It’s a right royal mess again for Read­ing


The Football League Paper - - NEIL WARNOCK -

IWAS sorry to see the news this week that Read­ing are al­ready look­ing for an­other buyer. It’s barely two years since An­ton Zin­gare­vic, the Rus­sian mil­lion­aire, bought a 51 per cent stake from John Made­jski. When Zin­gare­vic ar­rived the Roy­als were head­ing for the Pre­mier League and the fans had high hopes he could turn them into a real force in English foot­ball.

Now it tran­spires he hasn’t been to a game since Septem­ber and wants to get out of the club. What a shame.

I feel very sorry for John, who’s been left to carry the can. He’s a good man who does things the right way. But it was such hard work for him to keep tak­ing the club for­ward with­out com­mit­ting his life to mayhem and throw­ing cash around.

He loves the club with all his heart and he worked ever so hard to find some­one who he thought could take them to the next level.


He thought he’d hit utopia when Zin­gare­vich came on board, so now he’ll have to start all over again in try­ing to find the right per­son.

On the field, Nigel Ad­kins and his men got a fan­tas­tic 3-1 win at QPR last week. It’s put them right back in the pro­mo­tion mix and was ar­guably their best re­sult of the sea­son. In that sense, this couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Hav­ing said that, look­ing at the team they’ve got, the prospects, the man­ager and the steady fi­nances, it shouldn’t be a hard sell.

Nicky Ham­mond does a fab­u­lous job as di­rec­tor of foot­ball at Read­ing. He takes a lot of pres­sure off a lot of people, from John to the man­ager and ev­ery­one in be­tween.

Hav­ing people like Nick in place will make the job of find­ing a new buyer that much eas­ier.

The only thing they don’t have is the crowds, but if they can be suc­cess­ful in the top flight, the po­ten­tial is there. Hope­fully some­body out there can see it.

WITH­OUT doubt the sad­dest sight of the week was Ben Wat­son go­ing down with a bro­ken leg at Wi­gan. What wretched luck for the lad.

Wi­gan are fly­ing, re­ally on the up. Along with Brighton, they’re push­ing for that fi­nal play-off spot.

To lose a player of Ben’s qual­ity will re­ally hurt them.They must have been sick­ened, es­pe­cially af­ter see­ing him score a world-class goal against Cardiff

in the Cup.

I had Ben at Palace and he was a smash­ing lad. Down to earth, an hon­est trainer. All he wants to do is work har d and play foot­ball. He’s tal­ented too.

He’s fought back from a bro­ken leg be­fore and I’m sure he’ll do it again, es­pe­cially with his con­tract be­ing up in May.

You never hear Ben ag­i­tat­ing to leave. He’s shown tremen­dous pro­fes­sion­al­ism and loy­alty and you have to hope Wi­gan re­turn that when he needs it most.

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