News and Views

Club Sneak Out Takeover Completion News

17 May 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The club picked the night of Reading's epic play-off semi-final victory over Fulham to sneak out news that the Chinese takeover had finally been approved by the Football League and had completed. The news was released at the most bizarre time possible, during the game itself, and was of course completely overshadowed by Yann Kermorgant's penalty sending the Royals to Wembley on 29 May 2017. It is not clear why the club appear keen to keep the deal under the radar but it certainly felt as if they were trying not to draw attention to the takeover. The deal is massive news for Reading Football Club but was, as you would expect, immediately submerged by reporting on Reading's massive victory and shot at the Premier League a week Monday.

The core of the takeover detail was revealed in very few words: "Reading Football Club are delighted to confirm that Chinese brother and sister, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, have become the majority shareholders at the club. Our existing shareholders will retain a minority shareholding in the club. The club have gained EFL approval for the change in majority shareholder and our new Chinese shareholders have taken up their position at Reading Football Club. "

It is well known that the Dai's have already contributed financially to the Royals this season, lending the club money in time for the January transfer window ahead of the takeover going through. That loan appears to signal that the Chinese are happy to invest into the club.

The club statement also contained support from Nigel Howe to tell Reading fans the takeover is a good thing for the club: "Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li are investing in a club with undoubted potential - investment which will benefit not only the first team squad, but which will also help to improve the club's training facilities, continue to support its Category One Academy programme and actively assist in delivering plans to develop the Royal Elm Park proposal. We are very pleased to welcome them to Reading."

The Football League have also released a short statement to confirm the takeover: "The EFL can confirm that they have no objections to the change of control application made by Reading. Following a full review of the transaction, the EFL has insisted upon - and the club/new owners have agreed - to a number of additional reporting requirements including enhanced financial monitoring, so as to ensure that their performance is consistent with the application we have considered. We would like to wish the new majority shareholders Mr Yongge Dai and Miss Xui Li Dai the very best of luck in their future endeavours with the club."

If things go Reading's way on 29 May, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li will find themselves in control of a Premier League club. It is will be interesting to see the level of investment either way.

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