Reading FC takeover: How did William Storey make his money?

The controversial Rich Energy drinks company CEO is believed to have agreed a deal to buy the Royals from Dai Yongge

There had been speculation that the Royals would soon be going into administration if a deal could not be agreed between their current owner and another party, but on Wednesday night news emerged of a deal being agreed.

However, the proposed new owner of Reading will perhaps not be liked as it is that of William Storey who has apparently had an offer accepted by Yongge, John Percy of The Telegraph has reported.

Percy has stated that a £50 million deal has been agreed between Storey and Yongge, which includes both the Select Car Leasing Stadium and the Bearwood training facility, with some of the funding acquired by Storey from ‘wealthy’ other investors.

Storey will now have to undergo the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, which will determine if he is fit and proper enough to take charge of a club, and it has been claimed that the demands for the test have become more strict in recent times.

Having failed to buy Sunderland and Coventry City in recent times though, and with doubts over the validity of his business dealings, it remains to be seen if Storey will get the approval of the Football League to take charge of the Berkshire outfit.

How did William Storey make his money?

Reading FC regain Category One academy status – Reading Today Online

Storey, who is apparently 45 years of age having been born in September 1978, but he first really came into the public eye when managing boxer Frank Buglioni, who was a British boxing champion but never became a world champion.

The biggest venture for Storey however has been that of his Rich Energy drinks group, which was founded in 2015 and most famously was the title sponsor of the Haas Racing team in Formula One for the 2019 season.

That happened after Storey attempted to buy the Force India F1 team in 2018, which failed to materialise, but the Haas sponsorship, which was said to be valued at around £59.7 million by Haas, was terminated halfway through the 2019 campaign.

Rich Energy has been branded on other motorsport vehicles in recent years, but the existence of the actual Rich Energy drink continues to be disputed as it is a struggle to try and purchase it anywhere.

And a deeper dive into the company’s finances by sportswriter Martin Calladine has showed that the limited company connected to Rich Energy owed a mammoth £68 million in unsecured creditor claims when assessed by a liquidator who had been appointed.

The same liqudator noted that Rich Energy’s limited account only had £1,742 in the bank and no actual assets of note, meaning that it is completely unclear as to where Storey’s wealth has been made or is coming from.

It has been claimed that Storey has some wealthy backers helping him out, but his history with Rich Energy and other business ventures will probably not help him when it comes to the EFL’s test of prospective new owners and his purchase of Reading.

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