The future of Reading’s famous football club hangs in the balance after being hit with a crisis after crisis over the past four years.

But where did it all go wrong and why should people in Reading, who don’t care about football, be concerned about it’s future

Here our sports reporter James Earnshaw explains the complicated situation in detail. 

READ MORE: Reading FC stakeholders who take blame for mismanagement

Q: What’s happening and why people should care?

A: In simple terms, the club's future is as uncertain as it has been for a generation. The club's owner, Dai Yongge, has overseen six years of regression from the brink of the Premier League into the third tier for the first time since 2001, all marred by financial irregularity and off-field issues. The club have been hit with charges for failing to pay their staff on time three times in the last 10 months- with the club having until today [June 29] to respond, while His Majesty's Revenue and Customs have lodged a winding up petition to the High Court for tax related issues.

Why should you care? As the largest town in the country, the Royals bring a sense of pride and belonging to the local community. Hundreds of residents are employed by the club and will be fearing their purses when pay day comes along. The oldest professional club in the south of England, over 151 years old, is an integral part of the community. It needs to be preserved for generations to come.

Reading Chronicle:

Q: What is the situation at Reading FC club in a sentence?  

A: The most uncertain and worrying time in the club's modern history.

Q: Is Reading at risk of closing for good? 

A: A difficult question to fully answer at this early stage, whenever a winding up petition is lodged there is an increased risk. Also worth noting that both of the current owner's previous clubs, one in China and one in Belgium, were closed for good under his stewardship.

Q: Who is responsible for this situation? And who is holding them to account?

A: The million dollar question. For the best part of a decade what was once a well-run and admired club has been reduced to a laughing stock with constant financial irregularities and poor on field performances.

Owner Dai Yongge is the target of fan anger, with other members of the hierarchym such as the CEO, being targeted.

Q: If the club goes under, what would happen next?  

A: The absolute worst-case scenario, and one which is still a way off yet, is that it ceases to exit. There will be no Reading Football Club. But, and I must stress, this is still not the only outcome.

Q: Some people say the stadium could be at risk of development. Is this true? How would that happen?  

A: This would be correct. Dai Yongge sold the SCL Stadium to himself as a way of getting around Financial Fair Play regulations and allow the club to spend more on transfers. 

Now an asset of Mr Yongge, who receives rent from the Football Club to play at the stadium, he can do what he sees fit.

Q: What is being done to take a stand against the situation at Reading? 

A: More than 3,000 supporters have signed up to the 'Sell Before We Dai' campaign- a fan-lead protest group.

Supporter Trust at Reading [STAR], The Tilehurst End, Elm Park Royals and Proud Royals are regularly working with media outlets to raise awareness of the issues facing the club and taking action to fight for the club.

Q: What would be the best possible outcome for Reading in this scenario? Is there any coming back from this?

A: There are still plenty of ways out for the club. The fan protest group are calling for the owner to sell up and hand the reigns over to someone else, while administration has hit the likes of Wigan Athletic and Derby County in recent seasons.


The Reading Chronicle will bring you all the latest news from Reading Football Club as not only the off-field issues rumble on, but the pre-season gets under way ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.