Skip to content

Bearwood. A view from the other side.

As you will gather from my "name" I am a Reading FC supporter, and have seen them play in all four tiers as well as the Third Division South. That should show you how long I have followed my club. When I started going to Elm Park our rivals were that team from along the A4 (now the M4) and that lot from the barrack town over the border in Hampshire. Then someone let that lot from that city up the Thames in the League and joined in my list of most hated clubs. Strangely, when that team from up in those hills, Wycombe Wanderers, joined the League, I was pleased to see them and have always treated them as friendly rivals, as I think most of your fans do. My club was once a club that was well run by John Madejski, but since then have been owned by asset strippers. Firstly, The Thais who sold the land outside the Stadium to themselves to build a housing/retail development, from which the club will get no benefit. Then came this Chinese bloke, Dai Yongge who has taken us to a new low. during his tenure we have been docked eighteen points and are still under a transfer embargo for the year or two. Reading FC are on the brink of going out of business after over 150 years of ups and downs, the nearest we have been to oblivion since Maxwell' attempt to "merge" with O*F***. (that is the only time I have agreed with their fans). Reading have built an amazing academy which has served us well keeping up a supply of young players as we are only allowed to sign free agents or free transfers, thanks to Dai. Some of these players have as you know played for you team and have done well, in most cases. So, please don't get too upset, if our fans got angry with our owner and you got caught in the crossfire. Our owner recently said he was looking to sell the club. stadium and training ground as one package. A few weeks later he announced he would be open to offers for Bearwood on it's own. Then within 48 hours it was almost a done deal to sell to Wycombe Wanderers! Whilst no one, other than Dai, really knows if the academy players are part of the sale as details are not available. It appears that the training ground does not belong to Reading FC but to a company owned by Dai Tongge,. Will my club ever see any of the proceeds from the sale? Maybe enough to see us thought this season, but Dai will then liquidate us, as he has done to TWO other clubs, one in Belgium the other in China, a unique hat trick in football that will be. Even if we do survive to next season, I can't see Dai showing that he has the funds to complete next season, leaving the EFL with no option but to expel us from the League.

As Dai Yongge has be proven to be a liar and totally untrustworthy, I hope your lawyers will be on the ball as it appears that Bearwood's planning consent was for "the sole use of Reading FC" no doubt to prevent the club to hire out pitches to Rugby/hockey clubs for them to use for matches. When this agreement between Wycombe and Dai was announced it was revelled that buyers walked away as there were under the impression that the training ground was included in their bids.

As Dai Yongge has been proven a liar and totally untrustworthy I hope you lawyers will take the utmost care when dealing with him and will expect the goalposts to be moved at the last minute, as happened last year when a different group of buyers walked out.

As the Reading FC website made it clear that they are talks with Wycombe Wanderers i cannot help but wonder how you will be able to afford to run it, as it seems we are unable to as the latest group to be rumoured (and that is all it is at the moment - a rumour) does not and never did want the training ground included. So if we see none of the money from this deal, which is quite likely, don't be surprised if you hear angry noises coming across the border or if you see wry smiles from former Reading supporters faces if the expense of running Bearwood puts you in the position we are now in.

In the meantime all the best for the rest of this season and hopefully we will both survive and meet in the Championship or better still in the Premier League. Thanks for reading al through this.



  • Thanks for that Biccy, it is an awful situation and it has been sad to see that many supporters (from both clubs) have failed to rise above pathetic tribal behaviour and whataboutery when there are so many more important things at stake. For both clubs and for football.

    To be honest, we really don’t understand what’s going on. There’s plenty of conjecture but hardly any of it is based on fact and I’m sure we’ll all understand more in the days and months to come. We do need to hear much, much more from the people involved.

    This may all turn out to be a good thing for both clubs, good for one and bad for the other or bad for both. Frankly, I’m buggered if I know which outcome it will be at the current time.

    The biggest head scratcher for Wycombe fans is how on earth are we funding such a huge capital investment and how we will fund its ongoing operating costs.

    It seems well beyond the financial muscle of our current owners or our current business model, although we understand that an extremely wealthy Georgian businessman called Mikhail Lomtadze is seeking to invest in our club - and I would speculate, is intending to take over ownership of it in due course.

    So ultimately what we probably have (and again I’m speculating) is a transaction between an extremely wealthy Chinese man who is looking to get out of football and an extremely wealthy Georgian man who is looking to get into football. With this transaction being carried in public under the names of Reading and Wycombe Wanderers Football Clubs.

    But where it all goes from there, I’ve really no idea. And it’s equally unclear whether any of the proceeds of sale will ever benefit Reading (and whether the sale itself will ultimately benefit Wycombe) but I do hope there’s a way through all of this for the Royals that gives you the opportunity to make a new start and we can get back to being rivals on the pitch instead of off it.

  • No, I didn't until now. I thought it was because your owner just decided to close them down. I'm afraid.

  • As you say let us all hope this leads to being rivals (and friendly ones) when the dust settles on all this mess.

  • I have a lot of sympathy for your plight and it would seem your owner having pumped in well over £100M is now looking to recuperate as much as possible. Football is broken and unless you have owner upon owner willing to lose £20-30M a season (Championship) to be competitive then this issue will reoccur time and time again.

    At present we seem to know very little about the deals going on behind the scenes but I can guarantee it is not Wycombe Wanderers FC who will be buying the training ground. We can't afford it, neither can our American owner (he has already had to take a loan from the Georgian this season of around 750k), though he might be able to put a consortium together including the Georgian, who will of course buy the training ground in a separate company name and quite possibly lease it back to Wycombe Wanderers FC and quite possibly Reading FC. All speculation.

    I have a question for you personally. How do you feel about Bearwood Golf Club who had been on your training ground site for 40 years (leased) being turfed out when Reading FC purchased the land and they were then given notice to vacate the land your training ground now stands on. Bearwood GC folded and the clubhouse is still used as part of your training facility.

    As Arnos Grove has eluded to we have been in your situation and cut our cloth accordingly and our fans took over the club and ran it for 6/7 years on a shoestring.

    I do hope you find buyers and you manage to avoid further points deductions and administration.

  • edited March 17

    @theRoyalBiscuit I think you very much sum up the fears of many Wycombe fans. We have no idea whatsoever where this money is coming from, but it's obvious Wycombe Wanderers don't have that money and our owner doesn't have that money, so the safest bet is that it's a Georgian billionaire who's recently become involved in the background. We have not a clue of his plans with regards either the club or the training ground. One thing I am confident on, is that it's not the football club who is buying this facility, even if we end up training there! Very worrying times for both clubs to be honest.

    Purely from a business point of view, this does make sense from a Wycombe standpoint. We don't own our training ground (a complicated story in itself!) and it's been widely publicised that we've been looking for a new site for a number of years. Having another club take over a training facility isn't without precedent, I believe Preston took over Wigan's training ground when they were in financial difficulties a few years back. If we take away the financial aspects, this is a great opportunity for us. I can't imagine that morals will play any part in the discussions, no matter what fans of both clubs think.

    The hostile reaction from some Reading fans seemed very odd to me. Whilst I can fully understand their worries (we were there ourselves a few years back). For me this is a case of 2 historic clubs both being used as fronts for property deals whilst the fans of both clubs look on helpless to do anything about it.

    Our owner Rob Couhig, who to be fair is generally quite open with the fans, I understand is hosting a Q&A later in the week. Hopefully some questions will be answered then, although I suspect that it will lead to several more unanswered question.

    Hope all works out for Reading. To me it looks like the possible sale of the training ground has helped with the possible takeover if recent reports are accurate. I hope that is the case. I hope things work out for us also, but worry in the long term it might be Wycombe who come off worse from all this.

  • Here are a few players who the club lost when the academy folded or we had to sell for peanuts to survive in that period. You will see a pattern and your club where quite happy to capitalise on our misfortune 12 years ago.

    Danny Loader Free to Reading

    Kortney Hause (50k) to Wolves

    Tyler Goodhram Free to Reading

    Charles Dunne 50k to Blackpool

    Matty Phillips £1M Sell on Fee Lost due to financial position.

  • I hope the interest from the American consortium is actually genuine and you can acquire an owner who is actually interested in football. I really think Reading FC could bounce back from this and push forward up the leagues, as the setup is well above that of League 1.

    All the very best.

  • @wwfcblue That's a really good point! I'd completely forgotten about that! No problem with Reading at all offering these kids a chance, but it really does show up the hypocrisy of the '"vultures" comments coming from a few of their fans. They were more than happy to pick up our young talent on the cheap, when we were in financial meltdown.

    Fairly sure the list was longer than that as well. Matty Cash for sure was one of those released.

  • Yes, Matty was one too. The five listed were what I could remember in 5 minutes.

    I am sure we had lots more who left and went to Reading for nothing but never made the grade or I just can't remember them.

  • I think kicking out an established golf club was not our finest hour, far from it! We already had a training ground at Hopwood Park and I thought that could have been developed. I think it was the Thai's that purchased Bearwood, but I may be wrong there, but they insisted that Hopwood was not viable. No doubt they got more cash that way what with the sale of Hopwood for housing and the increased value of the club with an undeveloped training ground

  • Scott Davies, Simon Church and Alex McCarthy are all former WWFC academy players who have gone to Reading on the cheap over the years.

  • I get the impression that a lot of Reading fans don’t know our history or understand our position.

  • You're right about the Thais and Bearwood, one of them is still a Director of the company that owns the training ground and has been since 2014. Hopwood was sold for £13M

  • I think Tyler Goodrham went to Oxford United when our academy had to be closed. He’s certainly there now and was called up last August to the Republic of Ireland U21 squad. Still only 20 and doing very well.

  • They were all before we had to cut our cloth accordingly. Simon Church went to Reading as part of the Tyson deal.

  • He went from our youth set up to Readings in 2012, I think Oxford picked him up in 2016/17.

  • @theRoyalBiscuit I sympathise with Reading fans but the complete lack of self awareness is where I struggle.

    Typical responses from Reading fans have been ranging from threats of violence, arson, match disruption, indignation that a poxy little club could have these facilities, and just general obnoxious behaviour towards Wycombe, its’s fans, its owners, the family of the owners.

    This has been a slow car crash for you guys. The time lines of the people throwing hate in our direction will also contain demands to sign top players. You signed half a dozen players in the summer on 3 year contracts. You have a training facility you cannot fund. But all of this is our fault all of a sudden.

    We have been lurching on the edge of disaster for ten years. But the football family was nowhere to be seen for us. Our youth set up was stopped and Reading were among the clubs that benefited. Blackpool f’d us for a sell on fee. Our training ground was sold for magic beans. We had a squad of 12 players and no youth setup. And you were paying Andy Carroll more than our annual wage bill. But yeah Wycombe are the bad guys.

    We don’t know where the funding is coming from for this deal. You don’t know if this deal is between two unrelated parties that our outside of the football club. You don’t know if you NEED us to buy this place to get it out of the new takeover. But we are the bad guys.

    I’m sorry but I’m sure there’s lots of decent Reading fans out there but from what I’ve seen this week is a lot of self-righteous a holes with zero self awareness and no understanding whatsoever that their addiction to get back the Premier League is at the root of all this.

    Think I’m wrong? Even today on social media I read with delight how news of this Saudi backed takeover could bring in tons of cash to sign new players to propel you back to the top tier. Pay your bills first, the rest of us do.

  • Those idiots on Social media are just that, idiots. We are under an embargo, so haw can bringing in tons of cash do us any good, when we can't spend it on players? I would be interested in knowing your source regarding Andy Carroll's wages. The embargo we are under and have been for years, thanks to a stupid owner, also means we have a maximum wage limit.

  • Ok if not Carroll then Hendrick or Moore? As I said this is not an overnight shock. Your business plan has been jam tomorrow for years.

  • At the start of the 19/20 season rumours were we would be looking at a wage budget of £1.3-1.5M for the season in League One when we were fan run, the previous season had been around £1.8M. In 19/20 you had at least two players on this kind of figure in John Swift and Liam Moore.

    Andy Carroll played for a few months at £1000 a week basic wage to get his career back on track but I suspect that was improved on when funds became available.

  • Derby seem to have managed ok despite being under an embargo. I guess they replace transfer fees with tasty salaries.

  • Reading were spending 200% of their turnover on wages at one point while in the Championship. You could see this situation coming an absolute mile off.

  • F’ing Couhig family!!!! They have killed Reading. 🤡 show

  • Derby County filed accounts a few days ago.

    They lost £10.6M last season on a turnover of £20M. Total debts are £48M with £36M owed to Clowes, this £36M has not been written off, though he has written off around £20M. Its an interest free loan of £36M, in the same way Morris loaned the club money.

  • Don’t get me started about that sh1t show morally bankrupt lot. But once again it wasn’t their fault. HMRC, EFL, Wycombe etc were all to blame.

Sign In or Register to comment.