Reading FC mark 150th anniversary with protests and seventh straight league defeat

Credit: PA Images

Reading fans voiced their disappointment as the club marked its 150th anniversary with another Sky Bet Championship defeat.

The 3-2 home loss to Coventry was the Royals' seventh successive league defeat.

The match, meant to be a celebration of the club's history, was marked with protest before the game and some fans stormed the pitch after the full time whistle.

Reading are now 20th in the Championship, two points ahead of Peterborough United who have a game in hand.

Reading's Lucas Joao (centre) celebrates scoring the Royals' first goal of the game. Credit: PA

Reading went ahead midway through the first half through a Lucas Joao header but Coventry equalised on the stroke of half-time through Dominic Hyam.

Michael Rose made it 2-1 to City shortly after half-time and, though Andy Yiadom levelled it at 2-2.

But the hosts had to end the game with ten men, as winger Junior Hoilett sent off in the 63rd minute for a second yellow card just six minutes after his first.

Two minutes later, Ian Maatsen grabbed what proved to be the Coventry winner.

Reading's Junior Hoilett (left) is shown a red card for a second yellow. Credit: PA

Founded in 1871, Reading had been due to mark their 150th year against Luton on December 18 – but the fixture was postponed after a Covid outbreak in the home camp.

Since then, they have failed to win – losing seven of their eight league and FA Cup fixtures.

About 200 Reading supporters protested outside the stadium before kick off, their anger aimed at manager Veljko Paunovic and Dai Yongge, the club’s Chinese owner.

The fans chanted “We want Pauno out” and “We want our Reading back”. And some displayed a banner that read: “150 years history but how many more?”

This losing streak compounds a difficult period for the Berkshire club.

The Royals have already been deducted six points in November, after they were found to have breached financial regulations.

Reading FC said at that the time there were "undeniably extenuating and unforeseeable circumstances" but it accepted it as a "fair and reasonable punishment."

The club have since been forced to adopt an "EFL-mandated business plan" or risk a further six point deduction.