Reading chairman Sir John Madejski believes the recent investment in the club by new Russian owner Anton Zingarevich is more important than ever if the Royals are to survive and flourish on their return to the Barclays Premier League.
Last season’s npower Championship winners start their first season back in the top flight since 2008 by welcoming Stoke to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday before tough trips to Chelsea and Sunderland.
Madejski, 71, has been involved with Reading since 1990 and reckons the backing of Zingarevich and Thames Sport Investment will help the club progress.
“I think it is absolutely essential,” he told Press Association Sport.
“We are still not running it in an irresponsible way, we are running it in a very responsible way but I think it helps that Reading Football Club now has the backing it has from Anton Zingarevich.”
Madejski is determined for the club not to fall into the trap of spending big off the field in an attempt to reach the club’s target sooner in a bid to avoid financial instability in the future.
There have been six new signings made with Garath McCleary, Danny Guthrie, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Adrian Mariappa and Chris Gunter moving to Reading and former Royal Nicky Shorey making a return.
Madejski has also backed last year’s squad to do the job and keep Reading in the Premier League this season.
He said: “I’ve always said if you are good enough to get there you are good enough to stay (up).
“However, having said that we have six new players so we have shaken the bag up, we look pretty good for the start of the season I have to say.”
Boss Brian McDermott masterminded the title success of last year and Madejski praised the manager, as well as all of the people involved in securing promotion
“Without him this would be impossible,” he said.
“He is the conduit, he knows all the players and has been magnificent, as has everyone else associated with the club, let’s not forget. We are all very excited.”
The club as a whole has changed very little since a two-season stint in the Premier League ended with relegation four years ago and Madejski feels the lessons learnt from that brief foray will benefit Reading’s survival chances this time around.
He said: “We’ve experienced going to the Premiership before but I think this time we are more prepared for it and I think now, having had those experiences, we can draw on them.
“Don’t forget there are an awful lot of people who are still here that were here the last time so we have all that energy, goodwill and determination to stay there so I feel far more positive about going up this time than I did last time.”