A letter sent to the English Football League from Reading Borough Council has been published.

Reading Borough Council issued a letter to the English Football League, which was published.
For nearly a year, the Council has worked with the protest group ‘Sell Before We Dai’ to remove owner Dai Yongge and ensure Reading Football Club’s long-term existence.

One method they’ve done this is through an Asset of Community Value order, which protects the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

A letter to EFL head Rick Parry was sent after a motion was passed last month’stating its worry at the continuous failure of the Club’s current owner to administer it in a sustainable and proper way.

Dai Yongge's Reading FC valuation emerges amid takeover interest |  OneFootball

See the letter below in full, signed by CEO Jackie Yates: 



“Dear Mr. Parry.

I’m writing to you on behalf of Reading Borough Council, Reading citizens, and the tens of thousands of enthusiastic Reading Football Club supporters in our city and beyond. Reading Football Club is one of England’s oldest clubs, having been founded in 1871. Reading Council is proud of the Club’s history and the significant economic, cultural, and community contributions it has given to our town over the previous 153 years. Recent occurrences at the Club have caused the Council tremendous concern, both in terms of our regulatory responsibility and as community leaders.

“The Council took the unprecedented step of classifying the Stadium as an Asset of Community Value in October 2023 as one of the options it can take to protect the Club.

“At its meeting on January 30, 2024, the Council passed a motion expressing concern about the Club’s current owner’s ongoing failure to run it in a sustainable and proper manner, as evidenced by the ongoing and repeated English Football League sanctions against both the Club and its owner. The motion further requested that you and the EFL take steps to end Dai Yongge’s ownership of Reading FC, requiring him to sell the club to new owners who have a serious long-term commitment to the team and the town.

“The Council welcomes your recent comments on behalf of the EFL to the Culture, Media and Sports Committee in January 2024. You said ‘we want a new owner. We want a resolution to the problem.’ You also said that the EFL was ‘exploring every avenue…to punish the owner in an attempt to force a resolution.’ I would also suggest however, that the EFL needs to reflect on its due diligence processes ahead of appointing any new owner.

“The Council urges the EFL to act on its commitment and to work with the Department for Business and Trade, Department of Culture, Media and Sport and with our local MPs to find a speedy Parliamentary mechanism to do so. However, it is critical that any actions against the owner do not further disadvantage the Club itself.

“The fan-led campaign, Sell Before We Dai, illustrates the strength of feeling from fans and the town that action needs to be taken. It’s imperative the EFL and the future Independent Regulator take the necessary action to end Dai Yongge’s ownership of Reading FC, obliging him to sell the club to new owners with a serious long term commitment to the club and the town.

“We look forward to being advised of the actions being taken to develop a sustainable future for Reading FC and delivering a more robust model of football governance. This is not just a matter of safeguarding one EFL club. It is about safeguarding each and every one of the 72. The clubs are integral parts of their communities’ history, wellbeing and identity.

“Reading Football Club recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, Reading Borough Council, its communities and the club’s many supporters are seeking urgent action from the EFL to ensure that Reading Football Club has the opportunity to thrive for another 150 years.”

The planned protest march in London on Sunday has been postponed, and no additional disruptions are expected for forthcoming matches.


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