Queens Park Rangers F.C.
At the start of the
2008/2009 season QPR were arguably the richest football club in England
and probably the world. They are still
not doing bad sitting behind Manchester
City, the new owners of
the richest club label.
So what has changed for QPR
since the introduction of their glamorous new owners?
On the face of it, not a
lot. Still fighting hard in the
Championship, but not exactly setting the football world alight. All we can see at fW is a change in Team logos. See below the ‘new’ logo and the ‘old’ logo
that had served The Hoops well since 1982.
‘New’ logo ‘Old’
It looks to fW that the
favourites to win the Championship this season are finding it hard to live up
to the task. Do we think that they will
be there or there about come May 2009?
Frankly, yes. Although, it is
fair to say on form so far, they have to improve. They have a good solid Manager, rather than a
dynamic manager. At least he will keep
everybody’s feet firmly on the turf.
Will Dowie survive if he does take QPR up? We don’t think so; we think
the board will go for a bigger name and a bigger reputation.
How right we were. SACKED on Friday. Watch this space for the new manager.
So who are QPR?
Queens Park Rangers Football Club
Loftus Road (Rangers Stadium)
Rangers Football Club is an English football club, based in Shepherds Bush in
the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in West
London. The club's first team currently plays in the Football
League Championship. In August 2007 QPR
was bought by Formula One tycoons, Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, who
sold a 20% stake to the family of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal in December of
formed in 1882, when a team known as St Jude's merged with Christchurch
Rangers. The resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the
players came from the Queens
Park area of North-West
London. QPR became a professional team in 1889 and played their home games in
nearly 20 different grounds (a league record), before permanently settling in
Loftus Road in 1917 (although the team briefly played at White City between
1931-3 and 1962–63 in the hope of attracting larger crowds).
promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season. Dave Mangnall
was the manager as Rangers enjoyed four seasons in the Second Division, being
relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham was signed from Leeds United and went on to
make most ever league appearances for QPR (519).
the start of the 1959-60 season saw the arrival of arguably the club's greatest
ever manager, Alec Stock. The 1960–61 season saw QPR achieve their biggest win
to date - 9–2 vs Tranmere Rovers in a Division 3 match. In time, Stock, with
the advent as Chairman in the mid-60s of Jim Gregory helped to achieve a total
transformation of the club and its surroundings.
QPR won the Division Three championship and became the first Third Division
club to win the League Cup on Saturday, March 4 1967, beating West Bromwich
Albion 3–2, (coming back from a two goal deficit). 40 years on, it is still the
only major trophy that QPR have won. The final was also the first League Cup
Final to be held at Wembley Stadium. After winning promotion in 1968 to the top
flight for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just
one season and spent the next four years in Division 2. Terry Venables joined
from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season and Rodney Marsh was sold to Manchester City. During this time, new QPR heroes
emerged including Phil Parkes, Don Givens, Dave Thomas and Stanley Bowles.
These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement,
Ian Gillard, Mick Leach and Gerry Francis.
Dave Sexton joined as manager and, in 1975–76 led QPR to the runners-up spot in
the First Division, missing out on the Championship by a single point with a
squad containing five England
internationals and internationals from the home nations and Morocco. After
completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point
ahead of Liverpool who went on to defeat
Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the title. Also, Wolves relegated to Second
League at same season. The late 1970s also saw some cup success with Rangers
reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup and in their first entry into
European football reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup losing to AEK
Athens FC on penalties. Following Sexton's depature in 1977 the club eventually
slipped into the Second Division in 1979.
Terry Venables took over as manager and the club installed a 'plastic pitch'.
In 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final for
the only time in the club's history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay. The following season 1982–83 QPR went on to win
the Second Division championship and returned to English football's top
division. After a respectable fifth place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification,
the following year, Venables departed to become manager of Barcelona. Over the next seven years, various
managers came and went from Loftus
Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid
table but avoided relegation. The most successful season during this period was
the 1987–88 in which QPR finished fifth, missing out on a UEFA Cup campaign due
to the ban on English clubs in European competition as a result of the Heysel
Stadium disaster. They were also runners
up in the 1986 League Cup, losing to Oxford United.
Francis, a key player in the 1970s QPR side who had proved himself as a
successful manager with Bristol Rovers, was appointed manager in the summer of
1991. In the 1991–92 First Division campaign they finished mid-table in the
league and were founder members of the new Premier League which began in 1992.
Francis oversaw one of QPR's most famous victories, the 4–1 win at Old Trafford
in front of live TV on New Years Day 1992. They finished that season in fifth
place, and in the following season Francis guided them to a ninth place finish.
Midway through the 1994–95 season Francis resigned and very quickly became
manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Ray Wilkins was installed as player-manager.
Wilkins led QPR to an eighth place finish in the Premiership. In July 1995 the
club's top goal scorer, Les Ferdinand, was sold for a club record fee of £6
million to Newcastle United.
struggled in the following season and were relegated at the end of the 1995–96
season. QPR then competed in Division 1 until 2001 under a succession of
managers. Gerry Francis returned in 1998 however the 2000–2001 season proved to
be a disaster, and Francis resigned in early 2001. Charismatic former player
Ian Holloway became manager but was unable to stop Rangers from being relegated
third tier for the first time for more than thirty years. Following the
2003–2004 season QPR returned to Division 1 and struggled for consistent form
over the next two campaigns before Holloway was suspended amidst rumours of his
departure for Leicester
City. A poor series of
results and lack of progress at the club saw Holloway's successors Gary Waddock
and later John Gregory (both former players) fail to hold on to the manager's
same period QPR became embroiled in financial and boardroom controversy.
Although the club had floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 1991, in
2001 it entered administration. A period of financial hardship followed and the
club left administration after receiving a £10m high-interest emergency loan which
continued to burden the club. Scandals involving the directors, shareholders
and others emerged in 2005–06 season and included allegations of blackmail and
threats of violence against the club's chairman Gianni Paladini. In an
unrelated incident QPR were further rocked by the murder of Youth Team
footballer Kiyan Prince on 18 May 2006 and, just over a year
later, the death of promising teenager and first-team player Ray Jones in a car
crash.. Following this low point in the club's history as Rangers also faced
mounting financial pressure, in the same month it was announced that the club
had been bought by wealthy Formula 1 businessmen Flavio Briatore and Bernie
Ecclestone. During the 2007–08 season, Rangers competed in the Football League
Championship. John Gregory's reign as manager came to an end in November 2007
after a string of poor results left QPR at the bottom of the Championship and
he was replaced by Luigi De Canio until the end of the 2007–08 season. Further
investment followed in early 2008 as the club looked to push for promotion to
the Premier League within four years, on the back of greater financial
stability. On 14 May 2008 Iain Dowie was announced as the manager to begin the
campaign to return Rangers to the top flight.
number of years of financial difficulties which included a period in financial
administration, QPR was bought by Formula One tycoons and multi-millionaires
Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore in a £14m takeover in August 2007. In
spending £690,000 to acquire a 69 per cent majority stake in the club,
Ecclestone spent £150,000 on his 15 per cent, while Briatore bought 54 per cent
for £540,000 through a British Virgin Islands
registered company, Sarita Capital. In addition Briatore and Ecclestone are
believed to have promised £5 million in convertible loan facilities to help buy
players and have covered £13 million of debt, in a total commitment to the club
of around £20 million. At the time of purchase the remaining 31 per cent of
shareholders turned down the offer of 1p a share.
later, on 20 December 2007, it was announced that the family of billionaire
Lakshmi Mittal had purchased a 20 per cent shareholding in the club from
Briatore. The purchase price of the 20 per cent stake was just £200,000. As
part of the investment Lakshmi Mittal's son-in-law took a place on the board of
directors. While Gianni Paladini remains chairman of the football club,
Alejandro Agag, as chairman of QPR Holdings (the parent company) was the de
facto chairman, until he was replaced by Flavio Briatore in early February
2008. Agag moved into the role of managing director, supported by a deputy
managing director, Ali Russell, who moved from Hearts in the Scottish Premier
QPR's perilous financial condition, the combined personal wealth of the club's
new owners (which included the world's then 5th richest man Lakshmi Mittal)
sparked speculation that QPR would receive significant further investment from
their new benefactors drawing parallels to their wealthy West
London neighbours Chelsea and Fulham. However, to date no
significant further funds are believed to have been made available to the club
other than those injected as part of the purchase of its share capital. Indeed
it was reported in January 2008 that the investors had not discharged the £10
million loan from ABC Corporation together with its £1 million annual interest
burden—despite the club's prospective annual turnover of between £10 million
and £15 million a year. Furthermore around £2 million was still owed to a
former director and major shareholder, Antonio Caliendo, who waived £4.5
million of loans when Briatore and Ecclestone bought the club. It was expected
that the ABC loan would be discharged in June 2008 on its maturity and that the
debt owed to Antonio Caliendo would be paid off "in early 2008" in
line with a funding strategy which Ecclestone has publicly stated would not
result in the wealthy owners simply bankrolling the club. In fact the ABC loan
was discharged on or around 31 July 2008. Mittal's investment is thought to be
primarily motivated by his son-in-law's interests and that Mittal himself will
remain a silent investor while Briatore, Ecclestone and Bhatia work together to
implement the strategy of slowly building the club up ahead of a push for
promotion to the Premier League in 2009. The new owners have also pledged to
refurbish Loftus Road
and use their experience in Formula One to increase sponsorship revenues. On 25
March 2008 Q.P.R. confirmed that, from the 2008–09 season and for five seasons,
their kits will be supplied by Lotto Sport Italia as part of a number of new
partnerships formed by Flavio Briatore. The investment potential of the club's
new backers resulted in a number of wildly speculative storylines in the football
press throughout the 2007-2008 season including rumoured signings of former
World Player of the Year winners Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane (the latter as a
2008, billionaire Vijay Mallya was linked with buying into the club, as part of
the Ecclestone, Briatore and Mittal consortium. Following the termination of
the club's sponsorship deals with Car Giant, Le Coq Sportif and
Sellotape at the end of the 2007-08 season, in early July 2008 it was expected
to be announced that Gulf Air would be the new shirt sponsors.
Further sponsorship packages were also announced including Abbey Financial
Services and Lotto Sport Italia.
traditional local rivals are Brentford and Fulham. Since the 70s and 80s QPR
fans have seen Chelsea
as rivals. Recently, rivalries with Luton
Town and - to a lesser extent - Watford have begun.
One Runners-up 1975–76
Two Champions 1982–83
Two Runners-up 1967–68, 1972–73
Division Two Runners-up 2003–04
Three Champions 1966–67
Three (South) Champions 1947–48
Shield Runners-up 1908, 1912
Attendance 35,353: vs Leeds United 27/04/1974 Division 1
league win 9-2: vs Tranmere Rovers 03/12/1960 Division 3
league loss 1-8: vs Manchester United 19/03/1969 Division 1
player Alan McDonald: 52 Northern
appearances Tony Ingham: 519 1950–63
Player Ray Wilkins: 39 years 352 days
Player Frank Sibley: 15 years 275 days
Goals in a Season: George Goddard, 37, Division 3 South, 1929–30.
in a Season: Rodney Marsh, 44 (30 League, 3 FA Cup,11 League Cup) 1966–67
Goals in Total Aggregate: George Goddard, 174, 1926–34.
in Total Aggregate: George Goddard, 186 , 1926–34
Transfer Fee Received: £6,000,000 from Newcastle
United for Les Ferdinand, June 1995.
Transfer Fee Paid: £2,750,000 to Stoke City for Mike Sheron, July 1997.