Reading owners promise more deals for new signings

Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth
Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth owns a 25% stake in Reading

The Thai consortium which owns Reading is confident of securing deals for "three or four" more new players before the start of the Championship season.

Shareholder Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth told BBC Radio Berkshire deals should be completed within the next two weeks.

Reading finished their pre-season tour of the country with a 2-2 draw against a Thai Allstars XI in Bangkok.

Nick Blackman and Pavel Pogrebnyak scored either side of goals in each half for the home side.

Speaking before the game, Mr Thanakarnjanasuth was bullish about the season ahead.

"Premier League football is what we're targeting with (manager) Steve Clarke," he said.

"He comes up with a lot of ideas in our meetings and everyone is going in the same direction.

"Right now, we're talking to three or four players about deals, which we should finalise within the next two weeks."

Among those to feature for Reading in the match in Bangkok was former Bolton and Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi who is training with the club with a view to a permanent deal.

There were also substitute appearances from new signings Jonathan Bond, Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn.

Reading starting line-up in Bangkok
Former Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi (back row, far right) featured for Reading in Bangkok

Mr Thanakarnjanasuth, who owns a 25% stake in the Royals, revealed he and the consortium had looked at other potential English clubs to invest in before choosing Reading.

"We saw lots of promise in the club and the area and in particular, the under-21 side and the academy," he added.

Mr Thanakarnjanasuth shares the same stake as Lady Sasima Srivikorn with Narin Niruttinanon owning the remaining 50%.

Outside of football, Mr Thanakarnjanasuth's interests include a major clothing manufacturer and exporter as well as real estate businesses in Thailand.

During the club's visit this week, talk also emerged of the consortium's potential interest in developing land around the Madejski Stadium into a conference and entertainment venue.

"We're only concentrating on the football," Mr Thanakarnjanasuth added.

"The land and potential around the stadium is a by-product, but not our main purpose.

"There's not a concrete plan at this stage. We will talk about it in the future, but right now, we're concentrating on a new season with new players and who can we bring in."

John Madejski and Sasima Srivikorn
Club chairman Sir John Madejski and co-owner Lady Sasima Srivikorn pictured during April's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal
Reading bus for Thailand trip
Steve Clarke's squad were given first-class treatment on their visit to Bangkok
Reading players in promotional duties in Bangkok
Reading players fulfilled a number of duties with new sponsors while in the country