Update: This was, of course, an April Fool’s.
Dai Yongge has taken plenty of flak during his time as Reading owner for not connecting with fans. Statements addressing supporters directly have been few and far between, and we’ve seen little of him at Reading in the way of audio or video content. That, in conjunction with a litany of serious concerns fans hold, has naturally led to a growing disconnect between supporters and the club.
However, according to a well-placed source that for some reason decided to speak exclusively to us at The Tilehurst End, we can confirm that Dai Yongge is finally taking direct action to rectify the situation. He’ll be making a personal appearance in the away end at Barnsley.
This is extremely out of character for Dai, but it’s a welcome move nonetheless. So what caused the sudden change of heart? Our source said:
“Well, Dai was scrolling through Twitter one day on his burner account @KiaSuperFan99, as he often likes to do, and learned about how big the away following would be at Barnsley. He was taken aback by the sheer size of the travelling support - around 1,500-strong - and knew he had to show his solidarity.
“Dai had been planning on getting the train up to Barnsley. However, he quickly realised that the British rail network would price even him out of a return ticket, so he’s opted for the STAR coach instead.
“I’m as shocked as you are by all this. It’s literally unbelievable.”
Our source had further details to share. Dai, who has invested a huge amount of money into Reading Football Club, is believed to have been left deeply unimpressed by the Tykes recently sending a letter to the EFL requesting clarity over the Royals’ finances. Our source claimed that, as a result, Dai intends to - at some point during the game - throw £50 notes onto the pitch in an attempt to goad Barnsley chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad.
Dai is also keenly aware of the need for loud backing from the away fans and has therefore planned an incentive. Should Reading win at Barnsley, Dai will challenge one randomly selected Reading supporter to a footrace on the Select Car Leasing Stadium pitch after the home game against Stoke City on Tuesday night. The winner will get to decide on a new name for the West Stand.
DISCLAIMER: Dai Yongge appearing in the Barnsley away end is subject to permission from Kia Joorabchian.