Reading Chronicle's Royals reporter, James Earnshaw, is calling for change- and sooner rather than later.

Ahead of Saturday's match with Burton Albion, Royals fans have 'turned Twitter black' and shared memories of better days.

Here is the take of reporter James Earnshaw.


Seeing the outpouring of emotion across the fanbase in the last 48 hours after the months of torment suffered has been nothing short of incredible. 

After reading the stories and thoughts of total strangers, I thought I had better give it a go. So here it goes...

Reading Chronicle:

Many say it is only football. Those taking the time to read this know that it is so much more.

For a boy born and raised in this town, the football club is part of me.

From first turning up 15 years ago and seeing the Royals beat Liverpool 3-1, I was hooked.

Friends, family and total strangers are all entwined by one common passion.

Arriving at some northern town hundreds of miles away and bumping into a former schoolmate or teacher. 

Milling around Wembley Stadium for another inevitable defeat and recognising people from your local.

Jetting off thousands of miles and spotting a Reading towel by the beach.

This is the feeling- the football family- that links us all.

We have had many ups, and double the amount of downs, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

But that is different. That is football. You win, you lose, you go to the pub and you're ready to do it all again the following Saturday or Tuesday. It's the life we unwittingly signed up for when we first caught the football bug.

Not this though. This genuine fear that you not only lose a football game but the entire football club.

A club that generations upon generations have followed, from the Southern League to the Premier League.

I have never felt pride like it, when I was called into a meeting and asked if I would take over from Benjy Nurick as the local reporter for my football team.

The result of years of working at school and university, only to land the role of all roles and get paid to travel the country following the ups and downs of a club you have dedicated much of your life to.

I was on Cloud Nine.

And I still am. Sitting in the press box of an empty SCL Stadium, pinching myself that this is something I get to call work.

But I must admit, these past six months have been far from consistently enjoyable.

Hearing news of unpaid bills, staff going without their pay and the general mismanagement of the club from the man at the very top.

It makes me angry to my core, to see hard-working people who care constantly pushed to the floor through no doing of their own but having to keep things going.

We were once the envy of all clubs outside the Premier League. And with the people we have in place, we can be again. But right now, due to one man, we are far from it.

Reading fans, like you and I, who just want to help their side in whatever way they can.

We all live and breathe our club.

Some may call it unhealthy, and they might be right, but I know for a fact it's how hundreds, if not thousands, of you are feeling.

And it's not just us. Fans of Derby County, Wigan Athletic, Southend United, Scunthorpe United and Portsmouth to name just five have - and are - experiencing the same.

The football family needs each other, not just within each club but for each other.

Reading Chronicle:

And this is why we can't let it happen. Too many people invested too much of themselves over too many years to just let it be tossed aside.

What happens next? Well, that is something we would all love to know the answer to. At this very moment, the club bobs along in a sea of uncertainty. Will overheads be paid, or won't they? Will Mr Dai sell, or won't he?

Reading fans have felt compounded to take action, and the outpouring of emotion since the latest news of unpaid tax has proved a tipping point for many.

All we can do is our best. Our best by the club, by the staff and by the players. But also the best by those who have gone before us, and will come after, to ensure Reading Football Club is there for many more generations

To love, to hate, to endure and to enjoy. 

Up the Ding, everybody. We've got this.