Supporters are ‘Life Blood’ of Football – Letter to the Acton Gazette in December 1963

The following letter was written by Neil Gunner of Summerlands Avenue in Acton and appeared in the Acton Gazette in December 1963:

‘As an ardent follower of Queen’s Park Rangers for many years, and in the light of the recent stormy annual general meeting, I , in common with a great many supporters of the club, would like to express in no uncertain manner, my profound condemnation of the policy of the management over the last few years.

In my opinion, Q.P.R. is no longer functioning as a football club in the true sense of the word, but merely as a kind of mart for the purpose of development and ultimate sale of players to other clubs.

It is not my intention to judge the merits and demerits of the recent rift in the lute between the ex-supporters club and the parent club or Mr Bloom’s aspiration to become chairman of a new Board of Directors, but I am deeply convinced that new blood with enterprise and ambition is indicated before relegation to the Fourth Division is an accomplished fact. It is positively nauseating to constantly read both in the national newspapers and in the local press that QPR are prepared to sell so and so and so and so, the latest player to be quoted being that excellent goalkeeper Springett.

The present financial and extenuating embarrassment of the club is the outcome of the suicidal move to the White City Stadium of last season.

It is elementary that a successful team will attract the crowds, part with your best players and the strength and rhythm of the team suffers accordingly, and the attendances diminish in consequence, and, moreover, the initial financial yield from the sale of players is either nullified or rendered negligible on aggregate.

Furthermore, players have been bought and sold within a short time. The best example one can cite in this regard was the sale of Frank Large last season to promotion rivals Northampton Town – he scored 11 goals in 13 league games for Northants and helped them gain promotion to the Second Division. Could Q.P.R. afford to lose his usefulness at a time when they themselves were also promotion contenders ?

I will refer Mr Stock to his own words published in Q.P.R.’s programme dated December 1, 1962, when Shrewsbury Town were the visitors to the White City Stadium. “Frank Large gives all he’s got all the time. You cannot ask more of any player.” If this was Mr Stock’s sincere considered opinion at the time, why did he part with Large a few weeks later ?

Needless to state I am not unmindful of the fact that most of the players who have been transferred elsewhere are proving highly successful with their present clubs.

Q.P.R. appear to be somersaulting into the Fourth Division, and unless new blood is injected into the forward line with the thrust of Mark Lazarus, I can see no hope of escape. Gates are diminishing at every match and the hard core of 6-7,000 will drop still further unless a different policy is adopted immediately. Even the most fanatical fans have at last reached the limits of their endurance.

Although recent performances have slightly improved, there isn’t much sign of a promotion side at the moment. Q.P.R. should have been promoted two or three seasons ago when they really fielded a successful side.

Q.P.R. should take a leaf out of Brentford’s book, and show some enterprise and not Brentford to consolidate their ascendancy over Q.P.R. as at present. Wise buying and no selling is the secret of Brentford’s bid for promotion this season.

Please remember that the supporters of any club, whether “loud-mouthed” or otherwise, are the life-blood of the game, and are entitled to a fair deal. We want to hear what is being done to strengthen the team.

This letter is intended to offer constructive advice not destructive !’

Although the 1963/64 season was a poor one for the R’s, finishing in fifteenth position was still one place above Brentford. The following season wasn’t much better, however, a whole host of young talent was coming through the ranks, and with Jim Gregory joining the Board in November 1964, success was just around the corner.

Steve Russell

2 thoughts on “Supporters are ‘Life Blood’ of Football – Letter to the Acton Gazette in December 1963

  1. Classic case of give a manager enough time to change things!
    Hopefully he sent a further letter three years later!

  2. Steve what are you trying to do to me..I am always trying to forget that nightmare on the pitch era Feb 1963 to May 1965!! lol!

    If ever there was a time when you almost felt like giving up that was it. Teenage and childhood angst!

    Yep no surprise at that article of discontent.Thank God things changed!

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