After careful consideration, and following correspondence between QPR 1st and Chris Wright, in which we have sought to get an agreement that the sale of Wasps and the Twyford Avenue training ground should include a ‘buy-back’ option for any new owner of Loftus Road plc, we intend to use our proxy to vote AGAINST the resolution at tomorrow’s EGM. We urge other shareholders attending to follow suit. Consideration was also given to abstaining, but that option was rejected in favour of voting against the resolution.
QPR 1st therefore make the following statement:
“QPR1st will be using its voting power at the EGM held at Loftus Road on Friday 18 May 2001 to vote against the resolution to sell Wasps Rugby Union Club and the Twyford Avenue training ground to Chris Wright and any partner. We consider that not enough time has been allowed between the administration order and the proposed sale in order for other interested parties to submit a bid.
We also consider that the proposed sale has not taken into consideration the full effects it will have on the long-term future of Queens Park Rangers and the Loftus Road stadium. Concern is raised in particular on the effect of the sale for any potential purchaser of Loftus Road plc, making the whole package potentially less attractive and therefore reducing interest.
It is our understanding, although we are actively seeking confirmation of this, that the sale would leave Queens Park Rangers with only 5-6 years guaranteed tenure at the Twyford Avenue site, and thus the long-term uncertainty that this creates cannot be supported by QPR 1st.
QPR 1st fully supports the principle of raising finance to safeguard the future of Queens Park Rangers Football Club, although in the absence of an unequivocal and binding undertaking that the sale can be reversed at the same price within an agreed period, as stated above, QPR1st has decided to vote against the resolution.”
QPR 1st representatives have made contact with Wasps fans and have either spoken already or are waiting to speak to them regarding the proposed sale. We also have a planned meeting this evening with the Wasps Trustees. Early indications are that Wasps fans and trustees will vote FOR the deal. There appears to be concerns amongst the Wasps community that the City consortium widely reported as leading bidders for Loftus Road plc appear only to be interested in QPR, and Chris Wright has their support for that reason alone. More on this to follow.
QPR 1st representatives have been in talks with CARA, the local residents association at Twyford Avenue. There are several issues of concern surrounding the present use and proposed sale of the training ground. We are presently addressing these as vigorously as possible, and will report as soon as clarification has been obtained.
On a lighter note, the wording of the cross-party letter (see yesterday), signed by the three leading prospective parliamentary candidates in QPR’s constituency, was cleared by lawyers this morning. The lawyer who rang to give us the nod, Rebecca Taylor, said she was happy with it from a legal perspective – and added from a personal one, too. “Good luck with it,” she said. “And I really do mean ‘good luck’ – I’m a Wimbledon fan…”
The letter, giving support to QPR 1st and for greater fan in-put into the running of the club, will be signed shortly. We are also in talks with the Mayor and the local council and looking at a variety of ways in which we can strengthen the links between QPR and the local community. Initial areas to work in, under partnership, include public relations, planning and regeneration.