Reading fans are unsure how to think as the latest reports are linking former Wycombe Wanderers chief Rob Couhig with a takeover 'within a fortnight.'

After months of dangled hope followed by stacks of disappointment, it is hardly surprising that any news is met with an air of scepticism.

However, after months of negotiations, it appears that Mr Couhig is soon to be the new man at the top of the town's prized 153-year-old community asset.

This, unusually so for some, has been met with even more mixed feeling than the news of an imminent takeover itself.

Not getting off on the best foot with supporters in Berkshire, a takeover attempt of Bearwood Training Park was the first time the two parties were introduced in March 2024.

Outraged at the separation of the club from its elite training ground, dozens of Reading fans  took to Adams Park to protest the ultimately doomed purchase.

Football is an emotional game, especially in these parts over recent years, but bridges can be built and bygones can just be bygones.

For that to happen, here are three topics that Mr Couhig- or even more generally just a buyer- will need to address.

(Image: jasonpix)


The club’s jewel in its crown, the Academy continues to be a shining light for the club even through the recent struggles. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, almost 100 stars of the past, present and future have graduated through the system to forge careers in the professional game.

Category One status- the highest level an Academy can be in English football-has been the benchmark and continues to be the expectation amongst all associated with the club-.

As recently as two months ago the youngsters were lining up in a Premier League play-off semi-final and lifting a local trophy, showing the talent is still there.

This season should see Europe, with some giants of the game potentially bringing their stars of the future to Berkshire in the Premier League International Cup.

However, it does not come cheap, costing millions every year. Reading are the only team outside the top two divisions with Category One status and finance is usually the reason.

Any new owner will need to come out early on and explain their thinking behind their plans for the youth system and whether the Royals will continue to battle among the elite.

(Image: jasonpix)


Supporters and the wider football world were left bitterly disappointed last week when the club confirmed that it had voluntarily dropped to tier five due to a lack of funding. From finishing fourth in the Women’s Super League and moving the women’s set-up to the same training complex and stadium as their male counterparts, the Royals were among the trailblazers for women’s football in the last 20 years. While the sport is coming on leaps and bounds, Reading have opted to slide back and reverse what has been two decades of blood, sweat and tears.

In another cruel blow to the community, rules stipulate that a Professional Game Academy [PGA] can only be run by teams in the top two tiers, meaning the youth squads from Under-21 down to Under-13 would be scrapped. There are discussions underway on potentially saving the Under-14s and Under-16s, bringing them under the care of the Community Trust, but there are still no guarantees.

With the women’s team remaining under the banner of Reading Football Club, any new owner will need to explain their intentions for the women’s arm of the club and how they intend to continue to grow the sport in the area.


Okay, maybe this point relates predominantly to Mr Couhig more so than any other potential part sniffing around in the background. The bottom line is that many supporters still feel uneasy about the American lawyer due to his perceived involvement in a possible acquisition of Bearwood on March 13.

Whichever side of the fence one sits on, and there are not enough column inches to discuss it in depth, it was poorly communicated. What was communicated even worse, was Mr Couhig’s apparent bemusement that Royals supporters were angry and frustrated with the attempt when addressing the story for the Wycombe Wanderers YouTube.

If he does get a deal over the line and becomes the new owner of Reading Football Club, Mr Couhig needs to get everyone in a room, let all sides be heard and allow the healing process to begin. A disillusionment between owner and fanbase cannot be allowed to fester before he gets a chance to enact change.