Football supporters make a difference

Congratulations to Liverpool supporters for their campaign which has led to a u-turn by the club’s owners with a two-year freeze on Anfield ticket prices – and to the Football Supporters Federation which successfully called for an increase in the number of FA Cup final ticket going to supporters of the competing teams.

Both cases showed that concerted action by football supporters can influence clubs and governing bodies.

Liverpool ticket price freeze

The Liverpool campaign shows what can be done by football fans at a club when they come together in their different groups and as individuals, working to right a wrong. The success was built on a campaign and protests against high ticket prices which have been ongoing for many months. It culminated in the 77th minute walk-out by 10,000 supporters following the announcement of next year’s ticket prices.

We believe clubs, to thrive in the long-term, must have deep links into their communities and ordinary local people must not be priced out of live football.

7,000 more tickets for fans in the Cup final

The FA has agreed to increase the number of FA Cup final tickets given to fans of competing finalists by 7,000.

This follows a campaign by supporter organisations led by the FSF. Last month the FSF wrote to the FA in a letter signed by more than 90 fan groups – including QPR1st – calling on the governing body to increase the number of FA Cup final tickets for fans of the two competing finalists.

Previously, only 25,000 of Wembley’s 90,000 seats were given to each competing team. This will now increase to 28,732 – an overall increase from 71% to 80% of available tickets.

See more on the FSF action at:

Posted in Community, QPR1st

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust thanks Amit Bhatia for his work as chairman of the Community Trust.

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust thanks Amit Bhatia for his work as chairman of the Community Trust.

His decision to step down as chairman of QPR in the Community Trust comes after seven years in that role. Under his chairmanship the Community Trust was placed on firm foundations, becoming a registered charity, and has thrived as an organisation developing innovative and wide-ranging projects making a making a real difference to people’s lives in the community.

We hope his successor continues with effective support for the Community Trust and its hardworking staff.

Amit is also vice-chairman of QPR, and has been influential in this role at various times in recent years. His stepping down from the community Trust has inevitably sparked rumours about his future with the club. We hope this will be clarified as soon as possible.

The club statement is at

Posted in Boardroom, QPR1st

QPR1st says the club should break its silence on new stadium plans

Eight weeks of consultation on a “local plan” for Old Oak – where QPR has said it wants to build a new stadium – has started.

The consultation, by the planning authority for the area – the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – is on a plan that provides the blueprint for those who want to put forward planning applications. The plan will not be finally agreed until Spring 2017.

However, the chair of the development corporation has announced that five planning “pre-applications” are already with the Development Corporation – including one from Car Giant.

Another  public consultation is underway on plans for housing on a nearby pocket of land. These plans have been drawn up by QPR Holdings, Genesis Housing and Stadium Capital Development.

And, of course, Car Giant are consulting on their plans for the area.

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust believes that, with so much going on, there can be no justification for the club remaining silent on its plans for a new stadium. Most fans are supportive of efforts to build a new stadium – but without any information from the club coming doubts are bound to grow.

Supporters will understand if the original proposals, announced in December 2013 have had to be changed, or if other options are now under consideration. Clearly, the timescale must now be radically different.

The Development Corporation view

At a meeting of the Greater London Assembly Regeneration Committee on Tuesday development corporation chairman Sir Edward Lister and chief executive Victoria Hills said their immediate focus was on acquiring publicly-owned land and they will work on an infrastructure strategy (transport, utilities, schools and health services) until 2018/19.

Lister said development can go ahead whether HS2 is approved or not (originally the development was to be centred around the HS2 station) because there will still be a Crossrail station. 

Another observation was that one option being looked at would be a deck across the top of the Crossrail depot.  This would be next to the pocket of land QPR holdings want to develop. We wonder if the deck would be big enough for a stadium. The club may know.

The draft local plan from the development corporation published yesterday does not make direct reference to a football stadium, but it does say that Old Oak South – south of the canal and close to the proposed Crossrail station – could have a potential “catalyst use”, which means a landmark development. A football stadium would be just such a catalyst.

Significantly, the area north of the canal, largely owned by Car Giant is earmarked for housing and small and medium enterprises rather than a larger-scale catalyst.

Most of the area around the station will be developed after 2026. We do not know if some of the land will be open for development before then. The club may know.

Further information

Meetings are taking place as part of these consultations.

More information and meeting dates on the development corporation consultation, which continues until 31 March, is here

More information and meeting dates on the current Car Giant consultation on its plans is here

Information and meeting dates on the QPR holdings proposal for new housing at Old Oak Lane is here

The official QPR website section on the new stadium was last updated on 22 April 2015.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Alan Barnes

We understand that long time QPR supporter and LSA member Alan Barnes was involved in an accident involving a collision with a car this evening prior to the game in Nottingham. We would like to thank the paramedic who attended the accident and tended to Alan before the Ambulance arrived. We have heard that Alan was taken to hospital in Nottingham and has sustained serious injury but is no longer on the danger list. We wish Alan a full and speedy recovery.

Posted in Community

Campaign for openness on West Ham Olympic Stadium deal

QPR1st supports the campaign coalition of supporter trusts calling for the deal for West Ham to use the Olympic stadium to be made public.  As West Ham and the London Legacy Development Corporation are reported as  disagreeing over the meaning of the agreement this seems more important than ever.

After a Freedom of Information request the Information Commissioner said the deal should be made public but the London Legacy Development Corporation has appealed against that decision and a tribunal started to consider the issue yesterday. This began but was adjourned in the afternoon and will continue at a later date, yet to be confirmed. 

 A statement from the campaign coalition of supporter trusts is here:

 “We note no decision has been reached today in the London Legacy Development Corporation appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ICO ruling that the financial terms of the LLDC contract for the use of the Olympic Stadium by West Ham United should be published in full.

“We trust the Tribunal committee will reconvene the hearing at the earliest possible opportunity, and conclude a process which has now cost the taxpayer £21,000 in appeal costs accumulated by the LLDC alone.

 “During the two hour open session this morning, we heard nothing to persuade us that revealing the contract in full would, indeed, impact on the stadium operators’ ability to secure competitive arrangements with other potential users, which now forms the backbone of the LLDC argument. This is a marked change from the LLDC’s original argument that disclosure would mainly negatively impact on West Ham United itself.

 “We also note that no representative from stadium operators Vinci, anyone from E20 (the partnership between the LLDC and London Borough of Newham), and significantly, West Ham United or any other potential or existing user was represented at today’s session. This leads us to question the fundamental assertion from the LLDC that the disclosure of financial material could be commercially damaging.

“We remain determined to see full publication of the financial terms of the contract. This is about ensuring public money is used well and that it is not used to give one club a financial advantage over others.”

 A report from a journalist attending the hearing is here

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Government report says supporters should get a bigger say in their football clubs

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust has welcomed recommendations from a Government Expert Working Group to give football supporters a bigger say in their clubs.

The report says “Supporter engagement… means dialogue between a football club and its fans, ensuring that the views of the fans – the lifeblood of any football club – are listened to, and acted upon.”

The report’s launch yesterday at AFC Wimbledon, the League 2 club formed and owned by its supporters’ trust, was attended by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and representatives of Supporters’ Direct, the Football Supporters’ Federation, the FA, Premier League and Football League.

We welcome the report’s recommendation that regular meetings should “give supporters visibility of the strategic direction of their football clubs, and regular opportunities to discuss the issues which matter to supporters… This will include a commitment to meeting a representative group of supporters at least twice a year to discuss strategic / major issues.”

QPR1st believes the club has made progress in recent months with the creation of the fans’ consultative committee and the chief executive’s willingness to speak at a fans forum.  In line with the report’s recommendation we think this should be taken further with on-going structured discussions with supporters on the club’s strategy for the future – not limited to operational issues.

We fully support the report when it says; “This structured dialogue can help facilitate a partnership approach between a club and its supporters, recognising that supporters care about the strategic direction of the club as well as operational issues and the match day experience.”

We also strongly support a recommendation that the FA should consider how best it engages with representative supporter groups within its decision-making structures.

The report noted that there was only one supporter representative on the current 123 person FA Council.


What they said about the report

At the report’s launch Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said;  “Supporters are the lifeblood of the clubs they support but over time there has been a growing disconnect between them and those that run their clubs. So it was right that government set up this group and brought the football authorities and supporters together to see what more can be done for clubs to engage with fans.

“The agreement to have meaningful dialogue between clubs and supporters on issues that matter to them, which can include strategic and ownership related issues, is a big step forward.

Supporters Direct chair Brian Burgess said; “This report has the potential to mark the start of a new era of structured meaningful dialogue between clubs and Trusts, supported by changes which will lead to more opportunities for supporter ownership. Implemented correctly it can be a welcome step forward in a long-term process of reform, helping to reconnect clubs with their communities.”

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters Federation, said; “A report, endorsed by the football authorities, that requires clubs to listen to supporters on strategic issues including finance, governance and ownership, has to be a step in the right direction.

“All too often, crucial club decisions have been taken over the heads of fans, with the real financial and strategic position of clubs shrouded in mystery.

“Fans aren’t only concerned with facilities and team performance; we also care deeply about the ownership, governance and strategic direction of the clubs we support.”


Further information

Other recommendations made by the Expert Working Group include:

– In the event of a club becoming insolvent, administrators would be required to meet with Supporters Trusts, with a credible Trust given an opportunity to bid for the club

– Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation to develop a database of suitable professional experts who are football fans who would be willing to provide pro-bono advice to supporters’ bids

– The football authorities agreed to keep the Owners and Directors Test under constant review and will take into account any feedback received from the supporter organisations through structured dialogue to ensure it achieves its intended purpose at all times.

– Any planned substantial changes to club colours or crests to be discussed with fans as part of the structured engagement.

–  The FA to assess how to best engage with representative supporter groups within its decision making structures as part of its current review process

See more at:

Posted in Boardroom, Community

Don Howe R.I.P

QPR1st were saddened to learn of the death of Don Howe today at the age of 80.

Although Don will be remembered most by the general footballing world for his time at Arsenal as a player and manager and with England as a coach, QPR supporters will fondly remember his time with us. Although relatively brief this was a period when he laid the foundations for one of the best teams the club has had, bringing in quality players and earning some memorable victories before being replaced by Gerry Francis in 1991.

Our condolences go to his family.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Season Ticket Prices 2016-2017

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust welcomes the club’s announcement this week of “earlybird” prices for next year’s season tickets.

We think the club decision to open season ticket sales to existing season ticket holders in December, with a price that is fixed whichever league we are in next year is a step in the right direction in terms of recognising the importance of current supporters.

This is good news and comes alongside some improvements in communication with supporters, including the survey on the crest and through the supporters consultation committee, and what sounded like a thorough process for appointing our new manager. These are positive signs that suggest our club may be emerging from a long period of poor and erratic management.

We have not yet been told the full story on ticket prices. The club has not announced the general sale price of season tickets but has said these will be at least 30 per cent higher.  This will be a substantial rise. We hope it will not put season tickets out of the reach of the ordinary fan.  We also hope that the full pricing structure is fair to those supporters who cannot for whatever reason buy season tickets but rely on tickets for individual matches. By keeping ticket prices at an affordable level we can further build sustainable support for QPR across west London and beyond.

We look forward to working further with the club in 2016 to ensure supporters views and concerns are listened to, and that the club shares its plans for the future with the most important people – supporters.

Supporters can vote for the new crest until 31 December here

Posted in Community, QPR1st

West Ham Olympic Stadium LDDC update

The London Assembly has unanimously voted for the rental agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham United to be published in full.

 The Olympic Stadium Coalition, a coalition of 14 supporters trusts – including QPR1st – has been meeting London Assembly members and MPs to push for the details of West Ham United’s deal for the Olympic Stadium to be made public.

QPR1st supports this because there is concern that the stadium deal may give West Ham an unfair financial advantage over other clubs. Only full publication of the deal will reveal whether the deal is fair in terms of football – and to the taxpayer who is footing the bill for rebuilding, maintenance, staffing and much of the costs of the stadium that would normally be met by the football club.

Assembly members made a direct reference to the ‘considerable public interest’ in the issue.

The stadium coalition coalition has offered its thanks to Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat members of the Assembly, all of whom have refused to allow this issue to disappear off the agenda. It has asked them to continue to press London Mayor Boris Johnson to back with actions his stated view that the terms of the deal should be published.

The Information Commissioner has said the LDDC must publish the deal after its secrecy was challenged under the freedom of information Act. The Mayor, as the person who oversees the LLDC he has the power to force them to cease challenging that verdict and to publish.

 The Assembly agreed:

“This Assembly notes the considerable public interest in the Concession Agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham United FC for their rental of the Olympic Stadium.

 “This Assembly believes the LLDC was wrong to redact the released document, and was wrong to appeal the Information Commissioner’s ruling that the document should be published in full.

 “This Assembly therefore calls on the LLDC to drop its appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling and to publish the Concession Agreement in full.”

 More information on the Assembly vote is here:

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Hasselbaink Statement

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust welcomes Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to the club.

 We hope he has a long and successful time with us as manager.

We are pleased that the club does not seem to have simply thrown money at an issue – but have appointed a man who has done well in lower leagues and may well be ready to take a step up.

If he is able to motivate talent, and to build and organise a team he will do well here.  And in the year when the club is remembering that special team of 1975/6, it would be great if he can move forward to develop a team that plays competitively and with flair too.  We hope the club will give him the opportunity to develop existing talent and, in time, to bring in new young players to build an exciting team to take us forward.

We look forward to more information on the team management roles at the club. Chris Ramsey was senior coach whereas Hasselbaink is manager, with Les Ferdinand as director of football.  We would like to know which responsibilities go with which job.

We would also like to sincerely thank Neil Warnock and Kevin Blackwell for stepping in and bringing a new level of organisation to the team on the pitch.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

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