“Lowest Of Lows” – Reading FC Fan Reacts To Prospective Sale Of Club Training Ground

On Monday afternoon, Reading owner Dai Yongge released a statement confirming that he was open to selling the team’s Bearwood Park training facility to secure funding until a full sale of the club can be concluded.

The news felt like a dagger in the hearts of many fans, having endured a gruelling year supporting the club, following a relatively unsurprising relegation from the Championship, numerous points deductions, several transfer embargoes and continuous fan protests.

However, what was not expected was that Reading would find a buy merely days later. As fans prepared for bed on Wednesday night, news dropped that the club had agreed a deal with the devil, selling Bearwood to local rivals Wycombe Wanderers.

Reading opened up the state-of-the-art facility in 2019 in Bearwood Estate for a reported £50 million. Speaking in a club statement at the time, Yongge said, “Bearwood Park will help bring Reading Football Club even closer together.” Yet, five years later, the ownership has never been further apart from the demands of supporters.

Moving the club to Bearwood Park seemed like an eyebrow-raising sign of ambition from a wealthy owner with aspirations of taking the side back to the Premier League after years of languishing in the Championship. Now, Reading are seemingly set to part ways with this ambitious institution.

Given the club’s cash-strapped situation and rapid decline down the English football pyramid, Bearwood was undoubtedly Reading’s most valuable asset but this has now been pawned off to ensure that the ownership can meet ongoing financial obligations.

Amid the uncertainty of the future of Reading, The Real EFL spoke to Johnny Hunt, the organiser of Talking Royals, an online peer support group, to discuss the news which rumbled Berkshire over the past 24 hours.

“Today has reached the lowest of lows, selling off one of the best training facilities in the country, that has a Category 1 status, which is now probably going to go,” Hunt said.

“I don’t think any Reading fan, any football fan, would have seen that one coming. I’m in total shock, the fanbase is in total shock. How low can you go from there?

“It’s been agreed, they’ve gone into the final stages. Nobody knew it was happening, nobody saw it coming. It makes no sense as a fan, selling the asset you need the most to complete a full sale.

“I don’t know where the hell the club is going from here. I can’t even imagine what will happen next, if he’s taking the money or if it’s going back into the club,” he continued.

“It cost £50 million to build Bearwood and it’s an amazing facility that I’ve seen when they were building it, top range. And that’s where we’ve now come to as a club, basically in a jumble sale to get rid of whatever assets that we’ve got because of the owner that’s destroying our club, and no one cares apart from the fans, players, the coaches and the background staff.

“It’s horrific, it really is. We just don’t know where we’re going to go from here and that’s the scary part. We’ve had so many [lows] over this journey, but this is a different level. I’m still trying to get my head round it.

“It’s a sad day in our history, saddest for a long time”.

Despite the turmoil off the pitch, the Royals are still deep-rooted in a relegation scrap in League One, currently sitting just five points above the drop zone with a huge fixture at the Select Car Leasing Stadium still to come this Saturday against Cambridge United.

Survival in the third tier is the sole aim for Ruben Selles, and his crop of young warriors will have undying support from the stands, with fans willing the players on as a final beacon of hope amid the lowest point in the club’s recent history.

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About Adam Scully 1043 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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