Search

Reading v Spurs: Royals have a new king but he’s not Russian to splash the cash

PUBLISHED: 11:03 16 September 2012

Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak (left) and Stoke's Marc Wilson

Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak (left) and Stoke's Marc Wilson

EMPICS Sport

Spotlight on the opposition: Tottenham travel to face newly-promoted Reading at the Madejski Stadium today.

It has been a momentous year for Reading, who won promotion in May and immediately became the latest top-flight club to receive investment from a wealthy foreign owner.

Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich bought a controlling 51 per cent stake in the Royals during the summer – and he believes the future is bright.

However, Reading’s new benefactor is anxious to tread carefully in the early stages and avoid the boom-and-bust phenomenon which has cost the likes of Leeds and Portsmouth so dearly – particularly when their Premier League status will be so hard to maintain.

“I think Reading are one of the best investment opportunities in football,” said Zingarevich. “They were the one club I thought could grow the most. They were a Championship club so weren’t paying Premier League wages.

“It is really important to manage it in a prudent way. I want to build this club and develop it further. The first thing to do is to stay in the Premier League.”

Former owner Sir John Madejski, who is still the chairman, added: “What I like about the new owners is they want to keep the status quo, not change things radically, but we go forward because they have fantastic ambitions for the club.

“We go for talented young players with a future – that’s the Reading way – and I’m sure that’s something that will be adhered to in the future.”

The result is that, despite the new money, there have been few big-name signings since the Royals won the Championship under manager Brian McDermott, who replaced Brendan Rodgers in December 2009.

Pavel Pogrebnyak is the one exception, following his impressive start to life in the Premier League with Fulham in the second half of last season.

The Russian forward hit five goals in his first three games during his loan spell from Stuttgart, and ended the campaign with six goals in 12 games for the Cottagers.

However, the 28-year-old free agent elected to join Reading during the summer – allegedly due to the offer of £60,000 a week in wages.

Pogrebnyak has already started to repay his new employers and, following a 1-1 draw at home against Stoke on the opening day, he scored in a 4-2 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Otherwise, Reading have been frugal, bringing in the likes of centre-back Adrian Mariappa (Watford) and midfielders Danny Guthrie (Newcastle) and Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest).

Right-back Chris Gunter has also arrived from Forest for £2.3million, having previously made five appearances for Tottenham between 2007 and 2009 – and the Welshman is likely to be marking his international team-mate Gareth Bale today.

The Royals have strengthened their left-back position too, re-signing Nicky Shorey, who made 296 appearances for the club between 2001 and 2008 before moving to Aston Villa.

However, he faces a tough task to oust the veteran 35-year-old Ian Harte, who has played 476 games during his career with Leeds, Levante, Blackpool, Carlisle and Reading and, as a set-piece specialist, has 76 club goals to his name.

The Royals line-up could also include a couple of players who grew up in Tottenham territory. Captain Jobi McAnuff was born in Edmonton, while Mikele Leigertwood began his career in Haringey Borough’s youth teams.

The verdict: Andre Villas-Boas is desperately seeking his first victory but, with little time to work with his players during the international break, will there be a marked improvement from the last two home draws? Sadly not – 1-1

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs for live updates from the Madejski Stadium

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Cologne beat Arsenal 1-0 in their Europa League match in a frenzied atmosphere in Germany on Thursday night.

Haringey Aquatics head coach Paul Doyle full of praise for teenager after enjoying ‘breakout year in the pool’

16:00

Arsenal striker Danielle Carter has been backed to make a major impact off the field as the crisis-hit Football Association targets cultural change.

Spurs boss reveals the latest on Erik Lamela and also reflects on two pieces of bad news regarding Eduardo Berizzo and Luis Bonini this week

Mauricio Pochettino’s men can focus on the league for the next week and they will hope to build up some momentum ahead of a crucial December

11:00

Saracens trio Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Alex Lozowski have all been named in the England starting XV for their match against Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday.

09:30

James Vince blunted the much-hyped Australia attack but fell foul of England’s new number one enemy Nathan Lyon just when he was all set to tame the Gabba on a rain-hit day one of the Ashes.

09:00

Hampstead & Westminster’s all-conquering women will look to make it a perfect 10 wins out fo 10 in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East when they welcome Bedford to Paddington Rec on Saturday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

One of London’s most popular animal welfare charities will roll out the red carpet for glamorous guests and their beloved pet dogs as their annual fundraiser returns.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now