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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Buying QPR: The Various Efforts Five Years Ago During Administration

In April 2001, went into Administration and spent the next year looking for a buyer, before geting the 'notorious' 10 million pound ABC Loan and exiting administration in May 2002.

Among them -- Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, - Rangers safe, say administrators

The newly-appointed administrators of Queens Park Rangers have insisted the First Division club's future is not under threat.

Ray Hocking and Simon Michaels, of BDO Stoy Hayward Business Recovery Services, have been appointed joint administrators to holding company Loftus Road plc and their wholly-owned subsidiary QPR.

The administration was applied for by directors of Loftus Road plc as the best course of action for their long-term survival. The company have amassed debts of up to £11m.

"I don't see it as an existence-threatening position. I see it as a necessary step to ensure in the future there will be a Queens Park Rangers," said Hocking.

"Our priority is to secure a buyer for the company and the club and to ensure that creditors receive their monies."

There's no panic to dispose of this in the next few days or the next few weeks
Ray Hocking, QPR administrator

Chris Wright, majority shareholder and chairman of Loftus Road plc, will continue to fund the club and Hocking confirmed that rugby union club Wasps - another subsidiary of Loftus Road plc - has not been put into administration.

Hocking insisted he was in no rush to find a buyer for the company and the club and said: "It could take a couple of weeks and it could take a season or more. It really does depend on who comes along.

"We will wait until we get the right offer. There's no panic to dispose of this in the next few days or the next few weeks. We are looking at a long-term survival programme here, not a quick fix."

Hocking also stressed the club's assets were worth more than their liabilities. "The club owns its ground and its training ground and they are worth considerable sums of money," he said.

I think it's fair to say that the atmosphere among the players is pretty good
David Davies, chief executive of Loftus Road plc

"Any offers that include those have got to be considerable. We have got to be looking well above the £15-20m mark."

David Davies, the newly-appointed chief executive of Loftus Road plc, said the players, currently battling against relegation, remained positive.

"I think it's fair to say that the atmosphere among the players is pretty good," he said. " I see it as the beginning of a new era for QPR.

BBC April, 2001, QPR fans hopeful for future
QPR chief executive David Davies and administrator Ray Hocking
David Davies and Ray Hocking say QPR is safe
By BBC Sport Online's Adrian Harte

Queens Park Rangers supporters have given the appointment of an administrator a cautious welcome.

Administrator Ray Hocking painted a bullish picture of the club's future on Tuesday.

And Joe English of the QPR Loyal Supporters Association concurs.

He told BBC Sport Online: "Administration is not necessarily a bad thing.

"The club has been run appallingly in the past few years - it's gone down the tubes."

He has not ripped the heart out of the club. But he has been naïve. For a top businessman, he has really got his fingers burnt
Joe English on Chris Wright

"The most important thing is that the club survives. What division we are in next season is irrelevant," said English.

"Other clubs like Crystal Palace and Portsmouth have come out of administration in a better position than us."

Hocking said there would be an end to the "economics of the madhouse", promising that he would "run the club in a proper way."

English said there was no questioning the commitment of the club's owner Chris Wright.

"He has not ripped the heart out of the club. But he has been naïve. For a top businessman, he has really got his fingers burnt," he said.

However, QPR supporters blame the club's demise as much on the players as on mismanagement.

English said: "We've had players with huge contracts and players who have badly underperformed.

"One good thing is that this summer we have so many players - and I use that word advisedly - out of contract. The sooner they are out the better."

Hocking, of BDO Stoy Hayward Business Recovery Services, disclosed that he has already received two written offers, as well as "half a dozen expressions of interest".

Moving ground

Amid rumours of a sale of Loftus Road and a move to a new ground near Heathrow, Hocking assuaged supporters' fears.

"Offers from property developers will be lowest on my list, " he added.

English, the secretary of the Loyal Supporters' Association, said that while the club should come through administration, moving ground would kill it off.

But he said the supporters would continue to follow the team.

"We will get one of our biggest crowds of the season on Saturday against Blackburn. We have continued to come out and show our colours, and more so now," he concluded.

BBC Sunday, 27 May, 2001, QPR consortium hopeful on deal

The consortium attempting to buy Queens Park Rangers are hoping that their purchase goes through shortly.

Brian Melzack, a member of the group, said: "These things can take some time. The consortium is in good shape though, and the funding is there.

"Remember that when Chris Wright was buying the club it took some time for the sale to go through.

"Back then Rangers were not in administration and in such a desperate position. So this is taking a while."

Wednesday, 4 April, 2001
New takeover bid for QPR
Loftus Road, the home of QPR and London Wasps
Troubled times at Loftus Road

A city-based consortium has launched a fresh takeover bid for Division One club QPR.

A group of eight financiers - comprising fans of both Rangers and sister club London Wasps - have submitted a substantial offer for parent company Loftus Road plc, which went into administration earlier this week.

The consortium intend to move Wasps into Rangers' Acton training ground, which the clubs would share. Both teams would continue to play at Loftus Road.

Should the bid prove successful, the group are also keen to have supporters of both clubs elected to a new-look board of directors.

QPR were put into administration on Monday after plc chairman Chris Wright revealed that the company was losing £570,000 per month.

Monday, 23 July, 2001 - New bid for QPR

A consortium have launched a bid to buy Queens Park Rangers and keep the club at Loftus Road.

The group have tabled an offer, although former director Andrew Ellis has been granted exclusive talks with administrators until 6 August.

Ellis plans to move Rangers to a site near Heathrow Airport.

Maurice Fitzgerald, a member of the new consortium, said: "The bid is based upon keeping QPR at Loftus Road.

"We are backed by a major investment company, and believe (our offer) to be the most financially sound tabled so far.

"We have lodged our bid with the administrators and have shown full proof of funds.

"The administrators have a duty to accept the best bid and we believe that to be ours.

Our consortium is committed to the future success of QPR."

Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, QPR takeover bid tabled

A West End-based businessman is bidding to take control of Queens Park Rangers.
Haleem Kherallah, 37, has tabled an offer for a 26% stake currently held by the present board of directors.

He is also looking to purchase shares still held by former chairman Chris Wright.

Capturing both blocks of shares would enable Kherallah to become QPR's main shareholder and chairman.

Kherallah said: "I am completely and totally committed to this. The club has so much potential and I can give it the stability it has been lacking.

"I'm not looking for an ego trip or to make money out of it. I am a football fanatic and want to make QPR successful again.

"The future is bright if we can get the finances in order. The first and most important step is to tackle the debts and I am determined to do that."

He added: "The potential is there both on and off the pitch. Were it not for a couple of dodgy results we would have been promoted instead of Crewe.

"If we had not lost the points at home to Tranmere because of mistakes, or conceded a flukey goal against Wigan, we would be where Crewe are now - that's how close it was in the end."

BBC - Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003
QPR takeover stalemate
Businessman Haleem Kherallah says he is ready to abandon his bid to take over Queens Park Rangers.

I am done with trying to talk to these people
Businessman Haleem Kherallah

Kherallah claims the club's board are hostile to his offer because they are keen to stay in their positions.

"They don't want someone with fresh ideas," he said. "They want to keep their jobs.

"People have asked me not to give up, but it's clear my offer is not going to be accepted.

"I am done with trying to talk to these people."

The current directors are fully prepared to step aside if required
QPR chief executive David Davies

Kherallah's claim has been strongly denied by QPR chief executive David Davies.

Both he and chairman Nick Blackburn have stated that they would be willing to step aside.

"It has always been made clear to interested parties that they would not be prevented from replacing people if it would put the club in a better position," said Davies.

"The accusation that people are holding onto their positions is not justified.

"The current directors are fully prepared to step aside if required."

Meanwhile, QPR veteran Steve Palmer has signed a new one-year deal.

The 35-year-old was recently offered a role as player-coach at Wimbledon, but the move broke down after the Dons went into administration.

A financial dispute with his former club Watford over the deal that saw Palmer join the R's two years ago has also had to be settled in order for him to re-sign at Loftus Road.

BBC Wednesday, 1 August, 2001 - Ellis pulls out of QPR bid
Former Queens Park Rangers director Andrew Ellis has withdrawn his bid for control of the west London club.

The move paves the way for a fans' consortium to ease the troubled club out of administration.

Estate agent Ellis had been granted a three-week lock-out period to prove he had the cash to back up his proposal.

The only other bid tabled so far comes from the fans' consortium headed by Maurice Fitzgerald, who have pledged to keep the club at Loftus Road.

A club statement read: "Andrew Ellis has withdrawn his bid to buy QPR and the period of exclusivity granted to him no longer exists.

"With regards to other bids, the club has received the outline of a possible deal from the consortium led by Maurice Fitzgerald, which the club are also looking at."

Deeply unpopular

The Ellis bid had been deeply unpopular with fans because it proposed moving the club from Loftus Road to a new site near Heathrow, 16 miles away.

Fitzgerald's bid is apparently backed by a major investment company and private investors.

The bid is centred on around keeping the club at Loftus Road, with current manager Ian
Holloway remaining in charge.

Monday, 18 March, 2002, QPR bid withdrawn
A consortium led by QPR fan Harold Winton have withdrawn their bid to buy the club.

The group expected to agree a deal with owner Chris Wright but talks were broken off.

Wright had indicated that he was willing to compromise on the debt he is owed by the club and its parent company, Loftus Road PLC.

But in a letter to Wright, Winton states: "It appears that you may have had second thoughts on this matter and are now seeking payment in full.

"It is with much regret that we are withdrawing our bid to acquire QPR FC."

Thursday, 21 March, 2002, Solution in sight for QPR
Queens Park Rangers are close to coming out of administration after the Loftus Road board launched their own bid for the club.

Board members Ross Jones, Nick Blackburn and David Davies have made an offer to owner Chris Wright in an attempt to acquire Rangers and parent company Loftus Road plc.

The move comes after a consortium fronted by Brian Melzack failed to progress with their bid.

There are fears the Football League will not allow the club to start next season if it is still in administration.

BBC Monday, 27 May, 2002, Survival boost for QPR
David McIntyre

Second Division QPR have been taken out of administration.

The administration order was lifted following a hearing at the High Court on Monday.

Former chairman Chris Wright took a substantial write-off on his loans and handed back a large part of his shareholding in the club a few weeks ago.

We have faced some tough decisions and learned some hard lessons
David Davies
QPR chief executive

His decision helped enable the repayment of debts to all the Loftus Road club's creditors.

Loftus Road chief executive David Davies said in a statement: "This is wonderful news and the conclusion of one of the darkest periods in our history.

"We have faced some tough decisions and learned some hard lessons.

"These are lessons which many clubs are now having to learn.

"We will come out of this experience in a much stronger position.

Wright retains stake

"Gone are the days when players will be paid excessive wages.

"When we first went into administration, QPR was highlighted as being run on the economics of a madhouse.

"What we have done is bring some sanity to the club."

Wright, the main creditor as well as owner, agreed to accept half of the £6.7m he was owed.

But he has retained a 25% stake in the company as well as ownership of the club's training ground.

Rangers failed to get out of the First Division despite a massive investment resulting from a floatation in the summer of 1996.

They were hard hit the money from 'parachute' payments given to relegated clubs ran out.

With a wage bill already far too big for the First Division the club dropped into Division Two last year and in April 2001 administrators BDO Stoy Hayward were called in.

Transfer embargo lifted

But as many clubs struggle following the collapse of ITV Digital, QPR find themselves in a strong position.

They have not budgeted for television money and have slashed their wage bill.

It has been an awful period for QPR but I'm calling us 'the orange club', because the future is bright
Ian Holloway
QPR manager
Current manager Ian Holloway also has highly-rated players in his squad such as Richard Langley, Clarke Carlisle, Terrell Forbes and Dan Shittu.

Holloway said: "QPR were the first into the tunnel and are coming out of it just as everyone else is going in.

"There must be a lot of worried clubs but we have learned hard lessons and now we are on solid ground at last.

"It has been an awful period for QPR but I'm calling us 'the orange club', because the future is bright."

Holloway will now be looking to add to his squad having been restricted by a transfer embargo, which will be lifted with immediate effect after the club was taken out of administration.

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