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Assuming QPR will be playing in the Championship next season...
- The 2013/14 Fixtures are released June 19
- The First Game of the season is August 3rd
KEY 2013/14 DATES
- On This Day in 1976: The Norwich Loss
Parkes - Clement Webb McClintock Gilard - Francis Hollins Masson - Thomas Bowles Givens
- Queens Park Rangers have bought only failure in their survival spending spree
Yesterday, The Guardian reported on a new 15 million pound Loan taken out by QPR and there were concerns about QPR Financial losses and growing debts.
Today a tweet from Chairman Fernandes offered a brief explanation.
Tony Fernandes @tonyfernandes4h: "Loan for qpr is for new stadium. Next 2 weeks will be hopefully good news. But work is starting. We will not say anymore on stadium."
This is really the first stadium update since the beginning of the season, when the Chairman and CEO were talking about a new stadium and something being announced within weeks. (See for example, The Guardian in July 2012)
At the recent QPR Fan Forum in February, QPR Chairman CEO, Philip Beard made reference to a new stadium, but made no hint that a decision was near.
"The stadium is a bit more of a challenge. I think Chelsea and a few other clubs have been looking for years to move. What we have got is a group of owners committed to doing it. 100 per cent. One of the things we haveto face is as great as this place is, and you only have to listen to the comments tonight, it is just not what is required for a club that has aspirations like we have all got to stabilise our position in the Premier League and kick on. It will take time to get right. The craziness of trying to talk about that too much in the press, even Tony when he tweets about stuff, they will pick up on it. Trust me, land values don’t go down too much when people hear about you wanting to buy their land or house. The reality is we have got to keep ourselves movingforward but it is the medium-to-long-term goal of the club to get to a
state-of-the-art stadium for the club."
Beard also said re stadium "There are one or two opportunities that we have got where we think the political support will be 100 per cent as actually a regeneration of an area or a piece of land is something that they would like us to do. "
Beard also pledged at that Fan Forum "... ... I will make a promise with the LSA, or whoever represents the club, is that we will have a fans’ group to decide how we build and put together the configuration for a new stadium. ...Fan Forum Report
Dave McIntyre/West London Sport
QPR owners stay committed because their eyes are on the prize
It’s become trendy to suggest Rangers might ‘do a Portsmouth’ – a grim picture painted with some relish by Tony Fernandes’ detractors.
This misses the point, as does basking in the warm glow of assurances about his long-term commitment whenever such platitudes are trotted out.
Both sides are failing to see the bigger picture.
Be in no doubt that Rangers’ owners will remain absolutely committed to their project and have no intention of walking away, regardless of which division the team are in.
Because, although relegation is an obvious major setback, when it comes to the regime’s long-term ambitions, the importance of which division Rangers are in next season is easily overstated.
Notice that whenever the likes of Fernandes and Philip Beard restate the shareholders’ commitment they almost always mention a new stadium in the next breath. That’s no accident.
Fernandes is presented with a PR open goal when he can heroically reaffirm his commitment to the cause in the face of relegation – because it’s the pursuit of a new sports and entertainment venue, not whether Rangers stay in the top flight, that locks the owners in for the long haul.
Any hitch there would be much more significant than relegation – a potential game changer.
But, Crossrail permitting, such a hitch looks increasingly unlikely.
A new sport and leisure complex in the west/north-west London area could generate an absolute fortune – more than enough to dwarf even the huge losses incurred by Rangers’ feckless spending.
It would be comparable to the regeneration of areas of east London and so would the subsequent wealth to spring from it.
It would also establish QPR’s Malaysian shareholders as major players in London – one of the most prominent cities in the world.
It’s why Beard, a man with little football knowledge or understanding of QPR fans’ priorities, but with a background in branding and having helped establish the O2 Arena as a leading entertainment destination, was installed as chief executive.
And it’s why Fernandes appears so calm and committed despite ill-informed assumptions that the club’s owners can’t sustain the current level of spending.
They can sustain it. And they will sustain it while there’s a potential pot of gold in sight. Much has been lost, but there’s still an awful lot to be gained.
So, fully committed? Absolutely. In it for the long haul? Too right.
A £15m loan secured against the club’s assets last month looks suspicious and will inevitably be taken as a sign of financial stress and the commitment of the regime possibly wavering.
Again, this move has been made largely with the new stadium in mind.
It is a strategic move by Fernandes and chums to test a relationship with lenders Barclays Hong Kong – a growing relationship which has existed for some time and could be called upon in future years if, despite their collective wealth, Rangers’ owners are not keen to fund the entire cost of a new stadium and training ground.
QPR plan to repay it quickly, possibly within three or four months.
In securing such a loan while facing relegation from the Premier League, and in a climate in which banks are reluctant to loan money to football clubs, Rangers have established that, going forward, they won’t have problems getting access to cash.
Of course, ‘doing a Portsmouth’ can’t be ruled out. No amount of money is finite, losses cannot be permanently sustainable, loans secured against the club’s assets are never something to savour, and failing to get back into the top flight would be problematic.
So too would relegation from the Championship which, although an outcome Fernandes’ army of believers probably won’t contemplate, is entirely possible given the shambles he continues to preside over.
But the regime’s pockets are deep and their eyes are on the prize. So although a Pompey-style meltdown could happen, as things stand the club is more likely to end up spiritually rather than financially ruined.
Many dismiss Fernandes’ vision of a 40,000-capacity stadium as a bizarre and misguided pipe dream, given QPR’s relatively modest fan base.
They fail to understand the scope of his rebranding project, which is every bit as radical as Flavio Briatore’s despite the more touchy feely style.
Football, QPR and the London landscape are changing rapidly and over the next few years are likely to change even more.
A state-of-the-art stadium and leisure complex in an overhauled area of west/north-west London, which is home to high-profile players from parts of the world where the Premier League (which Rangers hope to be back in by then) is massive, would be a huge attraction – and extremely profitable.
It would also mean the end of QPR as we know it, which for some will equate to a Wimbledon-style killing of their club and for others will be necessary progress given Rangers’ limited growth potential while they remain at Loftus Road.
Either way, it’s a project Fernandes and co remain determined to press ahead with. West London Sport
QPR REPORT -"We Shall Return"
44 Years ago, QPR were coming to the end of a truly- humiliating and abysmal season. A season in which the club had gone through four managers (one of them, Tommy Docherty - "The Doc," staying for just 28 Days before walking out on the club.) The number of managers equalled the number of wins the club achieved that season: 4 out of 42 - none of those wins away. The season points total of 18 was then a record low (subsequently "beaten" by Stoke!)
But despite all of this, 1968/1969 was one of the most momentous and unforgettable seasons for QPR fans, with memories seared into their consciousness. From the home opener in which "Little QPR" played their-first-ever game in the FIRST Division (with an unfinished new stand) at home to Leicester, to the humiliation at Old Trafford. The awe of playing Liverpool and Leeds; Manchester City and Manchester United; Arsenal and Tottenham. And finally, in the same division as QPR's arch-rivals: Chelsea!
As that final programme editorial said:
"....We are no failures; no has beens; and no write-offs and those who believe that Rangers' brief spark of glory is extinguished are in for a rude awakening next season... "We have lost the campaign of the First Divison but we go down with colours flying, bayonets fixed; and of course drums beating. We prefer to think that this is no inglorious retreat but a startegic withdrawal to consolidate our forces for the next assault upon the First Division. And in the words of General Macarthur "'We Shall Return!'"