McAnuff: Financial investment only helped to spur players onBy Adam Lee
June 06, 2012
Reading captain Jobi McAnuff has admitted rather than fearing the repercussions that came with the financial investment of new owner Anton Zingarevich, he and the players have relished the challenge.
Last week, with the Zingarevich-headed Thames Sport Investment (TSI) takeover officially given the green light, Royals immediately became one of the richest clubs in the country.
And although 51 per cent stakeholder Zingarevich has promised no Chelsea or Manchester City-style shake ups at Madejski Stadium, the pressure on the playing staff to produce results is greater than ever before.
With the financial backing the club now has, Reading are in a strong position to attract players of a high calibre.
But McAnuff insists, rather than feeling the pressure, Reading’s players have thrived in the knowledge the club is well positioned to build on last season’s Championship title win.
“From the moment it was announced and there was talk that there was money coming for a few signings, I think it actually worked to bring everyone together,” said the 30-year-old winger.
“With the gaffer signing a new deal it also meant that everyone was in the same mindset – it helped everyone kick on.
“There was a real positive feeling throughout the club and from then on we never looked back.
“It was something we really had to embrace and as a player you want to be at a club where there is someone who is able and willing to take things forward.
“Of course there will be signings, but that is a good thing for the club and it keeps everyone fresh. It means everyone has to stay on their toes.
“We have a massive season ahead of us and we have to make sure we are ready for it.”
McAnuff also revealed how the playing staff took to Zingarevich after the Russian millionaire initially seemed a little shy.
However, after a few meetings, the barriers began to fall, the ice was broken, and Zingarevich soon started to feel like he belonged at Madejski Stadium.
And, having bankrolled the signings of Jason Roberts,Tomasz Cywka and Hayden Mullins, as well as allowing the club to offer new deals for star player Jimmy Kebe and boss Brian McDermott, Zingarevich had every right to celebrate in Reading’s promotion.
“Perhaps he was a little reluctant that it (the takeover) hadn’t progressed as he had hoped, but Anton began to come into the changing room towards the end of the season and he joined in with our celebrations,” said McAnuff.
“He was a little bit reluctant at times to be involved, but we soon changed that.
“We got him on the bus for the tour of Reading and we got on really well during the times we have spent with him.
“It’s difficult for anyone new coming into the club, whether you’re an owner, a new manger or a new player.
“We had all been here for a while, but he did it in the right way in terms of gradually getting involved rather than jumping in head on.
“We’ve tried to welcome him and I think he has really started to feel a bit more of a part of everything.”