Reading manager Jaap Stam considers his team’s progression into the Championship playoff final as one of the biggest achievements of his career, he said after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Fulham (2-1 on aggregate) in the semi-finals.
Stam, 44, who joined Reading before the start of the season, previously captured numerous trophies as a player at PSV, Ajax and Manchester United, as well as two while an assistant coach at Ajax in the 2013-14 season.
Reading finished 17th in the Championship last season but an impressive home record of just two league losses under Stam helped them come in third in the regular season to book a playoff spot.
“It’s one of the top ones,” Stam told reporters after the game. “It’s great to come here to work at a club with a lot of potential – the players are prepared to work really hard.
“We needed to defend, we needed to dig in and we got that win which is very important.”
Reading announced on Tuesday that Chinese investors and siblings, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, had become majority shareowners at the club after the league’s governing body approved the takeover.
Reading join a growing list of European teams to be controlled by Chinese investors, with Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, Serie A’s AC Milan and Inter Milan along with Ligue 1’s Nice being sold in the last year.
“The club have gained EFL approval for the change in majority shareholder and our new Chinese shareholders have taken up their position at Reading Football Club,” a statement on Reading’s official website read. (www.readingfc.co.uk)
“We would like to thank every one of our loyal fans for their patience and continued support over recent months whilst the new ownership structure has been finalised – a structure which ensures the future financial stability of the club and will enable the club to move to the next level.”
Reading will face either Sheffield on Wednesday or Huddersfield Town in the Wembley final on May 29.