Leader of Reading Borough Council, Jason Brock, has written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport asking for 'urgent action' in protecting Reading Football Club.

The Royals have received a winding up petition for issues with HMRC and face EFL sanctions for paying players and staff late on three separate occasions.

Almost 4,000 supporters have backed the 'Sell Up Before We Dai' movement looking to oust Dai Yongge as owner, with his two previous clubs ceasing to exist under his ownership.

Releasing an open letter to Rt Hon Lucy Frazer, it says: 

"Fans of Reading FC have raised concerns with us over the future of the club following its relegation, charges implemented by the English Football League, and a winding-up petition from HMRC.

"Reading FC is one the oldest English football teams south of the Trent, having been established in 1871. The club is a point of pride for our town with an active and dedicated supporter community. Concerned supporters have established a campaign group, ‘Sell Before We Dai’, to call on the club’s owner, Yongge Dai, to sell up, believing this to be in the club’s best interests.

"Whilst we recognise that, on paper, our country’s football clubs are privately owned, there is a very real sense in which they belong to their communities. Generation after generation of Reading residents have supported their club and they rightly fear the loss of that community and proud heritage. Reading FC is not the first club to have experienced these kinds of profound difficulties, and it is evident that lessons have not been learned by professional football or by Government.

"In February this year, the Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell MP, stated that football reform has support across parliament, and across the country, and called upon the Government to urgently bring forward legislation, or take responsibility for any clubs that go under. We endorse the Shadow Secretary of State’s view.

Reading Chronicle:

"The risk for Reading now is that, with a winding up petition having been issued by HMRC, the club will enter administration or that the current owners may ‘asset strip’ the club. Any such outcome would have a huge impact on our town and its community. We call on you to take urgent action to protect Reading and other clubs in crisis."

With less than a full squad of first-team players and the team off to Spain for pre-season next week, time is of the essence in Berkshire.