In a surprisingly open interview with the press, Howe admitted the owners are likely to be looking at outsider investment.
It’s been rumoured for a while, but Nigel Howe confirmed to the press after Jaap Stam’s unveiling yesterday that the Thai owners are considering going down new routes to secure additional investment.
Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, Howe said:
“The question was asked at the press conference and one of the owners stuttered a bit.
“I think he stuttered because the cost of running a club is quite high, certainly a club like Reading when they are trying to get it to the Premier League.
“They know that at some stage they might need to bring in some more investment. What Tiger (Thanakarnjanasuth) said was that the three shareholders are passionate about Reading, passionate about the town.
“What we are seeing at a lot of clubs is shareholders who bring in further investment through all sorts of routes.
“Although our current investors haven’t done that, it is a route they might go down.
“I suspect it depends on how ambitious they want to be with what they are going to do with the squad.”
Well, now it’s out there. Reading’s Thai owners are likely to seek outsider investment to help them in their quest to reach the Premier League for a third time.
This legitimises reports in France earlier this year that said the club were speaking to AS Monaco President and Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev about a deal. But if that's at a dead end, you can be sure the owners are looking elsewhere.
Steep learning curve
Howe didn't stop there with his interview. He even opened up about the owners’ steep learning curve.
“They are going through a bit of a learning curve. Everything you say to them they don’t have to follow because it’s their club, they own it.
“I’m just a custodian who helps them to run it. They’ve gone through certain things which I’m almost certain to say they would do differently if they started again.
“But they are trying very hard to get it right and that’s all you can ask. And that’s no different to under Sir John. We had many years when we didn’t get it right, but then we did. These guys are trying to do the same thing.
“It’s a costly business to run a football club. All they want to do is bring success, but it’s hard when you are burning quite a lot of their own money in the process.”
Wow. It’s fair to say that this isn’t much of a revelation — we knew the owners were new to football — but it's somewhat reassuring in any case. They're learning, they're listening, they're taking steps they believe will benefit the club.
Unfortunately, only time will tell if those steps are the right ones.