Reading training ground sale put on hold because of planning issues

Bearwood Park: Opened in 2019 at a reported cost of £50m

Bearwood Park: Opened in 2019 at a reported cost of £50m

THE sale of Reading's training ground to Wycombe Wanderers has been put on hold after it emerged that planning limitations do not allow another club to use the grounds.

Last week it was revealed that Wycombe were in exclusive talks to purchase the Bearwood Park training base from their League One rivals for £25m. As part of the process, Wycombe’s majority investor agreed to provide funding to Reading while due diligence was carried out to help the Royals meet their tax and payroll obligations.

Reading are facing a cash shortfall of £1m this month and could be deducted further points by the Football League if they fail to meet their liabilities. They have already had six points deducted this season because financial issues and are currently 18th in League One.

“A little over a week ago, Reading Football Club announced that it was selling its training ground,” Wycombe said in a statement. “Wycombe’s majority investor, Feliciana EFL Ltd, made a proposal to purchase the grounds. Many of the details were still to be worked out, including potential sharing with Reading and how to ensure a smooth transition.

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“Importantly, it was agreed that while the details were being finalised and due diligence carried out, Feliciana would provide sufficient financing to Reading to allow it to pay its tax obligations and operating expenses, including payroll for the staff and players.

“It was Wycombe and Feliciana’s belief that they were helping Reading and professional football with the offer to assist its neighbour in a manner that had historically been used in the past by many football clubs. Indeed, Wycombe’s own training ground had been sold over a decade ago to reduce operating expenses and fund the club when the club had its own financial issues.

“Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and Feliciana have to put on hold the discussions and ongoing due diligence due to seeming planning limitations allowing only Reading FC to use the training grounds. Wycombe continues to wish its neighbours good luck in solving its issues. For its part, Wycombe will continue its search for a training ground that meets its ambitions for the Club.”

Reading supporters had protested against the deal on Friday and fans group Sell Before We Dai travelled to Wycombe’s Adams Park to show their opposition. Yongge had said earlier this month that he was open to sale of the training ground to secure funding while new owners are sought.

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