In-fiscal-soup-Reading change of guard likely


Reading FC owner in talks over club and stadium sale Image: Madejski Stadium, Andrew Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0

The English Football League (EFL) League One club Reading F.C. (UK) are in “exclusive negotiations” with a buyer after the Owner Dai Yongge committed to a letter of intent.

‘BBC SPORT’ stated that both the parties will now try to agree to the final terms which could take up to two months, the League One club confirmed.

Preston (UK)-based the English Football League (EFL) is a league of professional football clubs from England and Wales (UK). Founded in 1888 as the Football League, it is the oldest football league in the world and was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split from it to form the Premier League, the highest level of the English football league system. The Football League was rebranded as the ‘English Football League’ (EFL) from the 2016-2017 seasons.

The Reading Football Club is a professional football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England (UK). They compete in EFL League One, the third level of the English football league system. They play their home matches at the Madejski Stadium.

The 24,161-capacity Madejski Stadium, currently named the Select Car Leasing Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is a football stadium in Reading, UK. It is the home of Reading Football Club, who plays in the EFL League One.

A letter of intent is a document outlining the understanding between two or more parties which they intend to formalize in a legally binding agreement. The concept is similar to a heads of agreement, term sheet or memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The sale will include Dai’s shareholding in ‘The Royals’, the stadium and the Bearwood Park training ground.

‘BBC SPORT’ further stated that Reading, who are six points above the drop zone, have had six points deducted this season for financial breaches while Dai tries to sell the club.

One of the interested parties – Genevra Associates – is no longer in negotiations as they were not willing to lend money to the club prior to the English Football League (EFL) approval.

Mamer (Luxembourg)-based the Genevra Associates is a dynamic investment management company dedicated to empowering its clients with access to unique and uncorrelated investment opportunities with unparalleled transparency.

This money would have covered the shortfall that was present in March’s financial accounts at the club, which stands at about £1m.

The fan-led protest group Sell Before We Dai shared their optimism at the announcement. The group sent out a statement which read, “Naturally, we are delighted to see movement on the sale of the club. As always with statements from Dai, it provides as many questions as answers. This season we have been on an emotional rollercoaster, we implore the potential buyer to reach out when they can and provide reassurances.”

The Sell Before We Dai is a fan-led pressure group pushing to encourage the Reading F.C. Owner Dai Yongge to sell up to a new owner before more damage is done to the club they know and love. Their objective is for a secure and sustainable future for the Reading F.C.

Reading said completion of a deal is expected to take up to two months, and the purchaser’s identity would not be confirmed before then.

Said Tim Dellor, BBC Radio Berkshire’s Reading Commentator, “The above news will be felt around the country. Today (March 26th) is a significant day, we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel after a difficult few years. The bills can now be paid by the new party which is important, it’ll calm everyone down and hopefully the takeover will come to fruition.”

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