Reading: Anton Zingarevich full takeover deal is delayed

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
Anton Zingarevich and Sir John Madejski

The deal to complete the full takeover of Reading has been delayed.

He was due to buy the remaining 49% from previous owner Sir John Madejski by the end of September, but that deadline has now past.

The club stated that both parties are "comfortable extending the deadline to finish the deal" but could not specify whether they would set a new completion date.

Since the Russian became involved with the club in January 2012, Reading have been promoted to the Premier League, relegated back to the Championship and have also changed their manager.

Promotion to the top flight earned the Royals an estimated £90m, with half that money coming from television-related revenue.

Despite the financial boost received following their promotion to the Premier League, the club were relatively frugal in the summer of 2012.

In total, they spent less than £10m in attempting to cement their top-flight status, with the £2.4m purchase of Adrian Mariappa their biggest transfer fee of the summer.

Relegation meant the club missed out on the new £5bn global television deal, which would have earned them upwards of £100m, but will still receive in excess of £60m over a four-year period in parachute payments.

The club have also spent little this summer, bringing in Royston Drenthe, Wayne Bridge and Danny Williams, while receiving over £4m for the sale of Mariappa and Jimmy Kebe to Crystal Palace.

Madejski had owned Reading for 22 years before agreeing to sell 51% of the club to Thames Sports Investment, led by Zingarevich, in January 2012.

The deal to acquire the 51% stake had been expected to be completed in March but was delayed by three months.

That stake was said to be around £40m, including a bonus to Madejski for promotion to the Premier League, with the final 49% said to be worth £25m.

Professor Chris Brady, a football finance expert, believes Reading fans should be "mildly concerned" by the delay but says this sort of issue is not unusual.

"It's a question of separation of funds by the person making the decision," Brady told BBC Radio Berkshire. "Anton is making the decisions, but the money is lodged with his father, so moving that from one place to another takes time.

"They [Reading fans] should be mildly concerned, until the ink is dried on the paper and the money is moved across, there is always reason for concern, but not undue concern. He [Zingarevich] still owns 51% so the club and Sir John 49% seems in reasonable health.

"This is not unusual, these deals take a great deal of time. The longer it goes on the more uncomfortable it becomes."