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
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove