Reading FC’s Select Car Leasing Stadium has been granted Asset of Community Value (ACV) status by the council.
The club’s supporters’ trust STAR submitted its ACV application earlier this year following a meeting with councillors about the turmoil going on at the club.
The STAR application was supported by Sell Before We Dai, a fans’ group set up to force a change of ownership at the club.
It would give community interest groups an opportunity to try to acquire the site in the event of its disposal.
Council leader Cllr Jason Brock, said: “It continues to be an understandably concerning time for every Reading supporter. While the recent points deduction was the latest blow for the club’s fans, it is fair to say the biggest battles to come will likely take place off the pitch.
“Both myself and Cllr Ennis – whom I’ve asked to be our principal liaison on these issues – were happy to meet in person with representatives of the STAR supporters’ group earlier this year and pleased for the council to receive and subsequently approve the application to make the Select Car Leasing Company Stadium an Asset of Community Value.
“I hope the designation sends a message to the owners, but I would repeat the calls that myself and Cllr Barnett-Ward made previously to Government for far better regulation and intervention nationally. Councils should not be left with such limited powers when a huge part of their area’s life and soul faces real threat.”
Sarah Turner, Sell Before We Dai spokesperson and STAR chair, said: “We are so grateful for the support of Reading Borough Council and the helpful ruling on our ACV application.
“We have seen what’s happened to other clubs in similar situations to ours when their stadium’s future is in doubt. Being granted Asset of Community Value status offers us a glimmer of hope in what has been the most unsettling period for fans in 40 years.”
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