Reading target takeover exclusivity by end of month as Dai Yongge considers offers

Reading fans throw fake money, tennis balls and flares onto the pitch in protest of owner Dai Yongge during the Emirates FA Cup second round match at the Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh
Reading fans have voiced their dismay over Dai Yongge's ownership of the club - PA/Bradley Collyer

Reading are aiming to enter exclusivity talks this month for a potential takeover, as the League One club appear likely to avert another short-term crisis.

Dai Yongge, the owner, is considering at least two offers to buy the stricken club and is close to selecting a preferred bidder following days of talks with interested parties.

Genevra Associates, a hedge fund with bases in Luxembourg and the United States, is one of the groups who have held detailed talks this week.

Reading initially agreed a deal with Genevra in November last year but talks collapsed after Yongge allegedly changed the terms.

Negotiations have resumed and Genevra remains keen to strike an agreement.

Two other bids are on the table for the club, who have been deducted 16 points under Yongge, the Chinese businessman.

Reading are planning to sign a letter of intent with the selected bidder by the end of the month, which will detail terms and conditions, plus a timeframe for the potential sale and an exclusivity clause.

Telegraph Sport has also learned that the threat of another points deduction this month is likely to be avoided.

Reading are under pressure to pay their liabilities for this month or face further sanctions from the Football League, but £1 million is to be covered by sponsorship funds.

This will remove the immediate threat of another two points being deducted, which will drag Ruben Selles and his players closer towards the relegation zone.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that the proposed sale of Reading’s training ground to Wycombe Wanderers was now on hold.

Former chief executive Nigel Howe has been assisting Yongge with the sale process and admitted this week that the club are targeting a takeover by the middle of May.

He told BBC Radio Berkshire: “I would hope that what we’re doing is working through a process that will take six to eight weeks.

“That is my programme to get through, so by mid-May hopefully we will be sorted.

“I know I have forecasted earlier dates, it’s hard to understand where you’re going to end up on a week-by-week basis because you can hit things that people thought they had agreed but haven’t agreed.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.