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Thursday, August 18, 2011

QPR Report Thursday (Takeover Day?)


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It's takeover announcement day (Hopefully!)
- David Conn/The Guardian
- Sporting Life
- The Telegraph
- Glenn Moore/The Independent
- Mail
- Express


As QPR fans await today's Official takeover Announcement/Confirmation and Press Conference with purportive new QPR (latest) owner, Tony Fernandes; a few questions which hopefully will be answered/clarified today:

- What Percentage of shares will Tony Fernandes now own?

- What percentage will Amit Bhtia now own? Did he want to buy more?

- Do Bernie Ecclestone, Bernie Eccelstone or anyone else continue to own any shares (especially over 1%?)

- Is there any consortium or any set of individuals behind (or alongside) Fernandes? (Update: It's been reported it's a three man-Malaysian consortium)

- Do Ecclestone and Briatore have any right of refusal (or right to buy back) Fernandes's shares if he decides to sell? Are there any prohibitions on his right to sell any (or all shares) to Bhatia or Lakshmi Mittal, if he so decided?

- Has the number of shares issued changed in any way as a result of these transactions? Has the share structure changed in any way? (e.g., voting vs. non-voting)?

- Where's he getting money? Is it loans? Will they be added to the club debt? Are Ecclestone or Briatore in any way funding this takeover (loaning any of the money?)

- What about the replacement-to-the-ABC Loan, the Amulya loan (held by Briatore and Bhatia) (with it's "hold" over the Stadium): Is that still in existence? Is there any agreement on its fate?

- If Fernandes fell off that proverbial bus, who would then own the club?

- What level of involvement will Ecclestone or Briatore have in the running or financing of QPR?

- Who will be in charge of contracts/contract negotiations, etc?

- Will you be appointing someone hands-on to "assist" in the running of the club, or to sit on the board?

- What is the true debt of the club? How do you intend to pay it back? How do you intend to pay the sizable annual loss this club makes? How do you intend to stop the loss?

- Are QPR going to appoint a CEO or (powerful) Club Secretary for day-to-day financial oversight of the club?

- Who will be responsible for settling any outstanding issues with Messrs. Dunga and Caliendo?

- What is the future of QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini?

- Any plans to change (lower) ticket prices this season(or freeze them for next season) ?

- Will you/your companies be sponsoring the club?

- Is the club going to run at a loss?

- With the smallest stadium/ground capacity in the Premiership, what is the future of Loftus Road? Are you committed to QPR staying in the local area?

- Why QPR? How did you decide to get involved? What was the process? After your interest in West Ham and Norwich? How committed are you to QPR? If West Ham became available for sale, would you try and buy them?

- Will you commit to regular meetings with Independent Fan groups/fan representatives which have become none-existent. (The last fan forum was some four and a half years ago)

- QPR are the only club in the Premiership without an Academy? Do you intend to rectify it?

- How strong is your commitment to manager Neil Warnock? Are you prepared to back Neil Warnock and (within a budgetary limit) permit him to make the player signing decisions?

- How much money will Neil Warnock be given (now and in January)?

- How intimately familiar are you with the developments at Loftus Road, on and off the field, over the last five, seven, ten years?

- How many times do you plan to see QPR during a season?

- The Briatore-created Club Crest is much disliked by a fair number of fans: Will you restore the earlier crest?

Just for starters... If anyone has any additional questions, please contact at qprreport@hotmail.com or post on QPR Report Messageboard.


No time for humble pie No time for humble pie
Very interesting to see Sky Sports News reporting tonight that Tony Fernandes has agreed a deal to buy two thirds of QPR with Amit Bhatia owning the rest.

Even with that outcome there are still many questions to be answered. But if Fernandes has genuinely become a major shareholder, I will have been proved wrong in a big way because even in the face of people at Rangers telling me he was on course to do so, I never believed it would happen.

It’s not just that Rangers have previous when it comes to alluding to non-existent takeovers, but that the sheer financial commitment involved in clearing out Ecclestone and Briatore, taking on the club’s debt and then investing is so monumental, I’ll be very interested to hear how it’s being done.

That’s even before you take into account the issue of the stadium, which Briatore effectively owns by way of the loan he facilitated to pay off the infamous £10m ABC loan.

There’s a press conference at Rangers tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it because I can’t claim to be a know-it-all on this one at all and will turn up not knowing the full story. I know very little about what’s been going on compared to past takeovers and other major events.

I’ve spent the last couple of months buried in the website I recently created – West London Sport. More on that another time.

For about 20 hours a day for the last few weeks I’ve been up against it solidly, dealing with all sorts; web development issues, advertising, staffing, logistics – you name it. I’ve done everything bar be a journalist.

So the irony is that I’ve set up a website covering west London sport at a time when I’ve never known less about what’s actually happening – as proved by the fact I found out about the apparent Fernandes takeover from the TV.

I’m hoping things will settle down. I’m also hoping for the sake of every Rangers fan’s sanity that the club that refers to a “new era” roughly every three months really are about to enter a new, stable era.

I’ve been too busy to know myself whether the takeover’s gone through. But last I knew the details were still being trashed out, and Fernandes was due to meet with Bhatia. So reports of a deal that involves the two of them makes sense.

Bhatia’s involvement will delight many fans and rightly so. I can’t say I’ve bought into whole Mittals legend, but I wouldn’t dispute that he’s a good egg whose intentions are honorable and who’d run the club well. He’s the kind of figurehead Rangers have lacked for most of the last two decades.

He’s certainly surprised me this summer, both by resigning when he did and by seemingly hanging in there to get the increased stake in the club he’s always wanted.

Back in May, when I mentioned on this blog that discussions were about to take place and the end result could be an increased Mittal involvement, I didn’t think that would happen.

I didn’t regard Bhatia as all mouth and no action, because for starters that would do a disservice to his work on behalf of the QPR in the Community Trust.

But if he has won the day and ended the Briatore era once and for all, he’ll have proved me wrong as I’ve spent most of the summer barely listening to those who’ve been insisting he’d prevail in the end. I didn’t believe he’d deliver.

If he has, I’d certainly eat humble pie if I had the time to. Blog


- Clarke in Talks with Swindon

- David Conn/The Guardian: The Premier League has priced out fans, young and old - Ticket prices have soared way beyond the cumulative 77.1% inflation rate for 20 years and excluded traditional support bases

- Recent Tony Fernandes Interest in Investing in West Ham and Norwich

- Australian Youth Goalie Seems to have joined QPR

- Who Does Tony Fernandes Follow on Twitter?!

- Everton Match Preview/ Everton-QPR Stats and Past Encounters. (Past Everton-QPR Video)

- QPR-Rochdale: Tickets On Sale

- Official Site on the New Shirt "A Modern Classic"

- Flashback 18 Months: Club Desire to Funnel Communications via the Official Supporters Club (OSC)

- Still No QPR Offical Site Update (and apparently nothing in the first programme) re the Status of the Official Supporters Club (OSC). Despite Committee Resignations.

- Still Waiting! "[P]lans are already afoot for a pre-season celebration, once the players return to training in July." QPR May 11, 2011 Statement

However, the Official Site does offer: "HAVE A PIC WITH THE TROPHY! QPR

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- QPR Documentary "Four Year Plan" - To Marbella Festival in October

- Alec Stock's Daughter Offers some Memories of Her Father

- Six Year Flashback: QPR vs Sheffield United and Alleged Gun/Boardroom "Incident"

- Wigan Game, August 27th: Change of Time

- Social Media/Facebook/Twitter - Most Popular Clubs...QPR Stats re Social Media: Facebook & Twitter

- QPR Get Rochdale at Loftus Road in the League Cup (Carling Cup) - week of August 22)

- Premiership Attendance Stats: With QPR's Stadium Capacity - QPR will be near or at the bottom.

- A Statistical Guide to Points Needed to Stay Up

- Suggest A Caption! - Further Zimbio Photos from QPR-Bolton

- This Week's "Spot The Ball"

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