Mike Ashley claim made amid Reading FC links | OneFootball

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Football League World

·3 December 2023

Mike Ashley claim made amid Reading FC links

Article image:Mike Ashley claim made amid Reading FC links

Mike Ashley is keen to be involved in Reading but only as their stadium landlord now rather than an owner, according to The Sun.

The former Newcastle United owner has been linked with the Royals for weeks now, with Frasers Group helicopters landing at the stadium a number of weeks ago.

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That increased speculation about a potential takeover, with many supporters keen to see Ashley take control of the club considering the experience he has.

However, it's unclear how close he is or was to sealing a deal with current owner Dai Yongge, who seems to be ready to sell up following a turbulent six-year spell at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

He looked set to miss out on exclusivity with Genevra Associates previously close to signing an exclusivity agreement, but it's unclear whether that deal has collapsed or is still in progress at this stage.

There hasn't been a further update on the story at this point - and that could have given Ashley some encouragement if he wanted to buy the club and not just the stadium.

Ashley is reportedly keen on buying the stadium, according to The Sun.

He has done the same at Championship side Coventry City - but it's currently unclear whether owner Dai is keen to sell the stadium along with the rest of the club.

There have been conflicting reports about Ashley's interest though, with The Telegraph previously reporting that Ashley had made an official bid to take control of the whole club.

He has been without a club since leaving St James' Park - and may want to get back into the game again.

If he isn't going to take control of the club, many supporters won't want him to have control of the stadium.

Ideally, the owner of the club will buy the stadium and put it into the Royals' name, which will all but ensure the club can play their games there no matter what.

At the moment, the Royals don't have control of the SCL Stadium and that isn't ideal, so Genevra Associates or whoever gets exclusivity should be looking to buy the stadium along with the club, even if that means paying a bit extra.

Not having control over a stadium could cause real problems and instability, so for the sake of the Royals' next owner(s), a deal needs to be struck to ensure the arena belongs to the club again.

That potential instability could have a major impact on the pitch. The Royals' off-field problems have taken their toll on it in the past.

Ashley could be a decent owner if he's interested in the football side too, but he should listen to the supporters if he takes control.

They have been through so much in recent years - and need someone who can come in and make a positive impact in Berkshire.

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