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Miserable Early Christmas Presents For Three Championship Clubs....

Tis the season to be jolly... unless you're a Fulham, Nottingham Forest or Bolton fan.

While the phrase Financial Fair Play hasn't been uttered much around the Madejski since our Thai takeover, it's still an issue alive and kicking in the Football League as three current Championship sides have found out to their cost.

Nottingham Forest, Bolton and most interestingly Fulham, have all been hit with transfer embargoes for failing the league's FFP rules.

An initial analysis of Financial Fair Play submissions from clubs that played in the Sky Bet Championship last season has resulted in three clubs being subject to sanctions, under rules agreed with League clubs in April 2012. All three exceeded the maximum permitted deviation of £6m - consisting of a maximum adjusted loss of £3m plus a further maximum of £3m of shareholder investment.

Champions AFC Bournemouth will face a financial sanction to be finalised in due course, while Fulham and Nottingham Forest will be subject to an ‘FFP embargo' for the remainder of the current campaign. Both clubs will have the opportunity to have their FFP embargo lifted at the end of the season by demonstrating that they have stayed within the maximum permitted deviation of £13m (£5m loss plus £8m shareholder investment) for the 2015/16 season.

While Bournemouth are also punished, it's hardly a fine they'll be concerned about in the weeks after beating Manchester United and Chelsea. More to the point QPR didn't seem to suffer much from what could have been a hefty fine for a similar offense on their last trip back up to the Premier League in 2014.

What's notable here for Reading fans is the fact that Fulham were one of the clubs punished.

While it's impossible to say whether it was the deciding factor, you have to believe an impending embargo would have been a strong consideration for anyone interviewing for the manager's job, of which one candidate was Steve Clarke.

The three clubs can still sign and sell players under certain conditions but it does go to show that while it may not be punished as heavily as some might want, there are consequences for overspending.

It's also worth noting that there are new rules covering this season and beyond, which in short will allow clubs to make losses of £39m over three seasons as opposed to a punishment for overspending in any one year.