RON Gourlay has hinted some major commercials deals could be around the corner at Reading FC.

Royals CEO arrived in July 2017 to boost revenue streams, increase sponsorship and raise the club’s profile around the globe.

And though bound by confidentiality, Gourlay suggested a big announcement could be made when Reading’s three-year deal with chief sponsors Carabao runs out at the end of this season.

It is thought selling the Madejski Stadium naming rights – a proposal mooted for several years – will be included in any new sponsorship arrangement.

“We’re tied in on the confidentiality side on this, we are tied into some commercial deals,” said Gourlay, who fulfilled similar roles at both Manchester United and Chelsea during his 25 years in football administration.

“We don’t have the ability to unlock these at the present time, but you will see changes from the start of next season.”

In the meantime, Gourlay is determined to increase attendances at Madejski Stadium.

Crowds hit a new low for the 2017/18 Championship campaign. The average figure of 16,656 was the first time in 14 years it had dipped below the 17,000 mark.

That was mostly due to the team’s struggles on the pitch as Royals won just five of their 23 home league games and scored just 25 goals.

The club parted company with Jaap Stam in March and installed Paul Clement who saved Reading from relegation with a 0-0 draw at Cardiff City on the last day of the season.

Reading Chronicle:

Reading FC could sell the naming rights to Madejski Stadium to help increase revenue.

But Clement’s side have started this campaign poorly, are bottom of the Championship and are without a win in six games.

And Gourlay knows the importance of enticing fans through the door.

“We don’t have the massive media money in the Premier League, so gates are very important,” he explained. “But the performances of the team drives the commercial side of the club as well.

“These are the key things we need to work on.

“We must make sure we protect the heritage of our excellent Academy and the foundations of this club to ensure we have that pathway for the young players.

“That’s why you have to make sure the size of the squad is right so you have that pathway for the youngsters.”

Reading’s latest financial figures filed with Companies House show debt had decreased to under £54m for the year ending June 30, 2017 – down from £67.7 the previous year.

Reading, though, had their biggest ever spend during a transfer window in summer 2017 then saw attendances drop while they battled relegation under Stam and Clement.

That sequence of events is likely to have an impact on figures for the year ending June 2018 when Reading submit their next financial statement to Companies House in early December.