Reading takeover right for club says Sir John Madejski

Reading chairman Sir John Madejski says the potential new owners will be right for the Championship club.

He announced at the weekend he had agreed to sell 51% of the club to Thames Sports Investment, led by Russian tycoon Anton Zingarevich.

Madejski has owned the Championship outfit for 22 years.

"It's great news for the club and the fans and means we can get investment which is what we need any club needs," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

TSI are said to be a newly founded private investment company and the transaction is scheduled to complete in March.

The agreement, reported to be worth £40m, is now subject to due diligence and the normal procedures from the Football League.

Madejski has agreed to remain chairman of Reading until at least 2014, and to become life president if and when he decides to step down.

"This represents an incredible move forward if it comes off," added Madejski.

"Overall this means long-term stability, and it means going forward with an opportunity of building. It means we carry on as we are. There's no fundamental change, the ethos and way we do things at Reading will continue in the same spirit and same way.

"We're very proud of our reputation here at Reading, we've got a great manager [Brian McDermott], a great staff on and off the pitch, and a great squad of players which will no doubt be strengthened before the end of January.

"As I say there will be money immediately available to strengthen the squad before the end of the month.

"But the club will always be prudent, as it always has been. There will be a possibility to strengthen, but only in a sensible way. It won't be a situation of just throwing money at something.

"Everything we do must be prudent, if it's not prudent then we won't do it. There's just more security around the club and a real opportunity of progressing."

In their statement on Saturday,external-link TSI said "limited funds" would be available to manager McDermott in January and insisted the management team would remain unchanged.

Football finance expert Professor Chris Brady told BBC Radio Berkshire that Royals fans should be "cautiously optimistic" about the takeover by Zingarevich, who attended Reading University, but Madejski has reassured fans that TSI are right for the club.

"I would like to say I've obviously met the new shareholders, and they're fit for purpose. They're just the right fit for Reading," he added.

"Obviously they were interested in other clubs, but I think they saw Reading's reputation as being so well-run, that they decided to pick this one, which we're delighted about."

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