Date:Tuesday February 6 2007
John Madejski is to offer Reading boss Steve Coppell a new contract.
The plain-dealing Reading manager refused to sign on for more then one year after taking the Royals into the Premiership, insisting that his reasoning for doing so was that if he had to fired he would not be draining the club financially - this too is despite Madejski offering the boss a three year deal.
Coppell is Reading`s most successful manager in the club`s 136 year history and has taken them from a humble side from Berkshire to a true contestant in the Premier League.
Madejski has admitted that if the Reading boss was to leave in the summer it would be devastating for the club.
Even though Coppell must be on cloud nine taking his side from strength to strength there is still the possibility he will opt out, after all he is a free agent come summer.
"You just never know with Steve.
"He has done a marvellous job and if he was to leave it would be a disaster for Reading.
"We can only do as much as we can do. I respect Steve for what he does and the way he operates.
"If he is willing to sign another contract we`d be willing to have him. That would be good news."
Madejski believes the free reign offered to Coppell over how he runs the club will be as tempting as any deal the Chairman can come up with: "We have a very good working relationship here. When you go to another club you are never sure how things will work out, or what the regime is and what interference you get.
"We do have a demarcation line here between the board and the playing staff.
"It works extremely well and I don`t think we can be accused, as a board, of interfering. At the end of the day managers respect and appreciate that.
"Steve has respect for me and it works well. Long may it work.
But the main concern is one of the supposed 'big clubs` coming after him.
Talk is cheap, but gossip hears Coppell touted for the England job and even Sir Alex Ferguson`s successor at Man Utd! Lets hope it just stays talk…
Meanwhile Madejski also stressed the importance of the club not to suffer from Wigan syndrome.
The high-flying Lactics of last season were hugely successful much like the Royals this year, but the northern based club only just broke a run of nine games without picking up any points and a staggering fourteen games without a win!
"Obviously it is lovely to be here in this moment of history because it is going so well," he said. "I am very mindful, though, after seeing Wigan. You compare them now to last season and things are very different.
'They were the Reading of last season, flying high, but look where they are now.
"You have to be circumspect about these things. Things don`t always last, although I hope they do for us."
Madejski was determined to make clear how important it is to crystallize our Premiership place:
"We are the new kids on the block. We have to make sure people realise who we are and where we are and that we are meaningful.
"What we don`t want is to be people who are just Johnny-Come-Latelys, a one-season wonder.
"If we consolidate our status by finishing the season with great credibility then it will make people sit up, take notice and consider.
The Chairman is also known to have put the club up for sale but was adamant he would only sell to someone with the right financial situation and intentions for the club:
"I don`t think I am going to get any interest this season. I`d be more likely to get someone interested next season."
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