Reading FC

I have been saddened to read of the financial difficulties of Reading FC and to see the understandableĀ  impatience ofĀ  fans with the owner and management. I have not made any public statements as government has no powers to intervene in these matters and it would be wrong to suggest government can find a solution to the difficulties of paying the wages and tax bills and creating more harmony between owner and fans. Reading FC is regulated by the FA.

The Club owner needs to understand that the financial value of the club depends on a strong and loyal fan base willing to buy plenty of tickets for matches and club merchandise. A team is more likely to play well and boost fan numbers if there is no financial problem hanging over them.Ā  If an owner cannot get the fans on board and motivate players it is usually best for a new owner to take over. The goodwill and support of the fans is crucial.

A few have written to me hoping regulation could put things right. The government has consulted on introducing a new independent regulator with powers to intervene over issues likeĀ  financing aĀ  club and its ownership. It has promised legislation in due course following more detailed discussions with clubs and the authorities.Ā  It will need to balance club independence allowing themĀ  to make often expensive decisions that offer the prospect of better results, with Regulator worries about overspendingĀ  on players, managementĀ  and facilities and over the stability of income.Ā  The legislation is not imminent and is unlikely to be retrospective, so itĀ  cannot deal with the urgent issues currently facing Reading FC.


  1. James Morley
    March 18, 2024

    I think this is fair and objective advice, we should not turn any football club into a nationalised industry.

  2. Karim
    March 18, 2024

    Markedly less off hand than the emails previously sent in response to this, but still overlooking the various ways in which he could – and other bordering MPs and councillors in the area already have – be proactive to protect the jobs of hundreds, and community asset for thousands.

    No one expects you to take the club over yourself, but showing a modicum of understanding in the process that is taking place, or the impact on the community, would have been a good start.

  3. Brian Veillard
    March 18, 2024

    Please,please, not another Regulator to screw thing up.

  4. […] John Redwood posted a blog on Monday, March 18, where he set out his views on the issues facing the […]

  5. Bloke
    March 19, 2024

    A majority of people interested in sport are happy knowing little or nothing about games like football, ping pong and tiddlywinks.

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