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Who are the owners of Reading FC - Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li?

By Stephen Emerson
27 June 2022
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The owners of Reading FC , Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, rarely seek publicity with statements coming only through carefully prepare club press releases but who are the brother-and-sister duo and where did their wealth, which has bankrolled years of spending at The Royals, come from?

Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li acquired Reading FC in 2017 with a bold vision to return the club to the Premier League and expand the club's stadium and occurred after the pair had come close to acquiring Hull City in 2016 before the takeover deal collapsed.

READ MORE: Two experts give their view on the financial impact of Reading avoiding relegation

A sourced told The Athletic that Dai Yongge “does not like publicity and, much like a lot of owners in football, is reluctant to communicate with supporters directly”.

A 75 per cent stake was taken through their company, Renhe Sports Management Co Ltd, with former owner Lady Sasima Srivikorn (part of the previous Thai ownership consortium) initially retaining a 25 per cent stake.

Reading’s home was sold to Prestige Fortune Asia Limited, a holding company owned by Dai Yongge, for £24.5 million during the 2017-18 season.

FAMILY BUSINESS

The pair's worked for the family business Renhe Commercial Holdings from the early 1990s and specialised in converting former bomb shelters into shopping malls to cater for the rising Chinese middle class.

In 2008, the company was listed on the Hing Kong stock exchange and had a valuation of £1.06 billion.

The family now operate through a new company, China Dili, which is based in the Caribbean’s Cayman Islands tax haven with a focus now geared to the agricultural sector.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Accounts released this year showed the club recording a net loss at the club of £35.5 million for the year ending June 2021.

The report filed with Company House , questioned the club’s ability to continue as a going concern but concluded that the company was good to continue as such for a period of 12 months from when the accounts were issued.

Auditors stated that the figures: “indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

This uncertainty is somewhat assuaged by the continuing support of the shareholders. The ability of the club to continue as an ongoing concern is dependent, reads the report on a shareholder confirmation: “that they will not seek repayment of their loans to the company unless the company’s cash flow permits repayment to be made without jeopardising the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

The report concluded that: "we have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that. individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern for a penod of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue."


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