PAUL Clement has opened the lid on Brian Tevreden’s surprise departure from Reading FC – describing his move to Belgium as a ‘fantastic opportunity.’

Tevreden left his role as sporting director on Wednesday afternoon to become chief executive of Belgian club KSV Roeselare, which also belongs to Royals owners Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li.

The 36-year-old Dutchman is believed to have fallen out with Reading CEO, Ron Gourlay, over a number of issues including player recruitment.

But Clement was eager to play down the circumstances surrounding Tevreden’s shock exit, saying: “Our owners have more than one club - they have one in Beijing, Belgium and here.

“Brian was getting used more and more to help with the running of the club in Belgium.

“He was becoming stretched and if someone becomes that then you don't do either job as well as you would have liked.

“He chose to take up the challenge of running the club, he has extra responsibility as CEO and sporting director.

“It's a fantastic opportunity for him.”

Reading Chronicle:

Brian Tevreden, left, with former boss, Jaap Stam.

Tevreden joined Reading in 2016 as head of international football and development before stepping into Nick Hammond’s shoes as technical director soon after.

The former Ajax coach helped build Jaap Stam’s squad that lost to Huddersfield on penalties in the 2017 Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Gourlay was appointed that summer, but Reading’s form took a dramatic dip last season as they narrowly avoided relegation to League One after Jaap Stam had been replaced by Clement in March.

It is believed Tevreden had felt increasingly marginalised in recent months and did not see eye-to-eye with Gourlay over a number of issues.

Reading have already found a replacement in new sporting director Gianluca Nani, who has held similar positions at West Ham and Watford.

Clement continued: “I enjoyed working with Brian, he's a nice guy who is young and ambitious.

“He goes with everyone's best wishes. He is very much part of the Mr Dai and Ms Dai corporation of football clubs, so the relationship will be strong.

“But we have a new sporting director whose sole focus will be on Reading and that's very positive.”

Reading Chronicle:

Ron Gourlay with Reading co-owner, Miss Dai Xiu Li.

The departure of Tevreden along with Stam and his coaches including Andries Ulderink brings an end to Reading’s strong Dutch links in recent years.

However, Clement insisted: “There was not necessarily a Dutch way.

“When Jaap was appointed there was the feeling it was a 'Dutch friends' thing, but it wasn't like that.

“Jaap was appointed because he was the right person. Brian continued in his role, coaches and players come and go ¬– it's the nature of the game.

“It's not we're in a Dutch system and now we're into another era, it's the way things evolved.”

Reading lie bottom of the Championship and without a win this season after six games.

Their last league victory came against Preston at Madejski Stadium on April 7.

Clement’s men will be hoping for a similar result when they travel to Preston this Saturday after a two-week international break (3pm ko).

David Meyler is an injury doubt, while Callum Harriott, Garath McCleary, Dave Edwards, Jordan Obita and Adrian Popa have already been ruled out.