Reading have suffered a third points deduction in under two years after further breaches of the Football League’s financial rules.

After being slapped with two separate six-point sanctions, Reading will now be deducted one point, with a further three points suspended, for failing to pay their players on time on three occasions.

It takes Reading’s total to 13 points deducted under their owner, Dai Yongge, who has also been fined £10,000.

The Chinese businessman completed his takeover in 2017 and the club has been plunged into crisis over a turbulent two-year period.

In a statement the EFL said they were “extremely frustrated at the consistent failures of the club’s ownership to meet its ongoing obligations under EFL Regulations, the consequences of which are having a negative impact for all those associated with Reading, particularly its staff members, supporters, and local community.”

The EFL also confirmed they are reviewing the decision reached by the independent disciplinary commission, which raises the prospect of further sanctions.

Telegraph Sport examines the elusive Yongge’s tenure and the deepening crisis at a club who were in the Premier League just over ten years ago.

How bad is the Reading situation?

Reading were first punished with a six-point deduction for exceeding losses over the permitted £39 million across three years.

In the 2018-19 season it was reported that Reading’s wage bill was £40 million, working out as 194 per cent of their turnover. For the following campaign their accounts revealed total accumulated losses of £138 million.

The EFL then placed Reading under a strict business plan, which restricted them from making permanent transfers or spending on loan fees. However, they were deducted a further six points in April for their failure to meet an agreed budget. It was concluded that Reading had not generated enough money from player sales and were relying on a proposed deal that had not been completed by a March 1 deadline to satisfy their commitments.

Those sanctions ultimately led to Reading’s relegation to the third tier for the first time since 2002.

In June, there was further unwanted scrutiny when they were charged with “multiple breaches” of regulations, including failing to pay their players on time on three occasions. Yongge was also charged.

A transfer embargo was also briefly imposed on the club after failing to pay HMRC on time, but was removed this month. Three separate winding-up petitions complete the embarrassing charge sheet.

Why is Reading’s owner struggling to pay wages?

Yongge’s financial backing cannot be questioned, with over £200 million invested into the club since 2017. Yet it has clearly been spent unwisely, and he has received poor advice from associates.

The wider issue is Yongge’s difficulties in transferring money from China to England to pay wages, HMRC and maintain running costs. It is understood that the Chinese government has imposed limits on capital flowing out of the country.

That is clearly a huge concern to the EFL, and other clubs, who regard the non-payment of wages as a serious matter.

However, it has to be pointed out that West Brom, another club enduring financial problems with Chinese ownership, have always paid their staff on time, so this appears to be an issue directly affecting Reading.

For the months of Oct and Nov 2022, and Apr 2023 - wages were either paid late or not in full, though it is understood on two occasions the delay was short.

As a result of this latest sanction, the EFL has instructed Yongge to set up a deposit account, to alleviate the prospect of wages being unpaid again.

How do Reading’s fans feel about the current ownership?

Following Reading’s relegation to League One in May, the mood among supporters is mutinous. Quite simply, they want new ownership and appear to have no trust in Yongge.

A fans group called “Sell Before We Dai” was set up this year with the intention of forcing a sale. These fans will have witnessed the transformation at Birmingham City after the arrival of ambitious new ownership.

On Tuesday night, Reading secured their first win in almost six months with a 1–0 home victory over Cheltenham. The attendance was understood to be below 9,000.

New head coach Ruben Selles, who was at Southampton last season, is regarded as a shrewd operator but is working on extremely limited resources in his first full-time job.

While this latest points deduction will be viewed as rather lenient - Wigan began this season on minus eight after two separate four-point deductions for late payment of wages - the future appears bleak until there is a change of owners.