Former F1 team sponsor ‘agrees £50m takeover of crisis club Reading’

  • William Storey’s Rich Energy company had a short-lived sponsorship of Haas
  • Reading are currently languishing in League One after relegation last season 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’

Reading are reportedly on the verge of being sold to British businessman William Storey in a £50million deal.

The former Formula One team sponsor has agreed terms to buy the club from current owner owner Yongge Dai, according to the Telegraph.

Storey has reportedly agreed to clear the club’s debts of £50m and has pledged to invest in the playing squad when a transfer embargo is lifted.

The businessman, who is chief executive of the drinks brand Rich Energy, will now be subject to the EFL’s fit and proper owners test.

Storey and his Rich Energy company had briefly sponsored the Haas F1 team after signing a multi-year agreement in October 2018.

William Storey has reportedly agreed a £50m deal to take over EFL crisis club Reading

Reading owner Dai Yongge (left) was hit by a misconduct charge last month by the EFL

Reading were relegated from the Championship last season after being deducted 16 points in two years by the EFL

The partnership was ended in September 2019, with Storey claiming he terminated the contract due to the team’s poor performance.

Haas said the ‘amicable’ end of the partnership came after a ‘corporate restructuring process at Rich Energy’.

Storey has previously attempted to buy clubs in the EFL, with the businessman failing in a bid to take over Sunderland in 2020. He also attempted to buy Coventry City last year.

The prospective owner had taken to Twitter to comment on Reading’s fortunes this week, suggesting the club’s former chairman Sir John Madejski support the next owner of the club. 

‘John Madejski is a Reading legend. He did a fantastic job & showed enormous commitment to the club and the town over an extended period,’ he wrote.

‘I hope he supports the next owner and it is important that the huge efforts & financial contribution of Dai Yongge are recognised by all.’

Reading are currently third from bottom in League One after being relegated from the Championship last season.

The Royals were relegated after being deducted six points for breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.

Storey has been commenting about Reading on social media ahead of a possible takeover

The club have been docked four points this season over late payments to players and staff.

A point was deducted in August after failing to pay players on time and in full last season.

A further three were deducted last month due to the club failing to pay player wages on time and in full on or around October 31 and November 30 last year, and on April 28 this year.

Yongge Dai was then hit by a misconduct charge by the EFL.

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