News and Views

Club Still Waiting For New Owner

22 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

With the new season just two and a half weeks ago, Reading FC are still waiting for new ownership. As time runs out for the club to take part in the summer transfer market, the club are still waiting for Thai based Samrit Bunditkitsada and his consortium to come up with the agreed funds. A 26 million pound takeover deal was agreed last month, to transfer ninety percent of the ownership to Bunditkitsada and friends. However, only a small deposit has been paid despite the rest of the money expected last week. The deal, still subject to official approval, is far from being finalised as the Royals look to start the season with a much weakened squad and an unknown boardroom team.

Should the Thai consortium fail to come up with the cash then Reading FC still have the option to switch to other bidders. Interest from the US still continues and an offer from the American group is reported to be much better funded, which could mean a quicker completion. The takeover has dragged on for months and months, and Reading Football Club remain silent as they cross their fingers in the hope that it will eventually complete. Adkins has no budget for new players and a further delay could see other players out of the door before the season kicks-off as the club look to pay off further bills. There may be no reason to panic - Bunditkitsada might suddenly come up with the money. But as time drags on you can't help thinking this could still take a turn for the worse giving the Royals a very difficult start to the new campaign.
 

Away Reporter Wanted

21 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

If you regularly watch Reading FC on their travels, and have an opinion, then now is your chance to get involved with Hob Nob Anyone? for the new season. We are looking for an away game reporter. You don't need to go to every away game, but if you get to most and would like to write a report after each game of around 800 words, then please get in touch! Thanks to the adverts that run across the website we can also pay for your reports. It won't be big money but it might go towards a pre-match pint or two. If you're keen then please e-mail me first (graham at royals.org), then submit a sample report from any of Reading's pre-season friendly games, and let me know if you have any questions.

Hob Nob Anyone? is officially 20 years old in August 2014 - making it one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, football website still going. HNA? started at a time when there were only around 5,000 websites in total - compared to approximately 650,000,000 today. We're older than e-bay and Amazon, and were already years old before Google started up. We're keen to keep the website going strong and need contributions to do that. According to Google's analytics we average 40,000 different users and 275,000 sessions every month. So your match report will be read by several thousand Reading FC fans each week - it's a real chance to get to a big audience. We can't promise fame and fortune but you'll get plenty of exposure.
 

Pre-Season Draw And Karacan Named Captain

21 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

While the takeover of the club still remains unconfirmed, Nigel Adkins has got back to work as he trys to work out what he can do with the players left available. Eleven players have now left during the summer with no new signings, as academy players are expected to step up into the first team. Adkins has now had two friendlies to work with the squad. This weekend the Royals picked up a 1-1 draw at Yeovil. The game was goalless at half time before Pogrebnyak put Reading ahead after the break as he headed home Ryan Edwards' cross. Reading had other chances during a reasonable first half but the single goal was not enough for victory as the home side equalised with twenty minutes left to play. McCarthy and Federici had a half each in goal before the Royals swapped out the rest of the team after an hour had been played.
Reading team (first 60 minutes):
McCarthy (Federici 46), Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Obita, Hector, Akpan, Edwards, Taylor, Blackman, Pogrebnyak.
Reading team (last half an hour):
Federici, Long, Hyam, Cooper, Cummings, Tshibola, Kuhl, Fosu, Kelly, Stacey, Robson-Kanu.

Last week Reading picked up a 1-0 victory at Exeter as Reading's pre-season campaign got underway. In an uneventful game, Ryan Edwards scored the only goal of the match during the first half. Striker Edwards, who was out on loan last season but could feature this season due to the slimmed down squad, scored after seven minutes from a rare chance. Adkins, still unsure what he can do in the transfer market as he awaits confirmation of Reading's new ownership, got to try out most of the existing squad after fielding two different sides in each half. Players used: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Hector, Obita, Williams, Taylor, Kuhl, Edwards, Blackman, Pogrebnyak, Anderson, Kelly, Sweeney, Pearce, Cummings, Akpan, Tshibola, Tanner, Long, Griffin, Stacey.

Meanwhile Jem Karacan has been named as club captain for the new season. Twenty five year old Karacan was limited to just seven appearances early last season after being ruled out by injury, but is hoping to make a big contribution this season. Karacan signed professional terms with Reading in the summer of 2007 and has made well over 150 appearances for the Royals despite injuries.
 

Attention Turns Back To Club Football

27 June 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Interest in the World Cup seems to have dipped dramatically after the England squad's premature exit in Brazil. As a result, and it may not even be July yet, it's already time for attention to turn back to club football as the much slimmed down Reading FC squad return from summer holidays to start pre-season training next week.

After the big money exit of last season's top scorer Adam Le Fondre, Daniel Carrico was next out of the door this week as his permanent move to Seville was completed. Carrico failed to make any kind of impression at Reading, making just three appearances, before being ruled unfit to play. He was expected to make a big impact but then spent the entire of last season at Seville in Spain, and he is now officially no longer a Royal. Hopefully Reading made some kind of profit on the 600,000 pounds paid to Sporting Lisbon in January 2013.

Meanwhile the club remain quiet on the Samrit Bunditkitsada takeover as they wait for contracts to be completed and the football league to approve the deal. It's no longer any kind of secret after being widely reported over the past three weeks - along with photographic evidence of preliminary paperwork being signed and replica shirts being worn by Bunditkitsada and his friends. However after the Anton Zingarevich fiasco you can't blame John Madejksi for delaying an announcement on his final days as Reading Football Club owner. The official line remains that there are other parties still negotiating and the deal is not yet finalised.

Bunditkitsada's consortium is expected to pay off Reading FC's immediate debts and also pay up to twenty five million pounds to take control of the football club and it's associated assets including the hotel and training facilities. Once the take over begins to gain momentum it should, hopefully, allow the Royals to keep hold of the rest of the squad before it continues to disintegrate. It's too early to hope that Reading might be able to actually strengthen the squad before the new season starts. However, if the takeover drags on and Reading can't play a part in the summer transfer market then it could be a very difficult start to the season.