Reading Football Club News: December 2023

Royals Give Fans Happy Start To Christmas

23 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After thirty-four minutes Femi Azeez unleashed a shot from just outside the box that would not have looked out of place in the Premier League. The ferocity of the strike left Wigan 'keeper Tickle rooted to the spot as the net bulged behind him. It was a brilliant strike and set Reading on their way to a convincing home victory as their current run of good form continued. Smith tucked away his fifth goal of the season just after half time to extend Reading's lead which Wigan never really threatened. If anything they were very much on the front foot in the second half and might have added a third. Reading struggled to find their rhythm early in the game. Sloppy passing and a lack of movement allowed Wigan to dominate possession, although apart from a couple of goalmouth scrambles, only managed to create one decent chance. Wyke got on the end of cross but mistimed his leap and headed tamely wide.

Reading 2 Wigan 0 - Read Full Match Report

What have been Reading FC's most iconic moments?

22 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It is fair to say that being a Reading supporter at the moment feels like riding a rollercoaster of emotions. This is certainly true when fans consider the controversial reign of current owner Dai Yongge and the HMRC winding-up petition for unpaid tax issues against the club in late October 2023. With the outcome of an EFL independent disciplinary commission due at the end of November, there could be further twists in the tail.

Amazon is a good example of this and a company which dominates the online shopping sector. McDonalds is another top brand in the UK who people across the country know. When you also take into account other huge names such as ASOS in fashion and AO in household goods/electronics, it’s easy to think of companies that have become familiar to many.

One thing any successful online portal or thriving company across business has in common is continually moving forward in a positive way. Unfortunately for Reading fans, developments like these have been in short supply recently! This now sees the club facing an upcoming EFL independent disciplinary commission and an ongoing quest for new ownership.

A good tip for any Royals fan who needs cheering up therefore is looking back at the best moments in the side’s history. This not only helps to lighten the mood but also gives hope that better times are just around the corner. 

But which have been the most memorable occasions in Royals history?

Entry into the Football League – 1920 

When it comes to Reading FC's most iconic moments, this is the best place to start. After turning professional in 1895 and spending around 25 years in the Southern League, Reading FC finally gained entry into the Football League proper in 1920. The side’s initial progress in the league was good and this saw them spend a number of seasons in the second tier during the mid to late 1920s.

During much of their time in the Football League until 1971, though, the Berkshire-based team were ever-present in the third tier. This earlier period saw greats such as Billy McConnell, Alf Messer, Frank Richardson, Dick Spiers and George Harris turn out for the club.

FA Cup semifinal – 1927 

While the current EFL League One table might not make pretty reading, the 1920s were a great decade for Reading and they made the semifinal of the FA Cup in 1927. This followed a promotion-winning season that saw them move up into the second tier of English football in 1926.

Although their league form made headlines that season, it was their epic cup run that has stuck in the memory. They beat teams including Weymouth, Southend United, Manchester United, Brentford and Swansea on the way to their semifinal match against Cardiff City. Although the side lost 3-0, they put in an impressive performance but would not reach this stage of the cup again for many years.

Simod Cup win – 1988


Although there was quite a long delay until the next truly legendary moment for Reading supporters, the 1988 Simod Cup win was worth waiting for. This came after an impressive showing in the league during 1987 and marked the side’s first ever Wembley appearance. On the way to the final, Ian Branfoot’s team beat some seriously good opponents.

This included top division clubs at the time, such as QPR and Coventry City. A 4-1 win over Luton Town in the final sent the 40,000 Reading fans who made it to Wembley into raptures. Although Luton scored first, two quick goals from Michael Gilkes and Stuart Beavon swung the game in the Royals’ favour. Two more from Mick Tait and Neil Smillie were enough to clinch the trophy.

Promotion-winning seasons 2005/06  

Although it may have taken some time, Reading FC made it into English football’s top flight with an awesome promotion-winning campaign in 2005/06. They had been close on a number of occasions previously but it was this season when they finally made the step up.

Steve Coppell was manager at the time and his men lost just twice before reaching 106 points to take the Championship title. Standout players in this season included Dave Kitson, Leroy Lita, Kevin Doyle and Steve Sidwell.

Debut Premier League season 2006/07

In the same way as the promotion-winning campaign of 05/06 is an iconic moment in club history, the side’s first ever Premier League season also sticks in the memory. This is not only down to the sheer excitement fans felt at being in the top tier of English football but also how well the side did that year.

Impressive performances saw them finish eighth in the league. The 2006/07 season was also iconic, with some great results against England’s most famous teams. The 6-0 home win against West Ham in January 2007 was a good example, as was their 3-1 home win against Spurs.

Reading FC has plenty of good times to look back on

As the above shows, the Royals are not only a side with amazing history but also one with a lot of iconic moments to remember. Although the club may be in something of a transition period right now, supporters will be eager to see the early return of good times like those mentioned here.





Dai Yongge Fined Not Banned

20 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The threat of further points deductions have faded after the EFL turned their attention to Reading owner Dai Yongge rather than the club as a whole. Dai Yongge has been fined 20,000 pounds for failing to cover staff wages, with a further 50,000 pound fine to follow in January if he fails to pay the money into an allocated account. However the recommendation that he is banned from all football activity for 12 months will not be enforced, leaving him in control of the club on an on-going basis. There is no immediate end in sight to Dai Yongge's control of Reading Footbal Club.

The EFL believe that Dai Yongge's dodging of payments to cover salaries is "deliberate misconduct", which confirms he continues to drag the club down with no benefit to either himself or the club. His bizarre behaviour has left the EFL to concentrate on penalising Reading's owner rather than the club directly. The statement included "some re-assurance to the management, staff, and players at the club, who continue to act as outstanding ambassadors for Reading FC, despite the challenging circumstances"

It appears Dai Yongge's reaction to the protests from Reading fans is to cling on to control of the club, while failing to provide required funds. He continues to drag his heels on the sale of the club as rumoured take overs come and go with no progress being made. Meanwhile Reading sit firmly in the relegation positions and still seem set to sink into League Two.

Ovie Ejaria Has Contract Terminated

18 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It has finally been confirmed that the long awaited return of midfielder Ovie Ejaria will no longer happen after his contract with Reading FC was terminated by mutual consent. Ejaria was the last big earner at the club after being signed for 3.5 million pounds from Liverpool in August 2020. His departure means Reading's current first team has attracted no transfer fees. Ejaria hugely impressed on loan on his first arrival in January 2019, which led to a loan extension and then a permanent signing. His form then dipped before he was dropped from the team amid rumours of unknown injuries, making just 8 appearances for the Royals last season and failing to get involved in League One. Ejaria was due to leave in the summer anyway, but the early end to his contract is expected to save the club some money and leave Ejaria free to re-start his career at another club.

Flat Second Half But Point In Local Derby

12 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

A huge contingent of travelling fans helped to generate an atmosphere under the floodlights reminiscent of happier times for the Royals. It has been over twenty years since these two club have faced each other in the league and the outcome was significant for Reading in many ways. Not only did they earn a valuable point against a top six side with aspirations of promotion, they had to come from behind to achieve it. Too often this season Reading have wilted after falling behind, often after taking the lead. Neither did they concede when pinned in their own half by United later in the game. This evening we saw a side to Reading which has not been evident this season.
Full Match Report: Reading 1 Oxford United 1

Another Late Defeat

09 December 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It was like 'Groundhog Day' at the SCL Stadium again last night. Reading started well, taking the lead when Knibbs nodded home from close range in the fourth minute, Barnsley scored from a dubious penalty close to half time before conceding two late goals (again!) It was another disappointing defeat, but the two goal margin was flattering to a fairly good but beatable side with aspirations of reaching the play-offs.
Read More: Reading 1 Barnsley 3 - Match Report