We Won’t Destroy Things That Make R’s Special

Most of the national newspapers covered the news last week of the biggest sponsorship deal outside the Premier League but the most positive and re-assuring article for me was written by Yann Tear. It appeared in the local Gazette on Friday and follows in its entirety. What do you think ? You can leave a comment below. For me, apart from addressing many of the concerns we have been voicing, what also excites me is the possibility of having the Academy back again and the investment in the local Community – Steve Russell

The new owners of QPR have pledged to safeguard the identity of the club – even though they want to transform it into a club of Premier League standing. Fans will be eager for re-assurances that the potentially exciting times ahead for their club and the understandable ambitions of the men who saved the club from debt, do not mean a gradual erosion of everything they value about life at Loftus Road. That includes the club’s name, location and even the famous blue and white hooped shirts – all aspects of the club which are non-negotiable in the eyes of even the most casual of supporters.

Both Flavio Briatore and Amit Bhatia – respectively chairman and vice-chairman of QPR Holdings – claim supporters have nothing to fear. “The most important thing for us is that we maintain what is quintessentially QPR,” said Bhatia on the day the club announced an unprecedented five-year kit sponsorship deal worth ¬£20m with sportswear manufacturers Lotto Sport Italia. “We want to keep the club’s identity intact and the fans have nothing at all to be worried about. They should be excited like we are. I most definitely hope the Rangers of the future is one that fans would recognise.”

Bhatia, the son-in-law of billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose almost limitless resources led to Rangers being dubbed ‘the richest club in the world’ added: “What attracted us to QPR is everything about it’s identity and I don’t see any benefit in trying to change it. There’s a history behind this club and why damage that ? When the stadium becomes a concern, we will address it but it’s really not a concern now. We love the area, I love the stadium. We don’t want to move and if we have to move in the future, we’d want it to be in the vicinity.”

Briatore said: “We want to stay in this area. This is very important, for respect to the fans. We want to be 15 minutes from London. This is the big plus of QPR. We don’t know where the club is going yet. We are just trying to go step by step. Our goal now is just to stay in the Championship. I’m sure next year we will try to improve. We want to consolidate the club and create a good base in the sports side and in the marketing and commercial side.” Briatore this week gave more insight into his vision for Rangers and why he opted for a club in a lower rather than a top division. “Everybody asks me ‘Why did you buy QPR ?’, I say it’s because you want to start from the bottom and create a new club,” he said. “This is much more exciting. This is good adventure, starting at the bottom to build up a good football club.”

“QPR was a good deal,” he added, saying he was a fan of English football because it was “not an excuse to fight” as it often is in his native Italy and was enjoyed by children and families. “It’s a club in the centre of London. The location of the stadium is the best location. QPR have a nice story behind them and it’s a club with a lot of potential. We are a bunch of friends together who want to do something in football and we want to start from this kind of division.” Briatore refused to be drawn on the type of player he wants at the club or have their eyes on and agreed with Bhatia’s assessment that: “We’re very happy with what we have now.”

“Gigi has done a fantastic job in the last three months,” the Italian said. “The club is alive. We play some of the best football in this league and this is recognised by everybody. Sport is complicated with luck involved, Briatore said. “Nothing is guaranteed, but we will try to do the best as possible. We will not throw away money. We are talking about QPR, we’re not talking about Chelsea. It’s completely wrong to compare the clubs. We want to do it our way. Whenever somebody arrives in a new business, people think this is the new blood to suck, but there is nothing to suck here.”

Rangers deal with Lotto looks like it may be followed by shirt deals and other sponsorship tie-ups. Kingfisher – the Indian lager brand – is one expected soon, although Briatore denies it for now. The cash will help lay the foundations for promotion next season and may even be used to re-establish a youth academy. The club lost its set-up a few years ago and it would cost at least ¬£1m to set up the facilities and coaching staff for such a project but talks are apparently in progress. “The aim is to bring this club back to the heights of the past and even beyond that,” said Lotto president Andrea Tomat. “It’s an important investment for our company, but we know the plans for the club are to go to the highest possible levels and I believe the strengths of the people involved will certainly provide that.”

Yann Tear

10 thoughts on “We Won’t Destroy Things That Make R’s Special

  1. The last paragraph has something important mentioned, the re establishing of a youth academy.Hopefully this will happen, albeit a little too late to employ a very good youth coach that we let slip through the club.

  2. “I most definitely hope the Rangers of the future is one that fans would recognise.‚Äù

    I was hoping we would be a bit better than that!

    So far everything they have done has been done professionally, sensibly, and without fuss or bother. These guys obviously know what they are doing – its nice that they respect the fans and the clubs history. Before the takeover was confirmed many posters were hoping we didnt become another Ch*ls**, wasting money on players who arent good enough or dont care. Posters wanted the club to be part of the community, to play home grown players and if the acedemy is restarted, everything will be looking very good indeed.

  3. It all sounds very positive. They are saying the right things and going about there business in the right manner. It would seem they are listening to those that matter most…. the fans. Our youth development is a must. Of course it’s still early days and only time will tell. This is the beginning of a new era.
    I look forward to seeing us back where we belong, but more than that, some success for our young fans who deserve to know what it’s like not only to belong to a this great QPR family but belong to a QPR family of Winners.

  4. I can’t say I’m reassured because nothing the existing triumivirate have done or said required any reassurance. This is just another indication that they’ve got their heads screwed on and have come to love the club as quickly and as deeply as we do. That’s not so difficult -ask most supporters how they came to discover the Rs and it was the best accident of their lives and akin to an everlasting love at first sight. Whenever I hear Flavio in particular it does sound as if he has a love affair with the Rs. Heads screwed on: well the suggestion of starting at the bottom with a Youth stragegy is good evidence of the overarching vision they are bringing to the club. I’ve been impressed over the last couple of months with the way they have marketed the club. At last QPR is a good footballing product but the increased gates over the last months also indicate that someone at Loftus Road is sitting down and looking ast ways to market the product. Look at the idea for next week’s home game – let’s get the schools in. Now isn’t that something we’ve been saying for years and so much better than just looking at empty seats in the lower tier of the School End. Get the kids in young to watch the Rs and they’ll want to play for the Rs. That will give us an initial market for the youth academy and hopefully the stars of the future. However, successful the club was in former years the Youth provision was never the success it should have been. Look at the Bush kids who escaped Stuart Pearce, Les (not entirely, Wise and so on.

  5. great read cant wait for the day we are the top london club again. More and more are taking an interest in the R’s since these guys have taken over ! The future is looking great and about time some of our younger supporters will see the good times comming back

  6. A good read and well done to the Gazette for what is one of the best reads about our club in the press.
    The start of a new era lets hope so.

  7. “We want to keep the club’s identity intact and the fans have nothing at all to be worried about. They should be excited like we are. I most definitely hope the Rangers of the future is one that fans would recognise.”

    overall a great article the quote above is a breathe of fresh air taking the events of the last 5 years.

    Come on u Rsssss

  8. It’s great and all that but…
    With regards to not wanting to be more than 15 minutes away from the centre of London, that was one of the main contributing factors of why the new owners bought us. Also as has been stipulated in the past, Hammersmith and Fulham council would not want QPR to move out of the borough. This has cropped up on several occasions most notably when Chris Wright was looking to relocate us.
    All in all though the new owners are doing things in a balanced and proper way, which is exactly what I would have expected from these long established and successful businessmen.

  9. A good read .

    Six months down the line and I’m still thinking I’m gonna wake up !

    The club and fans can really look forward now instead of back .

    let the good times roll !

  10. QPR shirts have hoops across front, back and all the way round both sleeves and are combined with WHITE shorts. The 2nd and 3rd kits are totally shite and say absolutely nothing about QPR! Reinstate the right real home kit (ditch this Reading outfit) and just have a mirror image of the home kit in red and black, and green and white for the 2nd and 3rd kits! Respect our traditions Bernie, Flavio, Lakshmi and Mittal! You dont buy a Rolls Royce and put Ford Fiesta doors on it, you dont buy the Vatican and put stone cladding on it. Show respect for cultural icons, and the QPR kit in its real traditional form is an iconic recogniseable symbol, brand and statement. Sort it out properly and correctly ASAP!

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