When reports first emerged this morning that Reading’s players hadn’t been paid their April wages in full, you would have been fully entitled to be worried considering the recent goings on at Bolton Wanderers.
The Daily Mail claimed that Chinese owners Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li were waiting for funds to be transferred from Hong Kong, and as such had only been able to pay half of the salaries.
However any concerns over the siblings’ financial situation were quickly quashed, with the delay in money transfer put down to an administrative error caused by today being a bank holiday in China. The club have confirmed to various media outlets that all players will be paid in full in the next 24 hours. This is encouraging news and a relief that Reading will not find themselves in the same situation as Bolton, where players have gone on strike after failing to be paid, putting their final two Championship games of this season into doubt.
At the same time, it does suggest just how reliant the club are on the money that the owners are injecting into the club. It would appear that no other cash was available to temporarily cover the wages, which could be slight cause for concern.
It certainly sets up an interesting summer at the Madejski Stadium in terms of the transfer market, with Reading likely needing to sell players before bringing any in. Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire after the game against West Brom, CEO Nigel Howe said:
“One of my challenges next season is the issue of profit and sustainability.
”I hinted at that when I said I’ve taken over a lot of issues in January that need to be addressed in terms of players costs. And if we can resolve those then hopefully we can still bring in quality loan players.
“The only way we can work the club financially going forward is to move players out. Mr Dai would like to invest further but it’s just not possible (because of FFP).
”One of the things you saw a lot of in January - players going out on loan you will probably see again and there will be a lot of players to move in before August.”