Could Reading be the next Portsmouth? Well according to the Daily Mail that could well be the case. The paper, renowned for its sensationalism, looks at the impending sale of the club to a Chinese consortium, while speculating over how the assests for the club are being divided, including the rights to Royal Elm Park and so on.
The article goes on to question the current ownership group's financial commitment to the club and speculates as to whether they've put in any serious money at all or if they've just borrowed money to pay the wage bill.
You can read the whole article here but in a nutshell, it's not really providing any more information than we didn't already know from various sources and digging around in the past. In fact the only fresh information comes form an unnamed source who's quoted as saying ‘This is like Portsmouth all over again.’ So, seven words is all we get.
That's not to say that the piece is totally without merit, or should be absolutely dismissed. The information that is available in the public domain has hardly painted a glowing picture of the club's finances and the very fact that the club is about to be sold tells us that this isn't a cash rich ownership group right now.
Yet while there are certainly long-term concerns regarding the financial health and assets of the club, the piece ignores the short to medium-term sensible planning and solid ownership since Tiger took control in the summer. The decision to appoint Jaap Stam and the subsequent transfer policies implemented by Brian Tevreden and others have provided a strong core of young hungry players at the club, assembled for far less than squads of many of the other clubs in the league. The moves made in 2016 don't seem to indicate any sort of financial panic, more sensible investment designed to provide longer-term security.
Likewise, why Reading should be singled out as the next club for meltdown is unclear. Finances across the Championship and EFL are pretty precarious, with Brighton's eye-watering losses seemingly the tip of the iceberg.
As mentioned, The Daily Mail is a paper and website renowned for its sensationalism, it thrives on earning your clicks and paper buys based on grabbing your attention, so it's no surprise to see them go straight to the worst case scenario that is Portsmouth.
Overall, it's an article that's worth a read, but only as one part of a larger puzzle. Reading fans are right to be wary and scrutinise the owners but those owners should also be judged on their long-term record rather than what might, could, or should happen in the future.
With the Chinese takeover seemingly just around the corner we've got to be prepared to buckle in and accept another wild and unpredictable ride. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get off at the other end without throwing up....