Last summer it was well documented that Reading went over a year without paying a transfer fee for a player. Nigel Adkins' preparation for this season were severely hindered by the club's long-running takeover saga.
The true fall out of the Anton Zingarevich era is still unknown but it would appear that some of Adkins' Championship colleagues may find themselves sharing his experience of a long wait to buy new reinforcements.
Financial Fair Play (FFP) blogger Ed Thompson has written a new article, published on 30th October, providing a detailed update as to the FFP consequences for Reading as well as the rest of the Championship.
Which Championship clubs can expect to receive a Transfer Embargo?
With Championship clubs due to submit their Fair Play information to the Football League by 1 December, it is worth considering which clubs are likely to have breached the rules and the likely impact.
Looking at the Championship clubs, 9 are viewed as being ‘Likely' or ‘Very Likely' to receive a Transfer Embargo from January.
Some expenditure is excluded (such as charitable donations, promotion bonuses, and youth development expenditure). N.B. Championship Youth Development costs are unlikely to be much over £700k.
Of the three clubs that were promoted to the Premier League last season, Leicester and QPR are expected to have incurred total fines or around £50m in total:
How the embargo works
Any embargo would be applied before the start of January Transfer window. Under the ban, a club could still players however they will only be able to sign a player if it is on a ‘one a one-out, one in' basis where both the following conditions apply:
Once an embargo is applied a club can apply in March to the Football League to have the ban removed. However the removal of the ban cannot take place until 31 May 2015 and will only occur where the club has submitted Interim Information that confirms the club is on target to pass the FFP test in the following December (i.e. relating to the 2014/15 Season).
It is therefore possible that some of the clubs that start their transfer embargo in 1 January 2015 will not have their ban removed during next summer's transfer window.
Possible changes to the FFP rules
On 6th November Championship clubs are due to meet to discuss and vote on new FFP rules.
The current version of the rules were voted in by member clubs in April 2012; meetings to update the existing rules took place towards the end of last season but clubs could not agree on a new measure.
Any new rules are unlikely to impact on any transfer embargoes due to be applied in January (although they could potentially impact on any transfer embargoes relating to summer 2015.
With so many disparate interests and different financial positions amongst clubs in the Championship, gaining a consensus on one set of rules or approach is again likely to prove difficult.
Not surprisingly Thompson is, like the rest of us, unsure of the true financial ramifications of Zingarevich's spell in charge at the Madejski Stadium. The money generated from the sales of Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison should hopefully help Reading pass the new rules.
Some of our Championship rivals, though, may not be so lucky. It is likely we will hear plenty more about the FFP rules before the turn of the year.
You can read more from Ed over at the Financial Fair Play Blog.