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Reading Fans Divided Over Chinese Owners

Your verdict on how Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li are getting on in Berkshire.

Reading v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

Last week, we asked you to have your say on how well you think Reading’s current owners are getting on. They’ve been in charge of the club since May 2017, at which point the Royals had just beaten Fulham in the play-offs. However, after defeat to Huddersfield was followed by a dire 2017/18 campaign that saw Jaap Stam sacked last March, you gave Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li a respectable 2.92/5.

In the subsequent months we’ve seen the appointment of Paul Clement, a fairly underwhelming summer transfer window and extremely poor start to the current season. Although you punished them with a lower grade than last time, the average mark comes out at 2.45/5. To break the votes down further, the results were as follows:

  • 5/5 - 5% (Very happy)
  • 4/5 - 11%
  • 3/5 - 32% (Neither happy nor unhappy)
  • 2/5 - 27%
  • 1/5 - 24% (Couldn’t be less happy)

That’s all from a sample size of 335 TTE-reader votes.

How you’ve rated Reading’s owners in the past
Marc Mayo

What can Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li do to improve their rating?

As you’ll see from the above graph, there’s no way for the owners to get a good approval rating quite like them being involved in the team getting results on the pitch. The two high points came in October 2015 when Reading had made a quick start to a season under Steve Clarke, and July 2017 not long after getting to Wembley. Each time, the owners had put their hands into their pockets - the Thais splashing out on Matej Vydra and co in 2015, with the Chinese funding several additions in January 2017.

As things stand, Yongge and Xiu Li need their faith in Paul Clement to pay off with better results, particularly results driven by the new additions. If we’re sat here in a few months talking about how Marc McNulty, Josh Sims and Saeid Ezatolahi have pushed Reading up the table, I’m sure you’ll think better of the owners.

Another question from their point of view at the moment is the future of Ron Gourlay. Reading’s Chief Executive has come in for heated criticism on social media recently, with fans taking out their frustrations around the team’s poor form by pointing at his recruitment record over the last year or so.

Gourlay addressed the media directly in an interview last week, sympathising with the supporters’ worries and defending his own position. You can read more from Gourlay over on The Wokingham Paper here and here.

If Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li do want a change in direction at the club, particularly in relation to transfers, they could potentially do that by reassessing Gourlay’s position, but at the moment that’s looking unlikely. Otherwise, the future of Paul Clement may be something for our owners to ponder over if results don’t pick up pretty soon. His average rating so far comes out at 1.7/5.


How do you think Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li are getting on Reading? What more do they need to be doing to improve the club? Let us know in the comments below.