When Rangers Fans Vented Their Anger at QPR Chairman Richard Thompson

In May 1993, the R’s were London’s top club finishing in fifth place in the inaugural Premier League season.But the frustration and anger amongst the Rangers faithful had been building up for some time in 1994 and it culminated with the sale of Darren Peacock. There were doubts regarding Gerry Francis’s future as Manager and the sale of Peacock to Newcastle for ¬£2.7m provoked an intense personal campaign against Chairman Richard Thompson.

I remember the distribution of leaflets before the home game with Leeds on 4th April and the word was there would be a pitch invasion. I was in the Loft that day and I think it was when the visitors went 2-0 up that protesters started to invade the pitch. I recall temporarily jumping back into the Loft to appeal for more support before returning to the protest. The back page of the ‘Today’ newspaper reported on the events as follows:

‘QPR diehards distributed shocking leaflets yesterday urging fans to run over despised Chairman Richard Thompson in their cars. As Rangers were pasted 4-0 by Leeds at Loftus Road, angry supporters paraded banners calling for Thompson’s head ‘dead or alive’. They then invaded the pitch as protests against Thompson sank to new levels of extremism.

Thompson, 28, is the target of a vicious hate campaign for selling ¬£2.7 million defender Darren Peacock to Newcastle, courting takeover bids from a mystery American consortium and – worst of all – dithering over the one-year extension of manager Gerry Francis’s contract. Thompson stayed away from Loftus Road yesterday and missed:

*Banners demanding his instant resignation
*A pitch invasion by a 200-strong mob, who forced referee Joe Worrall to whistle early for half-time
*And another sit-down protest outside the main entrance, which was still going strong 90 minutes after the final whistle.

But QPR’s main worry are the leaflets circulated by the QPR P.O.R.T group (piss off Richard Thompson) which were by far the most offensive of the demonstrations. One paragraph read: “Anyone driving and seeing asset stripper Thompson walking on the road, please make sure you don’t mix the brake pedal with the accelerator. The accelerator is on the RIGHT.” A Police spokesman said: “We know who is distributing this material and we will follow it up – although it’s not absolutely clear whether a criminal offence has been committed.”

Rangers eventually went down 0-4 and I remember the police using horses and batons to disperse us outside the ground on one occasion. Richard Thompson departed in August and Peter Ellis took over as Chairman. Gerry Francis moved on to Tottenham in November and the return of Ray Wilkins as player-manager was generally viewed as a popular choice at the time.

Steve Russell

6 thoughts on “When Rangers Fans Vented Their Anger at QPR Chairman Richard Thompson

  1. That brings back a few memories Steve. Nice piece. If only we’d spent reasonable money in that era we could have been at the very least European competition regulars for the next few years. Owners not being prepared to invest in the club? That sadly rings a bell. Instead when we did spend money (the Les Ferdinand transfer fee in the summer of 1995) we spent it on the wrong players and went down after being comfortably 5th, 9th and 8th in the first 3 seasons of the Premier League. I am so frustrated that we now appear to be committing suicide after regaining our top level league status. 2 weeks after the Leeds game was of course the last day of the Loftus Road terrace v Everton. Those days were a real turning point for the club.

  2. I never did rate Darren Peacock and wasn’t wholly bothered about him leaving anyway, we’ve always been a selling club as that Danny Boxshall piece posted earlier on testifies.
    I remember being told at the time from an insider at the club that when the offer of £2.7M came through from Newcastle United it was all that Thompson and Gerry Francis could do to stop themselves laughing, they thought that was a lot more than he was worth.
    In modern times it’s very similar to Matt Mills going to Leicester City for ¬£5M…

  3. This may sound harsh but my view on the situation at the time was as Follows…. and its not changed much since then

    A person so young should NEVER have been made Chairman of a top flight Football club. Did Daddy buy QPR FC as a birthday present and the “Rich Kid” soon got bored with his Toy?

    but worse than that his lack of interest was shown up when for long spells during his chairmanship at Loftus Rd he seemed to be spending most of his time trying to buy Leeds United!

  4. True Kerrins but even Richard Thompson never said he was a Chelsea fan, left matches at half time because by that stage it is obvious the way the game is going or said he would not travel to an away game at Watford because it’s too far….

    ‘If we go into the Premier League, it would be nice to think we could get into the top four’


  5. I remember being involved heavily in the protests, at the time I was frustrated along with some friends of mine,John Wild,Sid Eales,Brian Walter and Andy Fuller at the lack of action being taken by the LSA,we took matters into our own hands I remember on the morning of I think the Wimbledon game going to Shepherds Bush market and buying a massive bed sheet and a can of spray paint,our handy work was to be seen in all the newspapers on the Sunday and Monday after the game as well as the “In The Loft” fanzine on it’s front cover.It was a frustrating time we really could have pushed on then under Gerry but the asset stripping of Thompson undermined him , I was in the upper loft for the Leeds game and entered the playing area via Ellerslie Road somehow ! there were many of us on there as shown on Steve’s photo above ,we got support off of the Leeds fans mind you they did win 4-0.
    I do look at it now and think Ecclestone and Briatore are getting away with murder, in 1987 and 1994 we had people around to organise campaigns against things we felt strongly about,i’m not sure that it is the case anymore.

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