Reading confirm withdrawal from Championship and drop to Tier 5

A general view of a Reading FC corner flag
A general view of a Reading FC corner flag on August 18, 2019 in Reading, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

It was already reported on intensively over the last few days, but it has now been officially confirmed. Reading have withdrawn from the Women’s Championship ahead of the 2024/25 season and will drop down to the fifth tier in the pyramid due to financial reasons.

In their official statement, Reading revealed they had ‘exhaustively explored every option’ to remain in the Championship, alongside support from The FA. Sadly, ‘operating under a separate funding model has not been possible’ for the Royals.

The news comes less than 12 months after Reading were relegated from the Women’s Super League. They finished the 2022/23 season with just 11 points on the board from three wins, two draws, and 11 defeats. Ahead of their season in the Championship, the club announced the women’s team would be operating on a part-time basis due to funding issues.

Reading Women official statement

In their official statement, Reading acknowledged what is required for them to remain in the Championship.

“To continue to operate at Barclays Women’s Championship level, the club requires further ownership cash injection to build a squad capable of competing and to meet the revised mandatory criteria ahead of the 2024/25 season. This would have included returning to a full-time training model as well as further investments in facilities and personnel. 

“Whilst these requirements are in-line with the exponential growth of the women’s game – it is widely accepted that a direct financial return on annual investment is not expected for at least five years. Unfortunately, given the current economic realities of the Club, the outlay required to reach these levels are just not possible without significant owner funding.”

What’s next for Reading Women?

Embed from Getty Images

Now it has been confirmed that Reading will not play in the Championship. there will be a structural change. The Royals will drop to Tier 5 for starters, but there is much more to consider. Many people have to be let go, there will be a loss of quality in players and backroom staff. It will have an impact on the community and the academy. There are many variables to be considered. Overall, it will be a feeling of sadness that will be flowing through the hearts of the fans and players.

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