Reading FC hits back at the FA over agent charge.
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Reading FC hits back at the FA over agent charge.

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Reading have issued a stinging statement in response to the Football Association’s charges against the club for violating intermediary restrictions.

The club has been fined £200,000, and former CEO Nigel Howe will be suspended from the game for 12 months, as well as fined £5,000, for dealings with Michael Olise’s agent in 2019.

Intermediary Glen Tweneboah rejects the claims, but they were substantiated, and he was fined £15,000 and suspended from all football and football-related activities for six months.

Michael Gilkes, the chief executive of Reading Academy, and Secretary Sue Hewett have also received ticks off.

The club states: “The Club would like to state publicly that it is extremely disappointed with the decision and the fact that, in addition to charges against the Club, charges were brought against individual club officials who were acting to protect a valuable club asset and, ultimately, the best interests of Reading Football Club.

“All teams are particularly vulnerable to losing talented players whom they have spent years training and developing. It remains difficult to manage and negotiate such accords in the best interests of both the football club and the young players. On this one instance, the Club’s conduct fell short of the high standards that we normally maintain, and the Club is committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.

“Nigel, Sue, and Michael have all worked for and represented Reading FC in an outstanding manner for over twenty years.” There was no past history of offenses, and none have occurred since. The Club will continue to provide the necessary assistance to the persons involved.

“The Club believes these fines are excessive, particularly when compared to sanctions imposed in a similar instance involving another professional football club and several breaches of The FA’s Intermediary Regulations over a ten-year period. In that perspective, we believe the treatment of Reading Football Club for a single, isolated occurrence is excessively harsh.

“Furthermore, the Club believes that the FA’s inquiry into this matter has been extremely lengthy, with the sole player negotiation taking place five years ago. The FA began its investigations a significant length of time after the alleged misconduct, and the disciplinary charges were brought two years later. Now, five years later, the case has been heard and a decision issued.

“Despite the amount of time this matter has taken, Reading Football Club and its staff members have fully cooperated with The FA’s inquiry and have conducted themselves correctly and completely transparently throughout.

“The Club and the people concerned are committed to ensuring that the conduct and circumstances that resulted in the allegations are never repeated. All parties are now looking forward to putting this situation behind them and continue their diligent efforts for the betterment of our Club.”

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