Jeremy Wilson and Alistair Grant wrote the following article that appeared in today’s ‘Daily Telegraph’:-
Queens Park Rangers might lie in the relegation zone of the Championship but Flavio Briatore and Bernie Eccleston have wasted little time in outlining their aim of taking the Club into the Premier League by 2011. “Gianni, Bernie and I are all determined to see the Club return to the Premier League within the next four years,” said Briatore, who is the Managing Director of the Renault Formula One motor racing team. Under the proposed takeover deal, Briatore’s Sarita Capital Company will gain control of just under 50% of the shareholding. Ecclestone, the billionaire ringmaster of Formula One, has bought 15% of the shares and will work in unison with Briatore.
Their offer for QPR values the issued share capital at approximately ¬£1m and the duo will take on ¬£13m of the West London Club’s debt. They will also loan QPR ¬£5m which will be partly made available to the Manager John Gregory, for strengthening the Club’s squad. The proposal was yesterday welcomed by Gregory, “The investors can really help this Club move forward but as always, it will take time,” he said. “We can’t do it overnight and the transfer window is closed, so it will take time to make the transition.”
Under the proposed new structure, Paladini will remain as Chairman while Briatore, Bruno Michel and Alejandro Agag will join the Board with Antonio Caliendo and Franco Zanotti both resigning as Directors. In recommending the offer to shareholders, the Club’s Board predicted that the ownership of QPR by Sarita Capital and Ecclestone could be the catalyst to promotion into the Premier League. “Sarita Capital has provided assurances to the Board of QPR that Sarita Capital and Bernie Ecclestone intend to commit further significant sums to fund the current and continuing working capital requirements of the Club and in particular, to fund the development of the Club’s 1st team squad, its Academy and its scouting system,” said a statement.