As the war of words intensifies, Andy Sims wrote the following article in the Independent following the joint statement put out by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore:
Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore have hit out at Amit Bhatia’s “insultingly low” offer to buy QPR outright. Bhatia, the son-in-law of Rangers’ billionaire co-owner Lakshmi Mittal, on Wednesday resigned as the club’s vice-chairman after revealing attempts to buy out Ecclestone and Briatore’s 67% shareholding at Loftus Road had failed.
Bhatia also condemned the Formula One tycoons for removing QPR Holdings chairman Ishan Saksena from his position and for their 40% hike in ticket prices for next season. But while the boardroom squabbling threatens to overshadow Rangers’ promotion back to the Barclays Premier League, Ecclestone and Briatore have come out fighting. In a joint statement they said:
“Both Ecclestone and Briatore believe that Amit Bhatia’s recent comments and the subsequent press coverage have been damaging to QPR and do not reflect the reality of the situation. They have not received a written offer from the Mittals for their QPR shares and feel strongly that the verbal offer made to them was insultingly low. Bhatia appears to be using the press to try and force the price of any deal down, which is disrespectful to both the club and its fans.”
The departures of Bhatia and Saksena, two of Neil Warnock’s staunchest allies on the board, have once again cast doubt on his future as manager. But Ecclestone and Briatore have reiterated Warnock will be in charge when the Premier League season kicks off in August. The statement continued:
“As both Ecclestone and Briatore have stated in recent days, Neil Warnock’s post as manager remains secure and Neil has the full support of the board. Discussions have already taken place between Neil and the board, in which Neil outlined his thoughts on player acquisitions ahead of the new Premier League season and was assured that he will be able to keep his best players for QPR’s return to the Premier League.”
Andy Sims – The Independent