Sir John Madejski would have kept Brian McDermott at Reading
Brian McDermott, just appointed the new manager of Leeds United, would still be in charge at Reading if it was up to the club's chairman, Sir John Madejski.
McDermott's tenure always appeared less secure under the new owner, Anton Zingarevich, and he was dismissed early last month. "I was very sad, I would have stuck with him," Madejski revealed at the Soccerex conference in Manchester. "But Anton knows far more about football than I do and he decided to make the change."
Zingarevich, a Russian who was once a student in the town, bought 51 per cent of the club 15 months ago, providing a cash boost that enabled McDermott to bring in new players and launch a run that ended in the Championship title. In comparison there has been little investment since, but Madejski says it was not for want of trying.
"At Christmas time we went to try to buy players and didn't manage it," he said. "People have this perception that there are players out there who can just be bought and settle in straightaway. It's not as simple as that. You have to be very circumspect about what player you buy, whether they fit into the team, whether the ethos is right. Some work out and some don't."
If they are relegated, he believes Reading will be in a strong financial position: "My philosophy has always been to try to balance the books, and we always adjust players' wages so that if we go down, players also get the knock-back. You can't afford to pay Premiership money in the Championship. But I've been around long enough to realise that my dream of a level playing field [for clubs] is never going to happen. Football is for the super-rich. That's why when I was looking to sell the club I said millionaires need not apply, only billionaires."
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Dustin Brown: Who is the world number 102 who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon?
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture