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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

ABCs - Derby County and QPR: Two Diverging Paths (Thus Far!)

For some QPR supporters (and probably some QPR Board Members) ABC has been on their mind this week.
A year ago, there were two struggling Championship sides, both with massive loans at high interest rates, from the mysterious "ABC Corporation." Over the past few years, both clubs' (varying) boards and their supporters spoke frequently about their debts to ABC and even about their "mystery" about who was behind the ABC Group.
And then the teams diverged both on and off the field. In 2005-06, the two teams struggled and both finished on 50 points (with Derby having a one goal better goal difference than QPR - 2005-06 Table This season, after last season's struggle, Derby County finished third and earlier this week won their playoff final at Wembley to reach the Premiership. Derby Count have thus won the sixty Million Pound "Jackpot" - See "The Times - Derby Gamble Hits the Jackpot"
QPR, for their part, struggled last season and they struggled even more this season, and just escaped the drop to "League One."
Off the field: Derby County got out of their ABC Loan, by getting new loans from more local sources and paying off the old ABC loans, while QPR supporters and board have spoken frequently about the ABC Loan (10 million pound at 10% payable 10 years after the loan was taken on), about trying to get new lenders, but at this writing remain in debt to ABC (and there remains a mystery about exactly who ABC are)
For QPR: the ABC is attaining is a certain urgency since according to "reports" and "common knowledge" at the five year mark of the loan (which has just been reached), there is supposedly an ability on the part of ABC to raise the interest rate on the loan; and an ability by QPR to pay off the debt (if they can get the loan from someone else at a lower interest rate).
The irony of course is that QPR are managed by the former manager of Derby County, John Gregory. And the Chairman of QPR, Gianni Paladini at one time (before buying into QPR), was interested in buying into Derby County.
The latest QPR pronouncement re ABC came earlier this month when the club made a statement re the ABC Loan and Oldham Chairman Simon Blitz
"...Queens Park Rangers FC have been involved in discussions with Simon Blitz about possibilities of re-financing the ABC loan at a better interest rate for QPR.
As part of those negotiations, and by way of a down-payment to demonstrate his interest in assisting with this in the future, Mr Blitz agreed to loan QPR £500,000.
It was agreed that the loan was not in violation of the Football Association or Football League rules.
Mr Blitz, as the lending party, assured QPR that he was satisfied, having received his own legal advice, that the loan did not violate any football rules.
The loan, and the security for the loan was not hidden and was made public by the registration of the security at Companies House.
Contrary to press reports, the loan was not made to help QPR with its payroll, but was made in the context of the ABC re-financing discussions.
Having taken further advice, and having discovered that Simon Blitz did not have the prior written authorisation of the F.A. to make this loan, QPR has agreed to pay the loan back forthwith.
QPR would like to assure its supporters that it has no intention of selling Lee Cook, and the fact that the proceeds of any future sale was offered as a security does not suggest this.
Mr Blitz had no say in any potential sale of Lee Cook, and now it is agreed to repay the loan he will not have a security over him.
QPR will continue to work hard to try and re-finance the ABC loan in the near future.
The contents of this statement have been shown to Simon Blitz and agreed by him. It will also been sent to the Football Association. QPR Report

See: QPR Report: May 2007: Almost Five Years Since QPR's ABC Loan, Exit Administration and Takeover Efforts Ended

October 2006: QPR Report: QPR's ABC Loan: What's Known #1
QPR Report - April 2004 re QPR and Derby's ABC Loan

Also: "Clubs in Crisis"

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