As Reading Football Club prepares to begin its 20th season at Madejski Stadium, we are pleased to announce that Sir John Madejski has accepted the title of Vice Chairman at the club.
Sir John oversaw his first match as Chairman of the Royals on Tuesday 1st December 1990 and, nearly 27 years later, his extraordinary contribution to the club is rightly still recognised by new majority shareholders Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai.
Sir John Madejski played a hugely influential role in the transformation of Reading Football Club. The week before he took the reins at Reading, a crowd of 3,927 supporters had watched the Royals crash to a 4-2 home loss to Southend at Elm Park – a sixth defeat in seven games seeing the club drop to 15th place in Division Three. All 20 of its playing staff had been put up for sale.
16 years later, a crowd of 24,110 witnessed the Royals win 3-1 against Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling Premier League victory at Madejski Stadium! With Sir John as its custodian, the club achieved four promotions – twice realising the once-thought impossible dream of reaching the promised land of the Premier League.
In the 120 years before Sir John became Chairman, the club’s best league finish had been 13th place in Division Two, achieved back in 1986-87. During his near 27-year tenure as its guardian however, that feat was outshone on no fewer than 14 occasions!
The club was also entirely reborn off the pitch thanks to Sir John Madejski’s direction. Re-homing the Royals to their new state-of-the-art Madejski Stadium surroundings in 1998, supporting our Academy system from its very inception to its current Category One status, embedding the club at the heart of its local community…Reading Football Club earned an identity, an invaluable reputation as an ambitious, forward-thinking football club, and the respect and admiration of its peers and so many more within the sport.
As Vice Chairman, Sir John Madejski will step away from the football side of the business but will remain an ambassador for Reading Football Club and, as a fan who invested so much time, energy and finance in helping it achieve such remarkable levels of success, he will continue to champion the club and all it represents within the community.
“This is a new era at Reading Football Club,” said Chief Executive Ron Gourlay. “Yet it is plain for absolutely all to see – supporters young and old, players past and present, the club’s staff, its owners and directors, and all involved in football – how momentous a part Sir John has played in the creation, progression and success earned by the modern, ambitious club we all support today.
“So I am delighted that, as we enter this new era at Reading, Sir John has happily agreed to continue to help promote our club’s achievements and publicly praise its many merits within a community he continues to serve so selflessly.”