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How can Reading even contemplate signing Jay Fulton ?
Sunday, 10th Jul 2022 13:55 by @Cornish67David

Swansea City have allegedly been in discussions with Reading regards the loan of a player for the season. Swans fans will be delighted to hear that the player is Jay Fulton. However, Reading are under an embargo regards a Breach of Profit and Sustainability Rules by the English Football League. (EFL)

So how can they even contemplate such a move ?

Surprisingly there is a way it could happen but the final decision doesn’t rest with the swans or the royals. It has to be ratified by the EFL and there are numerous hoops to jump through. First of all we have to get some foundation on the possibilities. Football finance expert Kieran Maguire explains “Reading are in a period of retrenchment. They only avoided relegation in 2021/22 because Derby’s twenty one point deduction for financial issues significantly exceeded that of the Royals. Reading’s problem has been one of cost control, or to put it more succinctly, a lack of cost control, in relation to wages. Manager Paul Ince will have some flexibility this summer as there are many players whose contracts on unsustainable wage levels have expired over the last twelve months, but the club is still under an embargo from the EFL for a breach of profitability and sustainability rules, so recruitment will be impacted as a result.”

Head of football operations Mark Bowen talks about the impact of the embargo on Reading. “We’re not allowed to pay transfer fees, there’s no point in me trying to hide that. We can’t pay transfer fees, loan fees or compensation fees for young players. It narrows down our market of where we can entice players from. He continued: “I genuinely think there is enough quality if you do your homework and have the right contacts, which I feel myself and the staff have now. It’s a long protracted situation. You speak to agents and players back and forth, and when it eventually comes to it when you have an agreement, it has to go off to the Football League and they will tell us whether they are happy with that. So it’s back and forth because we have to check with the EFL. They want to see that we are governing ourselves from a financial point of view with care”

Mark Bowen

So no loan fees, no transfer fees, no compensation fees for players under a certain age - it all seems a bit difficult. Bowen continues “We’re limited in terms of what we can offer with wages and the structure. That’s why its not as simple as drafting a contract because there are different areas that our secretary has to be in contact with the league to follow those lines. There’s no definite plan for when we get certain players in. If a player we like and we think we can take us forward, sometimes you have to do it there and then. In terms of numbers we know we have to address that and we are in the process of doing that”

Due to the clubs mismanagement and paying out double their income in salaries there had to be a sanction, and more could follow but Bowen is confident they will avoid extra punishment. “I’m confident because we have to play within the rules because we can’t do anything until it’s run by the Football League anyway so yes of course. We know where we are with having to clear things with them so I’m confident we can take those restrictions on board and go forward as a club.”

The loan move of Jay Fulton to Reading, and let’s remember that’s all it can be, nothing more can happen is something the swans will desperately want. Suggestions of his salary being above sixteen thousand pounds a week is incorrect and that figure needs reducing by seven thousand for any sense to made of what Reading can afford. The swans won’t want to be chipping in but it’s a possibility just to get the player away from the club and off the wage bill. This move if it occurs will take longer than most but the fact it could happen is a chink of sunlight at the end of a very dark tunnel for Jay Fulton, and indeed Swansea City.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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