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How much does Reading FC’s squad cost compare to all other Championship sides?

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Championship side Reading have overspent since Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li’s takeover of the club back in 2017, a period that has proven to be costly for the Royals.

The Berkshire outfit had built well within a limited budget in the summer of 2016 under Brian Tevreden and this led to their third-place finish and appearance in the play-off final – but their period of spending during the summer after that defeat at Wembley wasn’t fruitful for them.

Forking out a club-record fee for then-Fulham winger Sone Aluko didn’t pay dividends and one of their only successful additions from that window was Modou Barrow, who played a big part in keeping the Royals afloat in the second tier during the 2017/18 campaign.

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That window summed up the Royals though in terms of the fact they have rarely benefitted from big-money moves. Record signings of the past in Emerse Fae, Tiago Ilori and Aluko haven’t really worked out for the best, although Ilori was probably the most successful addition of the trio despite not making a huge impact at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

The second-tier side’s current record addition is George Puscas, who arrived from Inter Milan for a reported fee of £8m back in the summer of 2019 but has struggled to adapt to life in Berkshire.

To sum up his struggles perfectly, he was even shipped out on loan in January to Serie B outfit Pisa and many Reading supporters will be hoping they can sell him on permanently when the summer comes along.

He is just one of a number of players who haven’t provided value for money at the Select Car Leasing Stadium in recent years, so it may come as a relief to many that they have been restricted in what they can spend in the past couple of windows by their transfer embargo.

Some of their most successful additions in recent years have been on free transfers with Andy Yiadom, Michael Morrison and Josh Laurent all establishing themselves as key first-teamers.

Several of their academy graduates including Tom McIntyre, Tom Holmes and Andy Rinomhota have also established themselves as recent starters, minimising their spending and maximising their revenue in the process with Michael Olise sealing an £8m move to Crystal Palace last year.

These factors and the fact they have managed to offload several players in the last 12 months including Aluko and Sam Baldock has stopped them from being higher in the spending table in the second tier.

Their total squad cost is £23.7m according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire, the 13th highest in comparison to other sides in the division and considering the likes of Yiadom, Laurent and John Swift all arrived on free transfers, they will be disappointed they aren’t currently doing a lot better than they are right now despite their points deduction, currently sitting in 21st place in the actual league table.

Two of the three teams sitting below them have spent considerably less in Peterborough United (£4.6m) and Barnsley (£8.8m), though Derby County (£62.5m) have spent nearly three times what the Royals have.

Nonetheless, the Rams can be forgiven considering they were deducted 15 points more than Paul Ince’s men this term.

League leaders Fulham (£233m) have spent nearly ten times more than the Berkshire outfit so it could be argued the latter have little chance of competing with the Cottagers, but they will still be disappointed that they aren’t higher in the division. Even without their deduction, they would only be sitting in 20th and that’s an underachievement considering the amount they have forked out for players in recent years.

If the last five years has taught the Royals anything, it’s the fact they should be looking to unearth hidden gems instead of paying big bucks for players who may end up underperforming.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: How much does Reading FC’s squad cost compare to all other Championship sides?

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