Flavio & Bernie Couldn’t Care Less About QPR Fans

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This personal view from Ben Kosky appeared recently in the Kilburn Times and I would think that many other R’s fans would share his anger and frustration:

There can’t be many neutral football fans who felt anything but delight when AFC Wimbledon won promotion to the Football League. It was a triumph for Dons supporters, who refused to roll over when their club was commandeered by money men and literally snatched away from them. Instead, the proud guardians of their club’s heritage determined to rebuild Wimbledon from scratch and, in less than a decade, have ensured that the ‘real’ Dons will again figure on the League’s fixture list.

For the first time in 15 years, QPR will not be among the Football League’s membership. They are back in the Premier League – something that should be a cause for great celebration. Yet is there actually much for Rs fans to celebrate right now ? Like Wimbledon fans before them, they are learning how it feels to have their club taken away. Unlike Wimbledon, Rangers have not – as yet – been physically transferred to another city but, make no mistake, Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone would quite readily do that if it suited them. Whether supporters like it or not is utterly irrelevant to this pair. They have consistently displayed at best indifference and more often total contempt towards QPR fans ever since they arrived in 2007.

That is why there were no consultations with supporters’ groups before the decision to go ahead with outrageous ticket price rises. That is why fans’ forums have remained a relic of the past. They don’t care. They never did. Briatore and Ecclestone have only ever had one ambition for QPR – using it as a vehicle for corporate crowing and boasting, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Roman Abramovich, Malcolm Glazer and Mohamed Al-Fayed. Now they finally have the chance to indulge themselves – although let’s not forget that, for two and a half years, they made a total pig’s ear of it, leaving a trail of sacked managers, sub-standard players and embarrassing public relations disasters in their wake.

Only when the pair adopted a low profile, allowing Amit Bhatia and Ishan Saksena to take centre stage and make the astute decision to recruit Neil Warnock as manager – did QPR begin to enjoy success on the pitch. Now Bhatia – a man who genuinely wanted to engage with supporters and threw his backing behind the work of the QPR Community Trust – has gone and Saksena, bizarrely, seems to have been the scapegoat for the Alejandro Faurlin fiasco. Meanwhile, the real culprit, chairman, Gianni Paladini, remains safely in his position, and will presumably continue to oversee player recruitment in a way that has already caused several disasters for the club.

As for Warnock, even if he survives the summer, his position is enormously weakened by the departure of Bhatia and Saksena. It is easy to envisage a situation in which Rangers suffer a couple of heavy defeats and the manager finds himself walking the plank.

According to the risible propaganda churned out by the QPR website, Briatore and Ecclestone saved the club – and the implication is that therefore they have the right to do whatever they wish with it, with no duty of care. Many now realise that, far from saving QPR, this self-serving duo have in fact ruined the club. I am one of those fans. I have supported Rangers since the age of six, held a season ticket in the Upper Loft and experienced the rare highs and numerous lows with thousands of others. The Easter massacre of Chelsea, the Milk Cup Final, relegation from the Premier League, the FA Cup exit to Vauxhall Motors, the 2003 play-off final and the joy of promotion at Hillsborough.

And, although I have viewed more games from the press box than the paid seats in recent years, it is still a very painful wrench to admit that I no longer want anything more to do with ‘my’ club. I do not wish to set foot inside Loftus Road while Briatore and Ecclestone remain in control and I will not purchase club merchandise or anything else to further swell their already bulging wallets.

Oh, to be a Wimbledon fan…

Ben Kosky – The Kilburn Times



7 Responses to Flavio & Bernie Couldn’t Care Less About QPR Fans

  1. Author, author. says:

    No I don’t.

    Do not believe the spin.

    If you would like to know the truth give me a call.

  2. tony says:

    Great article Ben,

    The playboy Briatori has no concept of english football and its passionate supporters as for Ecclestone he should stick to what he knows best.
    They certainly were the golden geese back in 2007 all our prays answered, but now they are proving to be no more than a couple of fat turkeys.
    I have followed Qpr since I was 9(44 now) and its always been a roller coaster ride but when its good there’s no better place than Loftus rd.
    The sad thing with football at the moment is that its not about the game anymore, but big money men bragging about owning a team like its a bit of ‘Bling’.
    Qpr however did get a glimmer of hope ‘Bhatia’ and to me a genuine chap with a love for football & Qpr and with him at the reigns look what happens ‘The Premiership’ after 15 years but there’s a fear that were going up with our eyes wide shut.
    Bhatia gone, Warnock stuck betwen a rock and a hard place, ticket pricing, no confirmed signings and the recent Faurlin fiasco. Sadly we have become the laughing stock, the last day of the season should have been one of our finest and thats not taking it away from Warnock and the team but history will only show the fiasco that Paladini and the FA caused. A very bitter sweet moment.
    So the turkeys want 70 million and Bhatia bought 33 to the table. I cant say whats a fair price, but I will say this if they make a couple of million profit on the 33 offered its not bad for a few years work and do they really need the money!!!
    Mr Bhatia if you some how read this comment please re consider your bid, your wanted by the fans and the genuine people at Qpr.
    Get these boutique bandits the f**k(sorry) out of football there just spoilers!

    Yours frustrated,

    Tony D.

  3. IndyR says:

    I’d love to write a long speech on my feelings about whats going on at my beloved QPR, but the script would be much if not identical to yours.

    So all I can say is that you’re not alone in your frustrations, and sadness.

    For some reason the day we got promoted I must admit was bitter-sweet. I didnt know why at the time, but now I realise why I had those feelings/hunch. It was just too good to be true.

    Alas…

  4. steve robinson says:

    I agree with virtually all of this although you support who you support – no point in making empty gestures against your club. Just to have made £15-£18 million available would have got us the pick of talent from the lower leagues. We have to pray the Indians come back with an improved offer otherwise we’re facing another gruesome period as Rangers fans. I make that the 131st.

  5. barry thompkins says:

    hoops will always be in my heart, all this bad feeling
    for two or three million extra, now joining the lancashire hoops, 8 games in the northwest for me,
    went to spain after the hillsborough game for 3 weeks,
    came back and they gave my season to some else,
    told them what to do, but you can’t lose your first love
    my fifty years is coming since my first game at burnley in 62, how manny kids will lost by this action

  6. martin aubrey says:

    At nearly 65 I thought I had suffered most of the lows and enjoyed the many highs of life of a football fan and like most fans one is inclined to think it is only happening to ‘my club’ but at the end of this last season instead of elation I felt depressed and it is with very, very ‘cold comfort’ I note that so many other fans are feeling much the same, it really isn’t supposed to feel like this after promotion to the Premier League. Sad isn’t it.

  7. tom007 says:

    unfortunately we will have to wait until briatore gets fed up with losing and being embarrased in front of his millionaire mates before he wants rid of qpr. by then we will be back in championship probably bankrupt and in the worse mess we ever been in.


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