Report from initial meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall

At Hammersmith Town Hall last week, the QPR 1st interim committee, of which I am one, was given a vote of confidence via debate on the floor and a show of hands at the end to go ahead and take forward the process of setting up a Supporters Trust under the Supporters Direct initiative, which is backed by government, the FA, the Premiership, the Football League and the PFA. We also received support for a Supporters Trust at QPR from the local council, mayor and MP.

One of the declared aims and objectives of a Supporters Trust is “to deliver in a controlled manner” – in other words, QPR 1st is not just another ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ protest group. The objectives are both short- and long-term. The formation of QPR 1st has enabled us to bring together an impressive range of skills from within the supporter base and we can now call on professional advice and guidance in the field of administration, corporate law, surveying and accountancy, as well public and media relations. Frankly, what I know about administration can be written large on the side of a matchbox, but I’m not only happy, I’m bloody grateful too that within our supporter base there are equally concerned fans who do have that expertise and who are willing to advise and in-put accordingly.

Since last week, we have been working flat out, each of us with designated areas of responsibility – shareholders, administration, local politics, technology, media & PR, fund-raising, and so on. To each – for want of a better description – working group, we have or in the process of making contact with those who have registered to QPR 1st and who are willing to in-put their own skills, commitment and enthusiam. QPR 1st is no-one’s ego trip – it is about showing how a determined, focused, dedicated group of supporters can work to the benefit of fellow supporters and the good of the club. That’s the ‘good of the club’ as the majority of QPR fans determine it to be.

One of the most important aspects, and one we have devoted a huge amount of time to, is how we provide feedback to ALL Rangers – or at least, as many as is humanly possible. We are very mindful that not everyone has access to the Internet. Which is why we are putting out a leaflet explaining progress to date, and so on, at the Stockport game. Nothing is secretive, nothing is held back. There are no hidden agendas. And there are certainly no conspiracies.

All of us are working flat out, around our day jobs, and most of the work on putting things into place is occurring in the early hours of the morning – the best time we’ve discovered to communicate effectively. There ain’t a lot of sleep going on here, as a result.

The meeting with Nick Blackburn was not only arranged late, it was an informal thing. For the record, I wasn’t at it. The meeting with the Big Cheese takes place next week, and that is information provided in the newsletter/leaflet on Saturday. My own concerns when told that the dreaded ‘M’ word had been mentioned were of alarm, but I soon had my fears allayed when it was explained that it was really more of a throwaway line from Blackburn. Considering every QPR fan is mindful of the possibility – no matter how remote – that Wright would be as out of touch with the majority of fans’ views on a merger as he appears to be on the ‘ground move’ issue, I don’t for one moment believe those who have registered support for QPR 1st would expect us to run around like Corporal Jones out of Dad’s Army just because Nick Blackburn was embarking on a little fishing exercise.

That’s not to be complacent. But we are working hard at building up the trust (as in confidence) of QPR fans. We can only do that by working in a calm, controlled manner and that is what we will continue to do.

Dave Thomas