Is the Club better run now than 10 years ago?

Do you think your club is being run better now than it was ten years ago? That was one of the questions QPR1st was asked by FCBusiness – a magazine looking at the business side of football – which has just published an edition looking at fans’ views. We were also asked about what the club gets wrong and what it gets right.   We said: “It consults with supporters on some significant issues and is now trying to manage the finances of the club better.  Things that the club gets wrong are amateurish tweets from the chairman, and a lack of clarity on the medium and long-term plans for the club.  Reflections of this include contradictory statements and inconsistent decision-making.”

We were asked what one thing would you like to see changed at your club immediately? We said: “Face to face communications with the chairman and management team, not just the CEO, director of football and manager; welcome though this is.”

We have the impression that the owners appear to make too many decisions on the hoof in response to the short term performance of the team rather than sticking to a long term strategy. That was reflected in a number of answers we gave:

What one thing would you like to see changed at your club in the long term? Our answer: “Firstly, the existence of a clear strategy of where the current owners see the club and its business in a few year’s time; something that will convince more supporters that the club is in competent hands. Allied to this; more influence for supporters in decision-making and discussions on the future.”

Our answer to that question about whether club affairs are managed better now than ten years ago was: “Better – but that would not be difficult. QPR has been very badly run for many years with owners and chief executives who neither understand football and how to run a football club, nor the traditions of the club.

Other issues raised included ticket prices and games rescheduled to meet the demands of TV. We said there should be a significant reduction in the number of games that have their dates or times changed for TV purposes. Do any other sporting or entertainment activities suffer this? The changes are unfair and often expensive for game attending supporters.

The full article is here: (See pages 43-45)

What do you think and what do you believe are the big issues for the cub in 2017? Let us know on

QPR1st supports the call for major reform of the Football Association

Damian Collins MP, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said yesterday that the FA’s current structure “makes it impossible for it to reform itself. As such, there is currently no effective governing body for football in England that is capable of responding to the challenges that face the modern game.”

 Supporters Direct (SD) and The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) have supported the call for a clearer and more representative FA and, if necessary, Government legislation to bring about change.

 We were involved in a meeting of SD and the FSF that came up with 20 recommendations on how the FA could be more representative and an effective regulator of the game.

 More on that is here:

Child Abuse Statement

QPR1st welcomes the club’s statement that it takes historical child abuse allegations made against a former employee very seriously and that it will cooperate fully in any forthcoming investigation. It is also appreciated that the club now has robust recruitment procedures and safeguarding polices in place.

It is not clear what exactly the Club knew about Gieler’s activities. Gieler was not charged let alone convicted of child sex abuse. Accounts suggest that incidents occurred when no other adults were present and the boys themselves did not report what was going on. It can be argued that Gieler should have been more closely supervised but no evidence has been so far presented that the Club was involved in any kind of cover-up or  that it attempted to pay off or intimidate any victims that came forth.

Nevertheless the media is clearly suggesting that the Club did  know by implying that this was why he was sacked. The club is quite rightly being circumspect about what information it releases into the public domain. Nevertheless if Club records indicate that he was sacked for an unrelated reason, then it is in the Club’s interest to make this known.

We would ask the club to be proactive in contacting  former youth players  to advise  them about what support is available from appropriate services if they were victims of sex abuse. We would also urge the FA to complete its investigation into an issue that is casting such a dark shadow over the game as a matter of urgency.


Welcome Back Ian Holloway

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust welcomes Ian Holloway back to Loftus Road.  He has made huge contributions to the club in the past and we wish him the best of fortune on his return. 

We know he will work had for the club, and we feel sure all supporters will get behind Ian and the team. We hope the club gives Ian the time needed to turn things round on the pitch.

Hasselbaink’s departure

Sadly, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s time at QPR did not see an entertaining, passing football at either Loftus Road or away from home. We wish him well for the future. We trust that likely replacements for JFH have already been identified by the club and that the new manager will be someone able to get the best from the squad; we don’t expect miracles, but we do expect hard-working players, team spirit, and a clear style of play that supporters can really get behind.

QPR Coach offer welcomed

Well done QPR. It makes us proud that the club should work with the local council to offer help to people in great need. Life isn’t just about what happens on the pitch; there’s a world out there and people who need help.

Olympic stadium investigation welcomed

QPR1st Supporters Trust welcomes the Mayor of London’s decision to investigate the finances of the Olympic Stadium.  In the interests of fairness in sport and for taxpayers, the Trust supports the Coalition call for all costs, not only the rebuild costs, to be examined in detail.

We are a member of the Olympic Stadium Coalition of supporter groups calling for openness and investigation of the deal that handed the stadium to West Ham, with the taxpayer paying for the conversion of the stadium and day to day costs such as stewarding, policing and maintenance.

The coalition statement is here

What’s your view on proposals to change the football leagues?

The Football Supporters’ Federation has launched a survey  so it can get the views of supporters on proposals to change English football leagues.

The Football League (EFL) is consulting its 72 clubs on a range of proposals – the ‘Whole Game Solution’ – that affect the structure of the three divisions below the Premier League; including changing the number of teams in each division, changing the English football calendar, regionalising the bottom two divisions, creating an extra division, a winter break and moving two rounds of the FA Cup.

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) will lead a delegation of fans meeting the EFL next month and the ‘Whole Game Solution’ will be at the top of the agenda.  It wants to hear the views of fans on the ‘Whole Game Solution’ and the other issues it raises in order to take the views of genuine supporters to the EFL. The survey closes midday Monday 24th October, please follow this link.

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.