One-QPR Meeting With Club Representatives

Representing One-QPR were Pat Harrison from the Official Supporters Club, John Reid of the LSA, Spencer Schwartz from FOQPR, Neil Jackson from QPR 1st and myself from the Indy R’s. On behalf of the Club were Ali Russell, Sheila Marson, Gavin Taylor and Ian Taylor. AR’s PA Laressa Kelly, took the minutes.

We were there united under the banner of One-QPR and the meeting was to last around 1.5hrs. The only topic on the agenda was the contentious ticket price hike and its implications. I basically spoke about the growing divide between the Club and the loyal hardcore, the perceived conception that the Club wasn’t listening, the timing and justification of implementing such a massive ticket hike and the worsening economic climate etc. This continued along the table more or less un-interrupted.

Gavin Taylor spoke about the major increase in player’s wages on last season and Ali Russell mentioned lower projected television revenue and the large amounts spent on the Ground. It was pointed out that not everyone had benefitted from those improvements. I added that at the same time the Club had secured record sponsorship deals and even received ¬£500,000 for Simon Walton. It was stressed that most fans did not expect the owners to throw their money at the Club. We acknowledged that the Club was being run more professionally and obviously welcomed that but surely it doesn’t make any kind of sense from their point of view to create such a negative feeling amongst many fans despite the reasonable start the team had made this season. AR confirmed that refunds would be given to fans who had paid the excess.

I know that John Reid will put up his own more detailed report very soon and I think that it’s for each group/person to say for themselves what they thought about it. AR acknowledged that there should be more meetings, probably quarterly and I put it to him that they should also hold regular Fans Forums which I think he sort of agreed to. I also made a plea to AR: “Fill the ground and lets all move forward TOGETHER.” He promised that he would report back to the Board and we shall see what if anything transpires ?

Steve Russell

6 thoughts on “One-QPR Meeting With Club Representatives

  1. …”did not expect owners to throw money at the club”….
    Then, why are they here?
    When the ‘Club’ DID exist it threw money at itself (whenever it had any) or, otherwise it befell Directors to empty their pockets, as best that they could afford,to finance the oncoming campaign or season. If the season was profitable, then they would receive a Dividend. If not, NOTHING and in many cases might be requested to stump up yet again for the following year. These were the days (before the Act of Deregulation) when Football Clubs ‘owned themselves’ and Directors were not permitted to bring their outside business interests into the running of the Football Club. They were not allowed ownership even of a corner flag, let alone the pitch or the stadium.
    Times changed when the FA became as toothless as the Boxing Board Of Control did when reliquishing ‘Match Making’ to Promoters who, hitherto, were confined to bidding to stage fixtures for title fights determined by that board.
    The FA did not HAVE to capitulate entirely to the influx (following that Act)and could have confined the input of ‘outsiders’ to visible sponsorship, hospitality ‘block’ ownership of seats, liverying the stadium with appropriate logos, etc..
    They chose, instead, to go the whole hog in allowing the real estate also to come up for bids by, say, the Chris Wright’s of this world.
    The price has already been paid and is getting worse.
    ‘Owners’ (in most cases) have loads of money. The reason they have loads of money is because they KEEP it!
    They do not altruistically put in cash as supporters of a cause. They enter so as to make more money. And, just in case the investment backfires, they borrow money (rather than use their own) secured against a property ( the Football Ground) which once belonged to the Football Club in the days when all Executives were employees or servants (not OWNERS) of that Club.
    The FA soon became subservient to this ‘new’ hierarchy. And even to the TV companies whom they allow to change or even set the fixture lists! They look on helplessly at, for example, the skullduggery of West Ham regarding the fiasco over the illegality of the Argentinian contracts, yet (to prove to us that they still mean business) fine AFC Wimbledon 18 points for fielding a player (for 3 matches) who happens to be registered with the WELSH FA! I calculated that if West Ham’s misdemenour had been thus dealt with, then they should have been fined 1,780 points!
    Closer to home, we have today read of yet another multi-millionare about to join Bernie and his Renault friend at QPR. Why? And What for? IF their interest is TRULY in the ethos of QPR, then why, for example, are admission prices not going DOWN instead of UP? We are described by the media as “the second richest club” yet there is no evidence of this being true. The OWNERS, of course, are rich. But why did they go beyond settlement date in wiping out the ABC loan? Why are they ripping off the supporters with punitive price increases? What
    have they done with the (presumably) increased income from the Gulf Air sponsorship? Why is the disgraced Paladiini still amongst us? Why, without apparently any consulatation with those with even a semblance of respect for the history of QPR have they summarily devised a new coat of arms? Are we meant to truly believe that there is any short-term ambition for Premiership football at Loftus Road? Or do we have to get real and accept that there is no way that the ‘new’ hierarchy will finance Premiership player contracts from an 18,000 capacity from out of their own pockets and that such days will not return until whatever equity is left in the real estate is realised?
    Football CLUB? Is there anything resembling that term still in existence? It isn’t just our problem either. The phrase has become meaningless throughout the game.
    Try thinking of it this way’
    Supposing there was a fire drill at the ground on a match day.
    The fire officer might suggest that the ground is vacated in an orderly manner and the occupants should fall into line in queues outside behind designated signs. There might be, say, a queue for player and training staff. A queue for sales, bar, catering and souvenir shop staff; A queue for Directors and Management.
    Who, and how many, would be lined up behind the sign designating ‘Football CLUB members’?
    The latter are now little more than CUSTOMERS or USERS.
    Sad, isn’t it?

  2. The spontaneus outburst of indifference to this post
    encapsulates all the reasons as to why and how the modern day owners get away with such iniquity.

  3. I look at it a different way Vic and that is that if it was posted on the forum i would agree but on here perhaps many felt and  agreed with you but did not feel the need to post as perhaps they would on the forum.
    I thought it was a good insight and find it hard to find fault with anything you said to be honest.

  4. I must admit Vic you have spoken a few home truths there.

    I had my expectations raised together with my admission fee…but the former has been lowered and the latter has recently had yet another price hike.

    I did previously say on here that during the close season our new rich regime seemed to be waving their wad instead of spending it!

  5. In conversations with Steve (Zico) and several other supporter friends just after posting the above, I further suggested that any owner of a football club who was SERIOUSLY aiming for improvement and not only promotion to the Premiership but a team fit to stay there, would not dream of appointing Dowie as its manager. And now, it’s poor Gareth who is invested with the forlorn hope that HE is ‘the man’. But where are the tools with which he might accomplish the job? Aside from Cook, Rowlands and possible improvement from Blackstock, we have little more than a squad of seasoned ‘journeymen’ and loanees holding the fort with many of them having seen better days.
    Meanwhile, apart from disbursements towards painting a few walls and beautifying reception and corporate/hospitality areas, there remains scant evidence of ‘the richest club'(as oft described by the media)forging ahead and upwards as a football team. Is the hierarchy REALLY going to countenance financing a Premiership team from gates of 18,000 or so from their OWN money? Or will the loans simply get bigger?
    Isn’t it often he case that the reason many parties have loads of dosh is because they KEEP it? Or was Sam Hamman just one isolated example?….or the people in Edinburgh just a second example……or…..?

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