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Reading FC In Fresh Takeover Talks

Reports suggest that a Chinese sibling pair are in advanced discussions to buy a majority stake in the club.

Reading v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League
Don't worry, he's not back!
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Where do we begin with this one, then?

What we know: The basics

Getreading are reporting of that Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Lu are in talks with Reading's current consortium of owners regarding the purchase of a majority stake in the club. What's more, the discussions are set to be at an advanced stage and there is even the chance that another Chinese consortium and an American consortium have been in touch over investing in the Royals.

Should we be surprised?

This is a key question, so let's get it out the way early: no.

Minority shareholder Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, aka Tiger, aka the bloke who runs Reading Football Club, has put on record time and time again not only the consideration for having new investors come in, but also the number of parties interested in such.

Remember Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russian billionaire and AS Monaco owner? This story is similar to his potential involvement, but seemingly more serious. On top of this, Nigel Howe has said himself that, as we've suspected for a while, the current Thai owners are asset heavy but cash light.

Who are these people?

The first thing to note is, not only are Yongge and Xiu Lu brother and sister, but they've also dipped their toes into English football before. Hull City were the first object of their desires, coming close to a £130 million deal this past summer before it fell through, with BBC Humberside reporting a failure of the Fit & Proper Person's Test, although the Premier League were unable to verify this.

The siblings' retail empire is the chief source of their wealth, based in post-Cold War underground bomb shelters that their company 'Renhe Commercial Holdings' converted into shopping malls. With that cash, they've pressed further into property and real estate dealings across Southeast Asia.

On the gossip side of things, Dai Xiu Lu was formerly married to a British ex-Maths teacher who divorced the businesswoman in 2014 after claiming he'd had enough of the rich lifestyle. Forbes have the 53 year old billionaire as a London resident while she and Yongge own second-tier Chinese football team Beijine Renhe FC.

What does it MEAN!?

It's way too early to say what this means for the likes of Jaap Stam, Brian Tevreden, and even Sir John Madejski, who must still be floating around somewhere. As such, we'll wait for more details before we place our eggs on one side of the table or t'other.

That said, recently there have certainly been trace amounts of Reading fans calling for yet another takeover.