William Storey has harbored a long-standing aspiration to acquire a football club, and recent reports suggest that his wish is about to be fulfilled. According to the Telegraph, it appears that Reading Football Club is on the cusp of being purchased by the British businessman in a £50 million agreement.
It is reported that Storey has committed to clearing the club’s £50 million debt and has vowed to invest in the team’s roster once a transfer embargo is lifted. As the CEO of the Rich Energy drinks brand, Storey is now expected to undergo the fit and proper owners test conducted by the EFL. Critics of Storey point to this assessment as a crucial step given the more stringent nature of the test in recent years.
However, at this point, Storey, previously known for Rich Energy’s contentious sponsorship of the Haas Formula One team, has apparently reached terms to acquire the club from the current unpopular owner, Yongge Dai. His desire to own a football club has been no secret, as he has previously made unsuccessful attempts to purchase clubs in the English Football League, including Sunderland in 2020 and Coventry City last year.
In a recent Twitter statement, Storey expressed his respect for Reading’s former chairman, Sir John Madejski, and encouraged his support for the next owner of the club. He also emphasized the importance of recognizing Dai Yongge’s substantial efforts and financial contributions to the club.
Nevertheless, uncertainties persist regarding how Storey intends to finance this acquisition. Records on Companies House, the UK website for limited companies’ end-of-term accounts, reveal that he has held director roles in seven companies, all of which have since been dissolved or liquidated. Additionally, critics have labeled Storey as a risk-taker, but he has staunchly defended his intentions, expressing his aversion to conformity and an inclination to break away from clichés and expectations.