Ron Gourlay: Reading appoint ex-Chelsea CEO as chief executive

Ron Gourlay
Ron Gourlay (left) pictured with Reading co-owner Dai Xiu Li

Reading have appointed Ron Gourlay as their new chief executive.

The former Chelsea CEO replaces Nigel Howe, who moves to the role of vice-chairman of the Championship club.

Gourlay, 54, succeeded Peter Kenyon at Chelsea and was also previously a senior director at Manchester United.

"I'm delighted to take up this new position and I consider it a real honour to be presented with the fantastic challenge of guiding the club to the next level," he said.

Gourlay worked at Chelsea for 10 years - five of them as chief executive - and oversaw the appointment of four different managers before leaving Stamford Bridge in 2014.

The club also won the double in his first season as CEO and went on to win the Champions League and Europa League.

At Reading, he is expected to work closely with manager Jaap Stam and director of football Brian Tevreden on footballing matters.

His predecessor Howe, chief executive since 1995, will now focus on the Royal Elm Park development around the Madejski Stadium, as well as plans for Reading's new training ground.

Analysis

BBC Radio Berkshire's Tim Dellor

Ron Gourlay has a tough act to follow.

Nigel Howe has been central to Reading's success as a club in the past 20 years. It's good he's still going to be involved as vice-chairman, ensuring some stability in the boardroom.

He will continue to have a huge influence, pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Gourlay arrives at Reading with a glowing CV, having done well at Chelsea and Manchester United. He will need all his skills to ensure the new Chinese ownership is a successful chapter in the club's history.

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