HMRC has served the football club a winding-up petition following a series of unpaid tax bills, on top of a string of charges handed down by the English Football League (EFL)
This is the fourth time the tax authority has issued the financially troubled League One club with a winding-up petition, which is already facing challenges for breaching EFL rules on tax payments.
Just last week the EFL added failing to pay taxes to its list of regulations the club has failed to comply with. It was also charged with failing to pay players on three separate occasions last season.
The club’s owner, Dai Yongge, has also been reprimanded after causing the club to be in breach of EFL regulations. Both the club and Yongge have until 16:00 BST on 29 June to respond to the charges.
Dayong Pan, royals chief executive, said: ‘As a club, financially we continue to face several significant challenges and our owner, Mr Dai, is working very hard to resolve those issues to ensure the future of Reading Football Club is stable, successful, progressive and positive’
Now, with growing frustrations about the way the club is being managed, fan groups have collaborated to form the pressure group ‘Sell Before We Dai’.
The group is calling for Yongge to sell the club and is planning a series of protests in the coming weeks and months.
Nick Houlton, spokesperson for Sell Before We Dai, said last week: ‘Mr Dai’s reign has seen excruciating, financial losses and a hat-trick of relegations as the Academy and both men’s and women’s teams suffered relegation.
‘The latest round of EFL charges and the potential for points deductions for the third season in a row – coupled with the apparent collapse of the hugely popular move to appoint Chris Wilder – has destroyed what little faith remained in the Reading FC owner and CEO Dayong Pang.
‘We know this is an unsettling time for other staff that work at Reading FC, and we are fully with them.’
The news follows a similar predicament faced by Wigan Athletic earlier this month after it was also handed a winding-up petition by the tax authority.
The club had been under scrutiny due to several financial problems concerning outstanding salary payments to players and staff – having failed on five separate occasions to pay staff in 2022-23.
The first three failures to pay wages on time led to a three-point deduction that contributed to their relegation from the Championship.
This later jumped to six, and a further eight-point deduction was imposed for the start of next season.
Thankfully the future of Wigan Athletic was secured following a takeover by billionaire Mike Danson, who has paid salaries and any outstanding taxes.