“Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that a 51% acquisition by Thames Sports Investment [owned by Anton Zingarevich] has now been completed, complying with all Premier League and Football League requirements.”
The news that every Reading fan has been waiting for what seems like an age for, finally was confirmed today and the takeover by Anton Zingarevich was completed.
The process has been dragged out over recent weeks and some Reading fans, including myself, were becoming slightly nervous as to why it was taking so long and even whether it would actually go through. However, now that it is done and dusted and confirmed by the Premier League all fans can concentrate on looking to the future.
Today certainly marks the beginning of a new era for the club. Sir John Madejski has done wonders for Reading, dragging us from the lower divisions to challenge for the Premier League and just as importantly; significantly improving the infrastructure of the club. However, most will agree and probably even Sir John himself that he has now taken the club as far as he can.
The Premier League is obviously an extremely competitive division and even the Championship is home to a selection of huge clubs with spending power that until now we perhaps not have competed with. The takeover possibly now takes us to the next level, a level that maybe just a decade ago could not have been envisaged.
The club have admitted that spending will be typical of the club and money will not be thrown at players. Of course the fans will get excited when big names are rumoured to be joining and this has already been seen with names such as Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe, Junior Hoilett and others being thrown around.
Nicky Hammond has not ruled out big names joining, which can only further fuel the buzz around the club. We have a strong core and a great spirit among the squad, but some fresh faces and some Premier League quality is definitely needed.
Looking at teams like Fulham and Stoke it is clear that teams can become established Premier League clubs, without silly money being spent. It has been suggested that Reading should try and follow the “Stoke model” and to be playing in Europe in a few years would certainly be every fans dream!
The first few seasons will be the most important in the new era. If we manage to stay up and compete for a few seasons, who knows what can happen. Our current squad, despite winning the Championship will need to be freshened up and over the next few months, hopefully some top class players will be brought in. Our record signing was £2.5m for Emerse Fae from Nantes in 2007, I fully expect this record to be broken this summer!
Now the tension and uncertainty of the last few weeks has been swept away, all Reading fans can enjoy the summer, and look forward to the start of next season, I personally cannot wait!
Thoughts? Contact me on twitter @JackPeedell