Wealthy Chinese brother and sister Dai Yongge and Dai Xui Li are in advanced talks to takeover Reading, and for my liking, it’s too risky a move.
The club have FINALLY entered into a period of stability after three or four years packed with craziness.
We’ve just about recovered from our flirtation with administration following Anton Zingarevich’s desertion of the club in 2013, and with two years of misery over we’re playing good football and winning games.
Behind the scenes and on the pitch, things are finally looking up for Reading.
But that may have just been thrown out the window as rumours swept Berkshire this afternoon that the Royals’ Thai Owners are in advanced talks with Chinese businessmen over a shock takeover.
It will be in the minds of the majority of Reading fans that a fair number of clubs have met their doom with the introduction of new owners, whilst others will dream, looking towards clubs that have reached the height of English football (Manchester City, Southampton, Bournemouth) following a takeover.
The key part of these rumours is that Dai Yongge and Dai Xui Li would be majority shareholders, with the existing owners, the Thais, owning a much smaller part of the club.
This is a little more reassuring, that the owners that have been so sensible (and rather unlucky) over the last couple of years may stick around, but it still represents an enormous risk.
What’s the history behind these guys? What’s their goal for the club, and how are they going to achieve it? What will happen to the plans to build Royal Elm Park? Will Sir John Madejski have a role? What part will the Thais play? How trigger-happy are they with managers? These are all pretty significant questions that will, for me, definitely have to be answered before I’m totally okay with a takeover.
The Thais are far from perfect. They aren’t massively rich (in football terms), but they also aren’t crazy – and that’s what scares me: craziness.
My biggest fear is for an owner to step in and have an agenda that is just completely wrong and sticks to it religiously until we find ourselves in the relegation zone in League Two (like Leyton Orient, who’s owners were linked with a move for Reading before the Thai’s stepped in in 2014).
That’s really what I want guaranteed from these new guys: Sensibility.
We’re doing well as a club at the moment, and yes, the flashing of lights of an increased budget would be extremely nice, but is it worth risking the club for? That might be a tad over the top, but it’s not unrealistic.
At the beginning of the summer, I thought this year is so important.
It can go one of two ways from here, we get relegated and slowly decline into obscurity, or we can finish above twelfth and move upwards again.
There are no guarantees that it’s one or the other at this point, especially with a takeover on the horizon.
We have to tread extremely carefully.
Many would say the best thing Jaap Stam’s done at Reading so far is calm everything down and add some stabilisation, and it’s seen us rocket up the table.
Would it really be wise to inject ourselves with more craziness at a really key point in the club’s history? I’m less than convinced.
I need a lot of assurances before I’m totally for this takeover, and a large part of me hopes it really doesn’t happen.
The Thais are fine, the jackpot with these (potential) new owners is large but scattered with risk, and I’m extremely pessimistic as to whether it’s worth it.
If a change is to come, let’s all just hope we’re lucky.
Reading fans… Do you agree with this? What do you make of the owners? Are you happy with the Thais? Let us know in the comments below!