News and Views

No Money For Contracts

04 June 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Michael Hector remains the exception to the rule as Reading's on-going contract negotiations fail to secure either existing or new players. Hector renewed his contract for a further three years this week as Steve Clarke looks to tie down what's left of his core squad. Reading have released a string of players over the summer already as they look to reduce their squad size and so reduce costs.

The Royals were looking to retain the services of both goalkeeper Adam Federici and defender Alex Pearce but have been unable to match offers elsewhere for the out-of-contract players. It has already been confirmed that Federici has accepted a new contract offer from new Premier League side Bournemouth, and now Alex Pearce looks set to leave on a free transfer with Reading unable to meet his contract demands.

Championship side Derby County missed out on the play-offs on the last day of the season thanks to Reading's shock 3-0 win and are now looking to complete the signing of Pearce who must have impressed someone at Derby that day. Federici had been at Reading for ten years before his departure, and Alex Pearce has had nine years as a professional at Reading. Pearce has 240 appearances against his name at Reading as well as 15 goals. If Pearce completes his move it will be another familiar face out of the door as Reading continue a mass restructuring for the new season.

The biggest problem is that Reading are yet to secure any new recruits as out of contract players continue to leave. Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham is out of contract at League One Swindon Town and was widely rumoured to be the likely replacement for Adam Federici, however he now looks set to join Birmingham City - a move that surely suggests more contract discussions where where Reading are unable or unwilling to meet player salary demands. With Anderson, Henly and Lincoln all leaving the club over the summer a new goalkeeper is obviously top priority and Reading may need to find some funds to get their man or be set for a very difficult new season.

Currently Reading continue to be linked with out-of-contract players only, and it seems unlikely that any incoming players will attract transfer fees to existing clubs. Paul McShane, a defender who would be a swap for Alex Pearce, is the current rumour after being released by Hull City. McShane made 23 appearances for Hull last season - his eighth club (including loan spells) after turning professional with Manchester United in 2004. Sunderland paid 2.5 million pounds for his services in 2007.

Our Thai owners still remain something of a mystery but after paying off our debts to secure ownership, and the future of Reading Football Club, they are not set to make new money available for players. The departure of players on decent wages should allow the club to bring in some new faces and still reduce overall costs. The Royals head of to Thailand in July for a brief pre-season tour. That tour includes a televised game against a Thai Premier League XI side. Our Thai owners will be looking for show off the club in their home country - so they will need to sort out some incoming players quickly if they are looking to avoid embarrassment.

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