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Wycombe owner questions Reading protest group, takeover talks go on and worried staff leave

Wycombe Wanderers owner Rob Couhig questions the Reading protest group, as takeover talks continue and worried staff ask to leave.

Another mad week comes to an end for the Royals, and it was filled with plenty more headlines on various developments emerging.

We start with Wycombe Wanderers chairman Rob Couhig, who is questioning the ‘plan’ of Reading fan group Sell Before We Dai after their decision to protest against the Chairboys’ attempt to buy the Bearwood Park training ground.

Couhig said via the Heroes of HP12 podcast, per Reading Chronicle: “They’ve already cost their club three points, haven’t they? I like the fans and I understand their anxiety but wait until you see how things work out.

“What is their plan? The plan is we’re going to force these people out, but who are you going to force to buy it? What’s the economics of buying a club that has all of those assets? The training ground doesn’t produce any revenue, it’s a huge revenue drain. I don’t understand what their plan was.

“Nobody asked the leaders of these anti-groups for their plan. What is your plan? What is the alternative? What are you going to do about the wages this week? Make the owner pay it? If the owner doesn’t pay it, what’s the plan? What are we going to do with staff- how are they going to eat? Nobody thinks about all this stuff, so they get excited ‘look at me I’m running the organisation.’

“It’s a tough issue and a great club. The relationship they’ve had with the owners hasn’t been good, but none of them complained when the owners were spending the money.”

Couhig recently shared screenshots online of messages he had received, one reading: “We have a party when you’re in a grave,” while another remarked, “I’m not a fan of the use of guns in civilian life, but I can occasionally make an exception #JustSaying.”

Couhig replied to the first message, saying: “Not nearly as big as the one my friends and family will have, Louisiana wakes can get wild. Regards, ‘Franchise Owning Club Murderer’.”

Sell Before We Dai said that the sale of Bearwood Park is the latest indication that Dai “never intended to sell the club”, which they say is now on “life support”.

It adds that Wycombe owner Rob Couhig is an “accomplice” who “did not pull the trigger” but is “helping the (Reading) owners hide the body”.

SEE MORE: Wycombe now NOT buying Reading’s training ground despite belief that they were helping them

Meanwhile, ex-Reading CEO Nigel Howe claimed there have been “lots of approaches from around the world” to buy the club.

Howe is currently involved in brokering the sale of the Royals, and believes owner Dai Yongge is eager to complete a deal, potentially by mid-May.

“It’s quite clear that Mr Dai has committed to sell the club at the earliest opportunity,” he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

“We’ve had North American, Far East and British enquiries.”

On Monday, the Reading Chronicle reported that a number of meetings took place between interested parties and Dai Yongge’s representatives with all sides leaving feeling “very positive”.

Reading and Wycombe issued a statement announcing that the sale of Bearwood Park training ground wasn’t going ahead after Wycombe discovered that there were planning restrictions in place which only permitted Reading to utilise the grounds.

Previously, Wycombe had expressed their hopes that the funds involved in a possible agreement would benefit the Royals, especially following their disclosure of a financial deficit in the month of March with the figure thought to be around £1m, and any failure to complete their financial obligations would mean Reading are threatened with being given another points deduction as well as their status as a League One club.

On Thursday (21st March), The Telegraph report that Reading are targeting takeover exclusivity by end of month with hedge fund Genevra Associates are one of two leading contenders to become preferred bidder as pressure mounts on Yongge to sell.

Reading had initially reached an agreement with Genevra in November of last year, but talks fell through after Yongge reportedly altered the terms.

Now new negotiations have now been reopened and Genevra keen to finalise a deal, while there are two additional offers on the table for the club.

Telegraph Sport are also informed that the possibility of facing another points deduction this month is expected to be averted.

Reading is facing pressure to settle debts for this month or else they may encounter further sanctions from the EFL.

Fortunately, £1 million is set to be covered by sponsorship funds, which will eliminate the immediate risk of losing an additional two points. This situation could help push Ruben Selles and his team closer to the relegation zone.

The situation has seen the partner of a Reading FC player has urged owner Dai Yongge to “do the right thing” and sell the club.

Yazmine Delarose, partner of midfielder Lewis Wing, said as per the BBC: “This situation is wrong on so many levels and I’ve had enough of being silent and sitting back waiting for it the magically be okay!

“I just wanted to let everyone to know, that everyone close to the club are all in the same boat – that I was feeling it.

“When we joined Reading it was so exciting, I thought we’d be able to set roots down, get my little boy into nursery, buy a house and start settling down.

“Now no-one knows what’s going on, the fans and the employees don’t know what that next stages looks like – the unknown does scare people.”

She also took to praise the fans who had been “incredible” throughout the recent troubles.

“You get told Reading is a real family club – now I’ve really experienced this first hand, it couldn’t be more true,” she added.

She called on Mr Dai to “do the right thing”.

“Cut your losses and sell the club to someone who is genuinely interested, passionate and motivated to push the club to what we all know it can be,” she added.

Reading boss Ruben Selles also said that some members of staff, including coaches Eddie Niedzwiecki and Andrew Sparkes, are worried with others asking to leave because they don’t ‘feel safe.’

“It’s arriving to a point where I told you a couple of weeks ago that we can’t cope with those things anymore,” Selles said to the media after the 4-0 win over Cambridge, per Reading Chronicle.

“We passed the time where people talk about the pep talks and control the controllables and focus on your thing. There has been too much around us and at some point it needs to stop.

“We cannot continue coping with the chaos and uncertainty that is making people leave us.

“Someone from the medical staff this week asked to go to another club because people want to feel safe and we are not making our people feel safe.”

This is what Twitter users are saying as the Wycombe owner questions Reading protest group, takeover talks go on and worried staff leave…

@adsavory: The reason Rob Couhig and a section of Wycombe fans are so caustic towards @SellBeforeWeDai is not because they believe they’re harming Reading’s chances survival, as they claim. It’s because SBWD have stopped them having their way. It’s completely self serving #readingfc

@BillCrawford87: Having heard Rob Couhig’s comments on the @HeroesOfHP12 all I can say is wow. I can’t believe this guy is the owner of my club, actually makes me not want to go again till he leaves. Calling Reading fans “moronic” for trying to save their club and claiming that Reading fan opposition was the reason Wycombe pulled out of the deal rather than admit it was his own incompetence (as a trained lawyer) not checking the planning permission. (Wycombe’s own official club statement cites the PP as the reason for withdrawal)

@BillCrawford87: Believe me, if Rob Couhig views Reading fans trying to save their club with this much contempt then he probably sees all football fans this way. Do you really believe he would have any more respect for Wycombe fans if we ever opposed him? #wycombewanderers #wwfc #couhigsout

@BillCrawford87: Can’t believe Rob Couhig actually said “What’s the fan’s plan when you drive out the owner? Who is going to pay the bills when he doesn’t?” about Reading fans. Dai Yongge doesn’t pay the bills, that’s the problem! #readingfc #wwfc

@maffff: Rob Couhig comes across awfully, bitter opportunistic vulture. #ReadingFC

@RightSideOfLif3: To summarise. Vulture tries to play ‘hero’ while trying to not sound too pissed off that he didn’t do the right level of due diligence before releasing statements about his intentions. Three Wycombe fans give their ill-informed view about our efforts to save our club—the end.

@BrightsideRFC: You didn’t read the small print, that wasn’t even in small print. You jumped the gun at announcing it to look like a hero, then when you realised you can’t actually use the ground for what you want you ducked out 🤷🏻‍♂️

@CazParker1871:
Looked in the Oxford dictionary at the definition of a ‘good deed’
– Asset stripping a crisis Club
– Renting it back to them as your own Club doesn’t need anything that big
– Potentially stealing another Club’s IP rather than developing your own
No, it wasn’t there #Readingfc

@DingJoeNL: I can’t say the backlash they’re getting/going to get isn’t completely deserved 😭

@AdamHumphries96: Sheer arrogance. Actually more from the fans on this podcast than Couhig. Obviously very upset that we actually did something to stop their disgusting ambulance chasing. Littered with lies stated as fact and a lack of understanding of the situation

@ding_dan_18: Absolutely pathetic, have some shame

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