Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today: QPR Enter Administration

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- - A Year Later: QPR at the Brink - Enlarged Photo I - Enlarged Photo II
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Ten Years Ago Today - One Decade Ago: QPR Enter Administration

- See Also: The Various Efforts to Buy QPR

- Year Later (May 2002): QPR Exit Administration



April 2, 2001 - QPR Official Statement - RANGERS IN ADMINISTRATION

The Board of Loftus Road PLC regrets to inform shareholders and supporters that after consultation with its advisors it has decided that the best course of action to help ensure the Group's longer term survival, is to put the holding company, Loftus Road PLC, and its wholly owned subsidiary The Queens Park Rangers Football and Athletic Club Ltd (QPR), into administration.
This decision has not been taken lightly and is a direct result of the losses incurred by the Group, currently running at �570,000 per month, over a sustained period of time.
The main objective of the Board is not only to ensure the continued operation of QPR and Wasps as professional sports teams in the short term, but to maximise their opportunity for a more prosperous future.
Chris Wright will be honouring his prior commitment to the Group and providing whatever financial support is necessary to ensure the continued running of the Clubs until a long term successor can be found or, initially, until at least the end of October 2001.
Chris Wright said :"It is a very sad day for everyone involved in Loftus Road. The last six months have been a real struggle financially and although my intention was to secure a sale to the right buyer before having to take this decision, it has not been forthcoming. I will continue to fund the day to day running of the Group until the end of the season and help to find a purchaser for QPR and Wasps.
Hopefully the day to day impact on the operation of QPR and Wasps as professional sports teams will be negligible, at least in the short term, and will in fact make the longer term more viable. My support for both Clubs remains undiminished and my greatest wish would be for the right individual with ready funds, energy and ideas to step in and secure their future as soon as possible." QPR Official


BBC, 2 April, 2001 - QPR put into administration

Troubled Queens Park Rangers plight worsened when the club were put into administration on Monday.
A statement on the club's website read: "The decision has not been taken lightly and is a direct result of the losses incurred by the Group, currently running at £570,000 per month, over a sustained period of time."
The club is owned by Loftus Road plc and shares in the company have been suspended.
This move comes after chairman Chris Wright failed to find a buyer for the club.
Hopefully the day to day impact on the operation of QPR and Wasps as professional sports teams will be negligible
Wright was believed to be in discussions with former director Andrew Ellis, but those talks seem to have broken down.
QPR share their Loftus Road ground with Wasps and Wright says he will continue to finance the day-to-day running of the club until the end of the season.
The London club's problems could further deteriorate if they lose their battle against relegation.
Wright said: "It is a very sad day for everyone involved in Loftus Road.
"The last six months have been a real struggle financially and although my intention was to secure a sale to the right buyer before having to take this decision, it has not been forthcoming.
"I will continue to fund the day to day running of the Group until the end of the season and help to find a purchaser for QPR and Wasps.
"Hopefully the day to day impact on the operation of QPR and Wasps as professional sports teams will be negligible, at least in the short term, and will in fact make the longer term more viable." BBC

INDEPENDENT/Nick Harris - QPR go into administration

Tuesday, 3 April 2001

Queen's Park Rangers went into administration last night after the struggling First Division club's parent company announced its losses are running at £575,000 a month. "This decision [to put QPR into administration] has not been taken lightly and is a direct result of the losses incurred by the group," a statement from Loftus Road plc, which also owns Wasps rugby club, said last night.

Queen's Park Rangers went into administration last night after the struggling First Division club's parent company announced its losses are running at £575,000 a month. "This decision [to put QPR into administration] has not been taken lightly and is a direct result of the losses incurred by the group," a statement from Loftus Road plc, which also owns Wasps rugby club, said last night.

Wasps have not been put in administration because a takeover by an unnamed buyer is understood to be imminent. It has been reported that a former director of QPR, Andrew Ellis, is considering a takeover of the football club but negotiations are understood to be in their infancy.

Chris Wright, who stepped down as QPR chairman earlier this year, seems destined to lose the majority of the £20m investment he has put into the football club. He said last night, however, that he would continue to fund both QPR and Wasps until October or until buyers for them are found, whichever comes sooner. "Hopefully the day-to-day impact on the operation of QPR and Wasps as professional sports teams will be negligible, at least in the short term, and will in fact make the longer term more viable," he said.


BBC - 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




TELEGRAPH - QPR kicks into administration as Man Utd tops profit league

By Benjamin Wootliff 03 Apr 2001

IT was a game of two halves yesterday as Manchester United announced record profits while its former Premier League rival Queens Park Rangers was put into administration...

By contrast, West London's Queens Park Rangers was heading to the biggest drop of all when holding company Loftus Road, which also owns the Wasps rugby club, admitted that it had run out of money, and had its share listing cancelled ahead of calling in administrators.

Chairman Chris Wright, who had been effectively bankrolling Loftus Road, said: "Although my intention was to secure a sale to the right buyer before having to take this decision, it has not been forthcoming."

Earlier, the club refused to comment on rumours that former director and property investor Andrew Ellis had offered £9m to buy the club and move QPR to a new West London site near Heathrow Airport, while redeveloping the existing ground.

QPR's plight knocked the shares of rival Nottingham Forest, which tumbled 4.5 to 12p....



BBC - 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


A MONTH LATER

Guardian/Scott Murray May 2001 - QPR and Wimbledon in merger talks


Queens Park Rangers have confirmed they are in "very early stage discussions" with Wimbledon about a possible merger of the two clubs.
The talks began after QPR were put into administration with debts of around £8m, while Wimbledon have been searching for a permanent home for several years.
The announcement came after a report in this morning's Sun. The article claimed that the proposed new team will be coached by Dons boss Terry Burton and will play its home games at Loftus Road.
However, a spokesperson for Loftus Road plc, the owners of QPR, was at pains to state that a final decision has yet to be made.
"Our initial view is that, in the current financial environment for football outside the Premier League, the idea could have merit and may be worth exploring further," he explained.
"But we must emphasise that it is still very early days and no firm agreement whatsoever has been reached. The talks with Wimbledon will only continue if there is general approval from our supporter base."
Wimbledon chairman Charles Koppel also played down the reports.
"No agreement to merge Wimbledon with QPR has been reached," he insisted. "While discussions regarding the idea of a possible merger have taken place, we realise that no agreement could ever be reached without consulting our supporters first.
"If the fans felt that this was not the best thing, we would re-evaluate and move along a different route."
Unsurprisingly, supporters have already opposed the mooted merger.
Libby Magrill, spokeswoman for QPR 1st, the Queens Park Rangers Supporters Trust, said: "Historically, QPR fans will not support a merger with any other Football League club.
"Proposed mergers with Brentford in 1967 and Fulham in 1987 were successfully opposed by the fans, and any move to merge QPR with Wimbledon this year, or at any stage in the future, will be opposed by every possible means.
"QPR fans will fight to retain the identity of our club. We know that Wimbledon fans will do the same."
Wimbledon fans also expressed their opposition to the proposal, promising to protest at a meeting between the club and supporters' organisations later this week.
The Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association declared that they "unequivocally oppose the merger of two separate identities, families, supporters and histories" and added: "At our forthcoming meeting on Sunday with chairman Charles Koppel prior to the final game of the season, we shall be discussing and exploring the way to go forward.
"In addition, we shall be making clear to the owners of Wimbledon Football Club our desire for our own stadium and retained identity.
"We urge the vigilance of Wimbledon and QPR supporters during this time and ask that you make your voices heard far and wide."
Meanwhile, speculation that a third London club, Brentford, could also become involved was dismissed by chairman Ron Noades, who had been linked with a rival bid.
Noades told the Evening Standard: "We are not interested in any merger with or takeover of QPR.
"We were in talks with QPR about a possible ground share at Loftus Road but those cannot proceed until the club is out of administration.
"In the meantime, our own talks about a new ground for Brentford in the borough of Hounslow are progressing well.
"If QPR and Wimbledon merge we would be interested to talk to them about a possible ground share if we do manage to move to a new home ourselves."
It has also been reported that an unidentified City-based consortium are preparing a £12m bid to buy QPR outright and keep the club's identity.
Their bid is for the rugby and football wings of Loftus Road plc and would involve QPR and Wasps sharing Rangers' Acton training ground. Guardian


TWO MONTHS EARLIER:FEBRUARY 2000 - CHAIRMAN WRIGHT ANNOUNCED HE'D BE RESIGNING

Official Site - Febaruy 2, 2001 - WRIGHT QUITS

LOFTUS ROAD plc announces that Chris Wright has informed the company that he intends to resign as Chairman, both of Loftus Road plc and its subsidiary Queens Park Rangers as soon as a replacement can be found.

Commenting on his decision, Chris Wright said: "When I took over as Chairman of QPR in August 1996 immediately following the club's relegation from the Premier League, I made it quite clear that I would only remain as Chairman as long as I felt I had the support and confidence of the fans.

Indeed on many occasions since then I have reiterated both publicly and privately that as soon as I felt I had lost that confidence I would immediately resign and withdraw from the activities of the club.

"Following the unsavoury incidents around the Directors' Box during the match against Fulham on Wednesday evening, it is abundantly clear that time has now arrived.

"I intend therefore to resign as Chairman of both Loftus Road plc and QPR as soon as a replacement can be found. I anticipate that the Boards of both Loftus Road and QPR will move quickly to appoint an interim Chairman for both entities until such time as a permanent replacement can be identified.

"I am fully aware that QPR is financially dependent upon the loans that I have put in place to the club and will continue to be dependent on further injections of money to survive for the immediate future.

"In order not to jeopardise the club's difficult current situation in terms of its position in the Division One League table, I will continue to provide whatever financial support is necessary until the company identifies my ultimate long-term successor with the ability to take over that responsibility even if such individual does not come on board before the end of the current season.

"To date, I have committed close to £20 million to Loftus Road/QPR, at a point in time when changes in my personal circumstances have had a seriously adverse effect on my ability to secure liquid cash.

"I am aware that this may be significantly less than the funds available to one or two of the other clubs in Division One, but it is quite frankly as much as I have been able to secure. I am extremely disappointed that it has not guaranteed the level of success on the field that I would have hoped for.

"I have been a committed QPR supporter myself for over 30 years and expect to remain one for the rest of my life. I would like to wish Gerry Francis and the entire playing squad all the luck possible for the future, a commodity which I believe has been in short supply around Loftus Road lately.

"Despite our lowly league position I have every confidence that QPR will be playing First Division football next season and when a successor to myself is found with the benefit of a fresh approach and fresh ideas, the club will once again achieve the levels of success it has achieved in the past."


And a few days later on the official Site:

Feb 6, 2001 -WRIGHT - WHY I AM QUITTING

DEPARTING chairman Chris Wright has spoken at length on his reason to relinquish control at Loftus Road. He has also revealed that a new chairman will be in place shortly.


Mr Wright said:" I'm really disappointed. I'm gutted that it has come to this because I have been going to QPR for 30 years.
"Now it has come to the point where I can't go to a home game without hiring security men. So that is ridiculous. It is much easier if I don't go to matches. There's only one way out of this and that is for me to quit.

"I thought the bulk of our fans were brilliant at the Fulham match. I was watching the game and trying to work out the best route forward for the club. And what do I get? I get fans screaming abuse at me, trying to get chants going of 'Wright Out' and trying to get into the directors' box to physically abuse me.

"Maybe other chairmen at other clubs are prepared to tolerate it. But I'm not. Thank you very much, I am not prepared to tolerate that kind of behaviour. I know the fans are entitled to speak their minds. They can do that if they want to. But they just picked the wrong chairman to speak their minds to.

"With loans, buying shares and money I have put into the club, it has cost me close to £20 million at this point. That is nowhere near what the chairmen of Blackburn and Fulham have put into their clubs, but I don't have their resources - despite what you may read in the papers.

"I doubt that there is any previous chairman of QPR who has made a net transfer loss rather than a net transfer profit. Since I've been with the club, we've spent over £6 million more on buying players than we recovered from sales.

"I've tried very hard. I've given it my best shot. I admit I've made mistakes. But it hasn't worked out and the fans have probably had enough and that's it.

"The board are now looking to bring in a new chairman of the football club as soon as possible. Hopefully in the next few days. We want to bring in someone from outside the existing board, so that the fans realise it is someone completely new.

"The new chairman will be in place until we can find someone to come in and take over my position totally."


[And Ten years ago, plus a day, Gerry Francis was also talking about the future)

QPR Official Site - February 1, 2001
GERRY - WE NEED A BACKER

BOSS Gerry Francis spoke at length about his future with Rangers and the possibility of making some loan signings after the defeat against Fulham.

Gerry said:" I don't think my future with QPR is relevant. I've spoken to chairman Chris Wright and he's asked me if I want to extend my contract. But that's irrelevant.
"Firstly and most importantly is First Division survival for QPR. This is not something that has just come about. Rangers have been trying to stay in this division for the last four years, of which last season was the best season they have had in finishing tenth.

"From the chairman downwards, everyone here knows the club needs a major boost of financial investment. Moves to do that are going on and have been going on for some time. So until the situation changes, the manager here - whether it is me or anyone else - will have their backs against the wall.

"I am appealing to see if anyone will come in and help the chairman or even take over the club. If that happens, then the new people may well want to bring in their own manager and backroom staff. So that could happen next week, next month or whenever.

"But that is irrelevant for me. The most important thing is that Queens Park Rangers get their investment to safeguard their future. Because unless they do, it will be very, very difficult times ahead for the club. I saw the situation when I took the job and obviously it hasn't got any better.

" The future of Rangers is so up in the air that we don't even know who will be owning QPR next week or next month or next season. What we do know is that, somewhere along the line, the chairman needs some help financially.

"I am here on my contract until the end of the season. Unless somebody comes in and buys the club and tells me otherwise. But the most important thing for me - which is why I came back in the first place - is the future of QPR. It means a lot to me. So whatever happens, I will be pleased with it - even if it means me and my backroom staff having to lose our jobs.

"New investment would give the club a chance to start dealing on the transfer market, paying decent wages and getting out of the situation it finds itself in. So if that happens, I will be as happy as anyone else to be perfectly honest. I am not someone who needs to work and I wouldn't have come back into management for any other club.

"Chris Wright has told people that he is covering all the losses each year and he needs some help. He's prepared to stand aside if someone comes in with the finances to take the club on. As I am. I know Chris has been speaking to one or two people about investing here. Hopefully that will progress at some stage. It would give the club a chance.

"Chris spent money to buy the club and he laid out a lot of money in his first few years as chairman. He bought players like Mike Sheron and John Spencer and paid big wages. But it didn't work out and Rangers didn't get promoted. Unfortunately, the parachute money finished, the income doesn't cover the expenditure and you end up where Rangers are now.

"I had a meeting with the chairman the other night to see if there is anything we can do. We have an opportunity to bring two loan players in and that is what we are going to go for. We can't really do anything permanent, but we will try to get a couple of quality players in if we can for the period of two or three months that we've got left."



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