Nigel Howe has been appointed as Reading’s new chief executive.
Already in place at Madejski Stadium as vice chairman, where he has been overseeing the property developments at Bearwood and Royal Elm Park proposals, Howe will continue with those projects but also get more involved in the day-to-day running of the club.
The Royals have been on the look-out for a new CEO since Ron Gourlay left the club last month following his difficult 16-month reign.
And they have opted to pass the baton onto Howe, who previously served as the club’s chief exec for more than two decades during the most successful period in their history, helping with the transition to Madejski Stadium and also during their record-breaking 106 point Championship winning season.
He left his role as CEO in 2012 but has now returned to take the top job following discussions with the Chinese owners Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li.
The pair had released a statement just last week explaining how they would not rush into an appointment and that Howe would step in in the interim, but he has now been given the job on a permanent basis.
“As we said recently, the importance of this appointment was not to be underestimated and, as owners, we sought a CEO who would be the right fit for Reading.
“In Nigel Howe, the club’s direction is being entrusted to a very safe pair of hands and an individual who knows the club, its staff, the town, its reputation, its supporters and its potential better than anyone.
“He has tasted success here before and I believe he can help us to achieve more success in the future. So we are very much looking forward to working closely with Nigel and his senior management team to build a positive future for this football club.”
Howe himself said: “I am honoured that the club’s owners have asked me to retake the reins and help lead this club forward. Both on and off the pitch, challenges lie ahead.
“However, with our fans’ support, I am very pleased to accept this exciting opportunity to help the club better engage with our fans, better connect with our community, establish its identity and achieve its aspirations going forward.”