In a unique move, Reading owner Dai Yongge has agreed to sell the team’s training ground to local rivals Wycombe Wanderers. The English League One club only previously moved into the state-of-the-art facility back in 2019. At the time of construction, the $64 million ground showed a direct intention of returning to the Premier League.

Nevertheless, the Royals have struggled since suffering relegation from the top flight following the 2012/13 campaign. Although they nearly earned promotion in 2017, Reading fell in the playoff final on penalties to Huddersfield. The Berkshire side finished 20th in the Championship the following season. After a few years of stagnation in the second tier, Reading eventually dropped to League One in 2023.

Financial issues have fueled the move to sell the massive facility

Although the training ground, Bearwood Park, has not changed hands just yet, Dai has approved the deal. “Whilst an agreement is not yet finalized, both parties will move forward with the process exclusively,” stated Royals Chief Executive Dayong Pang.

“The proposed transaction will directly support the short-term funding of the club until a full sale can be concluded. Further updates, including possible options for an alternative training facility, will be communicated when appropriate.”

As the executive alluded to, Reading has faced fairly serious financial problems in recent years. The club earned a six-point deduction earlier this season due to the issues. Selling the 120-acre facility will help team officials pay player wages and government bills in the near future. Failure to pay these debts could result in yet another points deduction. If this happens, Reading’s place in the third-tier league would be under threat.

Because of the club’s financial difficulties, Dai has been looking to sell the club. Several investors have shown interest in Reading over the last few months. However, the move to part ways with the training ground has hindered these potential agreements. The Athletic reports one possible buyer has walked away from a deal due to the selling of Bearwood Park.

Reading will likely have to rent a new training ground

Wycombe’s interest in purchasing Reading’s training facility makes sense for multiple reasons. The Wanderers have been on the lookout for a training ground since they failed to acquire another area. Just 20 miles separates the two English clubs. Reading’s financial issues have certainly helped Wycombe’s search for a capable facility.

Both English clubs currently feature in League One as well. Reading, after the aforementioned points deduction, currently sits 18th in the 24-team table. Wycombe, on the other hand, is now four places higher in the standings and relatively safe from possible relegation. The two sides just played each other earlier in the month. Wycombe edged Reading in the match 2-1 thanks to a late penalty.

Reading fans can only hope that Dai’s rein at the helm will soon come to an end. The historic club previously sold their stadium to a company owned by the Chinese businessman. Assuming the deal for the training facility goes through, Reading will essentially have lost its two biggest assets in recent years.