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Sir John Madejski - From Wikipedia

Occupation Company director, Football club chairman, University Chancellor

Sir John Robert Madejski OBE DL (born Robert John Hurst on 28 April 1941 in Stoke-on-Trent) is an English businessman, with a raft of commercial interests, spanning property, broadcast media, hotels, restaurants, publishing and football. As of 2007[update], he is in the top 200 wealthiest people in the UK, with a net worth said to be in the region of £250 million (see Sunday Times Rich List 2009). He changed his name when his stepfather, a Polish airman during World War II, returned to Britain to marry his mother.


John Madejski is perhaps best known as chairman of Reading F.C., but he is also Chancellor of the University of Reading and Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire. He is a benefactor to many institutions, especially in academia, education and the arts.



Sir John Madejski - timesonline

Knighted in the new year honours for services to charity, Madejski, 68, owns 85% of Sackville Properties, which plans a £400m development next to Reading station. The chairman of Reading football club made his fortune selling AutoTrader magazine for £174m in 1998. His businesses include a bottling plant in China and the Reading 107fm radio station. He sold a Degas sculpture at auction in February for £13.3m, double what he paid for it five years earlier. Falling asset values reduce his total by £150m this year.

Life and career

While on holiday in Florida in the mid 1970s Madejski saw a car sales magazine that included pictures of the vehicles on sale. He immediately realised the potential of the idea, and founded Thames Valley Trader in 1976. Initially the magazine sold anything and everything, from houses to cars and even aircraft, but it soon concentrated solely on vehicles, and was renamed Auto Trader. Madejski partnered with the Guardian Media Group in 1982 to give the title national exposure. By 1998, 52 titles were being published with a combined circulation of more than 700,000. In 1998 he sold his company Hurst Publishing for £174 million

John Madejski became chairman of the Football League club Reading F.C. in 1990, and has given his name to the club's Madejski Stadium, built in 1998 with £25 million largely contributed by him. He plucked Reading from the jaws of the receivers, and now owns 98 per cent of the club he rescued. He said "When Robert Maxwell was alive I offered him five pounds a share. When he fell off his boat I got them for 10p. Funny old life isn't it?".[2] In 2006 he led the Royals to the top tier of English football for the first time in their 135-year history, and has since proposed plans for an expansion of the stadium to 38,000 seats [3]. Having guided Reading to the Premier League Madejski is ready to sell up, so long as the offer is a good one, saying:
“ The brand is getting stronger all the time and if there is a billionaire who wants a nice accessory down the M4 then come and talk to me. Apart from Manchester United, unless you've got a sugar daddy with really deep pockets, you're wasting your time.[4] ”

Madejski has since added that Reading's next owner will have to be super-yacht rich. "I'll listen to sensible offers - but from billionaires only. Millionaires need not apply."

The club achieved pre-tax profits of £6.6m during the tax year ending in June 2007 and the club has recently been valued at £100 million[5].

He is also a benefactor to the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly, London and in 2004 had the John Madejski Fine Rooms at Burlington House named after him in recognition of a contribution of £3 million to the institution. A sculpture by Edgar Degas, La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, he purchased at Sotheby's in 2004 is also on display in the John Madejski Fine Rooms. The John Madejski Centre for Reputation at Henley Management College, the new garden at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a lecture theatre at the University of Reading and a gallery at the Museum of Reading also bear his name. He has recently contributed to the running of Thamesbridge College, Reading, which re-opened in September 2006 under the new name of the John Madejski Academy.

Madejski has said he is not particularly concerned about how this might appear adding "People can think what they like about me. I don't care. It's never been a popularity contest. I do it all for the community. In my view, you start life with nothing and you end it with nothing. I'd like to enjoy it all before I kick the bucket." His latest project is a £500m redevelopment of Reading town centre.

Madejski is active in politics: he has contributed extensively to the Conservative Party and was vociferous in his calls for the removal of the then party leader Iain Duncan Smith in 2003.

He owns a large number of luxury cars, owning a couple of Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys, four Jaguars, an AC Cobra and a pair of Ferraris, including a red 328 which sits inside a glass case in the gym of his home.

Madejski has two children, but has never married. He made front-page headlines in UK tabloid newspapers in October 2004 due to his alleged romantic attachment with singer and TV star Cilla Black. The pair became friends due to their mutual affiliation with the Conservative Party. On 3 March 2007, Madejski was shown on the BBC programme Match of the Day seated between Cilla and Chris Tarrant watching the Reading F.C. game against Arsenal F.C. at the Emirates Stadium. He is often seen watching football games at Reading's Madejski Stadium with celebrities such as Jennifer Saunders and Lenny Henry.


* In 2000 Madejski was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in "recognition of his contribution to Reading Football Club and the Reading community". He is also Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

* In 2006 he was admitted as a Freeman of the Borough "in recognition of the distinguished service rendered to the Borough of Reading, by his contribution to the growth and success of football in Reading, and by his support for education and arts".

* In July 2007, Madejski was made the Chancellor-elect of the University of Reading – to succeed to the post in December 2007 on the retirement of The Lord Carrington.

* On 14 December 2007, Madejski was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters University of Reading and formally installed as the 7th Chancellor of the University.

* Madejski was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours.




Arise Sir John Madejski...

By Paul Robins -
December 31, 2008

John Madejski knighted – and he’s in the company of some real community stalwarts in Queen’s New Year honours

John Madejski is finally to become a ‘Sir’ after being granted a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

The Royals chairman and entrepreneur receives his honour for his services to charity and he joins a list of real community stalwarts in Reading who have been honoured by Her Majesty.

Pat Bird MBE

Norma Sinclair MBE

Dr Peter Durrant MBE

Zac Purchase MBE

Allan Currall MBE

He told the Evening Post: “I feel very proud, but the reason I have got it is because I work with people who deserve it just as much as I do.

“It has been a tremendous team effort and I receive this honour on behalf of all these people. That’s the way I feel about it.”

“It’s actually been jolly difficult to stay quiet because I haven’t been able to tell anyone. I can’t wait to share the news.”

Several townsfolk who work tirelessly for their community received MBEs in the awards announced today.

These included Tilehurst volunteer Norma Sinclair and Whitley champ Pat Bird. Dee Park estate resident and Olympic champion Zac Purchase was also honoured.

Mr Madejski’s many notable achievements include guiding Reading Football Club into the Premier League after making a fortune from motoring magazine Auto Trader, which he built from scratch in his home town after starting life as an advertising executive at the Evening Post.

The 67-year-old is also Chancellor of The University of Reading, Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire and is spearheading the scheme to transform the area surrounding the train station.

However the multi-millionaire tycoon has become just as revered for being a champion of charitable causes, reinvesting much of his cash back into the local community.

His proudest accomplishment, he said, is the John Madejski Academy in Whitley, which transformed the failing Thamesbridge school into the borough’s first and only academy.

“Honestly, the Academy has given me more pleasure and satisfaction than any thing I’ve done during my time,” he said.

“Actively changing lives and seeing them change before my eyes is everything to me. It is a credit to the staff and the pupils.”

He said he was also immensely proud of the John Madejski garden at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the John Madejski Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy of Art and the John Madejski ‘chair of reputation’ initiative, which he introduced at Henley Business School to reward Reading’s future business brains.

He said: “I think you’re a long time dead, so if you can do some good while you’re on the planet then why not.

“I would like to think that the causes I have supported and the things I have done are meaningful. I am proud of what I have done and proud of my commitment to Reading.”

Mr Madejski, who was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to Reading FC and the Reading community, is now one of the 200 wealthiest people in the UK and will receive his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in the New Year.





Sir John Madejski OBE DL

Sir Chancellor John MadejskiJohn Madejski OBE DL, was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1941. In 1976, he founded the Thames Valley Trader, now known as Auto Trader. In 1998 he sold his company Hurst Publishing for £174 million. Sir John became chairman of Reading F.C. in 1990, and has given his name to the club's Madejski Stadium.

In 2006 he led the Royals to the Premiership for the first time in their 135-year history. He is also a benefactor to the Royal Academy of Arts, while the John Madejski Centre for Reputation at Henley Management College, the new garden at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a lecture theatre at the University itself and a gallery at the Museum of Reading also bear his name. Most recently, he helped fund the John Madejski Academy in Whitley, a secondary school striving to provide young people of Reading with a new type of creative learning environment. In 2000 Sir John was awarded the OBE in "recognition of his contribution to Reading Football Club and the Reading community".

He is also Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. In 2006 he was admitted as a Freeman of the Borough "in recognition of the distinguished service rendered to the Borough of Reading, by his contribution to the growth and success of football in Reading, and by his support for education and arts".

Sir John was granted a knighthood in the 2009 Queen's New Year Honours list. He received his honour for his services to charity.

Sir John was formally installed as the Chancellor of the University of Reading on 14 December 2007.




Interview with a grateful - but sad - Reading chairman
Sir John Madejski sings the praises of departing boss Steve Coppell

By Mark Shail May 14, 2009

Sir John Madejski now faces the unenviable task of trying to replace Steve Coppell as the boss of Reading following the former England international’s decision to leave the club. Coppell, the most successful manager in the club’s history after guiding the Royals to the Premiership three years ago, called time on his five and a half year reign at Reading after his side’s play-off semi final defeat against Burnley on Tuesday night. No doubt the Reading chairman will have plenty of applicants for the post but Coppell will certainly be a hard act to follow.

Of course, the process has already started and we have a long list of applicants on our doorstep and we will start sifting through those. We will do that very carefully but obviously Steve is a very difficult man to replace. The club now has to start moving forward in a positive way. This is a great club, with wonderful facilities, and Steve has helped make it a great club and I’m sure we can attract the very best managers to come here.

Well, their contracts have come to an end and I think in terms of starting again you have to have a fresh outlook. I’m sure Steve will give us some guidance in that but we will going through the process are looking at all the applicants, starting immediately after this press conference.

In the summer the bag always gets shaken up, that’s the way it is in football, but it’s too early to start talking about that. We were all looking forward to going to Wembley but that is not going to happen now so now we’ve got a new box of dice to play with and that’s what we’re doing.

Very disappointed. Our working relationship has been fantastic and he is a thinking man’s manager, if you like. But I understand the reasons why he is leaving. But who knows, perhaps he will be back here in the future – after all he has returned to other clubs before. But for the time being he is moving on and I must say I have the utmost respect for him as a manager and as a person. He is a real gentleman.

I’ve always made my position clear that if we were lucky enough to get back to the Premiership then in that league, in this day and age, you need incredibly deep pockets and had we got to the Premier League I would have been looking for a benevolent billionaire to come and take over. But we haven’t got there, we’re in the Championship, so the fight goes on and I’m just as determined to get Reading back into the Premiership. I’m 100 per cent behind the club.




The John Madejski Centre for Reputation

Sir John Madejski The John Madejski Centre for Reputation, founded by Professor Keith MacMillan, is a dedicated research centre based at Henley Business School, one of Europe's leading business schools.

The Centre is named after Sir John Madejski OBE DL. Among his many responsibilities Sir John is Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Chairman of Reading Football Club and Chancellor of the University of Reading.
Objectives of the Centre

Based on 8 years of academic research with over 10,000 stakeholders, the John Madejski Centre for Reputation helps businesses to:

* Improve corporate reputation among customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders.
* Demonstrate and report corporate responsibility and sustainability.
* Improve corporate governance by measuring and reporting on intangible assets, such as stakeholder relationships, impact of HR management, marketing and community involvement.

The SPIRIT model

The Centre has developed the SPIRIT© model to measure the strength of key stakeholder relationships. It enables businesses to identify:

* Whether stakeholders are likely to help or hinder the achievement of a business' objectives in the future.
* How their own actions can improve stakeholder trust and commitment.
* How stakeholder experiences with business behaviour drive future stakeholder behaviour.
* What other factors influence stakeholder commitment to a business (e.g. what competitors do, what the media says).

We do this through the provision of a number of core academic research and consultancy services which we can discuss with your further upon request.



Knighthood for Reading's Sir John Madejski

John Madejski
Sir John took over as Reading chairman in 1990

Reading Football Club chairman John Madejski has been knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

He has been recognised for his charity projects such as the John Madejski Art Gallery and the John Madejski Academy, of which he is the private sponsor.

He took over as the Royals' chairman in 1990 and oversaw the construction of the 25,000 all-seater Madejski Stadium.

Others honoured from across Berkshire include Olympic gold medallist Zac Purchase, who becomes an MBE.

Berkshire's chief fire officer, Iain Cox, is awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal.

Sir John led Reading into the top flight for the first time in their 135-year history.

He said: "Obviously it's a great honour and I feel very privileged.

"Everybody knows that I'm committed to the community of Reading in many ways and this is a manifestation of that.

"But you see anything is possible and I would like to offer that as a beacon of hope to young people today.

"My only disappointment is that my mother passed away one-and-a-half years ago and didn't see me get this."

Meanwhile Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, The Duke of Devonshire, is named a Knight of the Royal Victorian Order.

The order honours those who have personally served the Royal Family. Sir Peregrine is the Queen's representative at Ascot.

Others recognised in Berkshire include GP Dr James Alan Harvard Cave, who is made an OBE for his services to healthcare.

Patricia Bird is made an MBE for voluntary services for her work with Hexham Community Association.




Sir John Madejski puts Degas dancer back in the transfer market at £12m

* Maev Kennedy
* The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009

After five years, the romance between the football club owner and the little dancer is over: a Degas sculpture is for sale again, with a £12m transfer fee on her head.

The seller is Sir John Madejski, knighted in the New Year honours for philanthropy such as giving millions for a courtyard garden at the V&A, South Kensington, and to restore the Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly. In football circles he is better known for funding most of the £50m cost of a new stadium for Reading FC and steering them into the Premier League, before relegation last season.

He bought Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (the little 14-year-old dancer) for £5m in 2004, at the height of the art boom, and loaned it to the RA. He insists parting with the sculpture now is no credit crunch sale: "My collection is constantly evolving and developing into new areas."

It was the only sculpture Degas exhibited in his lifetime, in wax because he could not afford to have it cast. The portrait of Marie van Goethem, one of the dancers at the Paris Opera who inspired so many of his pastels, a weary figure in wrinkled tights jutting a defiant chin, was seen as shockingly realistic. The wax was found on his death, and cast in bronze five years later: copies are in the Tate, d'Orsay in Paris and Metropolitan in New York.

Yesterday Lily Howes, a 14-year-old dancer from the Royal Ballet, who knows all about weariness after two-hour rehearsal and three-hour performance days as Clara in The Nutcracker at Covent Garden, said: "I think she's really good - but she's leaning back a bit too much."

The sculpture will star in Sotheby's sale of impressionist art in London next month. "This is a market for masterpieces," said Melanie Clore of the impressionist department.




Sir John Madejski drops down rich list

April 27, 2009 -

Royals’ chairman Sir John Madejski has been named as the 222nd wealthiest person in Britain, dropping eight places from last year.

Sir John is said to have a fortune worth £250m according to the Sunday Times’ Rich List 2009 and his assets lost a reported £150m on last year.

In a table of the richest men in charge of Championship football clubs the former Auto Trader owner is ranked equal 10th with Michael Spencer of Ipswich Town.

Sir John’s former Auto Trader associate Paul Gibbons is also on the list with a £60m fortune, down by £9m from last year.

Mr Gibbons pocketed £86m when he sold his stake in the company back in 1998 and has spent close to £15m on golf courses since. He is chairman of Leaderboard Golf which has a driving range near the Evening Post offices in Richfield Avenue.

Several Reading-related entries have made the list including new entry Joe Hemani of Westcoast who is 954th.

For an in-depth look at who’s done well in the town don't miss tomorrow’s Evening Post.




Sir John Madejski: 'The fight goes on' to reach the Premier League

By Nick Ive -
May 15, 2009

Reading FC chairman Sir John Madejski insists he is as determined as ever to deliver Premier League football to the town despite manager Steve Coppell’s decision to leave.

Sir John has never made any secret of his desire to sell the club after 18 years in charge but insists while they remain in the Championship “the fight goes on”.

Royals’ most successful-ever boss left his post after Tuesday night’s play-off semi-final defeat to Burnley as the club’s dreams of a swift return to the Premier League came to an end.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Post yesterday Coppell said he had taken the Royals as far as he could and the club needed a “spring clean”.

But Madejski insists the priority is to appoint a successor to Coppell and reclaim the club’s top-flight status.

The chairman said: “I have already made my position clear – and that was if we were lucky enough to get back into the Premiership then, in this day and age, you need incredibly deep pockets.

“Had we got there then I would be looking for my benevolent billionaire, but we are in the Championship so the fight goes on.

“I am just as determined to get Reading back in the Premiership next season so I can try and find that rich billionaire. I am 100 per cent behind this club.”

Football has been littered with clubs who have slipped down the football pyramid after brief stints in the Premier League.

But Madejski insisted that would not happen at Reading. The search for Coppell’s successor has begun and the club have already received around 100 applicants.

The chairman said: “Football is a mercurial business, but we have a will and a determination to go forward with the club. I don’t see the wheels coming off, but it makes it important to make the right decision in appointing the right manager.

“Yes the next appointment is crucial to Reading Football Club and that is why we won’t be making a rushed decision.

“We have had an avalanche of applicants and are looking at those very carefully.

“Steve is a very difficult act to follow. The club has got to have a renaissance and we need to re-jig the club in a positive way so we can move forward.”

Reading’s failure to gain promotion is thought to be around £50 million in television money, advertising, gate receipts and sponsorship, but the club do benefit from parachute payments from their two seasons in the Premier League. Madejski is also hopeful the club’s Academy is starting to produce results.

He added: “We do get parachute payments. We have to cut our cloth accordingly, but we have a hell of a lot going for us. We have a vibrant Academy that is producing great talent.

“We are in a very good position going forward.”




Reading Football chief John Madejski sells rare sculpture for £13million - 4/02/2009

A rare sculpture by French artist Edgar Degas fetched a record £13.3million yesterday.

Petite Danseuse De Quatorze Ans (Little dancer aged 14) was sold by Reading soccer chief Sir John Madejski for a £7million profit to an unnamed Asian buyer.

The 19th century work was the only one of the painter's sculptures ever exhibited in his lifetime.

The sale at Sotheby's in London saw the highest price ever for a Degas artwork.

Sotheby's expert Helena Newman said: "It's one of the most iconic sculptures of the Impressionist period."

BBC NEWS | England | Berkshire
J. M. puts Edgar Degas dancer back in the transfer market
J.M. - at



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