Reading defender Harlee Dean explained that his time at Birmingham City felt like 'a walk in the park' compared to the 2023/24 campaign in Berkshire.

Experienced defender Dean made over 200 appearances for the Blues in a six-year stint dominated by off-field issues.

Hit with points deductions, a half-disused St Andrews and concerns about their owner, the former Brentford captain skippered the 2008 League Cup winners before departing last summer.

READ MORE: Reading FC defender hints at uncertain future with Royals

Moving to Bearwood as a free agent, Dean struggled to hold down a place and managed 16 appearances last season as the club were hit with points deductions, transfer embargoes and a whole host of in-house issues due to lack of funding from owner Dai Yongge.

Speaking to Birmingham City podcast, Keep Right On, the 32-year-old was asked to compare his experiences in the Midlands and the South-East.

"It [Birmingham spell] was a walk in the park compared to a year at Reading," Dean commented. "I think the phrase is 'out of the frying pan and into the fryer.' Reading has been a lot more difficult than Birmingham ever was for those six years.

"At Blues, we had ownership problems, which look like they’ve completely changed now, and it looks a fantastic club. Reading is in a real state. For such a club, like Reading, to be where it is sad for football.

"People in power don’t recognise or do the right due diligence on people buying clubs because of what the club has had to go through, the manager, the players, redundancies, no food, and no away travel. For a club the size of Reading, it’s disgraceful. Everyone involved has done well to guide them to safety."

With a year left on his deal, Dean's future remains uncertain, hinting in the podcast that it may lay away from Berkshire.