Zingarevich to invest millions in Reading FCBy Jonny Fordham
April 20, 2012
Anton Zingarevich has promised to pump millions of pounds into Reading FC’s infrastructure to build on the legacy left by chairman Sir John Madejski.
Zingarevich, 30, is hoping to complete his 51 per cent buyout of the club later this week following Football League checks.
The Russian tycoon has pledged to put his money where his mouth is to help manager Brian McDermott establish Royals as a Premier League mainstay.
The former Bearwood College pupil said: “The vision is to really get the infrastructure upgraded.
“The training ground needs to be upgraded and the Academy needs to be looked at too. And once we are in the Premier League [for one season] we can look at expanding the stadium and all the things that make the business stable.
“You can invest in players, but players are players, you have to invest more into the infrastructure to take the club to the next level.
“That is something we will concentrate on and the Premier League will give us the opportunity to do that.
“Every team that goes up has the same objective – to stay there. That is something that we will work on as a group.
“That’s from the sporting staff, the commercial staff – everyone needs to step up now. It’s a different level and we will be competing against teams who have been there for a long time.”
Royals guaranteed their top-flight status for next season with a late 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest thanks to Mikele Leigertwood’s 81st minute strike on Tuesday.
Thousands of fans covered head to toe in blue and white hoops flooded on to the pitch and were calling out Zingarevich’s name at the finals whistle.
“I’m a young guy and to experience something like that, with all the people out there in front of you, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “They sang my name a few games ago, but I didn’t understand what they were saying!
“The fans are great and hopefully there will be better things to come from all of us. When you make 25,000 people happy, it means a lot. Everybody has worked as a team in these last four months to get here.
“Lots of credit must go to everyone before me. I have just come in and do what I had to do and helped Brian to the extent that he wanted.
“The key was not to interfere and let Brian do his stuff. I trust in him to get the job done. I understand him and he understands me.
“In the past few weeks we have talked a lot, but we never talked about anything other than the next game – that was the mentality. We now have two games left and it will mean a lot to these guys to win it, that’s what we will try to do.”
Royals’ main focus will now be set on securing the Championship title from their last two games.
They will have to wait until Saturday, April 28, to get their hands on the silverware away to Birmingham City due to second-placed Southampton kicking-off after them tomorrow.
Zinagrevich added: “Everyone wants to be champions, so do I.
“Promotion was something we all wanted and I’m a happy guy right now.
“I’m proud, but it’s all about the team who were here when I got here. They have done an excellent job and I helped them as much as I could.”