The “thing” with Reading FC...

The “thing” with Reading FC, I suggest, is that they’ve now reached a plateau - there’s no obvious forward looking and bold goal.

It seems a vague and optimistic aim to get the team back into the Premier in the cheapest way possible, and even if this is achieved (again) in coming seasons, will they really know what to do when they get there?

You see, I’m not entirely convinced the Club has learned many lessons from two brilliant promotions to the promised land (totalling three seasons) and whilst all involved (past & present) deserve much credit for delivering either Premier or Championship football continuously since 2004, I can’t help but think management have almost settled for the odd bit of promotion and (fighting) relegation excitement without having the required courage aligned with the right financial means in order remain in the top flight to do something with more flare, more imagination - whilst being more cutting-edge.

In 1998, the move away from the relatively small and cramped Elm Park to a larger‘Madejski’ showed real ambition, as did finishing 8th in the Premier in 2007.

However, we seem to see and hear a lot about Reading’s past glories, and with every managerial change there seems a clamour from some quarters of football-forum-land to hasten the return of a Coppell or a McDermott. They’ve seen it, done it, before. But “before” is the past.

This sort of retro thinking is what’s wrong with Reading; this clinging on to a blue & white hooped pillow of past comfort rather than boldly going where no community based club like us has dared go before - beyond its limited horizons.

I believe Reading need to keep calm but quickly get their act together and put a bold new plan of action in place, say based over five years and spell this all out clearly to paying fans and keep them updated on progress. Utilising youthful talents within the Club are overdue. Some deserve to be regular first team faces.

Reading FC, surround yourself with winners, and like-minded people. People who will push you. People with ambition. And yes, sometimes that means financial investment, as well asinvesting in experience, plus giving youth a chance. Then Reading can win through, for Club and County.

Mark Watkins


(by email)