Exclusive Interview: John Madejski On IRC

The interview took place on the crown server on Thursday 30 May 1996. After a few technical problems the interview got underway at about 1:15 with 11 Reading supporters and Mr.Madejski himself. Congratulations to Eric and Paul for sorting everything out and getting John Madejski to the I-Way HQ. Below is the full interview where everything John Madejski said was typed by Paul Kerton.

If you are interested then the full log file is available so you can view the uneditted version of the interview - complete with all the occurances of the server going down! Remember Dark_Jedi gives John Madejski's replies. Read On!

nick3 : Does the club have any views about the demise of BBC Radio Berkshire, which provided excellent coverage of the Royals, and its replacement by the Oxford based station Thames Valley FM? The majority of people to whom I have spoken feel that coverage of the Royals on this new service is, to say the least, pathetic.
JOHN M: BAsically, we are extremely disappointed because the demise of the local radio station as the club have an excellent rapport with them, and they cover events thoroughly and in spite of all lobbying like mad, it seems that the BBC had laid their plans along time ago to merge Berks with Oxfordshire, and of course, we now don't recieve such good coverage from them.

JGK: There are many technical & professional people with a wide range of skills on the "Internet Royals". Apart from the obvious support we already give, what can WE do to help the club? JOHNM: I do not know. It is up to you to come forward, and let us know what you think you can do for the club. I know one thing, that would be of enormous help is to locate some inexpensive funding I.E soft loans to help towards the 35 mill circa for the new stadium.

bj3: Greetings Mr. Madjeski from the USA. Being one of the many Reading FC. supporters abroad my main source of information about the club comes from the internet. Could you please tell me if Reading FC. has plans for any internet based relations with the supporters, for instance a web page?
JOHN M: HNA, World of Web and Rob Minchins page , although they are "unofficial" are welcome to carry info for the club. As long as it costs nothing, the club is happy to "endorse" these sites. The club will be happy to announce that any future press release may be provided to the people that run the Web Sites.

trefor: What are the main risks now on the new ground not going ahead? Not finding all the money?
JOHN M: I certainly believe that the stadium will now go ahead. We're anticipating building what we consider to be a state of the art stadium.

Julian: My first question has just been answered! :Adrian Williams is probably the club's most valuable player and is now out of contract. Doyou think it is just scaremongering by the local press when they report he could be movingabroad on a free? Surely the club could have done more to ensure that they would not loseout financially in this case?
JOHN M: At the club, we want the best for AW and the best for the club as you are aware was injured for the last part of last season but he was also very instrumental in keeping RFC in the 1st Div. I personally would like to see AW playing in the Premiership, where he belongs.

HobNob: Hello! Many supporters have sent me questions regarding the new stadium. Will the admission price rise considerably to meet the building costs? How much money will the club alone be putting into the project?
JOHN M: The club will obviously use the money that we sell Elm Park for there are various other agencies where we will secure money from, and we also have the advantage of utilising funds from a non-food retail site that will be sold, and the rest of the money will come from hopefully soft loans, and sponsorship, etc. The cost of admission is just something that we haven't considered as yet, as we're talking at least 2 years away and we have no idea of cost projections.

Dean: It has been said that the new badge will last only for one season - is it too late for people to submit suggestions for the following year?
JOHN M: Provided that we recieve the ideas ASAP there may be an oppertunity that we will be able to take them into consideration.However, I would like to stress that we have to take RFC into the new millenium and everything about it must be extremely exciting commercial and be able to appeal to an enourmous amount of people that hitherto have not responded to the club.
The working brief for the new stadiums name is:
The Hi-Tech stadium

Clive: Good afternoon Mr. Madejski, last year we have seen the departure of our best players which we have struggled to replace, now it seems the final one AW, is set to go as well, what are the plans for replacing these valuable assets? Can you please answer that, thank you.
JOHN M: I do not concur totally with your assumption. Yes they were good players and once they decided that THEY wanted to go we had very little control over that situation. We have certainly strenghthened the squad and we will continue to do so. It is absolutley essential that we sign players that are totally committed to RFC and sharing the vision and the dream of promoting us into the Premiership.

eric4: Do you think that we should have moved for Neil Lennon in the summer when we had a chance after his impressive form at wembley?
JOHN M: We did try to, but nothing came of it. There were many players that we plotted during last season to sign for RFC, it certainly was not without tremendous effort by Mick and Jimmy to sign new players last season.

eivindes: Hi. Okay, here's the questions. 1. When or will you ever get rid of Jimmy Quinn? 2. Will you provide money for improving the team? I would really like to see Reading sign Norwegian striker Rushfelt who has scored 7 goals in the last 9 games in the norwegian premiership.
JOHN M: when they have selected a player that they would like to sign, then they will talk to myself and my board.

HobNob: My question regarding a possible big money signed has been asked. Another question regarding the club finances though: Last year the club announced a big loss despite the success in the league and play-offs, is there another loss to be expected after this season? Can we expect to continue losing money?
JOHN M: Yes

bj3: Have you thought about selling plugs of turf from Elm Park when the new ground is done? I for one would be very interested in buying a few, nothing like a bit of home away from home. :))
JOHN M: Yes. We have already discussed this oppertunity and will respond to it. Thankyou very much for your positive point.

JGK: In my experience, the "behind the scenes" admin and systems at Elm Park leaves a lot to be desired at times (I have examples ready if required). Are there any plans to revamp this more in line with our needs and status as a looking for Premier League status?
JOHN M: Absolutely. It is very difficult for us to function well at EP as we all know the whole infrastructure is so old and un-user friendly. We are pulling all our efforts, obviously, into the new stadium.
JGK: But surely the investment in an up-to-date phone system could be transferred. for example.
JOHN M: where we shall be able to implement high tech world beating state of the art systems supplied by some of the world beating companies that are domiciled in the area. It's very unlikely that anything apart from the people can be transferred from EP.!

nick3: I believe the development of a new ground to be a tremendous asset to the club and to the local community. Now that all the planning permission has been gained, is the chairman able to say how the construction costs will be financed? Is there likely to be a rights issue in which the fans can participate?
JOHN M: This question has already been answered. As for the last part of your question though, because of the enourmous sums involved and the cost of launching a rights issue it is unlikely that we would consider this initially, but it is something that we are aware of and are keeping all our options open.

Dean: With the immense cost and greater capacity of the new stadium, the Club will need to gain more sponsorship and increase and sustain the number of supporters who attend home matches. How will the Club improve publicity?
JOHN M: We will be overhauling our complete marketing strategy The new stadium, in my opinion, will be the biggest attraction to hit the south east for 50 years. We will not be slow in coming forward in terms of promoting the hi-tech stadium with all it's facilities full blast. The stadium will also be boasting a facility to host upto 700 people for conferences, and will have a restaurant capable of feeding upto 500 people for a full 3 course meal.


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