Reading: Thai consortium takes over Championship club

Reading
Reading are sixth in the Championship league table after seven games

A Thai consortium has successfully completed a takeover of Reading, the Championship club have confirmed.

The partnership with the group, led by businesswoman Khunying Sasima Srivikorn, was first announced in July.

She will now become co-chairman with Sir John Madejski, who has been with the Berkshire club since 1990.

Previous majority shareholder Anton Zingarevich left the club's board in June, but Madejski had been looking for new investment since last year.

In a statement, Madejski said: "I cannot speak highly enough of our new partners from the time we have spent together so far."

John Madejski
Madejski (centre) estimates that running the club for 24 years has cost him £50m

The amount of money involved in the takeover has not yet been disclosed.

But, under the agreement, Sasima and Khun Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth have each bought 25% of the club.

The other 50% of the shareholding in the club has been bought by Khun Narin Niruttinanon.

Two other Thai members of the consortium will also join the club's board, but Nigel Howe will remain as chief executive.

"I have owned this great club for almost a quarter of a century and it has given me some of the greatest memories of my life," Madejski added.

"I am incredibly proud of the success we have enjoyed both on and off the pitch.

"There are reasons to be optimistic on many fronts, and we now move forward with a renewed vigour and high hopes for a bright new future."

Reading highs under Sir John Madejski
Second-tier champions: 2005-6; 2011-12 Runners-up: 1994-95;
Third-tier champions: 1993-94 Runners-up: 2001-02
Highest ever league placing: Eighth in Premier League 2006-07 season

Zingarevich bought a majority 51% stake in Reading in May 2012, and was due to complete a full takeover in October of the following year, only to pull out of the deal.

In April of this year, Madejski said the club's need for new investment was "critical", but after Zingarevich severed his connections with the club, he revealed at the end of July that a partnership with the Thai consortium was in place.

Reading were relegated from the Premier League in 2013 and subsequently finished seventh in the Championship last season.

Madejski told BBC Radio Berkshire he estimates that running the club has cost him around £50m and also revealed the new owners have "taken on a substantial amount of debt" which had built up at the club.

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