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Reasons To Be (Sort Of) Cheerful

Keep the faith!

Reading v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship - Madejski Stadium Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

The Euros are done. It’s over. And that means it’s time to get back to the weekly grind of supporting the mighty Royals. Whilst the steady stream of news has yet to really give us what we all crave in the shape of a new chap coming through the doors of RG2, there have been some titbits (love that word) that have given fans a little dose (but not a full, hearty portion) of optimism.

New kit!

We knew the golden badge would be delicious. We just didn’t know how delicious it would look on an actual kit that actual people could actually wear. Harking back to the first kit worn by the Biscuitmen 150 years ago, the home shirt features thinner hoops and a well-rounded collar, with some delightful golden accents.

Of course, it’s still blue and white (not sure that needs clarifying, but then again I wouldn’t have thought England fans would storm their own stadium, yet here we are…) but it’s a very different take on recent kits. There’s always a danger we could end up going “full QPR” with our shirts, but luckily this one is a dream boat. Chuck in a new, local sponsor on the front and you’ve got a shirt for the ages. Which segways nicely into my next point…

New sponsor!

Look, if I’m honest, I wasn’t as outraged as other fans were about Casumo coming onboard to be our main sponsor. I have to say, they were the least ‘betting company’ betting company I’ve ever come across and their gentle yet purposeful social media account always seemed to have its heart in the right place (I’ll have that free £10 credit now, please…) but long term, it probably wasn’t a great look for the club.

Select Car Leasing have arrived with local roots at the heart of their ethos and a classy font on the logo to boot. Chuck in the fact that they have had long-standing ties with the club (and the fact I currently lease from them…) and we’ve got a lovely little partnership there, not to mention a possible new stadium name…

New stadium name!

Now, although it will always be the Mad Stad to everyone and anyone, we needed the cash and so selling the naming rights to the stadium made sense. Regular readers of my column ‘View from the Dolan’ (which will be back for its third season, providing Sim hasn’t replaced me with a younger, more hip model) will know that I have many names for the field of dreams. These have included, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Berkshire Arena
  • The South Reading Mega Plex
  • The Berkshire Dome
  • The Whitley Bowl
  • The Madejski Coliseum
  • Lucas Joao’s Castle
  • Sir John’s Madhouse

The Select Car Leasing Stadium is a mouthful, but one that does not leave a hugely bitter taste on the palate. From a selfish point of view, there’s lot of life in that from a writing perspective and again, they’re local. And local is good.

New young players!

Well, they aren’t ‘new’ per se. But with the lack of depth in certain areas (hi there free agents who are left backs), some of these gents will get a look in pre-season and maybe beyond, what with the old transfer embargo and all.

Yeah, it was only Lincoln (no disrespect), but it was a win in a second half which was populated mostly by young players. And if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that gambling on young, reasonably inexperienced young players is not going too badly for us right now.

No more iFollow!

Pretty self-explanatory really. It was so bad it doesn’t exist anymore. Honestly, I’m not lying. Google it. See? It can’t hurt us anymore. It’s gone.

Football. Is. Back.

We’ve been locked out of the Select Car Bowl (see? I’ve already started!) for a long, long time. And now, we are legally allowed back in in our droves! (Side note: 6k for West Ham). Getting back to physical football will be massive for so many people, from a social and mental point of view.

Being allowed to attend games with family members/friends/enemies/complete strangers will do wonders for lots of folks and will make my column relevant again (if it was ever relevant in the first place). We’ve seen the positive effect having fans back in the stadium can have in games (not so much the pre-match tomfoolery) and we will all get that opportunity in a few weeks’ time to cheer on our heroes once more.

Winning the league!

Well, you never know…

Chin up, football’s nearly back.