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Reading fans storm the pitch and throw tennis balls in protest abandoning game vs Port Vale

Reading fans storm the pitch and throw tennis balls in protest abandoning their League One game vs Port Vale on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of supporters ran onto the pitch during their home game on Saturday in another protest against their owner Dai Yongge.

Protest group Sell Before We Dai, who have for a long time now urged Yongge to sell up, called on fans to invade the Select Car Leasing Stadium pitch and “rage against the mismanagement” of their club come the final whistle, but it seems fans have decided to go on with 16 minutes on the clock.

“We are fully aware of and understand our supporters’ frustrations, but we must reiterate to our supporters that entering or throwing items onto the pitch can put the fixture at risk of abandonment and can result in personal consequences including banning orders. Thank you for your support today,” Reading said on Twitter at the start of the game.

Fans could be heard chanting “f*** the EFL” on top of calling for Dai Yongge to leave, with multiple banners also brought onto the pitch, one included the message “football has an ownership problem”.

“Every effort was made to restart the game but it became increasingly obvious that this would not be possible,” said an EFL spokesperson after the decision to abandon. “We will now discuss the implications of this afternoon’s events with the clubs involved.”

The situation is grim right now, Reading sit 21st in the League One table having been given a four-point deduction already this season, with it initially being one point in August for failing to pay their players on time, only for a further three-point penalty to be triggered. In total it’s 16 points deducted since November 2021.

First-team coaches Andrew Sparkes and Eddie Niedzwiecki were let go this week, academy graduates Abbey and Holmes are reportedly set to join Premier League Luton with the deal done without the knowledge of manager Ruben Selles or Mark Bowen, overnight hotel stays for away matches were got rid of, the company behind the club catering aren’t working at the Bearwood Park Training Ground, with players allegedly now having to eat microwave meals, and some Reading staff were even given redundancy letters just before Christmas.

“I feel really on edge, not just about today, but about the future of our club,” one fan said via inews.co.uk.

“Going to Reading with family comes with a lot of great memories – I found out I’d be an uncle at a Reading game, and it has brought us closer as a family – so it’d be horrible for this to go away.

“I’m very anxious about Dai’s intentions and if he will accept any reasonable offers.

“And what stops this happening to anyone else? There needs to be some kind of safeguard against someone like Dai – who has overseen two other clubs going under – owning a club.

“It’s awful that staff are being laid off or are uncertain whether they’ll be paid each month. It’s embarrassing that the club sponsor has had to step in to pay wages. I’m on edge about the protest and aware of potential for bans, but fans shouldn’t have to weigh up risking that and staying silent.”

Sell Before We Dai called for fans to support the players initially, stating on Friday: “Back the team from the first whistle, storm the pitch at the final whistle.

“We are not idiots. We know Dai Yongge and Dayong Pang won’t listen like Sir John Madejski did, but this action signifies the start of a new chapter – of more militant, hostile action against our ownership. To our players and manager, we say this: your coaches and catering have been cut, your teammates are being sold against their will, but we see your form and we see your fight. We’re with you during the game. Join us after the game.

“To our fans, join us after the final whistle, in the centre circle of the Select Car Leasing Stadium. Our club, our pitch, our team.”

The group’s statement ended on a note suggesting they may go on to protest outside the homes of Yongge and other members of Reading’s hierarchy.

“To our owners, first we rally at our home, then we take the fight to yours,” the statement concluded.


I would like to personally express my gratitude to all our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the Club during an undoubtedly challenging period.

The club is currently facing significant financial challenges that have unfortunately compelled us to make some very tough decisions. These measures are essential to ensure the efficient operation of the club in the future. We have implemented changes in day-to-day operations and, regrettably, had to make a small number of redundancies across the club. These decisions have not been made lightly, and our focus has been on managing this situation with sensitivity and professionalism.

Last month, I, along with other staff members, met with representatives from the Sell Before We Dai protest group. I must thank the representatives for their professionalism during the meeting, which proved to be a productive opportunity to discuss recent protests and the challenges they pose to the club, as well as to address other important club matters.

I can reaffirm that Mr. Dai is actively working to secure the sale of the club. Finding a buyer is a time-consuming and laborious process, but rest assured that every effort is being made to find suitable new owners. We are in dialogue with several interested parties, and we also welcome new declarations of interest. All conversations are under strict non-disclosure agreements and must remain confidential. As soon as we can provide further updates, we will do so.

I would also like to seize this opportunity to thank our commercial partners, suppliers, and, once again, our fans, who continue to support the team exceptionally both at home and away. My sincere gratitude also goes to our staff and players, who continue to perform courageously.

Dayong Pang

This is how Twitter users reacted as Reading fans storm the pitch and throw tennis balls in protest abandoning their game vs Port Vale…

@Jack_BWFC2021: Fuck the Efl, absolute disgrace, letting all these different clubs go through this. Fair play reading get your club back, we’ve been there and got through it hope you lot do the same #readingfc

@KnightTangerine: Reading fans trying to get the game abandoned. Every credit for standing up to shit owners. Stand firm, you’ll get there. #readingfc

@EllisBarton: Well done to the Reading fans, stuck it out and hopefully this will make something happen

@WilliamOwenPond: Say what you want our shitty little club with its wet wipe supporters, but we fucking care. We ain’t going anywhere without one hell of a fight #ReadingFC

@jonreading35: If you are still against this protest and against all that’s happening then you are not a true fan of this club like you jacky who can’t even stay at the ground #readingfc

@colonel_nutz: Hopefully that make Yongge listen, because the countless tennis balls didn’t. Get the message, sell the club. Reading fans – Keep. Going. Whatever it takes to keep your club…. #readingfc

@GeorgeHogg93: Putting the rivalry aside, no big town or city club should have to go through what #readingfc are going through right now. Keep fighting to save your club, Reading fans 🤝 George, Oxford fan 💛💙

@lewie74: Really don’t give two f@@ks if you boo the fans on the pitch. Just remember you wet wipes won’t have a club to support if Dai doesn’t sell. You booing fans, really need to get your head out of the sand and give it a wobble. #readingfc #SellBeforeWeDai

@NJK20171: @officialPVFC if you set up a fundraising page to cover the cost of travel for your fans today, as a Reading fan, I for one will stick in a few quid. I am sure there will be others. #readingfc #pvfc
@tablefloor: Proud of every fan who stuck it out, and honestly, even those who weren’t happy. We stayed until the end, and it got nasty, but I don’t know what I’d do without my club. I don’t give a shit about the game today, I care about games in a year or more time. #Readingfc

@jmac_urz: Good. No sanction is worse than liquidation. Credit to every single person who stood up for our football club today. URZ 💙

@Peterkay2k11: How can the efl release a statement saying they are going to talk to the teams involved in today’s game when it’s their f**king fault in the first place they did it twice on the vale allowing a person(s) who ain’t fit to run a bath nevermind a football club #readingfc #pvfc

@snowdreammusic: Good. Apologies only to the Port Vale fans for making the journey. Hope you understand the importance of this. We can’t just sit and watch while the owners kill this club. Football has an ownership problem. #SellBeforeWeDai

@I_yell_alot_lol: Absolutely deserved, hope Dai Yongee is out soon for you guys. Wish you the best of luck for the rest of this season and future seasons 🙏🏽🙏🏽

@TVickers1: Well done for sticking with it #Reading fans.. Doing this to make sure you have a club to watch in years to come. Some fans won’t like it but fans will do the talking with their feet. All the best 🤝

@RustyRoyal: Faith in our fanbase fully restored. 👊🏻

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