QPR Report Twitter Feed

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ex-QPR Chairman Bill Power ("BP") Turns 55

Mazel Tov to QPR's Former Chairman, Bill Power (BP) Who Turns 55 Today!

William (Bill) Power (aka BP)
Born September 29, 1953, Power a life long QPR supporter, who used to view games from his flat across the road from the Stadium, joined the QPR Board in 2003. In the summer of 2004, Power became Chairman when Blackburn, Jones and Davies left the club. A year later, in August 2005, Power was replaced by Gianni Paladini, who in turn was replaced last year, by Flavio Briatore. BP reportedly came close to returning to Loftus Road in the summer of 2007, before graciously bowing out in the face of the Briatore-Ecclestone takeover. Without revisiting some of the Boardroom events of the past few years, unlike a couple of other former QPR Chairman, BP remains "involved with/and extremely committed to" QPR.

Flashback: - Profile of Bill Power from about three or four years ago:
Irish Abroad Power behind QPR - By Ian McCullough
It has often been said, usually in dreamy tones, by many a football supporter, that they would give money to the club they love and support when they win the lottery.
London Irishman Bill Power is someone who has fulfilled the first part of that dream although the money he has invested in Queens Park Rangers is his very own hard-earned cash and not the type made by buying a lucky dip ticket from the local supermarket.
- While London football is now dominated by the nouveau-riche Chelsea courtesy of the billions of Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich and the charismatic, free-flowing on their day, but enigmatic Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, there was a time when QPR were the talk of the capital.
- At a time when Irish emigration to London was rife during the late 1960s and through to the ’70s, many settled in west London areas such as Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensal Rise and Greenford and the team whose ground sits just off the Uxbridge Road became the focal point for a many of the new settlers in the capital and their offspring.
- Power, the son of Wexford parents and an Irish passport holder, was one of the many who were hooked by players such as Rodney Marsh, Les Allen and Mark Lazarus lighting up the pitch that the youngster could see from his bedroom window overlooking Loftus Road from the White City Estate adjacent to the ground.
- Forty years on and with memories of Marsh, Stan Bowles, Don Givens, Gerry Francis, Les Ferdinand et al, just that, Power stepped in to help out the club that had been such a huge part of his life.
- Less than 10 years after finishing as top London club in the Premiership, Rangers were on the brink of going out of business as they slipped into the third tier of English football for the first time in 40 years.
- Years of fecklessness both on and off the pitch had taken the club into administration and the only way it was able to get itself out of the parlous situation was by taking out an ill-advised £10million loan with a little-known Panamanian company ABC Loans.
- The repayments were costing the club £1m-a-year in interest alone and after failure to reach the old First Division after a play-off final defeat by Cardiff, the club spent the whole of last season on the verge of slipping back into administration despite an average gate of 16,000 and record season-ticket sales.
- Various parties had expressed an interest in putting money into the club, but to no fruition. The reluctance of former chairman Chris Wright to sell his shares to interested parties despite having declared he was no longer interested in the club proved a stumbling block and QPR needed investment ASAP.
- Step forward Power, a season-ticket holder of over 20 years and an electrician who made his money by setting up [a] Datasat, a Satellite communication company.
- Among their clients are governmental departments from numerous countries, including Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Buckinghamshire-based company are now among the world leaders in their field.
- “It was a complete stroke of luck that I got into the business,” he admitted. “I was working as an electrician and I had just moved into a new house and a new family moved in next door and Phil Emmel, who is now my business partner, asked me if I could have a look at some circuit plans for a job he was about to embark on.
- “He then asked me to help him out on a few jobs abroad and shortly after we set up the business and were very fortunate just getting in at the right time and we have done well to get where are, thanks to some hard work.”
- While business was booming for Bill, the team he followed was not. A family called the Wintons had bought two players for the cash-strapped club so Bill made a phone call to QPR’s former chief executive to offer some further help and ask about the possibility of purchasing another player.
- He explained: “Apart from my family, QPR have been the biggest part of my life and something I have dedicated a great deal of my time and support to.
- “So I picked up the phone and couldn’t believe it when I was put straight through to chief executive David Davies.
- “I made an initial investment of £200,000 which was accepted and was invited to sit in on a couple of board meetings, but I realised shortly after that there were a few things that didn’t make sense.
- “There were some steps being taken that were costing us more money than was being brought in, like planning to install a whole new computer network with new equipment for staff, and bringing in even more personnel to an already oversized staff.”
- In addition to Power an Italian former football agent Gianni Paladini had also become a shareholder along with another London Irishman Kevin McGrath — a senior partner in an asset management company in the City.
- With the club losing money hand over fist, a number of changes had to be made with the first being at the top where senior staff were ousted followed by a number of redundancies.
- “Basically I had put my money into the club which was gratefully received but I was being ignored and decisions were being made without my knowledge,” said Bill.
- With the new board in place, Power was asked to become chairman of the club.
- “It was a great honour to be asked to be chairman and something myself and my family are very proud of but not something I ever envisaged or was aspiring for when I made that phone call last year.”
- So with the club’s long-term future looking far rosier than 12 months ago after a tax bill was paid off in the summer and investment being made in players and money available to manager Ian Holloway to spend, optimism is high in W12 after a respectable return to the Coca-Cola Championship.
- “I am very confident that we will be back in the Premiership within three years. We have a very long way to go at the moment but we are making the right progress,” he said.
- “The loan is still a major millstone around our necks and we looking to get a plan agreed to re-structure the payments as at the minute and hopefully that will be resolved.
- “We are also very close to securing a site for a new training ground. This will not come out of club funds and will be a gift to the club and a sign of our intentions.
- “Myself, Kevin and Gianni are not in the Abramovich mould, none of us have money to chuck away, but we all believe in what we are doing and, hopefully, that will see us back where we feel we belong.” Irish Abroard

BBC - July 9, 2003 - Cash boost for QPR
Queens Park Rangers fan Bill Power has joined the Loftus Road board after pumping £200,000 into the club.
Power becomes the third supporter to be offered a directorship after injecting cash into QPR, following Harold Winton and Kevin McGrath.
"It's a dream come true to join the board and I'm really pleased," Power told BBC Sport.
"I'm from White City and have supported Rangers all my life. To be able to help QPR in this way means a lot to me.
"I haven't been part of any of the bids to take over the club and I don't have any agenda other than wanting to help the club as best I can." BBC

BBC - June 24, 2004
QPR chief stands down - Nick Blackburn has resigned as Queens Park Rangers chairman.
His future has been in doubt since the recent resignation of chief executive David Davies.
Blackburn was former Rangers owner Chris Wright's deputy before taking over as chairman when Wright quit the club in 2001.
Davies, Blackburn and company chairman Ross Jones are leaving as part of a shake-up at Loftus Road following disagreements at board level.
.....QPR director Bill Power will replace Blackburn, with fellow director Kevin McGrath appointed acting plc chairman.
Justin Pieris of the QPR supporters' trust, QPR 1st, welcomed news of Blackburn's departure.... BBC

Blog Archive