THE SHOCKING manner of last week’s defeat at the Hawthorns, with Reading blowing a one- goal lead to be thrashed 4-1 by West Brom, was frustrating enough.
However, it’s what was going on off the pitch that should really worry the powers-that-be behind the scenes.
Towards the end of the match, some of the noisier fans in the travelling support turned not on the players or manager, but Ron Gourlay and the board.
“Sack the board” was chanted over and again, as was “we want Gourlay out”. Clearly, those venting their frustrations realised that the club’s problems aren’t just confined to the team – they run much deeper.
That theme was continued after the final whistle, with fans blasting Reading’s chief executive on Twitter and some calling for a protest to be held at the next home game.
Even Jobi McAnuff, a fan favourite who made over 200 appearances for the club in a five-year spell, chipped in. The current Leyton Orient player claimed the Royals have “lost a little bit of [their] identity” – a view few would disagree with.
Our problems have been long in the making, and cannot be pinned on those currently in charge – previous owners and managers should take their fair share of the blame.
These issues cannot be solved overnight, but Reading’s owners must take decisive action to stop the rot. A beleaguered fanbase have heard little to nothing on their long-term plans for the club except what’s come through Ron Gourlay, a man losing popularity by the day.
Now is the time for Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li to address supporters directly, letting us know what they think of the the club’s problems and how they will solve them. Football fans appreciate honesty and clarity, especially when it comes to the future of the team they love.
It’s time we got that.
Simeon can be found on Twitter @SimFromBucks and his website’s account is @TheTilehurstEnd.