We thought the season just gone was bad, then the offseason goes and makes everything worse.
Gone is Player of the Season Adam Federici, gone is vice-captain Alex Pearce, and—let's face it—pretty much gone is club captain Jem Karacan. Throw into the mix the fact that the management haven't even discussed a transfer budget for the summer when the window has already opened and you'd be forgiven for thinking the club are on a very slippery slope.
Yet recent departure Alex Pearce reckons it's not all that bad.
He told the Reading Chronicle:
"I've moved on, Feds has moved on and if Jem moves on then that's three home-grown players who would've left, so maybe it's time for Reading to move on themselves, have a real reshuffle and get some players in over the summer, which I hope they can.
"They need to improve the squad in certain areas but there's a good nucleus, some good players and a really good manager in Steve Clarke.
"He'll be looking to do as well as possible with the players he's got and hopefully they'll do well.
Wait for it, cue Pearce's emotional farewell:
"I think with everything in life there is a time to move on and that time has come with me.
"I've got nothing but fond memories of Reading as a football club and I'll always thank them for giving me my chance before I went on to play over 200 games for such a great club.
"I just want to thank the fans, the players, the managers and coaches that I've played with and I wish them all the best for the future.
"I felt the time was right to move on. I'm 26 and ready for this change. I am joining a club with ambition to go to the next level and stay there. It's a perfect fit and hopefully it'll go well."
It remains to be seen just how much of a "reshuffle" the club are able to pull out of the pack, considering what we know at this point in time. Still, here's hoping we're all surprised and Alex's dream comes true:
"Reading and Derby finishing in the automatic places would be great."
Yes, Alex, yes it would.