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INTERVIEW: Ron Gourlay insists Reading FC fans should not be concerned by owner Dai Yongge’s low key approach

DAI YONGGE is likely to attend more Reading games next season, according to chief executive Ron Gourlay.

The Chinese owner took charge of the club, alongside sister Dai Xiu Li one year ago this month, but is yet to speak publicly.

PART ONE: Gourlay explains what went wrong last season

Fans have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of contact or visibility from the pair and while Gourlay says that is unlikely to change, he insists they do have the best interests of Reading at heart.

Dai Yongge handed Jaap Stam a new contract soon after arriving a year ago

“(Not hearing much from the owners) is something we’re going to have to come to terms with,” said the chief exec.

“There are different owners who like to throw themselves into different situations.

“Our owner is incredibly well-engaged with the football club. The plan has not changed.

“Like me, they’re very disappointed in the season because we felt we added enough to the squad in the summer to give us the push on that we were looking for.

“They’re very, very engaged.

“You look around football and at different football clubs and big football clubs and owners are not engaged with the media in a lot of cases, but that doesn’t mean to say that they’re doing what’s right for their football club.”

“We have an owner who has actually done something about the Bearwood training ground.

“For somebody who’s not interested to pump £30-40 million into a new first team building and a training ground would be surprising.”

While we are unlikely to hear much from Mr Dai, Gourlay believes that is not necessarily such a bad thing and he also expects him to visit Madejski Stadium more often in 2018/19.

“You’re not going to see him, he’s not the type to be sitting behind the goal but he will be here,” said Gourlay.

“He wants to do what’s right for the football club. He understands the football club and he will be giving me every piece of support I need and Ms Dai to take the club forward.

“We’re in constant contact. I think he’ll make more games this season than he made last season. I think it was around 11 games he was at, his sister was definitely at more than that.

Gourlay and Clement both worked with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea

“But he’s a low key owner. That doesn’t mean to say he doesn’t care for the club, he does care for the club.

“He’s a good strong leader. Roman Abramovich wasn’t very vocal in public either and you can’t criticise him for what he’s put into Chelsea.

“I think the evidence will be what we do for the football club, how we move the football club forward, how he present ourselves at Bearwood, how we present ourselves here at the stadium and what we put onto the football field.

“That will dictate what the fans think.”

Although Gourlay insists not too much should be read into the lack of a presence from the Chinese owners, he does admit it would make his job easier and also help to appease the fans after attendances gradually fell throughout the campaign.

“It would be good for me as well,” said Gourlay.

“I don’t want anybody misreading a negative into that because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

“But at the end of the day, you guys are always going to ask the question, the fans would like to see a little bit more of the owner.

“But it is as it is at the moment.

“I would encourage that the more we can see the owners, the better for everybody really.”

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