Formula 1

William Storey: From F1 Controversy to Potential Football Club Ownership

William Storey, known for his controversial stint in F1 with Rich Energy, is now reportedly in talks to purchase Reading Football Club. This marks a significant shift from motorsports to football for the Rich Energy founder, following a series of contentious sponsorships in the racing world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Storey’s move to football comes after a tumultuous time in motorsport, including acrimonious splits with Haas F1 and OMG Racing, and unsuccessful attempts to buy Coventry City and Sunderland FC.
  • The proposed £50m deal with Reading FC’s owner Yongge Dai is pending, contingent upon passing the English Football League’s ‘fit and proper persons test’.
  • Reading FC’s current struggles, including relegation and financial difficulties, make this potential acquisition by Storey a high-risk yet intriguing investment in the world of football.

In a bold transition from the high-speed lanes of Formula 1, William Storey is now maneuvering towards a different goalpost. The founder of Rich Energy, previously known for his dramatic and at times contentious role in motorsport, is reportedly in discussions to take over Reading Football Club. This move, if successful, will mark a new chapter in Storey’s investment ventures within the sporting sector.

Storey’s tenure in motorsport was nothing short of eventful. His company’s sponsorship with the Haas F1 team ended in a public and somewhat messy manner. The termination, described as “amicable” by both parties, was rooted in dissatisfaction over the team’s performance. Additionally, a deal with OMG Racing in motorbike racing was called off, with reports of “bad faith” actions contributing to the collapse of the relationship. Despite these setbacks, Storey’s ambition in sports investment seems undeterred.

However, this is not the first time Storey has eyed a football club. His previous attempts to acquire Coventry City and Sunderland FC were unsuccessful. Now, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Storey has agreed on terms with Yongge Dai for the purchase of Reading FC in a proposed £50m deal. This acquisition, however, remains subject to approval, dependent on the outcome of the English Football League’s ‘fit and proper persons test’.

The state of Reading FC, also known as The Royals, adds another layer of complexity to this potential acquisition. The team, currently struggling in League 1, faces significant challenges. With just six points from 11 games this season, and the looming threat of a winding-up order from HM Revenue & Customs, the club’s situation is precarious.

Storey’s interest in Reading FC, despite these challenges, underscores his persistent desire to be a significant player in sports sponsorship. While the outcome of this acquisition remains in the balance, subject to the validation of the EFL, what is clear is William Storey’s unwavering commitment to carving out a niche for himself in the world of sports investment. Whether his venture into football will mirror his eventful journey in motorsports remains to be seen, but it certainly adds an intriguing narrative to the ever-dynamic world of sports business.

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