Reading Football Club News: March 2024

Another Leap Towards Safety

29 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Six minutes after coming off the bench early in the second half, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan earned Reading a vital three points with an outstanding moment of individual skill. Dorsett got forward down the left and slipped a short pass inside to the young Reading striker, who skilfully made room for himself in the box, before curling a sublime inch-perfect shot inside the far post for what turned out the be the matchwinner. It was goal worthy of winning any match, and followed his equally stunning finish in Reading's previous home four thumping of Cambridge United. Make no mistake about it, this was a very significant victory for the Royals against a rugged mid- table side which lacked quality but were tough to break down and pressed well.
READ MORE... Reading 1 Northampton Town 0 - Match Report

End In Sight To Ownership Chaos?

26 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading Football Club have released a statement to confirm that they are in "exclusive negotiation" with a "potential purchaser". The news appears to signal a possible end to the on-going chaos that has been caused by Dai Yongge's existing ownership of the club. The sale to new owners would include the club itself, the stadium and the Bearwood training ground. However, there is no guarantee that negotiations will successfully complete.

Should the negotiations proceed to a completed sale then it would be best solution for the club, and fans, as it would be the full package instead of just the club itself. This would surely be the best outcome after Wycombe Wanderers were forced to pull out of their purchase of the training ground. At this stage it is little more than light at the end of the tunnel, and a sale could of course break down at any point. Should things progress smoothly then the takeover would be expected to complete in the summer ready for preparations for next season.

It is being reported that the potential new buyers, rumoured to be a North American group, have already put money into the club to assist with payment of wages to avoid further points deductions. However, the club are not naming the party they have entered negotiations with.

Reading Brush Worries Aside With Convincing Win

16 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After a week of turmoil off the field, the Reading players rewarded their loyal, and increasing vocal fans, with an entertaining thumping four goal victory over fellow strugglers Cambridge United. It was a dominant performance with some excellent passing football and outstanding finishing. Orchestrated by skipper Lewis Wing, the one-touch passing and movement allowed Reading to dominate possession restricting United to only two attempts on targets in the entire match. There was a confidence on the ball throughout the team and a willingness to receive a pass which enabled them to maintain pressure on the visitors for most of the game. Several Reading players have the composure, touch, and awareness to receive the ball in tight situations and pop the ball off to an unmarked team mate to retain possession. The quality of the play lifted the home fans which in turn encouraged the team to attack a team clearly low on confidence and ideas.
READ MORE: Reading 4 Cambridge United 0 - Full Match Report

Huge Blow As Wycombe Set To Buy Bearwood

14 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The club have confirmed that they are planning on selling Reading's Bearwood training ground to League One rivals Wycombe Wanderers. The sale of the training ground essentially kills off any prospect of a quick sale of the club. The impressive training ground would have been the main asset and obviously vital in any potential sale of the club. Wycombe Wanderers are set to secure themselves a bargain with the estimated £20 million to £25 million price tag only half of the development cost. Reading's announcement earlier this week that they were looking to offload the facilities to aid short term cash flow, couldn't have come at a better time for Wycombe who were in deseprate need of training facilities. This way they get a first class facility that is recently constructed and not far from home. In the summer they will simply swap the badges over and kick Reading out of their training home.

With Reading sinking to League One and no longer in ownership of their stadium after it was asset stripped by Dai Yongge, the remaining positives were Reading's training facilities and our academy, that has developed so many players that the first team now rely on. In the space of a few days both of those things that the club and supporters have been so proud of, have been dealt a fatal blow. There will now be very little left of Reading Football Club to sell - if there is any remaining interested buyers. Reading would have remained an attractive purchase to some, but there will be very little left to buy.

The club are reported to need an extra million pounds to cover wages and tax bills this month, so will be looking to offload the training ground as soon as possible. The income should enable bills to be paid and avoid a further points deduction. However, there is no guarantee that the money will remain available to fund the club and not line Dai Yongge's pockets. Wycombe's statement claims they are coming to Reading's rescue to "provide Reading with necessary financial support to ensure that they are able to meet their ongoing financial obligations". Unfortunately the opposite is true, as this short term "fix" destroys Reading's future. Desperate times just got worse and the big question is will Reading Football Club even exist next season?

Wycombe Get Win At SCL

09 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The consensus on the concourse in the West Upper at half time was that this was the worst Reading performance this season so far, and it was hard to disagree with that assessment. However, it would be unfair to Wycombe to claim their half time lead could be attributed entirely to the poor quality of Reading's play.

Wycombe's game plan worked a treat in the first half. High pressing Wanderers prevented Reading from passing their way out of their own half, forcing them to resort to hitting long balls into their opponent's half. With their towering centre backs Lonwijk and Tafazolli winning everything in the air against the isolated Smith, the visitors kept Reading pinned in their own half for most of the opening forty-five minutes. Not only were Wycombe keeping Reading in their own half they were quick to snaffle up any loose balls in midfield. Reading gave the ball away with alarming regularity, and then conceded free kicks in clumsy attempts to win it back.
READ MORE...: Reading 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2

Reading Back To Sixteenth With Away Win

02 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading climbed back up to sixteenth in the table with a hugely important away win at bottom club Carlisle United. With over 1,000 travelling fans making the long journey north, Reading secured three points to end the week positive on points after being deducted two points earlier in the week. After a set-back last weekend with a home defeat to Shrewsbury, this was a big win that puts Reading firmly on course to survive the drop to League Two. The Royals are back to being five points clear of the drop, and in good long term form, and look set to stay up provided matters off the pitch do not further interfere.

Reading got off to a good start, when Smith was set-up by the outstanding Knibbs, but Smith was denied by the Carlisle post. However after just 17 minutes Smith put Reading on their way. Knibbs doubled Reading's lead ten minutes before half time and scored a third just before the hour mark. The home side's goal on 71 minutes was little more than a consolation with Reading having the game well won.

Fan Opinion: Carlisle United 1 Reading 3

Selles Speaks After Latest Reading Points Deduction

01 March 2024
By Hob Nob Anyone?

As Reading FC fans will know, a few days ago we were again punished with a two point deduction over Dai Yongge's failure to fund the club appropriately so that we could pay the outstanding HMRC bill that we faced.

This is not the first time we have been punished for the actions of our want away and open to a sale owner, and the two point sanction was our third deduction of the season - but in some ways we did get slightly lucky as a further two point deduction was suspended even though the English Football League had given us 80 days to settle the debt.

KickForm Predictions would have likely informed people that this deadline would again not be met, based on absolutely nothing more than educated odds based on a pattern of prior behaviour.

Our third deduction of the year means that we are now only three points clear of the drop zone, with eleven matches left to play in the campaign and sadly for us both Cheltenham Town and Port Vale each have three games in hand on us.

Speaking to the media recently, manager Ruben Selles obviously faced quite a few questions about our current, and ongoing predicament, and in fairness to the 40 year old Spaniard, few would argue that he should even be attempting to sugar coat the place we find ourselves in right now. So credit to him, whilst he undoubtedly chose his words carefully he had no concerns at again stating that the current situation at the club 'cannot continue' as these points deductions are making an absolute mockery of any and all efforts that we are making on the pitch.

More importantly he knows they simply serve to punish the players, the wider club as a whole and the paying fans themselves, and whilst the personal fines our owner faces from the EFL for his failings are one thing, a total of 18 points under one man's ownership has a far greater cost, for far more important people.

They are my words, he was not actually that critical but in my humble opinion he said exactly the same thing, just with the use of different words as he described the 'problem' and now being 'the norm' at the club, and the club are not the ones directly in a position to do anything about the main and real 'problem'.

"You start to get tired of those things when people say ‘it’s us against the world’. I don’t see anything epic from that. I just see that we are doing a job and it’s getting more difficult and more difficult and more difficult. There is going to be one day when it is enough because the situation cannot continue."

Selles went on to add that it is simply the case now that each new month is now bringing 'some bad news' that is totally out of their control, but 100% effects the playing group and the authorities have to act at some point to not make this continue to be the 'norm'.

Whether that is, or is not, a reference to the fact that the Independent Disciplinary Commission took the decision to reject the EFL's request for our owner to be immediately disqualified as a director, to further encourage a sale to take place, is open for debate.

Many will understandably think it was maybe a bit of a pointed reference though, especially as there is absolutely not a single guarantee that we will not be again docked points before the end of the year, that despite whatever efforts we make on the pitch, could and probably would, result in relegation.

It was a point picked up on previously when the news was announced by Caroline Parker, spokesperson for Reading fans' group Sell Before We Dai who referenced the ongoing sale's talk and called the timing of the punishment decision 'spectacular'.

"Imposing a points penalty which increases our chances of relegation and therefore decreases the prospect of our club being sold is completely misguided. The EFL claims to be on the side of the fans, instead - yet again - they disproportionately punish those who care the most over those who care the least."

Hopefully we will have a busy and productive March that means we can all draw a line under the pathetic period of ownership.