Reading Football Club have this morning announced that manager Paul Clement has been relieved of his duties.
The 46-year-old replaced Jaap Stam at the helm back in March, but failed to improve the team’s fortunes on the pitch, winning seven, drawing eight and losing 15 of his 30 matches in charge. He departs with the Royals sitting 21st in the Championship table, only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Nigel Howe was confirmed as Reading’s new Chief Executive - perhaps a little too soon to suggest that Clement’s exit is just a coincidence.
It is hard to ignore the fact however that the former Swansea and Derby boss had a pretty torrid time in Berkshire, and fighting relegation for a second season in a row was clearly not on the Chinese owners’ agenda.
Reading Football Club can announce that Paul Clement has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect.
Clement was appointed towards the end of March and earned two victories and a final day draw in Cardiff which proved enough to secure the club its Championship status at the end of a challenging 2017-18 campaign.
However, following five wins in the first 22 league and cup matches of 2018-19, owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change.
We would like to thank Paul for his hard work during his time as manager of Reading Football Club and we wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours.
CEO Nigel Howe will now seek to swiftly identify and appoint a new manager who will fit the Reading mould, build a team which can deliver performances and results that will help us climb the Championship table and lead the club towards promotion in the future.
The club will make no additional comment at this time but will provide further updates as soon as possible.
The rumour mill will now begin on who will replace Clement, with Steve Bruce, Francisco Guidolin and Carlos Carvalhal all names linked in the last couple of months. With just two days to go until the home game against Sheffield United, it remains to be seen whether an appointment will be made by then, or whether an interim manager will be placed in charge for the visit of the Blades.