Reading Fan Group Defends Pitch Invasion as “Unfiltered Passion” After Match Cancellation; Vows to End “Destructive” Ownership of Dai Yongge, Asserting “We Will Not Be Ignored” and Declaring “This Is Just the Beginning”

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Reading fan group Sell Before We Dai have responded to the abandonment of their match against Port Vale on Saturday.

Supporters staged a mass pitch invasion to protest against the club’s owner Dai Yongge in the early minutes of the game, with the original plan to hold a pitch invasion after the match.

The pitch invasion took place in the 16th minute of the match with the score goalless – with the time highlighting the 16 points the Royals have been deducted under Dai’s ownership.

Footage from the stands showed hundreds of fans invading the field of play, having earlier thrown tennis balls. Supporters remained on the pitch for over an hour, before confirmation that the match had been abandoned.

Sell Before We Dai have now addressed the events, again slating the running of the club under Yongge.

Reading fan group Sell Before We Dai have addressed the pitch invasion that got their game against Port Vale abandoned. Credit: Luke Adams

Fans stormed the pitch in the 16th minute of the game in protest against owner Dai Yongge. Credit: Luke Adams

Fans stormed the pitch in the 16th minute of the game in protest against owner Dai Yongge. Credit: Luke Adams

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‘Today is a dark day for Reading Football Club,’ the statement began.

‘The first fan-led match abandonment in our 152-year history should not be celebrated, but the spontaneous, unfiltered passion, as well as the will and determination of our fans, should be. Today has proven beyond any doubt that Reading fans will not be ignored and will fight to the bitter end for our club.

‘Our ownership is duplicitous and destructive. Players are being sold without the manager’s knowledge, staff are being made redundant, potential investors are being put off by those meant to be facilitating the sale. We either have no communication or we are lied to.

‘We understand that we will be punished by the EFL, but what we really need is help. Today was an outpouring of emotion from a fanbase not known for its hostility. We are scared for the future of our football club and the threat could not be more real. Our owner has already killed two clubs. We cannot be the third.’

The group described the events of Saturday as 'a dark day for the club' Credit: Luke Adams

The group described the events of Saturday as ‘a dark day for the club’ Credit: Luke Adams

The group called on the EFL to continue to help removing Yongge from his post as the club’s situation continues to deteriorate.

They also paid thanks to Port Vale fans for their supporters’ backing in the protest despite the abandonment of the game.

‘We call on the EFL to continue with their aim to expel Dai Yongge as an owner and we call on our fans to stay organised and united. We want this to be our last abandoned match, but it is just the start of this elevated protest action.

‘Finally, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks and apologies to the travelling Port Vale fans who showed us unwavering solidarity throughout today’s protest. We won’t forget it.’

They asked the EFL to continue to help to try and remove Yongge from his post as owner. Credit: Luke Adams

They asked the EFL to continue to help to try and remove Yongge from his post as owner. Credit: Luke Adams

They also extended their thanks and apologies to the Port Vale supporters. Credit: Luke Adams

They also extended their thanks and apologies to the Port Vale supporters. Credit: Luke Adams

Supporters have staged a number of protests against Yongge (pictured) in recent months

Supporters have staged a number of protests against Yongge (pictured) in recent months 

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Sell Before We Dai is a fan-led movement of Reading FC supporters groups including STAR (Supporters Trust at Reading), Club 1871, Elm Park Royals and The Tilehurst End. T

They are calling for Yongge Dai to sell the club at the earliest opportunity, while looking to secure the long-term future of the club and attract investors.

They are asking for the EFL to help remove their owner having staged a number of protests in the past few months, including during their FA Cup game against Eastleigh on live TV. 

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