Reading Football Club News: August 2020

Bowen Leaves Club

31 August 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Former manager Mark Bowen has made a clean break of it and left Reading Football Club. And who can blame him? After being unfairly dumped as first team manager just as the new season was about to get underway, he was offered to move back to his old position as director of football but has chosen to depart. Bowen may not have been a popular choice when he was installed as manager last October, but he leaves with much respect for his time at the club and his conduct as manager. He also was successful in guiding the club to a mid-table finish from a relegation position on arrival and did let to justify being relieved of his position.

In our forum polls, over 80% of Reading fans think that getting a new manager in is the wrong decision, and over 60% are underwhelmed or worse that the new manager is Veljko Paunovic. It is clear that fans are not happy with the club's decision to remove the manager, the chief executive, and be left without a director of football with just days to the new season. It is unnecessary chaos at a time when stability is needed.

Another Season Another Manager

30 August 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It's now barely a surprise when Reading FC's owners make stupid decisions to replace yet another manager who has been given hardly any time and done what might be considered a reasonable job. This this around it is Mark Bowen that is being relieved of his duties for no good reason as manager of the Reading FC first team. It's more of a shoulder shrug than anything else as Bowen steps aside in favour of another unknown manager who will turn up for a bit, do ok as Reading bump around the bottom half of the table, and then get sacked next summer or earlier.

You have to feel sorry for Bowen who was appointed Reading manager only in October last year and guided Reading to a respectable mid-table finish with 14 wins from 40 matches. He did all that was really expected of him. Bowen is expected to remain at the club but will shrink back behind the scenes, perhaps in his previous position.

The new manager is Veljko Paunovic who managed American side Chicago Fire in the MLS between 2015 and 2019, where he took them to the play-offs ones season but in his other seasons did a thoroughly average job. Paunovic was an attacking midfielder or striker in his playing days, and is a young manager at just 43. It's a strange appointment and not a very exciting one. But as always we wish Paunovic well and obviously hope he is successful.

Reading's owners put out a statement that quite frankly sounded like a load of old bollocks: "This has been a process and this appointment has been made only after long, careful consideration. After meeting with him, we found Veljko to be an exceptional candidate who impressed us immediately. I am sure he is the right man for Reading Football Club. I'm delighted he has agreed to sign as our new manager."

Paunovic takes over as Reading manger just a week before the new season kicks-off with the Royals playing Colchester United at the Madejski Stadium in the Leage Cup next Saturday. Our first league game is Saturday 12 September - a trip to Derby County. Expectations for the new season are not high.

In better news, Reading have finally secured the services of Ovie Ejaria, who finally joins the Royals permanantly on a four year contract.

All Change At The Top

25 August 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading FC are making dramatic changes behind the scenes as they shuffle around the board room - and manager Mark Bowen is strongly rumoured to be set to return to his Director of Football role. The club have already confirmed that Nigel Howe is no longer the Chief Executive, but he will remain at the club as "vice-Chairman". Dayong Pang will become the new chief executive to replace Howe.

Howe has been credited with bringing stability back to the club after returning a second time to become CEO, so it seems a strange decision to replace him immediately before the start of a fresh season. The same may apply to Mark Bowen if he finds himself removed from the manager's position with the new season set to begin.

Club Statement:

Howe will return to his previous position as Vice-Chairman and resume responsibility for the property side of the business incorporating into his role the completion of the development of our new state-of-the-art training facility, Bearwood Park, and the future plans for the site at Hogwood Park. He will also continue in his role as a member of the EFL board.

Mr Dayong Pang, who has worked closely with Mr Dai for a number of years, will now step up to assume the role of Chief Executive.

Owner Mr Dai Yongge would like to thank Nigel for his hard work in his capacity as CEO and looks forward to his continued contribution to the club and its owners moving forward. He would also like to wish Mr Dayong Pang every success in this new and important role.

Reading FC: New Season Fixtures In Full

21 August 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading FC's fixtures for the new 2020/2021 Championship season have been released this morning. The new Championship season is scheduled to kick-off on Saturday 12 September, about a month later than normal, and the Royals will begin with a trip to Derby County. Despite the late start to the season it will finish as planned on Saturday 8 May when Reading will end the season with a home match against Huddersfield Town. League games will come thick and fast to fit a full season's fixtures in and there are midweek games on either Tuesday or Wednesday evening's for the majority of weeks.

Reading's first competitive fixture will be on Saturday 5 September as they start the new season with a home League Cup fixture against Colchester United at the Madejski Stadium behind closed doors. It is still not clear if football league clubs will be able to open their doors to some fans in October or if we will have to wait longer to watch live football again.

Other interesting dates in Reading's fixture calendar include an away trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday 23 February and home Boxing Day fixtures against Luton Town.