Madejski backs new owners
Russian billionaire has the 'ambition' to keep the Royals in the Premier League
Last Updated: May 30, 2012 3:48pm
Sir John Madejski: Says investment from new Russian owner will help with Premier League survival
Reading chairman Sir John Madejski believes the club's new Russian owner has the ambition to keep the newly-promoted side in the Premier League.
Former owner Madejski, 71, oversaw the takeover by tycoon Anton Zingarevich, whose Thames Sports Investment company now has a controlling 51 per cent stake in the Royals.
Madejski, who became chairman of Reading in 1990 and has steered the club from the brink of receivership to a second spell in the top flight, feels Zingarevich is the right person to step in and push on with growth in the club.
"The fact is you need these sort of people in football these days because it's not for the faint-hearted," he said.
"Anton ticks all the right boxes and we're lucky to have him - we're back in the top flight, we need to have the ambition to stay there and I think Anton has ambition and that's what it's all about."
Other clubs that have fallen under control of foreign billionaires have seen radical overhauls of infrastructure but Madejski believes this will not be the case at Reading.
"What I like about the new owners is they want to keep the status quo, not change things radically, but we go forward because they have fantastic ambitions for the club, on and off the pitch," he said.
Big-name signings are also of little interest to Madejski, who revealed the stadium could be expanded if they maintain their Premier League status.
"We go for talented young players with a future, that's the Reading way and I'm sure that's something that will be adhered to in the future," he said.
"We've already signed Garath McCleary and there'll be more in the pipeline. The deal has only just been consummated but they're already plotting their next moves in terms of strengthening the squad.
"(Stadium expansion will) not (happen) tomorrow - but if we maintain our Premier League status for another year I'm sure that will happen."