”, who have been protesting against majority owner, Dai Yongge, for several years now are clearly far from happy with the punishment, which they say “punishes the fans, players and staff of Reading Football Club”.

Reading points deduction
Reading have fans have responded to their latest points deduction – Photo by Icon Sport

Reading points deduction: Hidden message in fan statement

Within the statement published by “Sell before we Dai” was a cleverly hidden message for EFL bosses. Across ten lines in the middle of the statement, the following was written:

“For Reading Football Club this will be the 18th point deducted by the EFL. While we nderstand that the league has a responsibility to its members and Dai Yongge is clearly running the club with impunity, no club in the EFL is asking for another club killed.

“The message being sent is that the league cares more about its rulebook than the health and history of the football clubs that play in it. It is increasingly clear that an effective, empowered and independent regulator is needed more than ever.”

The post on X below depicts how this part of the statement was presented. Can you spot the hidden message?

Reading points deduction: EFL explain the decision

The EFL are yet to respond directly to the statement issued by the fan group but they have explained their decision and also urged Dai Yongge to relinquish power at Reading Football Club. The EFL's statement read:

“If Mr Dai fails to comply with the prior order of the IDC to meet the deposit requirement within 28 days a further suspended fine of £100,000 will be activated and an additional fine of £100,000 will be imposed if the money is not received within five weeks.

“Mr Dai has demonstrated an unwillingness to support the club's current financial commitments, in contrast to his approach following the change of control in 2017. That is creating significant uncertainty, and the current impasse has to be broken.

“Therefore, the league urges Mr Dai to provide his club with the appropriate resources needed while at the same time accelerating his efforts to sell his majority shareholding to new owners, so that everyone associated with Reading, including staff, supporters and the local community, can move on and prepare for a positive future.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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