Dear Dayong Pang,
We note the recent action by Reading FC to improve our chances of survival, and applaud the appointment of Noel Hunt as interim manager. We remain very concerned about the future of the club, but we strongly call on all fans to continue to back the team on the pitch.
However, as much as fans have their role to play, the club equally has its own part to play and unfortunately we continue to feel that the way the club have approached the Player of the Season vote is deeply disrespectful to our loyal fanbase.
Fans deserve to be participants in the announcement within the traditional setting of a home match, not at a private event – much less an event that costs 53% of a season ticket for the men’s team, or an astonishing 350% of the cost of a ticket to watch the women’s team for the season.
While we welcome the recent meeting facilitated by the club with STAR to discuss these matters, we remain disappointed that the options proposed by the club do not meet the minimum expectations of courtesy our fans deserve.
Our message is clear: The supporters’ Player of the Season vote belongs to all supporters. Present the award on the pitch, and allow all supporters the chance to applaud the winners.
Unless the club agree to present the award on the pitch, in front of the fans, we will continue to oppose the decision to present the Player of the Season award at the event. We will also remain steadfast in not conducting in person voting in the Stadium this season.
To clarify, we are not opposed to the club fundraising. We are more than content for other awards to be presented and that you use the event to celebrate the Player of the Season awards, but the announcement and presentation themselves should be pitchside at the stadium for both the Mens and Womens teams.
In addition, Supporters Trust At Reading alongside The Tilehurst End, Elm Park Royals, Club 1871 and Proud Royals now call on fans to abstain from voting in the Player of the Season awards.
The owner, you, and the manager are all custodians of the club, but the club belongs to the fans. We were here before you and we will be here long after, as long as the club continues to exist.
Supporters Trust At Reading (STAR), The Tilehurst End, Elm Park Royals, Club 1871, Proud Royals