Former AFC Wimbledon boss Mark Bowen will aid Reading’s manager, help them with recruitment and play a part in restructuring the club after being appointed in an executive role at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, according to Berkshire Live.
The 58-year-old is set to be appointed this week after leaving his role at Plough Lane, failing to keep the Dons afloat in League One despite his best efforts and is now taking a step back from management if he does take up this job at the second-tier side.
When Bowen first arrived at the Select Car Leasing Stadium during his first stint at the club, he played a bigger part behind the scenes before stepping up to the head coach role in October 2019, initially starting his tenure positively before seeing his side fall into a poor run of form during the latter stages of that campaign.
Quiz: Which club did Reading FC sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
He was replaced in August 2020 by Veljko Paunovic and was offered a role to remain at the club – but departed in favour of new challenges and took up another head coach role in the third tier with the Dons in March this year.
He now looks set to return to the Royals ahead of what could be a rebuild in Berkshire with several key first-teamers out of contract in less than two months – and a permanent manager is yet to be appointed.
Whether the Welshman will have any say in who the new manager is remains to be seen but he will be tasked with aiding whoever succeeds Paunovic on a permanent basis, play a part in recruitment and help owner Dai Yongge in his potential restructuring of the club.
More footballing heads at the club are needed so bringing in Bowen is a good move from the Royals and their supporters will be hoping he can have full control of the club’s recruitment without any potential influence from elsewhere.
If he can have full control, he has shown before that he can recruit well with two of the club’s best signings in recent years in Michael Morrison and Josh Laurent both arriving when the 58-year-old was at the club.
Within a limited budget then, you could probably back him to get some shrewd deals over the line but there can’t be any influence from the owner or anyone else if he wants to be a success at the club.
That may have been one of his non-negotiables when in talks regarding a potential return to Berkshire – and if he can also play a big role in restructuring the club – the Royals could be on course for a much brighter future.
Without a structure, there’s little chance of success and considering the CEO has rarely communicated with the second-tier side’s supporters, the club will need others to step up and tell fans what the long-term plan is.