Parade to mark Reading FC's return to Premier League

Reading celebrate promotion

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Reading FC will hold a parade around the town to celebrate their promotion to the Premier League.

The Royals were beaten in last season's Championship play-off final, but sealed automatic promotion this term with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

A club spokesman said: "We want to mark this occasion, which is a huge day in the Royals' history, which the players will want to enjoy with the fans."

It will take place on Sunday 29 April. Route details are being finalised.

There will also be a celebration at the Madejski Stadium on the same day.

38,000 capacity

Reading return to the top flight next season following a four-year absence.

The Royals were 16th in the Championship at the start of November, but climbed the table after Christmas, winning 15 of their last 17 league games.

The club is set to be taken over by Anton Zingarevich's Thames Sport Investment group.

Reading FC have until November next year to expand the 24,500 Madejski Stadium by more than 50%, to give it a 38,000 capacity.

Permission to expand the stadium was granted in 2007 but work is yet to start. It has to begin by November 2013 under the approved plans.

Prospective owner Zingarevich wants the gates at the ground to be increased now the Royals are in the Premier League but has hinted he will not look at expanding until after a season in the top flight.

Yo-yo club

He has said previously: "I think there is a lot to develop here but the infrastructure that is already in place is key. We have already started looking at upgrading the academy and the training facilities.

"If we stay up [after] the first year then we will upgrade the stadium. There are a lot of things to do but there is a lot of potential."

Start Quote

It's not to create a profit, it's to create a better atmosphere”

End Quote Paul Fletcher Stadium adviser

Expanding Madejski Stadium will take time to pay for itself, according to building experts.

Paul Fletcher, who advises on stadium projects around the country, said: "To add 10,000 seats would probably cost £25m and those 10,000 seats would probably bring you in £4 million a year so it's a long time before you get it back. It's not to create a profit, it's to create a better atmosphere.

"You know Manchester City declared losses of £120 million last year, this is the environment the new owners will be joining.

"I imagine they (Reading) will want to stay there this time for a long period rather than be a yo-yo club."

Damian Friel, from Arup, the consulting engineers, said the work to take off the roof and create more tiers of seating would take 12 months.

He said: "We're reasonably restrained on the Madejski site although it's a fairly large car park, we've got a retail park to one side so access is not ideal, so we have planned it out in a reasonable fashion to extend through the summer period over into the following year."

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