Queen’s Park Rangers will take part in a pre-season tour of Malaysia and Thailand, beginning in Bangkok on 10th June. Courtesy of owner Tony Fernandes’ connections, which have already brought in the sponsorship of Air Asia, the tour is somewhat of an upgrade on the trips to the south-west of England that were commonplace during Neil Warnock’s time as manager.
Speaking to the ‘Daily Mail’, Fernandes said: “We are very excited and honoured to be heading to Asia for our pre-season tour. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our brand in this part of the world.”
You heard it here first. QPR are now a “brand”, or at least, this is the intention over the next half-decade. This isn’t the first time a “plan” spread out over a number of years has been mooted at Loftus Road. Indeed, the previous owners’ commitment to their infamous four-year plan was absolute. The mention of the word “plan” still strikes fear into the hearts of supporters after the destructive reign of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. Its notoriety is such that even a film has been made documenting the ups and downs of this initiative.
Things are different now, however, and it certainly appears as though the club is changing for the better. From the purchase of Warren Farm to the upgrade of the official website, Rangers’ image is improving as each week goes by.
In undoubtedly the most popular of all of the forward steps taken by the club’s management, the decision to freeze season ticket prices has assured that Fernandes and Amit Bhatia are held in even greater esteem by the fans.
The recent recruitment of Mike Rigg is indicative of the on-going development of the coaching set-up, and you can expect that signings will be made over the summer to strengthen a squad that requires only a handful of targeted, high-quality additions to properly compete in the Premier League.
Amid all these changes, however, the club recently parted company with one of its most dedicated servants, Lee Cook, who was released along with fans’ favourite Danny Shittu and a number of others, made 168 appearances for the R’s. Cook was instrumental in keeping the Superhoops in the Championship, and as a truly dedicated QPR supporter, it was always a joy to watch him wearing the blue and white hoops with pride.
I am sure that everyone would wish the winger all the best in his future career. Chances are you’ll catch him down in W12 more than once over the course of the five year plan.