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Analysing Reading FC's Companies House Information

We explore the current state of the club's official documentation.

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off: Second Leg Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

First up, a hat tip to @Maffff on Twitter, who uncovered some of the following in the first place. We've expanded on it, but credit where credit's due.

Getting information about a club's takeover is very difficult - typically, you have to rely on the official information that the club releases, and what's uncovered by local media.

Luckily, we do also have (sometimes difficult to interpret) information coming from Companies House. For those who don't know, it's where UK companies are registered, and reports to the government (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to be precise).

To extract some more details about the club as it stands, we've taken a look at what can be found from the website, which you can see for yourself here.

Who are the club's registered directors?

Currently, they are: Dai Yongge, Dai Xiu Li, Sir John Madejski, Narin Niruttinanon, Nigel Howe and Bryan Stabler. Most of those names are fairly obvious, but it's interesting to see that - of the three Thais in the consortium - one has kept his place.

Meanwhile, Lady Sasima Srivikorn and Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth (aka 'Tiger') officially resigned their positions on May 17, the day after the Fulham home game. Similarly, Jack Srisumrid and Theekharoj Piamphongsarn left on the same day.

Of course, this doesn't mean that Lady Sasima and Tiger have packed their bags and left - on the contrary, a club statement announcing the Chinese takeover said:

"Our existing shareholders will retain a minority shareholding in the club."

Shareholders plural, so not just Narin Niruttinanon.

What charges have been registered?

The most recent and noteworthy dates to May 16, the day the takeover was announced. According to Companies House, Renhe Sports Management Co Limited made a debenture (loan) of £60,000,000 to The Reading Football Club Limited. To be precise, it's a 'fixed rate secured loan'. Freedom Finance define that thusly:

"A secured loan, also known as a homeowner loan or a second charge mortgage, enables you to borrow a larger sum of money (usually £25,000 upwards) using collateral such as your home as security against the repayments."

Renhe Sports Management Co Limited is owned directly by our new Chinese shareholders. In fact one of them, Dai Yongge, also owns Chinese side Beijing Renhe.

For the record, Renhe Sports Management Co Limited was incorporated as a UK company on November 28, the same day that the takeover saga started.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the loan. To be clear, we know from Companies House that £60,000,000 went into the club from Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li at the time the takeover was completed. We do not know what this money is for, so don't get too excited about Jaap Stam being given a huge warchest for the summer transfer market.

As Lady Sasima has alluded to before, this capital could just be earmarked for covering the club's huge running expenses - expenses which she suggested the Thais were having trouble keeping on top of.

Side note: it's worth remembering that, as of the club's most recent accounts (2016), Reading's debt stood at £73.3m. Another £60m on top of that is, well, rather a lot.

Anything else?

Yep. Remember that £10.4m loan from 'Great Shine International' in January? Well, looking at it on Companies House, it was satisfied in full on May 31, meaning that it's been dealt with.

Officially, we don't know who actually made that loan, although there was plenty of speculation on social media that the money ultimately came from the Chinese siblings.

Whether that is the case, or Great Shine International is a third party* (directly related to neither the club nor Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li), the £10.4m loan is officially settled.

*Companies House lists Great Shine International's directors as C+R Business Consulting Limited and Qichuan Cui, who's from Ningbo City in China.