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English Premiership

Chinese take over Premier League-chasing Reading

Reading’s Dutch manager Jaap Stam © AFP/File / Justin TALLIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, May 17 – Chinese investors who failed in their bid to buy Hull City last year have succeeded in taking over Reading, who are one win away from the Premier League.

Brother and sister Dai Yongge and Dai Xiuli snapped up 75 percent of the Championship club with the previous Thai owners retaining a 25 percent stake.

The Premier League, who give their opinion on takeovers of clubs who could gain promotion, have been reported to be “cautious” about the Chinese siblings.

However, the English Football League, who oversee the Championship, League One and League Two, said they would not block the deal.

Reading, managed by former Netherlands and Manchester United defender Jaap Stam, on Tuesday saw off Fulham to reach the play-off final.

They will learn later Wednesday if their opponents in the final — the winner of which is promoted to the Premier League — are Sheffield Wednesday or Huddersfield Town.

“The EFL can confirm that they have no objections to the change of control application made by Reading Football Club,” a statement said.

“Following a full review of the transaction, the EFL has insisted upon — and the club/new owners have agreed to — a number of additional reporting requirements including enhanced financial monitoring, so as to ensure that their performance is consistent with the application we have considered.”

The brother-and-sister act unsuccessfully tried to purchase now-relegated Premier League side Hull, with the deal falling through amid speculation they had not met the league’s fit and proper person’s requirements.

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Reading chief executive Nigel Howe said the Chinese had ambitious plans, including “investment which will benefit not only the first-team squad, but which will also help to improve the club’s training facilities (and) continue to support its category-one academy programme”.

The siblings are the latest Chinese investors to take control of a Championship club but the only ones with a chance of gaining immediate reward to the Premier League.

Aston Villa and Wolves both failed to even reach the play-offs.

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