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Thai Owners May Not Sell Controlling Interest In Reading FC

The ownership situation at Reading wasn't made any clearer by one our current supremos.

Reading v Leeds United - Sky Bet Football League Championship Photo by Martin Willetts/Getty Images

The proposed takeover of Reading FC by a Chinese consortium has been a long, drawn out, frustrating and confusing affair since it was first reported back in November. Today, one of Reading's three majority shareholders Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, better known as 'Tiger', spoke to BBC Radio Berkshire and only made the situation more cloudy.

Since the takeover was first mooted, the widely reported scenario has been that the current Thai group would sell 75% of it's majority shareholding to Chinese pair Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li. Yet Tiger has said that the 75% figure may not be the final amount.

BBC's Andrew Peach: "We know you're looking to sell the club and keen to sell to the Dai Yongge & Dai Xiu Li...

Tiger: "We're not looking to sell, we're looking to make the club stronger. Of course we need to find a partner, we need to find a partner that we can work together. We're not selling the club, just a part of it, just to make the club financially stronger."

AP: ..."Correct me if I'm wrong but you're looking to sell 75% of it?"

Tiger: "That is still in negotiation. This is just an application to the EFL, there's still a lot of process going on.... So far we have the figures that we think should be a suitable number in order to make the club financially stronger."

OK? Well that's a new twist in the tale.

Peach then went on to ask Tiger about Lady Sasima's claims that they're selling because they can't afford to run the club. Tiger was again fairly vague.

Tiger: "I don't exactly know what she means but what I think is that we can't afford the fees which would be the actual expenses to put in."

Again, some things can easily be lost in translation from a man who's speaking on the phone with English as his second language, so it's worth cutting him a bit of slack.

The conversation soon turned to just why the Chinese want to invest in Reading.

Tiger: "I know that they have a (desire) on European and UK football, that's what they told us"

We've put desire in brackets because it's not 100% clear from the audio the exact word Tiger's used.

The Reading co-owner confirmed that the Chinese consortium need to pass a lot of the Premier League's tests but went on to claim that should the takeover fail, they'd be happy to continue running the club.

It's a fascinating insight from the man who's seemingly been the driving force behind the club's new direction since last Spring. Tiger went on to talk about potential plans for next season, his thoughts on how far they've come this year, his long-term role at the club and much more, so we very much encourage you to check it out in full here.

Ultimately this doesn't do much to reassure fans. It's still a very confusing situation that's only looking more and more muddled as it drags on. Tiger has shown he's got the ability to put plans into place but the disconnect between his words and those of Lady Sasima are far from comforting.

This is one that's only likely to rumble on, so buckle in tight. At least the play-offs will be relaxing right?