Genevra Associates are making another attempt to secure ownership of Reading FC, but there’s an increasing likelihood that the club may face administration. The effort to remove the absent Chinese businessman Dai Yongge from control of the club has gained momentum, with Mike Ashley emerging as a potential contender over the weekend. However, just as there seemed to be a glimmer of hope, more bad news arrived in the form of another winding-up petition.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that HMRC had issued a second petition this year after Reading FC missed another tax payment deadline. Fortunately, the first petition was dismissed after Yongge cleared the outstanding bill. Amid growing uncertainty about the club’s future, a new bid has been presented to Yongge, although it’s unlikely to be accepted.
The latest update on the potential takeover of Reading FC is that Genevra Associates, an investment company based in Luxembourg, has submitted a revised offer to the club. They had previously made an offer a few weeks ago, which Yongge rejected, despite Genevra claiming it was a significant one. Notably, Genevra recently added former Wigan Athletic chairman Talal Al-Hammad to their team, who was part of the Bahraini ownership that guided Wigan to promotion from League One in 2022 but faced financial issues leading to relegation within a year.
However, it appears that Genevra is once again likely to face rejection due to Yongge’s valuation of the club. Other potential buyers may be waiting for the club to enter administration to make more reasonable offers. The chances of Reading going into administration have increased following the latest winding-up order, and it may be only a matter of time before the club is no longer under Yongge’s ownership.
As for Mike Ashley’s involvement, there is speculation about his interest in Reading FC. He had his helicopters land at the club’s stadium complex, and it was reported that he was exploring potential investment. Whether an offer will be presented by the 59-year-old businessman remains uncertain.
Another interested party is William Storey, a controversial businessman who has publicly expressed his desire to purchase the club. However, doubts have arisen about his bid, with reports suggesting that Storey will not be the next owner of Reading FC.