Amid rumors of Reading’s takeover, the League One Chief Discusses His Difficulty Dealing With the “Extrovert” William Storey

Chiefs dealing with takeover

Amid rumors of Reading’s takeover, the League One Chief Discusses His Difficulty Dealing With the “Extrovert” William Storey

Chiefs dealing with takeover

Charlie Methven, co-owner of Charlton Athletic, remembers encountering issues with potential Reading buyer William Storey when the latter was Sunderland’s Chief Executive.


The Telegraph reported this week that Storey, pending passing the Football League’s fit and suitable owners’ test, is scheduled to complete a £50 million outright takeover of the Royals within six weeks. Storey is in charge of a group of wealthy investors that is trying to take the Berkshire club away from Chinese businessman Dai Yongge.

It is still too soon to say if Storey will be subject to the EFL’s ownership test, according to a report on Thursday from The Athletic (via Football League World). The article said it is unclear what role the CEO of Rich Energy would have if the takeover is successful.


According to journalist Courtney Friday, Storey, an ex-sponsor for Formula 1 team Haas, tried to buy both Sunderland and Coventry City several years ago, but could only eventually get his hands on a League One team at the third attempt.

Charlie Methven, a former Sunderland co-owner who verified the millionaire’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Black Cats, described how challenging it was to work with the prospective future leader of Reading.


Methven even admitted to ‘giggling’ at Storey’s antics once the procedure was complete, as she told the Sunderland Echo:


“That direct approach to the fanbase caused us some problems because when someone says it is feasible, possible, and should be done to sign a number of Premier League players to a League One club, it makes life very difficult for the current incumbent, who knows that it is completely impossible, but you don’t have a counterfactual so you can’t prove that it is impossible.


“In the interim, we had already begun conversations with a very reliable owner—the family Louis-Dreyfus, who had previously owned Marseille. We may not have shared William Storey’s excessive opinions of the club’s worth, but we were confident they would have the funds and be able to pass the EFL test.

We moved forward with that purchase and eventually had a little laugh over the entire Storey story, he said.


When you’re in the middle of it, it may be a very time-consuming exercise since journalists and fan organizations call you constantly to inquire about this extremely outgoing person and the reason you’re rejecting his offer. Dealing with that can be difficult and time-consuming.

Writer’s View

Similar to his unsuccessful bid to buy Sunderland, Storey has already been outspoken about the possibility of buying Reading in the media and on social media, which may have ruffled some feathers in the fanbase.


At least Storey has continued to act in a way that is consistent with Methven’s memories of working with the 45-year-old in the past.








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