Reading Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Clement as first team manager at Madejski Stadium.
The Wandsworth-born boss arrives in Reading with a sparkling CV, telling the impressive story of a career which has seen him lift the Premier League, the FA Cup (twice) and the Community Shield during an assistant managerial spell at Stamford Bridge, win Ligue 1 in France with Paris Saint Germain, claim Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA World Club Championship and Copa del Rey honours at Real Madrid and add a German Super Cup title as assistant coach with Bayern Munich.
Largely cutting his teeth in coaching under Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, Clement earned his UEFA Pro Licence in 2009 and has more recently stepped out into management in England by taking the hotseat at both Derby County in the Championship and Swansea City in the Premier League and he returns from a series of study visits in the United States of America to take the reins at Reading.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “I am delighted to have secured the services of a hugely experienced forward-thinking manager like Paul, who I have personally worked alongside during our time spent at Chelsea.
“Not only has he coached at some of the greatest clubs in Europe, winning trophies, league titles and European honours and working with some of the greatest players in the world, fundamentally he also has a rich understanding of English football having managed in both the Championship and the Premier League in recent years.
“Now, everyone at Reading Football Club is fully behind Paul and his squad of players as, together, we initially set our sights on an eight-game battle and continue to strive to the take this club forward.”
The son of former QPR and England defender Dave Clement and the brother of former West Bromwich Albion full-back Neil Clement – who also had a short stint on loan with Reading in the late nineties – Paul focussed on the coaching side of the sport, beginning his career with Chelsea’s Centre of Excellence and then as part of Fulham’s Academy set-up.
After working with Don Givens as a member of the Republic of Ireland set-up, Clement returned to Chelsea’s youth ranks before taking charge of their reserve side and stepping up to the first team coaching group under Guus Hiddink in 2009. Ancelotti named him as his assistant during a two-year spell as Blues boss and, after fulfilling another assistant position with Blackburn Rovers, he began a journey across Europe alongside Ancelotti.
That journey took Clement to some of the most prestigious clubs in European football, coaching the likes of David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimović at Parc des Princes in Paris, before working alongside Zinedine Zidane and with stars such as Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabéu.
He was appointed as Head Coach at Derby County in June 2015 and after a run of just one defeat in 19 games, he steered the Rams into a top six spot and serious contention for promotion to the Premier League. And a coach of his pedigree was soon managing in the top flight; charged with rescuing relegation-threatened Swansea City, he succeeded.
He won the Manager of the Month gong in his first four weeks in Wales following a record of nine points from a possible twelve in his first four Premier League games, including a 3-2 away win over Liverpool. 26 points from the Swans’ final 18 games saw City retain their top tier status and Clement was nominated for the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Season award.
Since leaving Swansea at the end of last year, Clement has spent time studying football and sport on the other side of the Atlantic, but now he arrives in RG2 to return to club management as a Royal.