Championship outfit Reading are set to appoint former manager Mark Bowen in an executive off-field role ahead of the summer transfer window, according to Berkshire Live journalist Jonathan Low.
The 58-year-old was previously manager of the Royals after taking the reins from Jose Gomes in October 2019, previously working behind the scenes at the Select Car Leasing Stadium but stepping up to the managerial role.
He was then given the opportunity to carry the Berkshire side through until the end of the 2019/20 season, managing to steer them to safety following a poor start to the campaign under Gomes.
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Enduring an underwhelming end to that term, he looked as though he would get another chance to take the second-tier side forward – but was replaced in August 2020 by Veljko Paunovic shortly before the start of 2020/21.
He was offered a different role to remain at the club – but rejected that and seemingly spent time away from the game before taking up the head coach role at then-League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon.
He was unable to guide the Dons to safety and was reported to have left Plough Lane in favour of a role higher up the English football pyramid.
And it has now been revealed that the Welshman will take up an executive role at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, potentially playing a big part in the Royals’ upcoming rebuild this summer.
This would be an excellent addition for the Royals who will need someone behind the scenes to help Paul Ince or his potential successor, because they are looking at the prospect of needing to rebuild their squad with so many key first-teamers out of contract.
When pre-season starts, the permanent manager will need to focus on their existing squad and this means it will be impossible to get any remaining transfer business over the line, something Bowen may be able to help with.
He may not be an accountant – but that’s CEO Dayong Pang’s department. Bowen is a footballing man and they need more football-based heads behind the scenes so this could be a game-changing appointment in Berkshire.
The 58-year-old was at the club when Josh Laurent signed on the dotted line and the Royals are desperately in need of more gems like the ex-Shrewsbury Town man so it will be interesting to see what role he plays.
Towards the end of Paunovic’s tenure, it was clear they needed a voice from behind the scenes to answer difficult questions about the club’s off-field situation and this is something Bowen can do.