Making noise

BBC Radio London yesterday hosted a discussion on atmosphere at football grounds and asked QPR1st’s view on the club’s Make some noise campaign.

 A writer taking part raised general issues including the possibility that safe standing could improve the atmosphere at grounds. Turning to Loftus Road, there was no question that there can be a great atmosphere at Lotus Road – one of the Radio London presenters said he had been on the broadcasting gantry above Ellerslie Road when it had been rocking because of the noise around the stadium.

Asked about Make some noise and the atmosphere on Saturday Jeremy Gardner from QPR1st said it was good the club recognised there was an issue – as for Saturday it was clear the noise of the crowd rose when the players on the pitch increased their energy level.

The point was made that QPR supporters have put up with a lot in recent years. There were big promises about what great things would happen on and off the pitch but few were delivered. In the premier league we saw an ever changing cast list of misfit players – now we are watching some pretty dull football. So it hardly surprising supporters aren’t keeping up a high level of noise for 90 minutes.

A practical point was also raised that the club had made a mistake in moving the family area to behind the home goal – at the heart of the home end where you would expect to hear vociferous support.

Another practical issue worth looking at Loftus Road is the music over the loudspeaker system – even playing as the teams was being read out on Saturday – which drowns out and prevents crowd noise at times Loftus Road.

Some of the issues are not unique to Loftus Road but are common to many clubs. Our season ticket holders are ageing, and quite a few of our louder singers were priced out of football during the Briatore era.  Perhaps a safe standing area with cheaper ticket prices could allow more young people to afford live football – and add to the noise?  National action would be needed to allow safe standing.

The most important thing is seeing football worth singing about – passing, moving, entertaining – what QPR should be all about.

Policing Football Meeting

 QPR1st was among representatives of supporter groups from eight London clubs to meet with members of the Metropolitan and British Transport Police yesterday to discuss the policing of football matches. Issues discussed included stewarding standards, policing of areas around football grounds and their costs, filming supporters, and flares.

The police reported the number of football related incidents was falling in London and across the country – while the number of protests against football owners was rising.

The police were asked about the costs of policing matches. We were told the police will only charge clubs when the club has asked them to attend in the stadium itself or areas outside that are owned by the club.  But, this could change.  A High Court judgment in July related to Ipswich decided the police could charge the club for their presence on streets outside the stadium. A chief inspector said the Metropolitan Police was not considering a change of policy now – the Ipswich ruling was subject to appeal – but it is looking at which roads might be affected in case there is a change in the future. That could, of course, mean greater costs for QPR given the closed rounds around Loftus Road on a matchday.

It was also disclosed that the policing around the Olympic stadium for West Ham games takes three times the resources that had been needed at Upton Park.  Those costs are not borne by West Ham, as the deal that gave them use the of the stadium means all policing and stewarding costs are met by the taxpayer. So, West Ham will not be affected by possible increased policing for every other club.

A representative of the Football Supporters Federation told the meeting they were seeing a reduction in complaints about the police – but an increase in complaints about stewards; who are now providing many of the duties previously done by the police. There was concern that police officers had not taken seriously complaints by supporters about bad behaviour by stewards. A chief inspector said that if a steward was responsible for an assault then that should be reported to the police. The police would take it seriously if it was a genuine assault.  A police officer might not be able to respond straightaway police if he or she was dealing with a disturbance.

 Other point raised included:

Millwall supporters raised the issue of police filming them even some distance from the ground. A police officer said there had been specific problems, for example, when police tried to go into some pubs they found “they had not been welcome.”  They could not tolerate no-go areas and the filming was part of enhanced policing.

In a discussion about flares, the police said away supporters for many clubs brought flares to games. People needed to realise they can cause burns and people have suffered through smoke inhalation. Serious injuries had taken place in other parts of Europe where flares are a bigger problem.

The British Transport Police have on occasion obliged away supporters to get on a train, when they have tickets for a later train. A Transport Police officer said when this happened, the police would normally tell staff on the train. An FSF representative said supporters should note the number of an official car that tells them to get on a train in this way – to help in arguing against having to pay an additional fare.

They would look into the possibility of officers responsible for each club having their own twitter accounts.

 At the meeting were supporters from Arsenal, Charlton, Chelsea, Leyton Orient, Spurs, West Ham and Wimbledon as well as from QPR1st.

Serious investigation needed

QPR1st Supporters Trust welcomes the club’s decision to investigate the Daily Telegraph report on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s discussion with undercover reporters claiming to represent a sports company that aimed to sell players to the club. We hope it will be a serious investigation. 

We believe that everyone in a senior position at the club should focus on the club, and must not entertain deals that would conflict with the interests of the club. It is, of course, not unusual for high-profile professionals to be paid to give talks, but it would not be acceptable if this meant accepting money from an organisation that is expecting to profit from future deals with the club.  

Damian Collins of the Commons culture and sport committee has said the practice of a manager taking money from a firm involved in player transfers was a clear conflict of interest and should be banned. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the club must make it clear that such conflicts of interest are not acceptable at QPR.

Burton Town Brewery offers a welcome and free parking

Below is a message received this morning from Burton Town Brewery. Certainly worth a visit for a pre match thirst quencher in a friendly atmosphere.


Burton Town Brewery

We are Burton Town Brewery and welcome both home and away fans to our brewery tap on match days. We are open from 10:00 – 16:00 Tuesday to Saturday (and ’til 20:00 on Fridays). For matches that fall outside of these hours we will be open for 3 hours before kick off on all home game fixtures.

 There are usually at least four craft beers on tap, including ‘Albion – Championship Pale Ale’, plus a locally produced cider, pork pies and burgers. The brewery is less than a 10 minute walk (1/2 mile) from the Pirelli Stadium, and we can also offer loads of free ‘off road’ parking (for cars only), with CCTV. We have a brewery shop selling our hand crafted beers in bottles and minicasks. We also stock beers from other breweries too. So come along and enjoy the great atmosphere in Burton Town Brewery.

 You can find us on Falcon Close (opposite the sorting office), just off Hawkins Lane. Stick DE14 1SG in your satnav!!

 Check us out at

Lee Hoos on Twenty’s Plenty

A Football Supporters Federation blog has today compared Reading, where away fans are charged no more than £20, with QPR’s ticket pricing record – and say they are “teasing” QPR CEO Lee Hoos with critical comments on his recent video on the club’s website.

We welcome the fact that Lee is prepared to talk about the club’s finances and allow debate to take place.  He is right that Loftus Road is an expensive stadium to run, and he is doing a good job in bringing financial competence to the club.  But football must be affordable to the loyal home fan-base – and away fans are vital to the matchday experience too.


On your bike to beat Cancer

Would you like to cycle around London’s football grounds on Sept 2, in support of the campaign to combat prostate cancer? If so, contact

Starting at the Olympic Stadium at 9, the ride to will take in all 13 London Premier and Football League grounds, reaching Loftus Road around 3.45 and finishing at Leyton Orient at about 7pm.

Supporters of Spurs, Chelsea, Leyton Orient and AFC Wimbledon have already signed up to join either for the whole ride or just a part.

Organiser Kevin Fitzgerald is a Board member of the Spurs Supporters Trust who rode the London to Amsterdam cycle ride for Prostate Cancer UK in June).  Now, in conjunction with the charity, he is organising this one day ride and is looking for keen cyclists from London clubs fans to join him either for the whole ride or a more local section.

More about the day and how you can join up is here;

Come on you Rs

The new season is underway and we will be cheering on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and all our playing squad.  We look forward to some great wins, and great performances.

We also know it’s a difficult league and we have a mix of experienced players and others with potential, in a club which is, sensibly, trying to live within its means.  All we ask of the players and team management is that they work hard and do the best they can for the hoops, in preparation and from kick-off to the final whistle.  It will be a long season and we hope all QPR supporters will get behind the team throughout the season.

QPR1st welcome show of support by club for our Polish community

The club have invited representatives from our local Polish community to attend the first match of the season, following the Polish community centre being daubed with graffiti after the Brexit vote. We fully support this gesture and QPR’s public commitment to challenging racism.

Support for former players?

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust welcomes the Club’s announcement of the Forever R’s Club for former players and the first meeting of “Former Players Committee”. This is something that has been long advocated by fans.

QPR1st will welcome hearing whether there are any plans to expand the committee to include additional former players, including those not directly employed by QPR, and perhaps additional fans as well.

This is a start, but we urge the football club to consider how support might be provided to former players who may have served the club well but are facing hardship.

The minutes of the players’ committee state that “this would not be a Club that would provide funds to Former Players who may be ill or experiencing financial hardship. The PFA perform this role for its members”.

Other clubs have adopted a more flexible approach. Reading FC Former Players’ Association links with 200 former players and provides help “including, but not limited to, social and welfare support”.

Everton created a registered charity; The Everton Former Player’s Association. This raises funds at matches, through raffles and special events. According to the charity, money raised goes “towards the medical assistance and other requirements of former Everton players who did not have the luxury of today’s inflated wages. Some players bear the physical scars of giving their all in the Royal Blue jersey, and the Foundation contributes where it can towards medical assistance that improves the lives of these heroes of days gone by.”

We urge the club to look at creative solutions that could provide support to former QPR players where there is genuine need.

Planning permission at Old Oak a small first step to a new stadium?

QPR has had a plan for more than 600 homes as well as offices at Old Oak approved. This is the first significant decision made by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – the body that will decide whether the club will be able to build a new stadium in the Old Oak area.

The new development is called Oaklands, and is being developed by the club and its partner, the Genesis housing association, on a plot of land at Old Oak.  As well as housing, the development will include a new road. This could later become a vital link road into the development area north of the canal and close to Willesden Junction station.

That road, and other pockets of land owned by QPR could prove to be important in future decision-making on proposals for Old Oak.  The club has said that it needs to have interests in housing at Old Oak as part of its plans to raise finance for a new stadium.

QPR1st Supporters Trust believes this planning permission is good news for all those who would like to see a new stadium.  It is good to see evidence of the club working positively with the planning authority for Old Oak; and showing it can deliver on housing and projects than benefit the community.

The story of QPR’s successful planning application was covered in the Standard last night:

Car Giant, who had said they would submit a planning application for their plans in December last year, have embarked on a fourth round of consultation on their plans for land thy own at Old Oak.

The new mayor of London is currently reviewing the work of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, and is expected to make new appointments to its board later in the year.