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Reading staff fear women’s club division could be shut down after Football Association reject takeover bid

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The future of Reading’s women’s team has been in doubt amid the club’s takeover saga; only two first-team players have contracts going into next season; Championship club Reading have to meet a deadline next week or risk relegation to the fourth tier

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Reading staff fear the club’s women’s division could be shut down after the Football Association rejected a takeover bid for the club.

The future of Reading’s women’s team has been in doubt following the FA decision with the reasons why unknown to many employees.

They now fear this could signal the permanent abolition of the women’s division, including the girl’s academy, as the FA deadline to participate in the Championship edges closer.

A source inside the club said: “Ever since relegation to the Championship and being moved to part-time on the June 6 2023, players and staff have been in fear for the club’s future, with so much uncertainty with the current ownership under Dai Yongge.”

Everyone in the club from the players and staff to parents of the academy players remain in the dark about what they should do and what happens next.

Currently only two Reading first-team players have contracts going into next season, with the club refusing to trigger any other contract extensions.

Reading were in the Women's Super League in the 2022/23 season
Image:Reading were in the Women’s Super League in the 2022/23 season

With the current FA deadline – believed to be next week – looming, the club will need to provide a combination of proof of funding, staff employed, to meet their core level of staff, and registered players come pre-season to meet the FA’s requirements.

If this deadline is not met to participate in the Championship Reading may have to take a voluntary relegation to the fourth tier. Even then, ownership may not provide the funding needed.

The feeling inside the women’s team is the club are now solely focused on the men’s side and that they have shown this even more by not ordering any training kits for the women’s side to wear in pre-season.

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