It has today been confirmed that Reading’s CEO Ron Gourlay has departed the club. An official statement on the club’s website read:
“Reading Football Club can announce that Ron Gourlay has decided to step down from his role as Chief Executive and leaves the club with immediate effect.
The owners would like to thank Ron for his hard work and professionalism since his appointment in July 2017 and we wish him well in his next venture and future endeavours.
Our owners will now work diligently to recruit the right replacement as CEO, focused on continuing to grow the business and driving this club forward both on and off the pitch. In the interim, the Board will lead our experienced team of senior management to ensure the club is run in a proficient manner.
Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai would like to thank Royals fans for their patience during this process and their continued loyal support and passion for this football club.”
“I think now is the right time for change. I would like to thank the club’s owners, Mr Dai and Ms Dai, and my senior management team for their tremendous support during a challenging period for the club - and I wish the manager, his coaching staff and the players every success for the remainder of this season and beyond.”
Since taking on the role 16 months ago, Gourlay has been a much maligned figure amongst the fanbase, largely as his arrival has coincided with a severe drop in form. The club had just lost the play-off final when the 55-year-old was appointed, they are now only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Complaints about poor recruitment have also been put down to Gourlay, whilst several members of club staff have left their positions in recent months, allegedly due not getting on with him. This includes former technical director Brian Tevreden, who seemed to be fairly happy with the news...
— Brian Tevreden (@BTevreden) November 19, 2018
There has been no immediate news of who will be Gourlay’s successor, and indeed what his departure will mean for Paul Clement. Gourlay was the man who brought Clement into the club to replace Jaap Stam, having worked with him previously at Chelsea, but the former Swansea manager’s tenure has not gone to plan so far. Could a new CEO look to bring in a new boss? Or will the Chinese owners have the overall say?
Stay tuned to The Tilehurst End for the latest updates as this development unfolds.