The QPR1st Supporters Trust wishes to express our sadness at the news of Amit Bhatia’s resignation. Amit had a very clear vision of QPR as a Club that should respect and listen to supporters’ views. He was keen to work in partnership with independent supporters groups and sought to ensure that the views and aspirations of the fans were taken into account by the Board of Directors.
Amit also had a passionate belief that QPR should have a strong role within the local community. As Chairman of the QPR in the Community Trust he played a major role in ensuring that QPR in the Community went from strength to strength.
Amit fully appreciated the harm done to the relationship between the Club and the fans by the ticket pricing system introduced for the 2008-09 Season, in particular the removal of a discount for existing season ticket holders and the extent of the increase. He would have been determined that the Club did not repeat these mistakes but unfortunately failed to convince his fellow Board members. Unable to publically support the Club’s pricing policy and concerned at the treatment of his friend and colleague Ishan Sakensa, his sense of honour left him with no choice but to resign.
In his open letter, Amit comments that his vision, strategy and direction for QPR is ‘very different’ from that of the other shareholders. That begs the question as to what exactly their plans are. Mr Ecclestone and Mr Briatore have so far not been willing to meet with QPR1st and therefore our only clues as to what they have in mind comes the interviews they have given to journalists which offer scant comfort to the fans. Despite their previous lack of enthusiasm to meet face to face with us and other independent supporters groups, we will nevertheless write to them to request a meeting in the hope that they will sooner or later begin to see the value of working in partnership with the fans rather than in opposition.
QPR 1st has always sought to work with the club to promote on field success and financial viability. We share the delight of everyone in the QPR community at a successful season and a return to the FA Premier League. We now want to see the club grow and develop. The way we see this being achieved is by having stable management at all levels of the club. We hope the owners use their financial and business skills to ensure the club remains financially secure. We hope the football management, staff and players will be given the appropriate environment to deliver success. Most of all we want to see mutual respect between all parts of the QPR community that will allow every-one of us to make our club successful.
QPR1st wishes to offer the LSA our support in their decision to host an open meeting for fans at the Barley Mow Public House 82 Duke Street W1K 6JG to which they have asked the Club to send a representative. We hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity to canvass fans views about a possible campaign of protest. We would also welcome hearing your views by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help inform our own response.