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Friday, December 21, 2007

QPR Overtake Chelsea - QPR's New Owners: Various Reports

The TIMES -The Insider - December 21Kevin Eason - QPR outdo the neighbours
Chelsea are no longer the richest club in West London. In fact, the rest of the Barclays Premier League combined would struggle to match the wealth that swung behind Queens Park Rangers yesterday. Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, took a 20 per cent stake in the Coca-Cola Championship strugglers to line up with Bernie Ecclestone, his old friend, who bought the club this year with Flavio Briatore.
The combined wealth of Mittal and Ecclestone is a staggering £21.4 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List – more than double the fortune Roman Abramovich can call on to fund Chelsea. And even a trip to the ramshackle directors’ box at Loftus Road last weekend did not put off Mittal, the Indian steel magnate.
Nobody is entirely sure how much influence Mittal will exert for his 20 per cent but the signs are not good; he has appointed Amit Bhatia, his son-in-law, to take his place on the board, while Ecclestone, too, has his hands full running Formula One. Briatore is not exactly short of things to do either, running the Renault Formula One team plus his aptly-named Billionaire clothing and nightclub empire. There may be loadsamoney, but who is in charge? The Times

Mirror - Lo£tus Road - Why are some of the world's richest men buying into QPR? By Neil Mcleman 21/12/2007
Britain's richest man yesterday bought a 20 per cent stake in Queens Park Rangers, the worstside in the Championship.
Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born steel magnate who is worth £25bn, has invested an undisclosed sum in the club taken over last month by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. Mittal was ranked the fifth-richest man in the world this year ahead of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in 16th place.
Qpr plan to use the 57-year-old's money to get into the top flight and challenge their west London neighbours. The two clubs meet in the FA Cup third round next month and Mittal, who has lived in London since 1995, will be represented on the Loftus Road board by his son-in-law, Amit Bhatia.
"As a family, we love sport and particularly enjoy English football," said Bhatia.
"Alongside Bernie and Flavio, we hope we can improve the club's performance, with the ultimate ambition of a place in the Premier League."
In 2004, Mittal bought a house in Kensington from Ecclestone for £70million - still the record price paid for a private residence in the UK.
New Italian manager Luigi De Canio has already been promised a large budget to invest during the January transfer window.
Qpr fan chief Paul Finney said: "Santa must be wearing blue and white hoops at the moment." Mirror

The INDEPENDENT -QPR welcomes the billionaire effect as Mittal strikes a deal By Danny Fortson, Business Correspondent
Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a championship-winning football team, a truism lavishly proven by Roman Abram-ovich at Chelsea.
The board of Queen's Park Rangers was yesterday hoping that the arrival of a new billionaire owner in the form of Lakshmi Mittal, head of the world's largest steel company and the richest man in the UK, would herald a similar change of fortunes for the long-suffering club.
The West London club revealed yesterday that the steel baron paid an undisclosed sum for a 20 per cent stake, becoming the latest fabulously wealthy businessman to add an English football club to his trophy case. QPR, currently bottom of the Championship, welcomed the arrival of Mr Mittal, who has an estimated net worth of £20bn. "This investment ...is a great step towards the development of the club and supports the ambition of the shareholders to reach the Premier League in the near future."
Mr Mittal joins the club's other high-profile owners, Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One, and Flavio Briatore, the Renault team manager, who took over the club in September. Mr Mittal will be represented on the board by his son-in-law Amit Bhatia.
QPR declined to comment on spending plans beyond a statement saying: "The new capital being invested in QPR will help fund the programme that is needed to help us to achieve this target."
If recent history is a guide, QPR, which last played in the Premier League in 1996, is probably on the cusp of a liberally bankrolled make-over. It needs it. The club descended into farce last year when details emerged of a boardroom confrontation in which former director Gianni Baldini said he was held at gunpoint to force him to resign and sell his shares.
Mr Mittal's dip into the football world is the latest in a string of such deals. Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, bought Manchester City last summer and immediately splashed out tens of millions of pounds to hire former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson and a raft of pricey foreign players.
The Independent

The Guardian - Matt Scott/The Digger -
"...Mittal feathers the nest

A delegation of Queens Park Rangers fans' groups was received by the club's new board last week but there was no indication then that the billionaires' nest at Loftus Road would soon be joined by another. Rumours began to circulate that Lakshmi Mittal, left, had an interest when he was pictured sitting next to Bernie Ecclestone during the Wolverhampton Wanderers game on Saturday. Mittal's arrival was confirmed yesterday when he took a 20% stake and his son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, took a place on the board. But there is still no convincing word on what has drawn a crowd of Croesuses to the Championship's bottom team." The Guardian

Also: Earlier Compilations -

- "QPR Are the Richest Club in the World...."

- "Mittal's Involvement Hits The Newsstands"

- "QPR Announcement: The Mittal Family is Investing in QPR and Joining QPR's Board"

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