Pardew Resigns - 10 September 2003 - The Fans' Opinion

Alan Pardew resigned as Reading manager on 10 September 2003 after being refused the opportunity to discuss the vacant managers job with West Ham United. John Madejski immediately rejected the resignation as a breach of contract. We asked the fans' opinion of Pardew's departure after four successful seasons as first team manager for the Royals... and there was plenty of opinion out there:

I am like all other Reading followers saddened and angry by the news of Alan Pardew's departure from Reading today. The whole saga has made me feel disillusioned with football and those involved in the game, people like Barry Neville, people like Alan Pardew, people like Trevor Brooking, supposed men of integrity and decency. I feel like I have been conned, all the money that we supporters spend to idolise people who don't give a shit about us, all the travelling we do, all the sacrifices we make to support our club basically counts for nothing. We are mugs us supporters and once again we have been shafted, let down, and used. I feel sorry for JM, how used must he feel. In my eyes he is a good businessman in a corrupt industry and he must feel like walking away. Granted Pardew was on a low salary, but it was a contract he agreed to sign and a contract clearly stating he can only speak to Prem league clubs, his excuses for goin don't wash with me.

I honestly don't know if we should bother with stopping Pardew from resigning, yes I want him to suffer for his actions, but maybe it is better to concentrate on looking forward and forgetting him, any prolonged legal battle could really affect morale at the club further and we don't need that. I am no expert but aren't you treading on dangerous ground employing a new manager whilst refusing the resignation of another? As for a new manager I really don't have a clue, there are lots of candidates and it is a good job with a wealthy club, how about Bryan Robson, he is high profile, with lots of contacts, why not? Whatever happens I hope I cheer up because the events of today have soured my appetite for the game, and I feel at this moment that my recovery period may be a slow one.

Good bye Alan, I amongst others wish you the worst of fortune and hope you end up in a shithole like Mark McGhee, you have let us all down badly. By the way when you next see "The decent man of Football" Trevor Brooking tell him to f*ck off from me please. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Mad Stad later in the season.
Bob Lethaby

Well at least it's reached a conclusion. Now, before criticising Pards' departure, maybe us supporters should take a hard look at ourselves. Remember back to four years ago, how many of you made up the just over 6,500 which attended his first game against Chesterfield? How many looked to mock the loyal fans who were going to game regularly at this time?

I, for one, have to admit that my love affair was on the wane. Albeit at university, the turbulent Bullivant & Burns era certainly made me question whether it was worth spending so much money & time on something which just provided disappointment. How may of you looked at the likes of Barnsley & Bradford and hoped that the Royals could look to emulate them (how times change).

Now, given that most fans are used to challenging for promotion, remember back to the 2000-2001 season. Although ultimately ending in disappointment, it was the first 'decent' season in half a decade. How many of you berating the then manager only returned, or entered, the fold that season. Recount that amazing day at Griffin Park when Jamie equalised. Remember all the highlights from last season. Of course, the manner of the departure leaves a bitter taste. Yet, ultimately, remember the good times. What annoys me more is the arrogance of the press & media who will assume that Reading's good spell is over. The players remain and with the assistance of Dillon & McDermott, promotion can be achieved. Let the ex-pro's and presenter on the likes of Sky Sports, Radio 5Live & Talksport continue with their usual diatribe. 'Patronise us, we don't care'. We are witnessing history in the making. This, however, takes time to trickle down to the likes of McCaffrey, Kamara, Marsh, Brazil et al who are in their own comfort zone. Emotions will be running high at Upton Park this Saturday. Let's maintain the high levels of support which has been demonstrative over recent years. No doubt the Burberry & Stone Island 'boys' will look to enjoy the match in their own inimitable way - I mean, look at the events at Ipswich.

One final point to West Ham, in the style of Mel Gibson in Braveheart...
'You can take our manager, but you cannae take our players'.
Patrick O'Brien

At least we still have our Chairman, thank goodness!
I hope he does not go to another club. I wonder how good AP would have been without a Chairman who was ambitious to get us into the Premiership, and was prepared to buy the players Pardew wanted! Would Pardew have done any better at, say, Wycombe than LS?

How many of the players AP bought have improved under him. Not many N Shorey, J Harper are young players who should improve in the normal course of events. For that matter how much have RFC received in transfer fees since AP has been here? Martin Butler, and.......

Ok so he got us from near the bottom of div 2 to almost where we want to be. They now play much better football its true. But I argue that there are any number of managers who could have done the same with the money available. So having got that little lot off my chest I do not feel that all is lost - far from it, but it does leave a nasty taste. And who knows perhaps KD will be an even better manager, and here's wishing him well!
Martin Davies

Good luck to Pardew.
If I was head hunted for allegedly three times my salary, I would want to consider it very seriously. He has engineered the Club through tricky times to a position of great strength - better than at any stage of our history. It's not like when McGhee left having promised he'd stay. Pards stayed quiet While we all speculated but the longer it went on, the more likely he would go.

However, the following is true...
Pardew and Gorman - lost far more than we won
Pardew and Mad Dog - faded badly after an impressive start
Pardew and Dill - got it right from day one!

I hope Dill proves to be more than a capable caretaker and then gets the job full time. If he's half as tough as he was a player, we'll be okay. We need continuity! Chants for Saturday "There's only one John Madjeski, walking in a winter wonderland". Can't think of any Dill songs yet!
Will Hasler

After his statements at the fans forum that he wouldn't leave for a rival Division 1 club and the nature of the contract that he signed, I think Pardew's behaviour has been very poor. He has garunteed that a large part of the Reading fans will now hate him, and give him stick. He's betrayed a lot of the players who have joined us over recent years. He's acted like a hypocrite after the Connelly situation, and most importantly he's upset Mr Mad, who has every right to now force him into Garden leave.

Alan do you really expect us to believe that the only reason you resigned is because you were denied the chance to talk to West Ham. Even now you can't be honest and say you wanted the job and to move on. Honesty from the start would have left us angry, but not betrayed. Congratulations on getting yourself the 3 months Gardening leave you deserve, and if you think West Ham will wait until February for you I think and hope you are wrong.

No managers with a first name ending in 'y', - they have all been useless in the last 10 years. No managers with 4 letter first names - they will betray us.
Long Live Kevin Dillon as Pardew's replacement. Lets keep what continuity we can.

So it has finally happened and dear old Alan has put greed before honour.
See you on the way back down Al.
We won't forgive this for a long time.
Heres hoping Mr Mad can carry on after this terrible insult.
PW Johnstone

Not a surprise. Sacked by Reading as reserve team manager under Tommy Burns. Returns and saves Reading from the drop, after three very successful years offered three times his salary by West Ham. What would you do?
Matt Smith

I am disgusted with Pardew's decision! He signed a contract and so he should stick to it. I am sure the whole of Reading feels betrayed by this and out of everyone I feel upset mostly for John Madejski who has done soo much for this club and for Pardew himself! Pardew if you go it will be the biggest mistake of ur life and we will laugh at you when you stay in Div 1 with West Ham while Reading are in the Prem!!

Good Luck to Dillon and the players- you can do it- lets kick ass and show Pards what he will be missing!
Claire Needham

Contract loyalty in the football world is very different to contract loyalty in the business world (non football). It stands to reason that West Ham are after the best and Reading want to keep probably the best Manager the club has ever had. Whats done is now done and in any event there is no point in trying to keep someone who doesn't want to stay. The main priority now is to focus everyone's attention to the match itself on Saturday and I'm sure all the club staff, players, and supporters will do everything they can to secure a memorable victory. I just hope the idiots don't come to the fore and try and stir things up with aggressive behaviour.

On a positive note, we still have an excellent set up geared to the premiership with a superb team of players and back room staff. I think we need to retain Kevin Dillon to steady the ship and let things settle down before any rash appointments/decisions are made. Pardew. assuming, he takes the W.Ham job must not be allowed to poach our players. At the end of the day Majedski is a shrewd business man and following the Mcghee affair has learnt a lot. I have every confidence that he and the board will manage things and the ultimate outcome will still be a memorable season seeing Reading being promoted.
Mike Stark

Seems like there is another Mark McGhee at the club. Once again we are doing well and the manager jumps ship to get a better offer. Hopefully it won't turn out like it did the last time this happened.
Onwards and upwards to the premiership.
Darren Wynn

There are no winners here. It is a battle of morality against money, and as is so often the case, it is the lure of money that wins. Pardew has been an undoubted success here. He also agreed to a contract and then wanted to break it. we may ask ourselves how we would have behaved in that situation. The difficulty for us as football fans is that we are ruled by our hearts and not our heads. For the football manager, it is a job and we fail to see that. The guilty parties here are Pardew and west Ham and both will loose a lot of respect. The person who emerges with his reputation enhanced still further is our Chairman. Where would we be without him? Yes we must rally around the team, but let's not forget what JM has done for his club and , ironically, for Pardew. Had he seen out his contract or gone to a Premiership club, we would have all wished him all the best and followed his development. Now neither will be the case. That is sad, but that is how it is.
Kenneth Chennells

Although I feel completely let down by AP, and will gladly join in any stick he is likely to get when (and if) he returns to the Mad Stad, I do want to thank him for his work at the club. I just don't want to wish him well... I've seen a lot of comments comparing a Football Managers job with leaving any other place of work, and feel I should add the following comments:
1) If a Manager is sacked during a season, the club still has to pay out his contract, plus any other compensation payments, so in effect his contract is still legally binding.
2) JM is quite within his rights to refuse his resignation, and until he does, AP may be unable to work for another club (injunctions etc.).
3) If somebody leaves a company, there may be requirements not to work for competitors for a set period of time (e.g. 6 months). It's about time the F.A. made this a requirement throughout the league - that would make this sort of thing less likely.

JM should do all he can to stall AP's move to Westham (especially before Saturday - who wants the person who trained the team on Monday to be part of the opposition on the Saturday?!), Kevin Dillon should have his chance. Let AP have 6 months to a year cooling his heals and see if he regrets his decision. West Ham have obviously gone behind Readings back despite claiming 'to be going though the proper channels' and so should be investigated by the F.A. and receive a huge fine. I feel worse about this than when the Fat Scottish One left - at least that was for a team in a higher division. Lets hope West Ham and Pardew finish in mid-table and AP ends up being sacked for the 'Next Bright Thing' (hopefully not Kevin Dillon).
Mark Robinson

OK so AP has gone - the people I feel sorry for are the players like Sidwell, Harper and most of all Goater. To come to a club like Reading - clearly influenced by AP to improve himself and help us into the Premiership - how does he feel now just a few weeks later?

I think Kevin Dillon (providing he does not find the exit too) should be the man for the job. Or we should go for a name and pay him or her (Gabi come on down) for success achieved. Lawrie Sanchez is a good bloke but he's not New Reading he's Old Reading.

I am sure John Madejski will not want to encourage anyone to break their contract to join (as he has principles) how about Gianluca Vialli (classy fella), Brian Little (he likes us), Graham "do I not like that" Taylor or even Stuart Pearce (the Goat knows him well). In addition, all the crap about AP being on only sixty grand (plus his money for appearances on Radio and TV) it's a red herring. And please, not Ray Houghton - he never has a good word to day about us when on Sky.

I had a scan through the Hammers website this morning and there were several classic postings most notably "I heard Hammers were going to bring in Alan Partridge and frankly it did not surprise me! Let's go to Upton Park on Saturday, win and show them which club has the future and which club has the past!
Mark Beament

Copy of note sent to John Madejski:

Dear Mr Madejski,

Please be assured of our continuing support. I am sure that I speak for the vast majority of followers of Reading Football Club in expressing my disappointment at events of recent days. I firmly believe that the club has become a victim of the malaise that threatens to sink our game into oblivion. I fully back your stand that an agreement once made should be honoured; a contract once signed should be enforceable. If Reading sacked a manager they would be expected to offer compensation - does it really work in reverse though?

I do not understand why Mr Pardew has taken this decision. He knew of the club's past experiences with Managers who were allowed to speak with other parties and his contract was clear on this issue. How he could claim to be upset by the Club upholding the terms of that contract beggar's belief.

Anyway, his mind was obviously made up. Though I wonder how much of this was prompted by the agent. For Alan Pardew it surely makes no sense to go to a club which has extreme financial problems, a faltering morale in the dressing room and a un-sympathetic level of expectation. He is "on a hiding to nothing". Compare the well run, sound club he chooses to leave. It must be down to the agents opportunism.

The West Ham Board should also reflect on their actions. The club is bigger than one person (perhaps excluding your good self!). We will continue the good work which you tirelessly inspire. Hold out for compensation. Hope that the FA have the necessary back-bone and principles. Try to keep/strengthen the squad. Keep faith with your approach. See you in the Premier League (minus West Ham).

Unstintingly yours
James Lawrence

Where do I start?
Absolutely gutted at this news. The person I feel sorry for most is John M. For this situation to happen twice to seemingly one of the most supportive and collaborative chairmen in the football league is nothing short of dreadful. I think as Reading fans we see ourselves as more than a small club in Berkshire. Okay so we've never won anything of note but small clubs can become bigger - look at Wimbledon and Blackburn Rovers to name but two. Anyway, why does being a 'small' club mean we have to lose managers? In speaking to friends who are other teams fans they seem to believe that Pards coudn't turn down a club like West Ham with their history, stature, following etc, so maybe it's just us being over protective about OUR club.

There is for me a huge difference however between the Reading that Pardew is leaving to the one that McGhee left. I am not an FSB hater and don't chant at him when Millwall play Reading because, deep down I think he probably did the thing most mangers would have done and moved from Elm Park. We were then a very small club doing amazingly well but with no real infrastructure for long term success. The Reading of today is a fantastic club built on very solid foundations and a club that was going places. (in fairness I credit Pardew for a lot of this).

It is easy to look back with hindsight now and say maybe John should have let Pards talk to WH. He might have come back re-negotiated his contract with Reading, stayed and left WH with egg on their face, however I think I'm maybe being a bit idealistic to think that if Pards spoke with them he wouldn't have gone. Overall you certainly can't criticise JM other than perhaps Pards salary was low and unfair (I read £65K a year somewhere, which if true is outrageous!) Well fellow Royals we were on the crest of a wave and I honestly feel we were going up this year. We'd started well, everything was in place for success. Inevitably now there will be a period of unrest and this will damage the team, how much ? nobody knows.

I am very, very sad at this moment. I feel very sorry that probably our greatest manager thus far will be remembered with bitterness and we will have to endure again the slagging off of Pardew at every game he comes to at the Mad Stad. I really want to hate Pards but I can't. Yes, he's been dishonourable, yes he's treated all of us shabbily but his record as our manager is one to be immensely proud of. Not just for the games won etc or the players he signed (Not 1 bad one in IMHO), but for the 'infrastructure' he laid at Reading.

I still almost cannot believe he's gone. I have already had a a high this season which was when Pards and Goater were live on Sky Sports. Pards talked with such pride about how Reading were perceived as a small club and 'unglamorous' saying and I quote 'We are trying to change that and maybe bringing players like Shaun to the club will help to do that'. Less than 8 weeks later that same man has gone and left me with my lowest point for a long, long time being a Reading fan.

I now just want Saturday to come and turn over WH. I'm one of the lucky 2,500 who've got a ticket. I shall wear my Royals shirt with immense pride in the Boleyn on Saturday. I will also sing to the rafters to support our team and most all our fabulous chairman.
Crowthorne Royal, Dean Howarth

First off thanks for a great website that has allowed me keep track of the royals all over the world for the last 4 years.

My feelings at the moment are of disbelief and concern for the future. I also feel a little angry. Not knowing all the facts doesnt help either. One one hand i feel angry that alan pardew should leave the royals- after hes done so much and seems in a great position to make history and take Reading to the premiership. We made him and where is the loyalty. On the other, whilst i respect Madjeski`s actions of not allowing Pardew to speak to WHUFC i think that you cant blame a man who has the chance of earning 3 times his Reading salary and a reported £1m if he gets the back in the premiership. I think that Pardew should have been offered a finacial incentive to stay... maybe he was who knows?

I feel gutted that hes left and worried for the future. I feel that it is up to the players now to pick themselves up and really get behind Kevin Dillion and prove that we are not finished. I also feel that the fans should get behined John Madjeski - Pardew would have been nothing without his stadium, hotel and money.

Every Royals fan now should be getting behined the team and turning up to support the boys... Woe betide anyone i hear saying "oh weve fucked it now" or any other negative comments which some royals fans seem to always say. The Song to Pardew has to be in the tune to Stokes Deliah - Why? Why? Why? Alan Pardew Come on you Royals

It was pretty obvious that Pardew was going to go to West Ham when he didnt come out and distance himself from the speculation of him going in the first instance. I think it may have been better if Madjeski had let him speak to West Ham, although he was well within his right to reject their approach, it would have given him less reason to resign and then maybe give Reading a better chance of getting compensation from West Ham. Now he has resigned from the club because of dispute with the Chairman he will be free to take up the West Ham position and we will most likely not realise the £250000 - £800000 figure that was being touted in the press which might have been handy for further player purchases. You would have thought that after the Mark Mcgee situation Mr Madjeski would have been less naive than to think that anyone would honour their contract when approached by a 'bigger' club as this is hardly the norm in Football these days.
Very disapointed but not really very suprised.
Chris Rodger

So here we are again, we give young managers a chance and when we start to get comfort the RFC curse strikes agaion and they go onto bigger and better thing. However, whereas Mark McGhee left us to a premiership club Pardew has gone to a divisional rival and that is not accpetable. The so called "nice guy" as done himself a disgrace and taken a massive risk by going to West Ham. They are club in turmoil, with a disruptful set of supporters and a squad full of ego's - something Pardew hates. Arguably we have just as good a chance of getting promoted as West Ham, and surley by Pardew going there could jepordises his career as if they do not get promoted they will balme him, whereas, if he had stayed with Reading till the end of the season he would of lost no respect in the game and a Premiership club would have come in for him.

After all the promosies he made to Goater and Murray to get them here, he goes against his word, and no doubt hurts a lot of people along the way, for what is essentialy a massive gamble. If we can keep hold of our playes we still have a chance but what the morale must be like within in the camp I don't know. Still at least we have Dillon - the perfect replacement. Thanks for nothing Pardew, Come on King Kev!!!!
Peter Tournoff

I find it very sad that Alan Pardew has left the club in this manner. It is a unfortunately a fact of life that loyalty and honour seem to count for nothing these days with the bottom line being cash.

Not only has Pardew let down the fans badly, but also everyone involved in the club, not the least the players who were persuaded to come to Reading in the last few weeks with promises such as "I can still teach you new things". I hope that the board now do not panic and bring someone in immediately to replace Pardew that does not have the quality or skill to take us into the Premiership by next April. Some of the names already being mentioned include Managers whose Teams play the old "up and under" tactics that we saw at Elm Park in years gone by!

I know that "Big John" has his principles but now may be the time to look at how other Managers have been "poached" and change his views in a game where money is the all deciding factor. Maybe in a years time I may be able to say "good luck" to Pardew but at the moment all I can do is wish him some Spangles Acid Drops (if they still make them) 'cos they leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Still, as long as he is not permitted to return and pinch players and key backroom staff the Team is good enough to gain promotion without AP.
Paul Beamish-Knight

I don’t blame Pards for resigning, in that if the media is correct, and his salary ex bonuses was £60,000, he was underpaid for the job he did. Anyone offered 3 times salary to move would quite reasonably want the opportunity to talk to the party offering the deal. It is very unusual in any business for the boss to be paid less than the junior staff. Pards was responsible for recommending relatively mediocre players to the Board whose pay demands were vastly in excess of his own remuneration.

What does seem a bit daft is that if it was money that caused the rift, surely a compromise from the club could have avoided this massively damaging situation. Well done to Mr. Mad for believing a contract should be binding. That doesn’t mean that the terms of said contract cannot be varied when circumstances prevail that demand it. The club has been hurt by the unnecessary publicity surrounding what could have been a very avoidable situation. Supporters, and most importantly, players have had their confidence harmed, and it begs the question whether Chairman and Manager really had the cosy relationship that we were all supposed to believe existed.
Kevin, Worthing Royal.

Where do I start?
The feeling of watching Sky Sports News with the breaking headline "Alan Pardew resigns as manager of Reading" was of pure disappointment and shock. There is no doubt West Ham are a bigger club, but West Ham is being run by Terrence Brown, probably the most hated chairman at this moment in time. They have debt's which they say have gone,but everyone no's in football that means nothing. I think the general behaviour of Pards in the last week or 2 has been of a surpirse,no one really thought he would be intrested in this job considering in my opinion,we are in a much better state at this moment in time than West Ham.

Where did it all go wrong? Well it could go back to the time we had the chance to sign Matty Upson, but the chairman wasn't preapred to buy him. Look what's happend to him since, regular first team football in the premiership and now a regular in the England squad.Surely Pardew wasn't satisfied at having taken a pay cut when he signed that contract back in January. He said it was an example to the players,but I can't remember a player since that day mentioning a pay cut.In all fairness,chairman John had been very fair to him in the summer. There was money to spend,with us bringing in Scott Murray and Shaun Goater on transfer fees,Omar Daley on a season long loan and yet we were still discussing as fans who would be the best centre back for backup to Adie Williams and Steve Brown. But despite Pards walking out on us and most of us upset,no one can doubt what he done at this club was nothing short than amazing. A top 10 finish in his first season,Playoff Final in the 2nd season, Promotion in the 3rd season,a playoff place in the 4th season where we were unlucky not to go through. Even the start this season was very encouraging.

Where do we go from here.Well Kevin Dillion is in temporary charge and surely he has a great chance of being our new boss,he no's this club inside out and somehow I can see him having more loyalty than others.Lawrie Sanchez seems to been mentioned,but that would be a step backwards.But there is still quality managers around and about: Steve Cotterill, Ronnie Moore, Danny Wilson, Steve Coppell. Of course there is Parky,but maybe the job here has come to early for him.Sorry Parky! But to summarise,thanks Pards for all you done because you were great,but truth.Your another FSB.
Mark Sugar

After the shambles of the last week, who really wants Pardew as manager? David Connolly and Alan should get on just fine, so let's just leave it at that. It's now time to use this energy and passion he's whipped up with his departure to get behind Kevin Dillion and rise up the table. I think Kev will prove a better manager anyway - Pardew's always been vastly over-ratted if you ask me. It's Johnny Mad that's really made it all happen and long may he continue to be the best chairman in the division!
Tom Roberts

Alan Pardew is disloyal, low life, scum and deserves everything he gets. He's no better than that fat Scottish b*stard.
Words fail me. I'm filled with anger and disappointment. Hope this whole episode blows up in his face. I wish him the very worst for the future and for evermore. We will never forget how he has let us down. In the meantime, I salute Johnny Mad. Top bloke who just doesn't deserve to be let down again. He's a great chairman who gives his managers good support and I really feel for the guy. Lets just hope that this hasn't fcuked our season almost as soon as it's started.
Simon Plevey

I just simply cannot believe this.
Watching this unfold over the last week I was unsure if I was postive he was staying or convinced he was going to go. Everyday seemed to offer new hope or new concerns. On Sky's Soccer Saturday at the weekend I listened to Spackman, Cottee et al suggesting that Pardew would not perhaps be making the correct desicion should he decide to take the West Ham gig and that, according to Cottee, would not even be a 'big enough' name to keep the West Ham supporters happy! To add further fuel to the fire even Alan Mullery offered that Pardew would be simply 'mad' to take on the West Ham job when, frankly, the oportunities at his disposal at Reading far outweighed those at the cash strapped and squad depleted Hammers.

I've not been this pi**ed off in a long time and can't believe that a guy who we all thought was 'in it for the long haul' and, lets be fair, worked a bloody miracle at transforming the team (at least) into genuine Premier League candidates has effectively just upped and gone - it's madness! Tell me this is not happening........
John Smith

So we all made a mistake. We thought he was honourable but we've found out in the most painful way that he is totally dishonourable. No-one would begrudge him joining a premiership or European club but his contract stated he could not join a competitor. He agreed to this but decided that he is bigger than the club and he can simply break an agreement. To look at this positively, we must be better off without him. He's a man without principles while John Madejski is an excellent businessman with principles.

If his contract has a notice period of several months, we should put him on gardening leave rather than ask for compensation. Play hard and play by the book. Pardue has not played by the book and he needs to be taught the facts of business life. But let's not knee-jerk for a successor. There's talk of Laurie Sanchez, but his track record isn't startling. Let's a reverse buyout and knick Ranieri!! That'll get them talking!
Nigel Grinsted

I genuinely think Pardew has made the wrong decision for himself. He had built himself something very good here at Reading. He had a huge amount of credibility here and a lot of room to manoeuvre. This he had gained through his own good work. He had the opportunity here to become a legend. He could have been the man who made Reading a Premiership team, and then maybe even on to Europe. He could have been the next Clough.Someone who took an obscure club to greatness. I think there is a serious danger that we could become an Aberdeen, punching well above our weight under a great manager and then slipping back into obscurity once he had gone. I think it is crucial now that we hang on to Dillon (promote him and pay him quick) ,and the rest of the back room staff. I don't think it is a coincidence that the team improved immediately when Dillon took over from Martin Allen.

Pardew was forming Reading in his own image. He won't be able to do that at West Ham.Too much baggage, too much history. If he takes West Ham back to the Top half of the Prem, they'll say "so what". Will Pardew be handing out the "fastest team in Div 1" T-Shirts on day one at West Ham ?
Richard Price

After all the anticpation, rumour, denials and silences the moment is upon us. Pardew surely is synonymous with Reading’s developing fortunes, but that perhaps doesn’t tell the whole truth. The truth surely is that the Chairman had been unswerving in his support for his man, has seen off the calls from the fans for his dismissal when times were not so good and has backed him since the end of last season by funding some top price signings.

The HNA report says is all. Pardew will be remembered in the same vein as another rookie manager that Madjeski helped create, as someone who walked away from a commitment for the sake of a bigger cheque. The amount of criticism clubs are given for sacking managers after short periods – or even after a manager has done the dirty work for the board in the case of Roeder – is often given profile. How much then should Pardew’s action – walking out after 8 months of a new contract, and just 5 games of a new season be held in contempt. Yes, Pards has helped turn Reading into a club that people recognise, that your mates don’t laugh about any more and that just may be on the verge of breaking into the countries elite division, but how much more has Reading made Pardew a name even worthy of considering for a club such as West Ham?

Nobody would be crying foul had Pardew departed for Charlton – anyone not expecting that would be a fool. Premiership clubs could take him – that was in his contract, which everyone agreed to so recently, and surely opportunities would have arisen. We might not have liked it, but to kick your biggest supporter in the nuts, and turn your back on the place that made you and go over to the opposition is asking for vilification. I’d like to thank Pardew for all he’s done for this club. In all sincerity, he has done a grand job. I’ll not have the opportunity to say so in person. When he comes back on April 3rd, he’ll find out just how McGhee feels. Fool. Should’ve known better.
Paul Fortescue

Pardew is a fool, he has taken a sideways step he will lose in the long run.
Michael Robinson

Hugely disappointed, the timing is incredible, Pardew was on the verge of really acheiving something with the current side. To throw that away and head on for an allegedly bigger (which is not to say better) club still coming to terms with relegation is a somewhat surprising decision. More hurtful though is the complete u-turn from the opinions he aired at the last fans forum regarding his and the club's future.

We have to thank Pardew for the job he's done here, the state we're in now compared to his first morning in charge couldn't be more different. That said the bloody mindedness inherent in football fans like myself means I'm keen to see hm and West Ham fall flat on their faces after this whole tawdry affair. It's a truism but the only constant in football is the fans, luckily we have one at the helm in the form of Mr Madejski who I believe is the only person to come out of this with an enhanced reputation. Long may he rule our club.
David Smith

He has let the fans and players down very badly and given himself a bad name by walking out and not being loyal to his contract. We have a great set up and team spirit. I hope we can carry on towards the premiership. Good luck to the boys and lets do 'em on Saturday. I am to mad to carry on this email.

I am not angry with Alan Pardew... I am dissapointed, let down and betrayed. I have always supported Pards and have watched him build a fantastic team at reading. He has always given the impression he was dedicated to us... His voluntry wage cut, killing of of the Connelly deal because he wasn't commited enough etc... He has walked out on us for money. His reputation as a manager would have been far more improved if he had finished the job at reading. If he had walked out on us for a premiership club then I would have been sad, but proud of what Reading helped pardew achive. Now that he is going to a rival i know he can never really have been commited to us but using us to find a better job.

My message to Pardew would be this... You could have left Reading as a hero and gone down in history as a great manager who did great things for us and went to the premiership (another David Moyes perhaps). Instead you have lost the fans respect and while you will always be rememberd as a great manager who turned us around you will always be a traitor. I thank you for what you have done for us over the last few seasons, but I don't wish you luck.
Mark Alderman

Sorry to see him go.
This will damage his reputation no end and, I for one, will be sad if he ends up like Mark McGee - a promising hopeful who failed to live up to his full potential because he was too ambitious too soon. Pardew has consistently surprised the Reading fans, and possibly himself, by continually improving his performance as a manager. No sooner had we believed him to have reached his level - he managed to rise above it to the next one. Lets hope that WestHam will be as patient with his learning curve as Reading were.

I truly believe that it is the backroom team, along with the superb facilities, which has helped Reading achieve their recent successes and it will be interesting to see if Pardew continues to perform so well without them. Afterall, fitness levels and training regimes take time to establish - and that's with the clubs full support! I support Mr Mad fully in his fury. Disloyalty is a hard thing to swallow, particularly as it appears that in the end the only motive was money. Roll on a long period of gardening leave!!!
Kirrie Griffith

Pardew has made it quite clear he wants no future in Reading Football Club so what's the point in trying to keep him? I feel despratly sorry for the chairman as this is the second time it has happened and you wonder if a contract is worth the paper it's written on. We should now just move on find a successor and hope he can carry on the good work Pardew has started.
Peter Richarson

It's all very sad. It's like history repeating itself. We get close to the promised land and then it all goes pear shaped. Lets hope we keep the momentum going and Mr.M appoints a worthy successor who can steady the ship. Out of all this unfortunate state of affairs I feel sorry for John Madejski. I really don't think he deserves this. Come on URZ!
Steve King

I am totally gobsmacked! Is this not the same man who 4 weeks ago told us all at the fans forum "I'm not going anywhere". So much for loyalty, and honour clearly no defence for the lure of a big fat pay cheque. Our response should be to give West Ham a damm good pasting on Saturday and continue our march to the Premiership. We can then wave goodbye to Alan Pardew and West Ham next May as we enter the Premiership for the first time and leave him and his team behind in division one.
Alan White

When John Madejski appointed Pardew he gave him his first chance in football management and was heavily criticised for gambling on an unproven young manager. Since then, he has unstintingly stuck by Pardew through thick and thin and back him to the hilt financially in a way virtually all other managers in the Nationwide could only dream of. How does Pardew repay this faith, support and loyalty? By knifing Madejski in the back the first opportunity he had.

If I was John Madejski I would feel very let down and disillusioned.

And what of the fans? We are left with the feeling that virtually all players and managers are little more than hired hands with no loyalty to any club, set of supporters or anything other than their wallet. Clearly, they all care less about the club than the fans that pay their wages. What makes Pardew’s departure particularly galling is that he has always impressed the need for loyalty and support on both his players and the fans, the word hypocrite barely does it justice.
Martin Dubber

John M found himself in a no win situation - let Pards speak to West Ham and you've as good as let him go much to the fan's wrath, stick to your guns as he's in a contract / you are protecting your investment and Mr. Neville / Mr. Brooking publicly denounce you for not playing ball. From my perspective, John has acted with intergrity - this club has flourished since his investment - he is a self made man with principles - Mr. Neville is not fit to even share the same breathing space - he is a parasite seeking his 15 minutes of fame.

So good luck Alan, national polls suggest you are not the man West Ham wanted - whatever success you may / may not achieve with your new club, I suggest to you that Mr. Brown will not be the accomodating Chairman you have come to expect at Reading and more importantly you have not finished the job you set out to achieve - respect takes a long time to earn and a second to lose. I for one Pard's bought into your dreams and even though you were not my first choice at the helm, won me over. Sadly, you now mean as much to me as Mr. Neville.
Roger Sudlow

As someone who has had to watch all this unfold in a part of the country where I come across more West Ham supporter's than Reading ones (ie just north of London, the last week or so has been very difficult in holding my temper. Basically I cannot work out the logic of why Pardew was so desperate to talk to West Ham, he knew the contract he signed excluded that option.

I think what has really annoyed about all this is, why did AP want to speak to West Ham:
1. Was he after more money from the chairman, well why not ask him for more, but given the likelihood of jobs being available in the premiership and our continued success I am not naive enough to believe that we weren't likely to lose him at some point this season.
2. Does he believe the squad HE has built over the last 3 seasons is not able to get into the premiership? If so I really feel gutted as he is essentially saying that West Ham is a better way of getting into the premiership than us and that really hurts after all he has done and said to help raise our profile in the game.

All in all a sad day for all concerned:
1. For John Madejski who has taken a very moral position and understandable one as he has played fair by AP for the last 3 seasons and to get a repeat kick in the teeth from a good manager
2. For AP as I believe this will hurt his reputation in the future in a not too disimilar way that it did to Mark McGhee, if he cannot supply the right results quick enough.
3. And for us the supporters, as this again demonstrates that we still seem unable to convince manager's or outsiders that this club IS good enough to progress if someone would only take us seriously (and this is NOT in a pompous or arrogant sense of over importance.

The only part of history repeating itself that I would like to happen now is for us to get to the play offs and the team that AP joins gets relegated. This is not wishing AP any bad luck, as he was the major reason alongside the chariman we have had such a good 3 years, but if he is moving on then so reluctantly should we and look after number one. Having said that I hope JM will not resort to the tactics used by West Ham in getting a replacement.
Paul Butler

I've been away on business the last couple of days so have had time to reflect and calm down a bit. I guess in our hearts most of us wasn't surprised when Pardew walked out, but to hear the actual news that he had certainly left one feeling a sense of loss and an immediate feeling of f**k , what's going to happen now! Will we go backwards, will we lose some of our best players, will we go forward. We'll I think there's no doubt we'll go forward and we'll keep out players.

A week ago when all the speculation started, I knew as soon as Pardew never came out and issued a statement saying he was committed to Reading Football club he would go . For the bloke to say he's resigned because he wasn't allowed to talk to West Ham beggars belief. Just who does he think he is kidding. As soon as his parasite of a so called agent started spouting off saying he wanted to talk to West Ham you knew he would go. What the f**k is he doing with an agent in the first place? To arrange a pantomime deal? All the shitster done was feed the press with stories and rumours, I trust he'll be banned from every stepping foot in the Madejski again.

What really hurts is that the club is on the verge of something so big and without doubt the most exciting time in its long unglorious history. Pardew was at the heart of that, we're second in the league for gods sake , if it were not for two bent referees we'd be undefeated ! The fact he has walked out on his club and contract is a disgrace , just image when Defoe goes to Twatdew and asks for a transfer from West Ham , how on earth can he look him or any player in the face and question his loyalty and commitment to their club . The man has fallen from grace and leaves with his reputation and esteem in tatters. If I was Madejski I'd put him on garden leave for the rest of the season, then West Ham would get pissed off, appoint somebody else and he'd be out of a job, that would be great but of course is not going to happen.

I hope JM appoints Kevin Dillon asap, it will then be a case of business as usual with just a difference face at the helm. I'm sure I speak for all fans when I say I can't think of another game in recent years I've wanted to win so much as the game at West Ham on Saturday, we'll all be there and you watch us sing our hearts out, it's going to be a very special game whatever the result, wonder if Judas will be lurking somewhere in disguise in the stadium? So he's gone, good riddance and lets hope and pray we finish above them at the end of the season, wouldn't that taste sweet.

Pardew must be not only have no morals or principals but he must be pretty thick. To me it like he's jumped the QE2 straight onto the Titanic. He had the chance to become a legend, sadly he'll never be remembered for anything but the man who walked out on Reading FC at the most exciting time of their history and left the club and all it's fans in the shit. Cheers mate! To think what JM must be thinking having given him is chance when he was nothing. As long as we have John Madejski we'll be ok, never lose faith. Sing your hearts out on Saturday and pray , we'll show them...... URZZZ!!
Nick Newbury

Copy of fax sent to John Madjeski:

Dear Mr Madejski,
First of all I wanted to pledge my support for you and the stance that you have taken in the light of recent events at our football club. Like many other Reading Football Club fans, I am bitterly disappointed by the resignation of Mr Pardew. I think the manner of his resignation speak volumes about Pardew's lack of loyalty and integrity - it also shows a remarkable inability on his part to appreciate the opportunity that you have built for him at Reading.

I am also bitterly disappointed that Pardew has decided to resign without finishing the job at Reading. Even in Division Two, the aim of the Manager and yourself was Premiership football. We are now closer than ever to meeting that aim and I am convinced that we will.

I would therefore implore you to keep that aim in mind throughout the difficult days ahead. You have built a club that is professional and progressive in it's approach to the game (both on the pitch and in the boardroom) and I firmly believe that this approach will not only reap success at Reading, but will also become a bench-mark for other football clubs in this country who will need to change their attitudes and working practices in order to survive. I sincerely appreciate your loyalty, continued support and utter professionalism; particularly during the coming days and weeks as we recover from the shock and astonishment of being let down so badly.

With many thanks and all best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Paul Willey.

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