Reading FC – The Takeover Saga Continues

After a disappointing end to the season, and months of uncertainty at board level, it has got to the point now where Reading fans are looking for answers and a resolution sooner rather than later to give us a fighting chance next season to get back to the Premier League.

It all seemed so perfect. Anton Zingarevich was described as the perfect match. Deep pockets, a link to Reading, and what seemed to be a real desire to take this club forward. Fast forward a year and it all seemed to go horribly wrong. The Russian, shortly after the birth of his first child, seemed to disappear and lose interest completely, leaving two board members Andrew Obolenksy and Chris Samuelson representing Thames Sports Investment. Unable to do much in the transfer window in January, and barely affording to pay some players wages, it seemed that everything had hit rock bottom. It’s fair to say that under different circumstances Nigel Adkins could have achieved more, but you have to feel sorry for the manager who was promised a much different scenario to the one which he has faced.

We come to the summer, which seemed to start off completely the way we didn’t want. The club, from the vague reports we as fans receive, seemed in financial difficulty. Adam Le Fondre quickly moving to Cardiff to apparently pay off tax bills which were owed, and the club being for sale for a measly £1 due to the enormous debts any potential owner would have to take on. However, in the last couple of weeks the future has also started to look brighter for the Royals. Youngters Michael Hector and Jake Taylor have put pen to paper on new deals, and TSI Board Members Samuelson and Obolensky have departed, (hopefully) taking their silly pay packets off the wage bill.

So, onto the potential new owners. The two most documented being Israeli, Teddy Sagi, 41 years of age and the founder of Playtech and Mohit Burman, and Indian Businessman who already owns a few sports teams including Kings XI Punjab IPL Cricket Team. Sagi, according to reports, is the favoured bidder. However, it seems not to fans. Sagi seems to have much bigger plans for the club in terms of real estate, such as shopping centres, flats on the old training ground, and possibly a new hotel. He would also keep the current board in place. Burman, however, is keen to install a new board and bring in a fresh start. He is very keen to protect and continue the growth of the Academy, personally I believe that is a huge part of this club. In the eyes of the fans, it seems that Burman would be in for all the right reasons, whereas Sagi, although would be beneficial to club, cares less about whats going on on the field and more about money he can make off it. Mohit Burman is certainly my preferred buyer, but everything will become more clear in the next couple of weeks. Sagi has already met with Sir John Madejski and Burman is flying into the UK tomorrow, with the aim of holding talks in the next few days.

Although Sir John has stated there is funding in place to take this club forward before the takeover is completed, I am not so sure. I think this needs a resolution as soon as possible so that Adkins has suitable funding to take this club forward next season and give the Championship a really good go. It hangs in the balance at the moment, but what will the future hold for club?