Football fans have urged the English Football League (EFL) to step up their efforts to force negligent owners out of football.
The call comes as the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee prepares to question EFL Chair Rick Parry on the issue of football governance tomorrow (Tuesday, January 16).
The call is being led by Sell Before We Dai, a pressure group set up to demand a change of ownership at Reading FC, following the pitch invasion by fans and a match abandonment vs Port Vale on Saturday January 13th in League One.
Reading fans are desperate for a solution as they fear the club’s owner, Dai Yongge, is refusing to the club and put Reading into liquidation.
Nick Houlton, Sell Before We Dai spokesperson, 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.”
Sell Before We Dai does not want to see a repeat of Saturday’s match abandonment but nothing is off the table until something tangible is done in terms of ownership.
Houlton added: “We urge the government to reconsider making Reading a test case for the independent regulator. We need this for the future of our club, our fans and the wider footballing community.”
An article in The Athletic last week reported that Reading office staff are being forced to wear coats at their desks as the club tries to make savings, and players now have to bring in microwave meals after the catering firm withdrew its services from the training ground due to money owed.
This follows redundancy letters sent to staff in the week before Christmas and recent player payrolls being met by the club’s sponsor to avoid a further points deduction.