Reading fan Mark Holton set up a GoFundMe page for staff at the club- raising nearly £5,000.

Last week it was announced that non-playing staff would be paid late while the players would be paid in full as not enough funding came into the club from owner Dai Yongge.

Set up in immediate response to this news, the staff were eventually paid on Monday and have now received their November salaries in full.

However, this did not stop supporters from donating and the funds will now go toward a staff Christmas party after it was revealed that one had not been put on for three years.

Mr Holton, 48, has been a supporter for over 30 years and was compelled to set up a way of showing his appreciation after last week's news broke.

"I’ve been a Reading fan for a long time- since Elm Park- and over the last three or four years I’ve just had so much frustration around the owner, points deductions and ultimately relegation. The EFL are absolutely not fit for purpose in my view, they have let us just rot. This came around [staff late pay] and it really humanised it for me. It is gutting to lose points and get relegated, but for the staff to not get paid in full through their Christmas pay packet by a billionaire, I just couldn’t get my head around it. I was sat waiting to get my haircut and I put on Facebook ‘why doesn’t someone start a GoFundMe page?’ Then I just thought that everyone talks about these things but I’m just going to do it.

"I didn’t think anything of it. My thinking was to try and get some publicity for the club. People may not be able to give their kids Christmas presents. I’ve got three daughters and some stepchildren and I couldn’t deal with it. I felt I had to do something. After an hour a couple of people had donated and all of a sudden, I shared it on Facebook and there was 20 people donating. I reached out to STAR because I didn’t want to get involved in the money, and we agreed that the money should go to them once complete. Jackie [Evans] is going to distribute the money the right way.

"It is fantastic but it is a drop in the ocean, so it was muted that the guys over there hadn’t had a Christmas party in three years. Whatever helps. Anything we can give back as a thank you from the fans, we’re in it together. I am overwhelmed. I think over 200 people have donated and I think some of the players have been in contact with STAR. It’s just nice to give something back."

Sarah Turner, Chair of the Supporters Trust at Reading [STAR] said: "We were distressed to hear that the Reading FC staff were not paid their full salary this month. We can’t imagine how stressful it is to not know if you will be paid and how much of your salary you will receive. STAR were thinking about doing a crowdfund when Mark Holton started one! 

"We reached out to let Mark know he had our full support and he asked us to help him to manage the money raised. STAR have contributed £1000 as we strongly believe that Reading staff have gone above and beyond for us over the past year.  

"We understand staff have this week received the remainder of their salaries — but who knows what will happen at the end of December. 

"We have arranged that the money will be passed to Jackie Evans (Director of Ops and HR) who will ensure the money goes directly to staff in the event of any issues around December wages causing hardship. 

"If everyone does receive their salary in December on time and in full we would love to see them have a (belated) Christmas party, as they have not had one for 3 years."

£4,671 has been paid to date, and you can donate here.