READING Football Club are on the verge of having a new owner following Thai investor Sumrit Bunditkrisada reportedly agreeing a takeover of the club.
The Royals have been trying to find a buyer since last October as majority shareholder Anton Zingarevich stood down from the board earlier this year.
Reading’s advisors, Begbies Traynor and Vibrac, have agreed an exclusivity arrangement with Bunditkrisada and it is believed a deal could be concluded within days.
Reports suggest that 39-year-old Bunditkrisada, who is leading an Asian consortium, will be named as the new owner from Sir John Madejski once the deal has been scrutinised and passed by pass the Football League’s owners and directors test.
Bunditkrisada, thought to be worth around £4 billion, has an interest in football and owns Thai Premier League side Police United FC.
Madejski, who it recently emerged has lost around £300m of his near £400m fortune, has been chairman since 1990.
Several other parties were interested in buying the club, most recently Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi and Indian businessman Mohit Burman.
American investors have also shown an interest, including billionaire Joshua Harris.
Meanwhile Reading will kick-off their 2014/15 Championship season with a visit to the DW Stadium to face last season’s losing play-off semi-finalists Wigan Athletic on August 9.
The Royals will then host Newport County in the week beginning August 11 in the first round of the Capital One Cup before facing Ipswich Town at Madejski Stadium in the league on August 16.
Of the relegated Premier League sides, Fulham visit Madejski Stadium on September 13 while the Royals travel to both Cardiff City and Norwich City in the space of eight days in November.
Over the Christmas period the Royals travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day before hosting Norwich City on December 28.
The FA Cup third round kicks off the New Year on January 3 before the Royals entertain Middlesbrough on January 10 in the league.
On Easter Saturday the Royals host Cardiff City before travelling to Blackpool on Easter Monday.
The season concludes with a home match against Brentford on April 25 before a trip to Derby County on May 2.
Assistant manager Andy Crosby says the release of the fixture list sharpens the side’s focus on the new campaign.
Speaking after the fixtures were released this week, Crosby said: “The fixtures coming out gets everyone’s mind on the domestic season while we’re in the middle of the World Cup.
“I think everyone in the game prefers to be at home first off, and we’ll have to perform better at Wigan than we did last time, because they’re a team who will be up there at the end of the season.
“It’s obvious but however the fixtures come out, our mindset is to get on with it, we’ve got a good time now to prepare and we’re back in training in a couple of weeks.
“People will have pre-conceived ideas about who’s going to finish where, but I think the division is stronger this year. You look at the teams who have come down from the Premier League, and the likes of Wolves coming up, so it’s a tough division with good players. But we want it to be the start of something new for us. It’s been a good summer. Myself, the gaffer, Dean, Harvo and all the staff speaking regularly and things have been nailed down for pre-season, we’ve got a couple of days of fitness testing before we train, and a couple of short breaks in there as well.
“The testing is something of a new thing for the club and is a good indicator. The U21s are in back in next week and I know the manager told some of them it was a little trial for them over the summer, and we’ll see who joins the first team group from there.
“Pre-season will be challenging for all of us, then the season is 10 months which is a long time with 46 games — this time we hope we’re celebrating something at the end of it.”
For the full list of fixtures visit www.readingfc.co.uk