READING’S match with Port Vale has been abandoned following a pitch invasion.
The League One clash was stopped by officials after a mass pitch invasion took place inside the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Reading fans poured onto the grass in a protest to the ownership at the club and refused to leave the pitch, leading to the match being abandoned.
Supporters entered the field of play and rushed to the centre circle to make their thoughts known. The official Reading X account posted a statement online to warn their fans of the dangers of their actions.
It read: “We are fully aware of and understand our supporters’ frustrations, but we must reiterate to our supporters that entering or throwing items onto the pitch can put the fixture at risk of abandonment,
“And can result in personal consequences including banning orders. Thank you for your support today.”
The club then followed up with a second statement urging fans to get off the pitch to avoid sanctions for the club.
It read: “We appreciate supporters frustrations. Please leave the field of play.
“The club will face serious sanctions if this does not take place.”
The match was scoreless when the incident occurred in the 17th minute.
The Royals owner Dai Yongge has come under a lot of criticism during his time in charge of the historic club.
Reading have been handed a number of penalties for their financial mismanagement including a four point deduction this season for a late payment of wages.
Reading have been docked a total of 16 POINTS while under the ownership of Yongge. They currently face the very real possibility of relegation to League Two as they sit in 21st place in the League One table.
It comes after they dropped down from the Championship at the end of last season. The club’s on-field struggles are made worse by the string of cost-cutting measures and redundancies that on off the pitch.
Fans had already protested before today’s pitch invasion by throwing tennis balls on to the field of play during games this season.
And they began today’s show of frustration with the same action on the 16th minute before then entering the pitch.
Fans in attendance at today’s clash with Port Vale reported that the PA system inside the stadium announced that the game would be abandoned is supporters didn’t leave the pitch.
The disgruntled fans were said to be chanting “get out of out club” and “we want Dai Yongge out” during the on-field protest. And in a show of support for Reading’s dire situation, Port Vale fans were also said to be joining in with the chanting.
While video also emerged of both sets of fans shaking hands after discussions about the protests.
A fan-led protest group – named “Sell Before We Dai” released a statement on social media following the pitch invasion.
It read: “We shouldn’t be doing this. We should be enjoying the game with friends and family.
“This is just the start Dai. We are coming for you. So do yourself a favour and sell.”
And the club didn’t get their way with fans remaining in place until the match was officially ABANDONED.
The EFL released an official statement explaining the abandonment.
It read: “Following an on-pitch protest at Reading v Port Vale, today’s fixture has been abandoned.
“Every effort was made to restart the game but it became increasingly obvious that this would not be possible.
“We will now discuss the implications of this afternoon’s events with the clubs involved.”
It wasn’t the only EFL game that was abandoned either as Bolton’s clash with Cheltenham also came to an early end. The League One game was left after a crowd emergency left a fan in a “critical condition”. Reading could land themselves in hot water for their game though with the threat of ANOTHER points deduction a possibility.
Royals boss Ruben Selles explained that he is fearing a brutal punishment following the abandonment.
He said: ““The implications are a points deduction, it can be that we play with an empty stadium for one, two games or even for the rest of the season.
“And financial punishment of course. It is a big variety of things and that will be for a panel of experts to decide.”
Selles, who has guided Reading through a run of one defeat in their previous eight matches, also acknowledged that the points for the game could be awarded to Vale.
He added: “Am I sympathetic to the fans? I’m sympathetic with the fact that we all want the best for Reading Football Club.
“I’m sympathetic but really I want to play matches and win matches. I can understand the protests but my real focus is to make this group of players better.”