Reading will stay prudent, Madejski says

THE outgoing owner of Reading FC has warned against hopes of a spending spree once he has completed a deal to sell the club to a Russian tycoon.

Sir John Madejski is locked in due diligence and expects to finalise a deal with Thames Sports Investment (TSI) by the end of March. Yesterday he claimed the club will retain its “ideology and principles”.

“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,” he wrote in an open letter to fans.

Madejski refused to name the people behind TSI, which is set buy a 51 per cent stake, leaving him as a minority shareholder, but the group is widely believed to be led by Anton Zingarevich, 29, who came close to investing in Everton in 2004. His father, Boris, is co-owner of Ilim Pulp, Russia’s largest paper producer.

Reading published a statement from the buyer, which said: “TSI aims to allow the club to retain its best players and acquire additional players as the football management team see fit. It will also enable the club to expand and further improve its successful Academy and scouting operations.”

Madejski will remain as chairman for at least two years before becoming life president, TSI added.