READING Town FC have been left stunned after being closed down by their owners, the Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council, writes Dave Wright.

It takes affect immediately, so they were not even able to fulfil a Hellenic League Supplementary Cup tie at Stokenchurch today (Saturday).

Club official Valerie Richardson, whose son Tranell is the manager, said the owners have "really and truly shafted the team."

The club, formed in 1966, had suffered problems for nearly two years since the union took over control. There was a massive bust up between owners and players last season over the payment of expenses. Players refused to play in a number of games and the row eventually led to the whole first-team squad and every official leaving the club.

Former player Tranell Richardson accepted the challenge of taking over as manager and building a new team from scratch.

It took time and the team suffered a string of heavy defeats in the opening months of the season.

But he slowly turned things around and they were unbeaten in their last six games, lifting them out of the bottom three of Division One East.

Richardson and his players were desperate to complete the season, but, sadly for them, they are not being given the chance.

It is believed the club could be fined up to £1,000 by the league for failing to complete the rest of the fixtures.

Premier Division side Highmoor Ibis, who currently play at Palmer Park, have already agreed with the B&WTUC to take over the Scours Lane ground and are prepared to make some much-needed improvements. 

The first-team, who are managed by Tranell's brother Marcus Richardson, are expected to start playing there next season. The ground is adjacent to their Academy and the pitches where their lower league sides play.

Division One East side Woodley United will continue to use Scours Lane for the rest of the season.

The closure of Reading Town has shocked many Hellenic League clubs and they have received a lot of support and sympathy via social media.