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Royals Charged Over Pitch Invasion

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The FA have given the club until Thursday to respond to the charge.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Reading Football Club were today informed of the Football Association's charge against them for the pitch invasion that followed the final whistle of their FA Cup quarter-final victory over Bradford City in the replay at the Madejski Stadium.

The FA charged the club on the grounds that they "failed to ensure that no spectators or unauthorised persons were permitted to encroach onto the pitch."

The invasion at the final whistle included a handful of fans throwing flares and other objects at the away fans; all of which followed the comical scenes of a hefty male—who later admitted to being a Liverpool fan—waltzing onto the pitch during the game and given enough time to perform a number of front flips in front of the crowd, with the stewards left flat footed and slow to respond.

In the event that Reading accept this charge, they can expect to be hit with an unwelcome fine, especially painful for the club given their Financial Fair Play situation. However, many fans will remember the pitch invasion that took place at the Madejski last season (for finishing 7th), where there was no charge made.

Not such harmless banter now, is it?