I think it’s fair to say the breaking point was finally reached on Saturday afternoon, and it’s been coming for a while. First, the protest outside the ground before the game and then the scenes at full time (I will put my two pence in on this in the conclusion) - the fans have had enough.
Saturday was supposed to be a celebration of our football club, but in reality it turned out to be anything but that. The timing, which the club can’t help obviously, didn’t do the celebrations any favour, but the way the club ran the whole occasion summed up how we’ve been run for the last few years.
No returning legends, no looking back on our 150 years as a football club, another loss on the pitch and the toxic atmosphere around the club continued. It was just a disaster of a day, let's be honest.
Here’s how the fans reacted...
The only thing that ensured Saturday wasn’t a complete disaster was the return of this man. I genuinely believe if Yaks had been fit this season, we would not be where we are right now. He showed within minutes of coming on what we’ve been missing while he’s been on the treatment table.
The fans will just be praying now that his return hasn’t come too late in the day, because he will be a huge player for us for the rest of the season.
As you’ll see below, the fans thought he showed more in his 20 minute cameo than most of his team mates have all year so far, and I can't disagree with that...
Yakou meite has played 10 minutes and is already POTS #readingfc— Elliott (@u_elliott_) February 12, 2022
Meite deserves better than this- absolute animal #readingfc— Ryan Lodge (@ryanlodge2411) February 12, 2022
Meite been out all season yet showing more than any other player today I'm the time he's been on the pitch. Why do we bother with players like Ejaria who clearly don't want to be here? #readingfc— Shaun Berry (@sbezzzab1871) February 12, 2022
How good it is too have Meite back ! He could be the difference between safety an relegation #readingfc— Chris Swift (@swifty1871) February 12, 2022
Meite was incredible when he came on, like he hadn't been out injured at all, absolutely brilliant from him and shows how badly we've missed him. He has to start on Wednesday night! @Yaks75 ⚽ #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) February 12, 2022
I didn't quite clock this until after the game while listening to BBC Berks, but the sheer lack of celebration from the club on Saturday sums up the way it’s being run at the moment.
I get it, the club’s in a horrendously bad place at the moment, but there was a big chance for the club to lift the mood just a little bit on Saturday. Invite Coppell and his 106 team back for a lap of the pitch, have a half-time speech from McDermott or Madejski, anything that would put just a hint of a smile on our faces.
But no, there was nothing. It was a poor showing from the club, and the fans agree with that...
Never felt so disconnected from the club as a whole like today. Club doesn’t communicate with the fans, Car Parking doesn’t even need mentioning…the 150th was done for money, didn’t even feel like a celebration. And the result… well I’m just numb to that.#readingfc— Alex Lane-Kieltyka (@alex_elkay21) February 12, 2022
On a side note away from the game. The celebrations before the game and HT were awful. Other than the video of those that had passed, what was different today than any other game? Loads of ex players there today that could have been celebrated #readingfc— Robert Bunting (@Bunting1871) February 12, 2022
Absolutely bizarre from #Readingfc I mean you had over a month since celebration was cancelled to make something of it. Shows where this club is with current leadership and ownership. https://t.co/ycthpXD3LY— Rich (@Trixsterwtf) February 13, 2022
Protest before the game, protest on the pitch, countless chants of Pauno out. An average 150th celebration put on at best. Not recognising former players. Not showcasing former players on the pitch. All of this and Pauno still in charge and Dai Yongge in China. Hell. #readingfc— Jimmy Coulson (@Jimmy_Coulson) February 13, 2022
Quest just paid more tribute to our 150 years than the actual club did today. #Readingfc— Niall - Guilty, I support Reading. (@Reading106) February 12, 2022
Yesterday was absolutely nothing a 150 year celebration should have been about… Where was the acknowledgment of our entire past, of 106 and 11/12. The owners once again failing the fans and having no understanding of what this club means to any of us #readingfc— Elliott (@u_elliott_) February 13, 2022
I don’t like saying this, I really don’t, but the only quick way to reunite the fanbase now is for Paunovic to go and for someone new to come in. And if what Tim Dellor reported on BBC Berks before the game is true (and I can’t for a split second imagine he’d make something like that up) then Pauno’s not just lost the fans, he’s lost the players too.
We are sleepwalking towards relegation at the moment, we need a new manager to come and save us. Pauno is a nice enough guy, but it’s not working - it’s dangerously not working.
The fans really hit a snapping point on Saturday, and I think we will continue to see scenes like we did on Saturday until he’s sacked...
The difference between us and derby is that they have a manager who all the players in world football know and respect. When Rooney speaks you listen. No one had ever heard of paunovic before we appointed him so it’s no surprise the players don’t listen. #readingfc— Deckland (@dsaund6) February 11, 2022
February 12th 2022 is the date where I have accepted relegation. Get Paunovic out of the club TONIGHT and we might have a chance of survival. Pissed off is an understatement #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) February 12, 2022
I hope I’m wrong but I can’t see us winning another game this season with Paunovic in charge. #readingfc— Jonathan Richards (@JR_1871) February 12, 2022
The players who want Paunovic gone really need to step up and challenge him and our owners. If he doesn’t leave we will be stuck in league 1 #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) February 12, 2022
Spot on. Those fans want change and I’ll happily admit I applauded them off. Sitting on your hands and doing nothing won’t save our club. Change is needed ASAP. If Paunovic stays, we’re relegated. Simple as that. #readingfc https://t.co/CZypmLAVcL— Jacob Potter (@pott95) February 12, 2022
Paunovic has HAS to go before Peterborough. I can’t fathom why they are keeping the clown in charge. GET HIM GONE! He’s not the only issue, but the first one to tackle. #readingfc— Jimmy Coulson (@Jimmy_Coulson) February 13, 2022
I said I’d put my two pence in here about the scenes we saw on Saturday, not that it means anything at all, so here goes.
At first I was embarrassed when I saw fans run on the pitch. I thought to myself, “seriously, is that what this club has become now? Fans on the pitch?” I was disgusted.
Although I still don’t agree with fans going on the pitch, I can understand it more now. But what we need more than anything is a united fanbase. If you did go on the pitch, don’t think those that didn’t don’t care about the club. If you didn’t go on the pitch, try not to immediately judge all the people who did.
We all want the same thing, we want our club back. The only way for us fans to get our voices heard is to all be as one, and all do it together. So I hope we can figure out a way to do that.