Helping the police with their inquiries

Supporters from a number of London football clubs, including QPR, attended a meeting at New Scotland Yard this week to review the policing of football matches.

The meeting was chaired by the  Acting Commander for Public Order, Colin Morgan and attended by officers from the Met and Transport Police. It was facilitated by the Football Supporters’ Federation.

Commander Morgan was clear that one objective for the police was to reduce the number of officers involved in football.  As a result, management of queues at some tube stations, for example, would be done by stewards rather than police officers – so the police can spend more time dealing with crime.  His view was that stewards were also better at stewarding than cops (his word) were.

He said there were three big issues for the police:

  • bad behaviour at transport interchanges – at London Bridge, for example where the behaviour of rival supporters was unpleasant for other members of the public
  • racist behaviour, which he felt was improving, and
  • flares – he thought it was only a matter of time before someone was injured by a flare thrown at a game.  Flares are, of course, rare at QPR.

A number of issues were raised by supporters.  

On ticket touting, there was discussion about whether more tout-free zones could be created – emulating the regulations around Wembley.  The Transport Police agreed to be more alert at White City where, occasionally, touts have formed a tight cordon round the station entrance.

A London-based Leeds supporter was concerned about the relative ease with which Leeds supporters could get tickets for home areas in some London clubs and the problems this might cause, particularly in relatively small grounds like Loftus Road. QPR1st, LSA and disabled supporters representatives discussed the issue of away supporters in the home areas with club staff last season – and we will confirm to staff that this might be a particular issue for the Leeds game next season.

Videoing supporters was raised. Commander Morgan recognised that police officers sometimes videoed football crowds more than was necessary.  He thought it was reasonable for some videoing to be done to establish a scene, and if there was concern about particular individuals, but that it was sometimes more continuous. He believed too much filming could be counter-productive when it came to keeping the peace. He and other officers said they had on occasion spoken to their own officers to tell them to reduce filming.  They had no control over police officers outside London and could only advise policemen who might come from a club’s home area.  

There was a plea for better communications around issues such as pub closures for some fixtures.  Commander Morgan said closures were generally up to pub landlords as the police rarely asked pubs to close.  In answer to questions about the police dictating the start times for football matches, he said this was also rare, and that the police advice was not always followed in any case.  For next season, the only games on which the Metropolitan Police will give advice on their timing would be those between Arsenal and Spurs.  The police would advise against, for example, a late Saturday kick-off.  

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Old Oak Stadium Development Update

More than 3,300 QPR supporters responded to the call from the club to tell the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation they support a new stadium at Old Oak.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), established by the Mayor of London, has started work and has taken over planning responsibilities for Old Oak and Park Royal from local authorities. They will be making the decision on whether QPR gets to build a stadium, housing and commercial buildings in the area.

One of the Corporation’s first acts has been to look at a report on a recent consultation on the planning priorities for the regeneration area.  Once these are agreed we expect QPR and Car Giant to submit planning applications – with very different approaches to the first phase of regeneration.

In all 3,414 supporters commented. Most supported the move but 86 opposed it. QPR1st Supporters’ Trust believes the response would have been even greater if the club was more open with supporters and was keeping us all up to date and involved with what is going on.

What is clear from the paper work is that QPR must have sent in a sizeable response to the consultation. The OPDC’s report shows that the club responded under a number of headings; from effects on some roads, through to policy on building height, ensuring local people have access to the canal, and limiting disruption during construction.

The bottom line there is that club has been doing a tremendous amount of planning in recent months, with little consultation with fans, or solid information on the financing and ownership of the proposed stadium.

 A regeneration catalyst?

One of the big issues for the planners is whether the development of Old Oak would benefit from a “regeneration catalyst” – a landmark project that could help give the development a kick-start.

 QPR assert that a new stadium would be an ideal large-scale catalyst.

 Residents who responded supported the delivery of a regeneration catalyst.

 Car Giant, who own most of the land ear-marked for the first phase of development, argue that catalysts for regeneration was being overplayed. It suggests that a range of smaller scale uses and facilities could actually provide better resilience and integration with a predominantly residential and employment led neighbourhood. In addition, Car Giant “alleged that imposing large-scale facilities such as football stadia on the Old Oak area could potentially damage the emerging character of the area and such uses would also reduce the ability of the area to deliver much needed new homes and jobs”.

 Cargiant stated that new homes and jobs would be served by a broad range of ancillary services and facilities such as recreation, arts, leisure, education and health related uses.

Brent and Ealing councils, who have seats on the OPDC board, have asked for further work be undertaken to understand how a large-scale catalyst could be accommodated without compromising open space provision.

One thing is sure. If the planners agree that a catalyst is desirable, then QPR is in the driving seat.  The consultation report showed 12 people supported a “cultural or education use” and the stadium got the vote of 3,336 QPR supporters.

 Open space

 Another area of controversy is how much open space there should be in the development. The three councils – Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Ealing – are concerned there is not enough open space proposed in the planning framework. 

 In contrast, QPR asserted in their representations that the quantum of public amenity space shown in the draft masterplan is too large.


 QPR supported the proposed upgrades to Willesden Junction station. QPR also stated that having a high quality public transport offer will be critical in terms of ensuring a “high PT modal share” from development (in normal English that’s ensuring there would be a high percentage of people using public transport, cycling and walking rather than driving).

 In line with that, “QPR agreed that on-site car parking should be carefully controlled to help maximise the extent of sustainable non-car travel. QPR also noted that importance of providing car parking facilities for wheelchair users.”

 QPR also asserted that the delivery of Hythe Road Overground station as early as possible would help with expediting development.


 QPR is keen to get development underway, while Car Giant warns that starting some of the development too early will add to costs, because of the infrastructure that would have to be provided early.

 Car Giant say it would be unlikely that development would start pre-2022. In contrast, QPR asserted that development across the Old Oak area should start as early as possible.


 For further information please visit the OPDC web site

Posted in Boardroom, Community, QPR1st

Listen up football clubs – pay the London Living Wage!

Even though QPR are no longer in the Premiership we still believe that the Club should pay the living wage to all staff including contractors

Reposted London Assembly Press release, see link to original article below

The London Assembly today urged the Mayor to advance the case for the London Living Wage among Premier League football clubs in London.

With several Premier League clubs benefitting from the Mayor’s support in building new or expanding existing stadiums, it is essential he encourages more clubs to pay the London Living Wage to full and part time staff. 

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion said:

“Low pay is a critical issue for our capital and it’s one that requires urgent attention. Modern London is increasingly being characterised by wage inequality and professional football is a prime example of just how stark wage inequalities can be. It’s great to see more Premier League clubs paying the London Living Wage, but it’s also incredibly disheartening that two-thirds of London clubs have yet to follow suit.

“With several Premier League Clubs benefitting from the Mayor’s support for stadium-led regeneration, it’s now time City Hall used some of its influence to urge clubs to pay the London Living Wage.”

Gareth Bacon AM, who seconded the motion said:

“Premier League clubs are set to benefit hugely from the recently announced £1bn TV rights deal, and it’s only fair that the proceeds are shared by all employees, not just the players. We need to do what we can to boost pay for the lowest earners. I’ll work closely with the Mayor and make sure he uses his influence to make that happen.”

The full motion text reads:

Low pay is an increasingly critical issue in London, with average pay rates continuing to fall in the capital. Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2013, average weekly pay was £613 compared to £700 in real-terms (adjusted for RPI) in 2009.[5] The most recent London Poverty Profile shows the number of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has also increased sharply since 2007 in both absolute terms (from 420,000 to 600,000) and as a proportion of all jobs in the capital (from 13% to 17%). [6]

Few industries highlight the income disparities that characterise modern London better than the highest levels of professional football. This was highlighted by the London Assembly’s January 2014 motion, which denounced the wage inequality between the highest and lowest earners at Premier League football clubs.  

Since that motion was passed, this Assembly notes the positive decision by some Premier League clubs to pay their staff the London Living Wage. Nevertheless, two-thirds of Premier League clubs in London are currently failing to pay their employees enough to live on in the capital. Whilst star players can earn up to £180,000 per week, some contract staff employed by the same club earn the minimum wage of £6.50 per hour.  

This Assembly therefore welcomes the Premier League’s recent announcement that its clubs will pay the London Living Wage to full-time staff from the start of the 2016-17 season[7]. However, this commitment should be extended to include those employees who work part-time. These employees make up much of the workforce employed by football clubs and are typically amongst their lowest paid. 

The Mayor has supported, and been actively involved in, stadium-led regeneration to create job opportunities and improve facilities for local people. With several Premier League clubs benefiting from the Mayor’s support in building new, or expanding existing, stadiums, it is essential that he urges clubs to pay the London Living Wage. 

Furthermore, this Assembly calls upon the Mayor to use his influence during stadium-led development schemes to advance the case for the London Living Wage and to urge London’s other non-Living Wage employers to pay their workers a fair wage.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Andy King R.I.P

QPR 1st Supporters Trust notes the sudden passing of Andy King. A midfielder who made his name at Everton, Andy Joined QPR in 1980 playing 30 times and scoring 9 goals. Over his career Andy had an excellent midfield goal to game ratio of about one goal every four games. 

Andy’s main claim to fame at QPR is that he was the first person to score a goal on the Omniturf pitch in 1981 against Luton.

Andy left the club in 1981 to join West Bromwich Albion to get more first team football. 

QPR 1st Supporters Trust sends its condolences and best wishes to Andy’s family.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Season Ticket Prices

QPR1st welcome the Club announcement that the price of season tickets have been frozen from the last time QPR competed in the Championship. The rise in the age of supporters who qualify for junior season tickets is also appreciated.

 This was a wise decision by the Club and we hope represent a renewed commitment by the Club to connect with and respect its fan base

Posted in All News, Boardroom, QPR1st

A “must read” for anyone who cares about QPR

The link below is to comprehensive analysis of the astonishing financial “management” of QPR in recent years.

Although we are told repeatedly that lessons have been learnt, QPR1st Supporters’ Trust believes the club needs to be honest and open with supporters on how it plans to get the club on to a stable financial footing, and on issues such as how the proposed new stadium will be funded.

 We hope the new chief executive, Lee Hoos, will communicate with supporters and will be able to bring clarity to the club. We look forward to meeting him. 

Posted in Boardroom, QPR1st

R’Story now available via Video on Demand

R’Story: The Story of Queens Park Rangers Football Club is now available on Video-On-Demand via the project’s website

 An updated version of the film (52mins) will be available to rent for a limited time to precede its DVD release in Summer.

 R’Story captures the highs, the lows and the silver linings of the QPR journey through a series of  visuals, hitherto unseen archive and captivating interviews with “Sir Les” Ferdinand, Rodney Marsh, Joey Barton, Mark Lazarus and Kevin Gallen to name a few. But this is not only the club speaking – it’s a film by the fans, for the fans.

QPR1st supporters’ trust was among the organisations providing financial support to the project.

 Audiences are invited to examine not just the fascinating rise (and fall, and rise again!) of QPR, but also to look at a wider story of celebrity culture, race relations, tribalism and belonging.  These are all explored through the prism of football. The film climaxes at last year’s Wembley Play-off final.

The film has sold out in venues such as Bush Theatre and the Lexi Cinema and had steady audience attending local cinemas such as Gate Picture House, Tricycle Theatre and Watermans since its launch VIP film premiere at Westfield in February.

 Richard Williams in his Guardian column “QPR fans’ big screen venture shows bigwigs what really makes a club” said:

Now the fans are getting their own time on the screen in a film called R’Story, which paints a portrait of the club’s modern existence largely from the fans’ perspective. In doing so it reminds us that even at a time when clubs throughout English football are having their traditions and stability undermined by changes of ownership, certain things remain constant – and they are mostly to be found passing through the turnstiles.

The most powerful words in R’Story come from Robert Elms, the radio presenter and a lifelong QPR supporter. A long time ago, Elms says, he realised that when you give your allegiance to a club, what you are really supporting is your fellow supporters.”

 The Octavia Foundation and the QPR in the Community Trust partnered in the creation of the film project which has additionally had the social benefit of helping 37 disadvantaged, unemployed young people to gain valuable skills to help them get into work and education. 

Max Robson, who was given paid work on the project and one of the film’s young directors was also interviewed for London Live.

 To access the film online go to       

Posted in Community, QPR1st

QPR supporters deserve a fair deal on ticket prices next year

Last weekend, before the Newcastle game, QPR supporters were represented alongside fans from Everton, West Ham, Hull, Newcastle and Spurs, all playing that day on London, to back the Football Supporters’ Federation campaign to reduce Premier League ticket prices (and have a swift pint).

 Now, with the last game of the season gone, QPR supporters are still waiting to see if the club will reduce ticket prices significantly for the new season in the Championship.  The dedication of QPR supporters throughout this season should be recognised by a decent reduction in ticket prices.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

QPR1st Welcomes new CEO Lee Hoos

The appointment of Lee Hoos as chief executive for QPR has been welcomed by QPR1st Supporters’ Trust. 

It has been announced that Lee Hoos will be taking up the post at QPR later in the summer. 

The Trust looks forward to meeting Lee Hoos and believe his appointment gives the club an opportunity to reconnect with its supporters.

The club is in need of a CEO who is capable of improving the club’s infrastructure, ensuring the proposed training ground moves forward and that there is progress towards a new stadium  – and of talking to and listening to supporters.

We believe it is possible to build a real partnership between the club and its supporters.  Lee Hoos has an opportunity to make a real difference and ensure our club moves forward through realistic, planned sustainable development.

We note that Mr Hoos has a track record of good communication with supporters at clubs he has previously worked for including Burnley and we look forward to meeting him in the coming months.


Posted in Boardroom, Media, QPR1st

Good Luck Chris Ramsey

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust wishes Chris Ramsey well as the newly appointed chief coach.

Chris and the Director of Football Les Ferdinand face a big job in rebuilding the squad over the coming year.  We hope they will be given the support they need to do that job – ensuring we get the systems in place to recruit young and up and coming players and bring youngsters through from our youth development work; and to get the best from the whole squad.

A lot of work needs to be done but we hope this is step towards a sustainable squad building system for our club, rather than continually reaching for “big names”. 

Posted in All News, Community, QPR1st

Join QPR1st for £5

Membership in the name of
Members email address