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Friday, March 16, 2007

QPR's Last AGM - A Year Ago

A year ago tomorrow, QPR held its AGM.

At the time, QPR1st's Tracy Stent wrote up an unofficial report on the AGM which can be read - QPR1st AGM Report

QPR1st - QPR Holdings Ltd -AGM Report
"March 19, 2006 Tracy Stent represented the interests of the Supporters Trust at the Annual General Meeting of QPR Holdings Ltd. It was a fairly lively affair and Tracy has produced a report of the meeting which can be viewed/downloaded via the link below. .... - QPR1st AGM Report

And a brief report in the Mirror
Daily Mirror, March 18, 2006 - RANGERS 'STAY PUT' By Aidan Magee
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini has assured supporters the club will stay at Loftus Road.
Paladini (pictured below), thought to have been considering a switch to a site at White City, made the pledge as he and Brazil World Cup legend Carlos Dunga - a club director - faced angry fans at QPR's annual meeting.
They were upset by price-hikes, boss Ian Holloway's sacking, debts of £18m and director Antonio Caliendo's suggestion of a move from Shepherds Bush.
But Paladini said: "Antonio Caliendo doesn't speak English. If you asked him what he thought White City was, he would reply: 'Que?' We won't be moving and that's final." Daily Mirror

And on the eve of the AGM:
BBC - March 16, 2006
BBC - Dunga will face QPR shareholders
Carlos Dunga will face shareholders at Queens Park Rangers' Annual General Meeting on Friday.
The former Brazil captain became a QPR director in 2004 as part of a Monaco-based group that later staged a boardroom coup at Loftus Road. Dunga did not attend board meetings prior to using his vote to help Gianni Paladini oust Bill Power as chairman. "I take my role as a director of QPR seriously and look forward to appearing in front of shareholders," said Dunga. "Myself and the other directors have put money into the club to help it survive and will continue to do so."
Paladini has faced scepticism from some fans since Power and chief executive Mark Devlin were removed following a series of boardroom disagreements. Rangers are heavily in debt and several behind-the-scenes changes have been made since Paladini took control along with Antonio Caliendo. Both men are former agents.
Italian businessman Franco Zanotti has also bought a major stake and Paladini has defended their running of the club.
Paladini said: "Can anyone say QPR aren't in a better position than when I came in two years ago? "The losses are reduced and we are in a position to move forward. Everything is settled and we just want to get on with running the club. "This board have invested over £8m. Yes, some of that has been used to buy shares, but that is how much has been paid and that shows commitment."

10 days before the AGM, the club issued this statement:

March 7, 2006 - QPR - CLUB STATEMENT -
Gianni Paladini has issued the following statement following recent inaccurate reporting.

Once again this club has been subjected to a barrage of pitifully inaccurate reporting in the London Evening Standard - and once again I am left with no option but to set the record straight in order that you, our true supporters, know exactly how QPR's finances stand.

The article in last Friday's edition should be seen in the light of the previous negative and misleading articles by the same author for which they had to print an apology and pay our solicitor's costs.

The total value of the debt in the 2005 accounts (ie the sum of the current liabilities and the long term liabilities) is £18m.The total value of the same debt in the 2004 accounts was £18m.In other words no change, but this is definitely not the impression conveyed by the headline.

As most fans know the biggest item in the total debt is the £10m loan from the ABC Corporation which was entered into in 2002 several years before the current regime took over.

Current liabilities fell in 2005 as the debts to the Customs & Revenue were reduced and short-term loans to shareholders were repaid.

You should also be aware that £2.8m of the total "debts" is for income for the 2005/06 season that was banked before the 31st May 2005 and, in accordance with standard accounting practice, is included in current liabilities as deferred income.The bulk of this deferred income is for season ticket receipts, which is being released in the 2005/06 financial year.

This means that the high value of the early bird season ticket sales for both the 2004 and 2005 seasons have increased the "debt" at the club's financial year end.So rather perversely the increase in deferred income is a positive sign and not an indication of "misery" as heralded by the Evening Standard.

The Standard did state that losses for the year were £2.5m but neglected to mention that was an improvement of £1.8m on the two previous years.This improvement was all the more impressive as it was achieved despite losing the revenue from Fulham ground sharing deal. Running costs have been reduced and supply contracts have been renegotiated.

I know these figures are wrong because I am so intimately involved in both the day-to-day running of the club, and its financial strategy and support. Along with my trusted friend and chairman of QPR Holdings, Antonio Caliendo, we have dug into our own pockets to pay off the debts we inherited when we took over - debts that, quite frankly, would have forced the club into liquidation if they had not been paid.

I need to say a few more words about Antonio at this point because the Standard has also intimated there is something dark and mysterious about his presence at the club. Antonio is chairman of our holding company, and I am chairman of the football club.

There is nothing murky or sinister about this two-man structure - it's exactly the same format that existed before we took over. We have no hidden agendas - if we did, we wouldn't have stuck around for so long, working so hard to get QPR's finances back on the straight and narrow.

The accounts for 2005 show a vast improvement on the previous years' results and the current projections for 2006 show that there will be another sizeable reduction in the clubs' net losses.However the Evening Standard states that the projected losses for the current season "could be as much as £4m" and will not be revealed until March 2007.

As the club has had no contact with the writer of this article we are left to ponder as to the both the source of his inaccurate statements and the motives behind them.

The club is currently working on its projections for next season and the board of directors are looking for further revenue opportunities and further cost savings as the club works towards a break-even situation.A more detailed update will be given to shareholders at the forthcoming AGM and a summary will then published on the QPR website. QPR

In recent weeks:
Daily Mail/Charles Sale -February 12, 2007 QPR figures don't add up, claims fan
Evidence of serious breaches of financial regulations at Queens Park Rangers has been uncovered by a fan examining the club’s records.

The Rangers supporter discovered that the QPR Holdings company accounts for the financial year ending May 31 2005 which were approved by shareholders at the March 2006 annual meeting differed by millions of pounds from the document which has just been lodged at Companies House
The widespread alterations affected the turnover figures, profit and loss numbers, commercial revenues, administrative expenses, operating accounts, matchday receipts and sponsorship, as well as the valuation of the Loftus Road ground that had risen from £17.2million to £20m.

It has also emerged that the QPR auditors Nieman Walters Niman had not signed off the company accounts that were presented to shareholders by the QPR executive.

Accountant Ed Nieman, who was asked to resign as QPR auditor by the club last week, said: "I didn’t go to the AGM because the accounts weren’t final. They were only signed off on January 22 this year.

"They shouldn’t have been approved at the AGM as they were not finalised. The QPR board know from me they should not have been presented or voted on. "I’ve no idea why the club no longer want me to act for them. I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss it."
No one at QPR was available for comment.

QPR Fans Consultative Group Meeting
Tuesday 13th February 2007 - 6pm, The Chairman's Suite, Loftus Road
The following are the minutes taken from the initial QPR fans consultative group meeting, which was held at Loftus Road on the night of Tuesday 13th February. Those in attendance hope that this is of interest to all QPR fans everywhere.
In attendance: Gianni Paladini (GP) Chairman, QPR FC ~ Nick De Marco (NDM) QPR FC legal advisor, and Chair of initial meeting ~ Akin Yilmaz (AK) Club Financial Controller and Company Secretary ~ Pat Harrison (PH) Official Supporters Club ~ Karen Hampshire (KH) Official Supporters Club ~ Tracy Stent (TS) QPR 1st Supporters Trust ~ Stephen Dedridge (SD) QPR 1st Supporters Trust~ Victor Stephenson (VS) Friends of QPR ~ Spencer Schwartz (SS) Friends of QPR.

"....3 The 2005 accounts
AY started off by saying how at the AGM in March 2006, the accounts that were presented had not been signed off by the auditors. The changes of figures in the accounts that have just recently been filed are down to the subsidiary (Queens Park Rangers Football and Athletic Club) accounts that have now been done/finalised/filed. Geoff then intercepted by explaining that he has the facility for doing a search on Companies House which means that every time a new file appears or is updated on their website, he gets notified by an email and he then checks the website to see what has been updated. This allows him, and anybody else with this facility, to know the history of filing dates and he said that at the time when GP joined there were subsidiary accounts (QPRFAC) that were four years out of date. He said that AY is the first man to have brought those accounts up to date and explained about auditors; how they are basically an independent body of accountants who do an audit on company accounts; that they have to be fair; and with no skulduggery going on. He explained that the most important thing for any auditors is for them to be sure that the accounts they are signing off shows reasonable proof that the company is a going concern for the following year. He said that the note about this in the auditor's report had been changed and that it could have been an option by shareholders to call an EGM. It was quoted that the cost of calling an EGM could amount to £10k and that AY is now drafting a letter to be sent to shareholders explaining the situation to them about how the last accounts were not finalised; that they had now been filed; and that the proposal is for them to be approved within a resolution at the next AGM.

GP stated how new auditors had come in, that basically there had been confusion, and that the auditor had pressured the club for extra money before the books had been released to them. He said he had sought advice from other people and that it had been recommended to him to bring back the firm the company used in the past, Rothman Pantell, and that this had been done. He claimed how the club tried to put things right and SD pointed out to him that the club must have realised that this would happen, how it would give a wrong impression for fans/shareholders to read about this in the newspapers, and why did they not contact someone like Geoff in the first instance? AY acknowledged this and said how he could see that this could be seen as a cover-up but that there had been a lack of communication between the ex financial controller and the auditors.

GP commented on how it was all a bad mistake; that he has put his trust in people that are paid to do a job; that he acknowledges he has to carry the can; that the figures - the loss amount - is the exact same; that he wants to be surrounded by people who know what they are doing; and that he is learning something new every day.

AY said that Rothman are now on the case for the 2006 (May year end) accounts and that they are hopeful of them being signed off and filed at companies house on/by 31st March. GP asked Geoff if he would come in to monitor the accounts/process and he agreed to at the least send in one of his accountants for the day before the end of March. Geoff suggested this so as to avoid any possible conflict of interests.

AY asked if there were anything else required to be known about the accounts and as time was getting on by this stage, Geoff suggested he email specifics to him, as he does have a number of queries, and for any responses to be relayed in due course.

VS asked about the community department and into which company this department comes under and AY said it's the Holdings company. ..." QPR OFFICIAL SITE

For Copy of Accounts and comparisons: at Boardoom Blues
- "Meet the New Accounts, Not the same as the old Accounts"
- "Shareholders' Guide to the New Accounts"
- COMPLETE ACCOUNTS can be viewed here
Boardroom Blues

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