Reading CEO Dayong Pang has accused the club’s supporters of doing ‘nothing good’ by invading the pitch in protest against their unpopular owner Dai Yongge last weekend. The Royals are currently teetering on the brink due to mismanagement from the very top, with the EFL having ordered Yongge to either fund the club adequately or make immediate arrangements to sell.
Reading fans made their voices heard by storming the pitch during the early stages of Saturday’s game against Port Vale, which was subsequently abandoned as a result of the protest. In a rare interview on talkSPORT on Tuesday morning, Pang hit back at supporters by insisting that taking matters into their own hands is not helping the ongoing sale process.
“The reaction has done nothing good for the club or the selling process,” said Pang. “It’s ongoing. I urge fans to be patient, please everybody, the loyal fans, be patient. We are talking to all different kinds of buyers. Mr Dai is 100 per cent willing to sell the club.
“We understand [how important the club is to the fans]. He is trying to put the club into safe hands, we cannot just sell the club to anybody. It’s complicated. There’s nothing I can do more. We are doing our job. Some fans think they are doing the right thing but all I can say is to ask our fans to be more patient. The selling process is ongoing.”
Reading have been deducted a total of 16 points under Yongge’s ownership, with the Royals battling to avoid successive relegations after dropping out of the Championship at the end of last season. They have also failed to pay wages on time on numerous occasions, while several key staff members have been made redundant over the last few months.
Sell Before We Dai, a pressure group formed by Reading supporters, issued a statement on Tuesday calling on the EFL to take swift action to remove Yongge from his post as a matter of urgency. Nick Houlton, a spokesperson for the group, said: “We really need the EFL to take decisive action now, not just for us but for all football fans whose clubs are under threat due to negligent owners.
“The EFL has the power to approve owners. It is astonishing they are powerless to remove them. An independent regulator for football cannot come soon enough but there are things the EFL can do now to force Dai Yongge out of football for good.
“Saturday’s pitch invasion by fans was borne out of sheer desperation and fear. We can see the owner is purposefully digging his heels in over the sale of the club and we urgently need help from those in power to act now.”