Reading Football Club News: January 2024

Tom McIntyre Departure Confirmed

31 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Tom McIntyre has followed Nelson Abbey out of the club as Reading continue to cut costs and try and secure immediate funds to pay wages of remaining staff. McIntyre leaves for a pitifully small transfer fee of just 75,000 pounds to Portsmouth who are currently top of the League One table. Despite McIntyre being a Reading fan, having being born in the town and coming through the youth system, the move makes so much sense for the player, giving him stability and a strong chance of Championship football next season. Twenty-five year old McIntyre first appeared for the first team in the 2018/2019 season, making two league appearances - both 1-1 draws in the Championship. The following season he clocked up 14 appearances in all competitions before becoming a first team regular the following season. McIntyre, always a popular player, will be missed and all Reading fans will wish him well with his new club.

Fellow defender, 20 year old Nelson Abbey has completed his move to Olympiakos for an undisclosed fee. Abbey's story is similar to McIntyre's as Reading failed to cash in significantly for a talented young player that came through the Academy to be a big success in Reading's first team. Abbey's first team debut was in September 2020, but he had to wait three more seasons before establishing himself as a regular in the starting eleven this season. Abbey had featured consistently all season for the Royals, and with McIntyre now also leaving Reading will be short of defensive options.

The transfer window is still open, giving the possibility of further players leaving for very low fees, however, the club have paid their wage bill this month to avoid any further fines for the club owner who continues to look for what he considers to be a suitable buyer. No sale of the club is likely in the short term as the saga drags on, with Reading still in the bottom four and facing relegation to League Two with a much depleted playing squad.

More Bright Signs In Home Draw

27 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It was bound to be difficult to replicate the level of performance achieved against top six Derby on Tuesday night. I suppose hard-fought draw against Orient side, also on a good run of results, was always on the cards. Reading lacked the energy, intensity and quality of passing of the win earlier in the week, but in the end sheer effort and determination earned a point. This was the kind of game Reading were losing earlier in ethe season.

Match Report: Reading 1 Leyton Orient 1

Impressive Reading Win To Stop Derby Going Top

23 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

This was an outstanding performance against a top six side on good form. Reading played with a confidence, expectation and belief that makes complete nonsense of their current league position. The result and the valuable three points were thoroughly deserved. From the first minute to the last Reading played with tenacity, determination and commitment, and with a little more composure in front of goal might have won by a more convincing margin. The winning goal came early in the second half when an Azeez strike cannoned back of the upright and Mukairu hammered the rebound past County 'keeper Vickers.

MATCH REPORT: Reading 1 Derby County 0

Tom Holmes Transfers To Luton But Back On Loan

17 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading defender Tom Holmes has completed his move to Premier League Luton Town, but has immediately returned to the Royals on loan. The move means Reading get some much needed cash in the bank but retain Holmes' services - for this season at least. Holmes moves to Luton for what is believed to be a one million pound transfer fee. The fee is probably a reasonable deal for both clubs, with Luton getting 23 year old Holmes for a discounted price than what they might have paid another club, and Reading getting funds desperately need to fund wages which have been going unpaid.

It is disappointing to see Holmes officially off Reading's books after spending his entire youth career at the club and graduating from the Royals academy. Holmes has played 132 times for the first team after making his first appearance at the end of the 2017/2018 season - a 1-1 home draw against Bolton in the Championship. After a brief period out of the team, Holmes has been back as a regular player over the past few months.

Match Abandoned After Fan Protest

13 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Today was a very sad day for Reading Football Club. Thousands of fans arrived at the Select Car Leasing Stadium expecting to see their team continue their battle to remain in League One and enjoy the current run of good form in the league. It was an afternoon which ended in disappointment and anger and frustration for many.

Only sixteen minutes of football was played. In that time play was held up twice to clear a furry of tennis balls hurled on to the pitch from the South Stand. Vale had the ball in the net from a free kick whipped in from the left after six minutes. Having looked away immediately to observe the reaction of the celebrating Vale fans and record the details of the 'goal' and tennis ball protest I had not observed the re-start of play. I was somewhat surprised later to find out the 'goal' had been disallowed!

In the brief spell before play was suspended, we were treated to what ultimately turned out to be an irrelevant appalling refereeing decision when Knibbs was tripped from behind when clean through on goal. A free kick and red card would certainly have been the correct decision, but referee Joyce allowed play to continue. Reading created a couple of good openings, but the game did not really get going before the planned pitch invasion brought the afternoons entertainment to a premature end.

I understand why the fans organised a protest, but only time will tell if their actions are to be beneficial to the club and everyone associated with the club in the long run. Having attended most home matches as a season ticket holder for thirty years the current situation leaves with very mixed feelings.

I am torn between the anger I feel at an owner who has nothing but contempt for Reading fans in failing to even communicate his intentions (or give reasons for his part in the decline of the club), and sorrow at seeing of all the hard work achievements efforts of those associated with the club over many years undermined.

With fans threatening a repeat of today's protest at the next home game I find myself not even knowing if I should embark on my usual 120 mile round trip in two weeks' time to spend the afternoon watching a hundred or so fans preventing the match from being played by occupying the centre circle.

I have tremendous respect for Ruben Selles after the professional and positive way in which he conducted his post-match interview. It was the only glimmer of hope I could take from a grim afternoon, but it is an appalling state of affairs when he is the only employee at the club who can make public statements probably for fear is losing their job should they provide honest and open questions. It's all very well for Tim Dellor to take the moral high ground criticising people lkke Mark Bowen for not coming forward and revealing all to the media. His job at Radio Berks is secure whatever happens on the pitch or behind the scenes.

I do wonder if any consideration has been given to the impact on the players of today's events. Having trained hard and begun to turn their season around to overcome a points deduction imposed on them through no fault of their own, the action of their own fans today will almost certainly result losing the points they have played so well to gain. It must be demoralising to say the least.
John Wells

Reading Out Of Bottom Four As Good Form Continues

01 January 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Femi Azeez's superb strike after seventy-seven minutes lifted the Royals out of the bottom four for the first time since September. It was goal worthy of winning a tight game in which Reading again demonstrated their new found resilience and self-belief. After taking an early lead through Knibbs, a poor clearance was punished by City with an excellent strike by Jules from the edge of the box to restore parity. The lead was regained in first half stoppage time with Hartidge own goal. Reading relinquished the lead for a second time when Rankine poked home from close range taking advantage of some hesitant defending. Both sides clearly fancied their chances of taking three points but, as in recent games, Reading found a bit of extra quality in front of goal, once again delivered by an in-form Azeez.
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