Madejski: Reading FC in great shape for a Premier League pushBy Jonny Fordham
August 04, 2010
Sir John Madejski believes football is finally adjusting to life in the real world as Reading gear up for a Premier League push this season.
Speaking to the Post at his penthouse apartment in Madejski Stadium, the Royals chairman reaffirmed his commitment to run the club on a sound financial basis, whilst remaining ambitious.
Reading have had to live with a summer of speculation surrounding their star players, but the 69-year-old entrepreneur maintained that everything is being done to ensure manager Brian McDermott has the best squad possible to compete in the Championship.
“We’ve lost the parachute payments (of £12million) and life is tough,” admitted Sir John.
“We’ve had to say goodbye to some very good people and we have to live within our means. When you’re used to spending that kind of money on players and wages it’s a bitter pill when you lose it.
“Football is in the real world like everybody else. It has lived beyond its means for years and I’ve been banging on about that for as long as I can remember.
“But when I’m in the hot-seat I will always give 100 per cent and more. Our next goal is to get back into the Premier League. It always has been.”
Reading spent two seasons in the top flight between 2006 and 2008 and Sir John still dreams of returning there and being able to increase the capacity of the stadium from 24,000 to 38,000.
At the same time he won’t risk the long-term future of the club by going for bust.
“We have to live within our means and there is no way I’m going to preside over a club that is not run properly,” he explained.
“We’ve got a great club, one of the finest in the country. We’ve got a great manager and a great squad of players and we’re doing well.
“The stadium is absolutely fabulous, the training ground is second to none and we’ve got the Full Monty for top-division football.”
Reading have sold just shy of 11,000 season tickets so far after reducing prices for the new campaign, which starts at home to Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
Sir John added: “We know it’s tough out there, so we felt it was prudent to give supporters a bit of help.
"The club is an important part of the community and it plays an enormous role in the feel-good factor to people in the area. That’s very important to me.”