A few weeks ago I had lunch with Les Ferdinand.  He rolled his eyes at the memory of attempting to land his helicopter at the Reading FC training ground while a few of the lads zinged balls towards his flying machine, blissfully unaware as to how dangerous that was.

Sensing the potential for headlines, I asked the groundsman if I could borrow the line marker that he would use to mark the pitches.  And in the farthest corner of the training ground I painted a large circle wrapped around a giant ‘L’ which became Les’ official landing pad, far away from stray footballs.

I don’t know where the groundsman keeps the paint these days, but if I did, I’d be marking out an enormous ‘MA’, dead in the centre circle of the Select Car Leasing Stadium pitch where Mike Ashley could land his own helicopter.  None of this business of setting it down in the car park over the road as was the case last week.  No, straight on the pitch, come on in, meet the welcome committee, have you come far, you must be tired, can we offer you some canapés, champagne… a football club?  Please!?

Whatever anybody thinks of Mike Ashley - and most of those are people that have never met him - it is impossible to deny the skill he has for taking a business that’s on its knees and returning it to something like its past glory, or at the very least to stability.  Kieran Maguire, of the excellent The Price of Football podcast told me, ‘over Ashley’s 14 year ownership of Newcastle United, the club made a profit of £30m, despite two relegations to the EFL.  In the same period Chelsea lost more than £500m but won the Champions League twice as well as numerous domestic trophies.  Ashley scores well on sustainability, but there are few open top bus parades for such a strategy.’

Another friend of mine put it in even simpler terms, 'Ashley has made his money primarily from buying distressed assets.  He breathes new life into them and sells them on for a profit.  If he starts at point A and he sells at point E, then he needs to make sure that B,C and D are expertly managed.’

Now, I’m not sure about you, but that sounds like the kind of ownership that Reading FC needs.  Expert management leading to stability and ultimately sustainability.  Right now I’d rip somebody's arm off for that kind of ownership.

But I’m afraid for the moment, any talk of new ownership is simply guesswork based on speculation.  We seem a long way from the point where an interested party would be offered exclusivity - the point at which a preferred bidder proves he (or she) has the funds, and enters into an expensive legal process of due diligence that can last weeks, sometimes months.

And then there’s the ‘A’ word which during my visit to the FA Cup match against MK Dons on Saturday was bouncing around the Director’s lounge like a grenade with the pin pulled out.

Administration is a very real prospect for Reading, and frankly, it won’t have escaped the savvy of any would-be owner that the club is going to be a lot cheaper to buy in a fire sale.  And yet more than a few people have said to me that taking our medicine and starting again in League Two is not the worst thing in the world.  But not everybody agrees, not least because Yongge would still own the stadium.

In any case, all of that is out of our hands, and life continues both on and off the pitch.  I must say that it was nice to chat to the fans on Saturday and see some goals and even a win.  And in a season that is rapidly coming down to one of hope over expectation, we may yet draw one of the Premier Leagues big boys if we can overcome an away tie against Eastleigh in round two.

But it was impossible not to notice the swathes of empty seats around the ground.  And it’s sad.  It’s sad because we know what the club is capable of, and so do the buyers out there.  The potential of the club is not the problem, there is no shortage of interested parties, timing and price are the main factors in play now.

As Les paid for lunch like the true gentleman he is, he happened to mention that in the eight years he’d acted as Director of Football at QPR, he’d had to cut the wage bill from £75m to £17m to ensure the club's survival.  “I’ll tell you something Kits, you don’t fly a helicopter to the stadium when you’re cutting wages left, right and centre,” said Les.

That’s very true, which makes the appearance of Mike Ashley’s helicopter all the more exciting.

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In stark contrast to the heavy overtones of football ownership, which admittedly is not the most interesting aspect of the game for most people, I had the pleasure of coaching a 7 year old player over in Burghfield last Sunday. Watching Noah play without any awareness of the sort of rubbish that I’ve waffled on about above, puts me in mind of myself at that age and the reasons why I started playing football in the first place, trying to emulate John Barnes, Glenn Hoddle and Ian Rush.

Noah seems to me to be a natural born goalscorer, but more than that, he has that precious and unbridled enthusiasm for football that we tend to lose far too quickly as we grow up and confront football’s ‘other side.’

Sliding around and scoring goals in his Reading away shirt with a big toothy smile on his face is the reason I started The Dave Kitson Academy.  Of course, it would be great to one day produce professional footballers, not least for Reading, but equally, there is something very special and humbling at being reminded by a 7-year-old as to why I wanted to be a footballer in the first place.

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As part of my new academy, I will also be hosting small group coaching sessions, for 2 or more children. So if your child is interested in being coached by me with one or more friends, please get in touch and I can send some more information.

If you'd like to contact me to sign up for my newsletter and find out more about my one-to-one coaching and small group coaching sessions, as well as the talks I give to schools and local businesses, please email me at info@davekitsonacademy.com