Should Reading FC be hit with further points deduction? Here’s what Barnsley FC chief thinks

BARNSLEY chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad says that he does not expect relegation rivals Reading to receive any additional points sanction for possible breaches regarding the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules this season.

Last month, El-Ahmad sent a letter to the English Football League asking for more clarity around Reading’s compliance with an agreed business plan set out following the Berkshire club’s points deduction in November.

The fourth-from-bottom Royals, who are currently eight points above Barnsley in the Championship table, –having played a game more – were docked six points for breaching EFL’s rules, which permit a maximum loss of £39m across three seasons.

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The governing body said the club had exceeded permitted losses by £18.8m.

Interview with Barnsley FC's chief executive (Picture: PA)

A further suspended six-point deduction was agreed and will be applied if Reading fail to comply with a business plan, something they will be required to adhere to until the end of next season.

Reading’s latest financial figures for the 2020-21 were announced in February and the club revealed pre-tax losses of £35.7m.

On whether he expects that any fresh points sanction might apply this season, El-Ahmad said: “I don’t think so. I have not pushed it that hard. That was not necessarily the intention. The intention is to ask questions of the (general) situation.

“I am curious as to how the mechanism works – that certain teams can lose millions, millions and millions and how the regulatory thing works. That’s all.

“Then, it is up to the legal entities and the league to decide who is right or wrong.

“What we want to make sure does not happen is the situation Wycombe are in.

“I assume everyone in the EFL is abiding by the rules or they would do what they have done with some other entities (clubs) and what they will do if someone does something wrong.”

El-Ahmad estimates that relegation would cost Barnsley around £6-7m and says that players all have ‘adjustment mechanisms’ in their contracts which would see their wages fall.

He said: “There are triggers both ways within (any) contracts. There are adjustment mechanisms for everybody.”

Meanwhile, El-Ahmad had confirmed that the position of head coach Poya Asbaghi remains ‘under review’ – with no decisions having yet been made regarding his future at Oakwell.

Asbaghi has won four of his 21 league matches in charge of the club since arriving in November.