Well, being a Queens Park Rangers fan is never straightforward. Heck, following any Premier League team is never straightforward is it, to be fair? Actually, you don’t know how wonderful it is to call us a Premiership side, seriously, after 15 years of wilderness I’m still pinching myself that I can classify my team as “top flight”. Or to be all blooming fashionable “an English Premier League team”. We’re riding higher in the league than most of our London rivals, have turned Sky Sports News recently into the QPR information channel, have actually bought some players, and some decent ones at that.
Tony Fernandes taking over the club has been like a complete breath of fresh air. Our new owners are actually communicating with the fans for a start. Our previous owners, who were basically hated, never bothered communicating a thing to us excluding the line “we saved the club”, that and wacking our ticket prices for home and away fans up to disgustingly high levels. I personally never had an issue with Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 ringmaster never lied to the fans about what he was about, nor his level of interest (e.g. virtually zero) in our club. Flavio Briatore on the other hand is quite possibly the worst football club owner ever to grace any English league – and I include Ridsdale, Bates, Ashley and maybe even the Glazers in that one. It was actually coming to the point where he was lucky not to have some mindless lashed up fan lamp him at a game he was that unwelcome due to his actions, comments and general “arseholeness” with regards to the club and my fellow fans.
Just to clarify something though – we had the world’s richest owners, the minority owning Mittal family could buy Manchester City out of their pocket money, we were never the richest club. There’s a massive difference between someone’s bank balance and how much they put into a business. Anyway, enough about them. That’s in the past now, thankfully.
So, at last, someone buys “Tango and Cash” (Flavio & Bernie) out! Tony Fernandes scoops us up, gives Neil Warnock some actual cash to spend and embarks on a PR exercise possibly never seen before in English Football. Now, I’m not knocking this, but this is where I am very cautious. When I got wind of the takeover I started tweeting Tony and at our first game of the season Sky cameras pictured him, on his phone, next to Flavio. Timing wise, he was replying to me J And this is where my caution comes into it. Tony loves twitter, loves facebook, loves PR in general and yes, it’s fantastic to see him (and others) communicating publicly what they’re doing. But, seeing replies to other fans, seeing messages about bullshit issues like the ladies loos in one stand, or going back to an old crest (QPR have changed their crest more times than Wenger has failed to spend in the transfer market), or bringing back an old mascot etc.. well, personally I don’t give a monkeys. And seriously, it’s what happens with regards to investing in the team, supporting our manager, and investing in our youth that really matters.
But, who I am to moan! We’ve got Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand, Young, Barton, Traore and er…Puncheon in the last week. Transfer deadline day was hysterical, and exciting for me, never ever can I remember virtually all the talk being about QPR.
So, the new owners have backed manager Neil Warnock and they’re making the right noises. But, maybe a bit too much noise? I’ve heard players on talksport non stop, I’ve heard our new CEO on every news channel on the planet, I’ve seen Tony Fernandes’ Formula 1 team change their signage to say “Team Loftus” for a race. Heck, Tony is even sending part refunds to all our season ticket holders and has dropped our match day prices. It’s all good, very very good. But, let’s see…..
I’m more happy than I’ve ever ever been about my club. But, I’m a QPR fan. We’ve been shafted by local businessmen that are “fans”, we’ve been shafted by millionaires and billionaires, we’ve had our hopes built up by everyone from World Cup winners to past playing heroes at times and we’ve been let down. So, I’m still cautious. All the noises are great, as is all the PR but there is more to running a football club than that. Only time will tell. Personally, I think these new owners may just walk the walk.
By Scott Jones – QPR fan –