Reading-Port Vale abandoned after fans invade pitch protesting club’s ownership

January 15 – A third-tier English game between Reading and Port Vale was abandoned after just 16 minutes on Saturday after about 1,000 home fans invaded the pitch to protest against the Reading’s Chinese ownership.

Play was paused in the first minute after tennis balls were thrown on to the pitch and after 15 minutes later a pitch invasion forced the League One match to be called off when fans refused to leave the field. The game was 0-0 at the time.

The protest was aimed at Reading owner Dai Yongge who fans blame for the club’s problems, including wages not being paid and a winding up order being served in October over unpaid taxes.

Yongge took charge in 2017 but has come under fire after the club were hit with a number of penalties for financial mismanagement, including a four-point this season for a late payment of the monthly wage bill.

“We are fully aware of and understand our supporters’ frustrations,” Reading posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“But we must reiterate… that entering or throwing items on to 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.”

Reading were relegated in 2023 after 10 years in the second-tier Championship in 2023 and have been deducted 16 points in under two years.

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