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Former Chelsea FC Executive Replaces Nigel Howe At Reading FC

The new owners are having a reshuffle.

SL Benfica v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Reading FC's new owners are having a boardroom reshuffle to try and propel The Royals into the top tier of English football.

Former Chelsea Executive, Ron Gourlay, is due to be the new Chief Executive of Reading Football Club.

Nigel Howe, who currently holds that position, is due to become Vice-Chairman, while simultaneously being on the Board of the EFL.

Howe's new role

The Howe news was released by Reading FC last week, who confirmed he would take up the role with immediate effect.

On his appointment, Howe said:

"I feel privileged to be appointed to the EFL's Board of Directors as a representative for the Championship and it is an honour to have been elected by my peers to the position.

"With more than 21 years as CEO at Reading, I trust I can offer both wisdom and experience to the role and I will aim to represent the EFL, the Championship and Reading Football Club to the best of my ability during my tenure.”

That appointment, tied in to the latest rumours from The Sun, suggest these two pieces of info are closely related.

Gour-laying the foundations... (sorry)

The Sun report Howe is set to become Vice-Chairman, with former Chelsea man Ron Gourlay set to become the new Chief Executive of Reading Football Club.

Ron was one of the men behind the recent success of Chelsea. He was at the club for a decade, and held the post of Chief Executive from 2009 to 2014. In a piece in The Guardian with news of his departure, they said, "During Gourlay’s tenure Chelsea won the Champions League for the first time and boosted their turnover and commercial income."

Reading's owners, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, are well aware of his role behind the scenes of that successful era and hope he can have a similar (if less trophy-laden) success in Berkshire.

On leaving the club in 2014, Ron said:

“It has been a privilege to have played a role in the club’s considerable achievements both on and off the pitch over the last 10 years, but I feel the time is right to move on to other challenges."

And the statement from Chelsea should fill Loyal Royals with some excitement, as it read:

"Ron’s efforts have helped the club to achieve its position as one of the leading football clubs in the world.”

Updated 11:47am 10/07/2017

Reading Football Club have now confirmed the above changes.

On his appointment, Gourlay said:

“I am delighted to take up this new position as Chief Executive at Reading Football Club and I consider it a real honour to be presented with the fantastic challenge of guiding the club to the next level.

“I look forward to working closely with all the staff who, through their dedication and commitment on a day-to-day basis, strive to make this club successful at every level - and I am excited to be working alongside manager Jaap Stam and his coaching team, Director of Football Brian Tevreden and a very promising squad of players ahead of what I am sure will be another exhilarating campaign in the Sky Bet Championship.”

Howe said:

"After more than 21 years as Chief Executive at Reading Football Club, I am extremely excited to be appointed to the position of Vice Chairman. On a personal note, I have thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn during my tenure as CEO and, on behalf of all the staff and supporters, I would like to welcome Ron to Reading – a magnificent club with tremendous potential.”

Are we on the precipice of a bright new era? Only time will tell, and we'll be here to bring you all the news as it comes.