Representatives from QPR 1st met on Thursday night with Clive Taylor, who together with Richard Thompson has submitted a bid. Our understanding is that it falls well short of the bid tabled by Andrew Ellis – which in itself falls well short of the renewed interest tabled by the Lord Razzall Consortium.

Talks between ourselves and Clive were informal and concentrated more on the conceptual role of supporters in the future of a successful QPR than the actual details of their bid. In that sense, it was a positive meeting – with Clive, a QPR fan from the days of chartered trains and European ties played at Highbury, acknowledging that the game had moved on in the last few years, and greater partnership between the board and the fans was the way forward for the club.

The consortium consists of himself and Richard Thompson. It seems he met Richard nine years ago through QPR. He told us very little of himself. He and Richard Thompson want to purchase QPR and Loftus Road. They have no intention of moving the club away from Loftus Road. He doesn’t like rugby, and feels Chris Wright’s biggest mistake was in floating us and bringing the rugby on board. They have a five-year plan in which they hope to get us back to the Premiership. They intend to run the club as Jim Gregory did. They will give Ian Holloway a chance, but feel the club needs a fresh start all round.

“And George Graham?” we asked. “No comment,” came the reply.

Clive could not or would not answer any financial questions. The subject of fans playing a greater role in the running of clubs was talked about at length. Clive wanted to know more about QPR 1st. We explained the concept of supporters trusts and how the face of football is changing. He assured us that meetings would not be a problem. Supporter representation at board level was broached and although he didn’t count this out, he was cautious and said how an element of trust would be needed by all concerned.

Clive pressed his case well with certain lines, like “we’ll keep the club at Loftus Road for the foreseeable future”, but we don’t think he understood fully what QPR 1st is about, despite meeting for two hours. He did though make all the right noises – “sound financial management”, “five-year plan to get back to the Premiership”, “family club with family tradition”.

At the start he seemed to see us almost as a fund-raiser for QPR. He seemed anxious when he asked about our intentions to gain a seat on the board. He talked about inviting QPR 1st members to sit in the directors box at games occasionally and to have the chance to meet Richard Thompson and go and meet everyone after. We explained that QPR 1st is about building a business-like relationship, not a “gesture” (as he put it) that Richard Thompson would be “happy to make”. He also effectively said that trust needs to be built up before we can take any role in the running/marketing of the club.

We discussed marketing. He talked about the amount of cash that Richard Thompson used to generate from boxes. As for his plans, Clive said a bid had been tabled and proof of funds proffered. He says he will be hands-on and full-time chairman. He will run Rangers at a loss and make up for that by returning it to its old status as a selling club, generating players through the youth system and selling them on.

QPR 1st will continue with efforts to talk with other interested bidders.

We are fully aware that in this time of great uncertainty for QPR the need for good, accurate information is paramount. Although we remain in dialogue with both the administrator and Chris Wright, neither is under any obligation to keep us informed about the progress of any bid or interest from fresh sources.

But we are as much a pro-active supporters trust as we are a reactive one, and many of our efforts and initiatives to safeguard the future of the club have to be conducted within the bounds of confidentiality, diplomacy and internal politics. The situation at QPR is a very complex one, and there is a good deal of vested interest involved. That is often fuelled with the spreading of misinformation, almost exclusively through the press and the anonymity afforded by messageboards; and as frustrating as it is to read wild, inaccurate stories relating to QPR’s future, we will not jeopardise our own position within the bigger picture by becoming involved in such distractions.

QPR 1st remains committed to safeguarding the future identity of QPR as a West London club. Our policy remains to talk with potential new owners and encourage them to consult with the fans and be entirely open about their plans for QPR. We have stated that representatives from QPR 1st will make themselves available anywhere, any time should an interested party choose to make public their intentions through the supporters trust.

Both those policies came into play last week with press reports of a fresh bid by Pete Winkelman’s Milton Keynes Consortium, and the possible return of ex-chairman Richard Thompson.

As far as we understand it, the increased bid by Winkelman, from a reported £2.5m to around £6.5m, now includes Loftus Road as well as QPR. However, as the intention is still to relocate the club to Milton Keynes, QPR 1st remains opposed to it. We do not see why a successful bid should require a move from Loftus Road. Furthermore, we are confident Chris Wright fully understands that, whilst there are alternative options available to safeguard the future of the club, selling to the Milton Keynes Consortium would be met in the main with anger and hostility by QPR fans.

The possible return of Richard Thompson is interesting, to say the least. We have noted the reaction to the news – at least from the relatively small sample of those who post on the messageboards and list – which has been surprisingly positive. Despite unfounded accusations of being hostile to bidders, QPR 1st policy with the Thompson bid, as with any other, is to get as much detailed information as possible and present it to the supporters.

QPR 1st has renewed its plea to potential new owners to come forward and buy QPR and the Loftus Road ground.

Loftus Road plc, which comprises Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the Loftus Road stadium, is currently in administration, and up for sale.

QPR 1st spokeswoman Libby Magrill said: “Our understanding is that none of the reported bids have yet been finalised. This is naturally creating a climate of apprehension amongst the fans. Owner Chris Wright has pledged to support the club financially through until October. But that is less than four months away, and the long-term future of the club remains uncertain.”

QPR 1st is inviting potential new owners to take over the club and work in partnership with the fans. The message from QPR 1st to any new owner is that they don’t have to expect to lose money by keeping QPR at Loftus Road.

Libby Magrill said: “The outside perception of QPR is that the club is haemorrhaging money and can’t operate within budget outside the Premiership. Therefore buyers are not flocking to our door. If one of football’s defining characteristics is to ignore normal business practice and freelance the whole exercise on a seat-of-pants basis, then maybe it’s time someone did it by the book.

“With the right business plan, realistic for a club in the Second Division, and working in constructive partnership with the fans, there is no reason why a club owning its own stadium and enjoying good support cannot operate successfully.”

It’s been just over six weeks since QPR 1st was launched at Hammersmith Town Hall… but it seems a lifetime ago now for the 15 of us charged with bringing the Trust to fully-fledged status within three calendar months.

The result of where we are up to now, the progress made in that time, the contacts established, and the strategies put in place have resulted from countless phone calls, a dozen committee meetings – but mostly, thanks to a List system, a grand total of… 2,345 related emails as we deliberate (and occasionally argue) the way to take QPR 1st forward. That’s not to mention the phone calls, the emails and the discussions taking place amongst the various sub-groups and those co-opted to them. It’s proven a huge task – a full-time one for all of us really. Not a few of us are running out of goodwill with our bosses!

With the launch of the new, improved website, then, we thought it an appropriate point to inform about progress to date.

Administration 
We have lines of communication open with Chris Wright, the administrator Ray Hocking and his team, and the Brian Melzack and Milton Keynes consortiums. Our understanding is that no finalised bid has yet been tabled by any party.

We fully understand how this is creating a climate of apprehension amongst the fans, especially when much of the media coverage is speculative or ill-informed. Without being complacent in any shape or form, there is no evidence within the dynamics of the situation at the club as we understand them, and are party to, that makes us believe QPR are in any imminent danger of folding. But we are a pro-active organisation, as well as a reactive one, and QPR 1st is putting in place both short-term contingency plans and a long-term business plan to ensure that the identity and future of the club is protected.

Sales 
Although unable to prevent the sale of Wasps or the Twyford Avenue training ground to Chris Wright, our intervention at the EGM and subsequent challenging and alteration of the resolutions at least ensures QPR will benefit financially from any future sell-on or change of use of the training ground. As for Loftus Road and QPR, we have been given written and verbal assurances from Chris Wright that he will do everything in his power to ensure that the two are kept as a single entity, and our expectation is that he will fulfil that promise.

Skills 
One of the pledges of any supporters trust is to utilise the skills and enthusiasm of the fan-base. To date, we have received lots of practical help, practical suggestions and offers of help in the future from right across the QPR support. It is hugely motivating for us. Someone willing to put letters into an envelope plays as big a part in the operation as those willing to donate their professional services. Already we have been able to utilise the skills of fans expert in finance, law and media.

Communication
We fully recognise that not all QPR fans have access to the Internet, and we are currently in the process of sending out an interim newsletter to those who have registered without an email address. This website will remain an important method of communicating information, and full use will be made of email updates as well. We are also setting up a dedicated phone line to convey information. This will be done on the cheapest rate service we can find. All members will receive, through the post, a quarterly newsletter as part of their membership.

The website is intended to be inter-active. There are already ways to communicate your ideas, views and opinions to QPR 1st, but in time that will extend to your being able to submit marketing ideas, provide your own ‘scouting’ information (the signing of Hampton’s Leroy Griffiths was as a result of his name being put forward by QPR 1st), and any number of similar initiatives which will draw upon the knowledge of the QPR fan-base – so that in time all fans will be able to play an active part in the running of the club. We will also shortly be adding sections on community, networking, Junior R’s – and much more besides.

Disinformation 
Inevitably when vested interest is at stake, we have to contend with disinformation. The best weapon against this is for us to provide regular updated information. There, though, in these early days, those whose agenda is to undermine QPR 1st (and we know who you are) have the advantage. Already, for example, we have seen instances of people using the anonymity of messageboards to spread false and malicious lies. Thankfully, the vast majority of QPR fans are wise enough to see through this type of posting.

Our policy on this is clear. We will take swift and incisive action against anyone whose activity is unlawful. We are currently taking legal action against the individual responsible for a defamatory posting made on the Wasps board, and will have no hesitation in repeating that as often as necessary. We will not allow those with hidden agendas to undermine QPR 1st or any individual within the organisation.

Membership 
To date we have had well in excess of 2,000 registrations, and that number continues to rise steadily on a daily basis. The draft constitution (all 25 pages of it!) is with the lawyers and once that has been okayed, QPR 1st can be officially ratified as a bona fide Supporters Trust, operating under co-operative principles. That means one member, one vote. It is a time-consuming but necessary process.

In a little while, every registrant will receive through their post a membership form, together with a questionnaire on issues affecting QPR. The cost of membership is yet to be decided.

Fundraising/donations Running any organisation takes money. All committee members, and those co-opted to help, provide their services free of course. For each of us, it’s merely an extension of our support for QPR. But we need funds for running costs, and they will start to increase soon. We are very grateful to those at the Hammersmith Town Hall meeting who contributed to a bucket collection. We have also subsequently received donations from individuals ranging from £10 to £1000. We are very grateful for that backing. If you would like to make a donation to the cause, please see the contact page for address details

Networking
We can’t protect the identity and future of QPR entirely on our own. QPR 1st is part of a new fans movement, and we have already established links with other trusts and fan groups. But it goes way beyond that. Networking with local community groups, the local council, local political parties, and the local media has begun in earnest – and the early results are highly encouraging.

Support To date, QPR 1st has received signatured support from MP Clive Soley (who is favourite to be re-elected on Thursday), the four main parliamentary candidates for the borough, and from Mayor Andrew Slaughter. Hammersmith & Fulham Council have been hugely supportive, too. From a PR point of view it is important to have backing from those who have some celebrity status. We are very happy that Les Ferdinand has pledged his support to QPR 1st, as have well-known supporters such as Robert Elms and Michael Nyman. Ian Holloway too has made public his support. We are currently preparing a press pack, and are actively seeking out celebrity backing. If anyone can suggest names, or better still provide contact details, please forward them to info@qpr1st.co.uk 

The most important support to date, though, has come from QPR fans.

Today’s Standard carries a story about QPR facing the prospect of having to sell Loftus Road to survive. It quotes administrator Ray Hocking “admitting” he would listen to separate offers for the stadium and the football club after the sale of Wasps and Twyford Avenue has been completed.

It would of course be quite wrong to dimiss the story out of hand. Equally, it would be complacent to offer assurances that the story is nothing more than a recycling of old material merely to flesh out the bald statement that the sale to Chris Wright had gone through. But administrator Ray Hocking would always have had to consider offers for individual parts of Loftus Road plc.

In legal terms, the administrator does have the final say on whether or not a bid is accepted. But in the real world, it is Chris Wright as owner and main creditor who influences that decision. Chris Wright has given both public and written assurances that he will do everything in his power to ensure that QPR and Loftus Road are protected and sold in a joint deal. We have regular communication with Chris Wright and the administrator, and have had no indication from either party that the stated commitment to fund QPR through until October has in any way altered. Our expectation therefore is that Chris Wright will honour his commitment – or that the administrator, in promising to keep QPR fans as fully informed as appropriate-confidentiality will allow, will make a statement if there is a fundamental shift in policy.

We have asked Ray Hocking to clarify the situation, and are awaiting a response.

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A commitment to Queens Park Rangers Football Club and QPR 1st has been given by each of the leading candidates in the forthcoming general election. This unique cross-party commitment was formalised yesterday with the signing of a document by the candidates for the Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush constituency – Clive Soley (Labour), Justine Greening (Conservative), Martin Tod (Lib-Dem), and Nick Grant (Socialist Alliance).

The official signing took place at Hammersmith Town Hall, and photographs will appear in next week’s local press. The document read:

We the undersigned, as your prospective parliamentary candidates in the forthcoming election, would like you to be aware that we view Queens Park Rangers Football Club to be an essential part of the fabric of the local community. In the light of that fact we would like to assert the following:

  • That it is vital Queens Park Rangers Football Club be maintained in its current form and continues to be based in the local area.
  • That the administrators operate a policy of openness and consult with supporters on key issues related to the club’s future.
  • That the current and future owners support the QPR 1st supporters trust and accept the need for supporter representation on the board of the club.

Despite it being a welcomed photo-opportunity for all the candidates, and politicians being extra keen to don a QPR scarf for the pictures, their pledges of support are anything but token. QPR 1st will be working to nurture and maintain close liaison with all the main political parties in the borough, and ensure that QPR remains to the forefront of local issues. QPR 1st is strictly a non-political organisation, but of course it is essential that those who will govern or adminster the borough have a full understanding of the club, its supporters and its current and potential role in the community.

One of those candidates putting their name to the pledge will, on June 7, be elected as MP for the borough, and knowing that QPR and QPR 1st can call on his or her support and influence is good news. We thank all the political parties for their backing and wish each of the candidates well for next Thursday.

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It was back to the Town Hall a few hours later, as the first of what will be regular meetings between leading Council officials and QPR 1st got underway. Areas of discussion included planning issues, regeneration, PR and community. Clearly these are subjects that aren’t covered in depth in a single evening, but there were several avenues opened, and the result of the partnership and the Council will become apparent in time.

Mayor Andrew Slaughter wrote to us recently, and in line with the parliamentary candidates reaffirmed his and his council’s backing for QPR and QPR 1st. He stated:

“As I said when I addressed the very successful public meeting to launch QPR 1st, this council is committed to QPR, committed to the R’s remaining as QPR, and committed to the club remaining in Shepherds Bush. I will personally do everything within my power to ensure that this happens. I am pleased to hear that your organisation has already had success in putting pressure on Chris Wright and the administrators and ending the merger rumours. We will continue to do everything we can to keep in contact with the events at the club and make our sentiments felt, and will keep you informed of any developments of which we hear. I hope that you will also keep me informed as the situation unfolds. I have asked my Advisor, who I know has spoken to members of your organisation, to provide a single point of contact on this issue for councillors and the Council. I would welcome your suggestions as to any other assistance that the council could usefully offer. ”

In 1994 the Council adopted a Unitary Development Plan, which is currently being updated, although remaining exactly the same in spirit. The Council’s proposed UDP contains the following formal and plain excerpt, reproduced without much interpretation due to the complex legal situation surrounding planning, but of interest and relevence to QPR.

CS3 PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL GROUNDS

In considering any redevelopment proposal for all or part of an existing football ground, the Council will normally require the provision of suitable facilities to enable the continuation of professional football or other field-based spectator sports. Any proposals will, however, be subject to locational policies in the plan, such as the policies on major new ACE and recreation uses and food and drink uses, and should not have a significant adverse impact on residential amenity or on-street parking. In addition, the Council will require transport impact assessments where proposals are likely to give rise to pressures on the transportation network (see policy TN13 on TIAs).

8.32 The Council wishes to retain professional football in the Borough, because it provides a major source of entertainment and contributes to the life of the community. The Council is only prepared to consider re-development proposals for professional football grounds if they make provision for continuation of professional football or other field-based spectator sports at that ground, and if they are compatible with neighbouring uses and the public transport accessibility level of the area. Refurbishment and enhancement of facilities will also need to be assessed against environmental and transport policies of the Plan, including traffic impact assessments. Proposals which are not clearly linked to professional football will particularly be subject to policies CS2A and CS2B. If it can be demonstrated that professional football or other field- based spectator sports are no longer viable there, the redevelopment should include provision for other community service uses in accordance with other policies in this Chapter.

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This weekend should (finally!) see the launch of the new, improved QPR 1st website. We have seen it – and very impressive it is too. Now nearly halfway through the three-month mandate to go away and put in place a fully-fledged Supporters Trust, it is an appropriate juncture to update progress on that. There is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes but we are well on course to achieve that target. More by Sunday.

Bank holiday weekend or not, our work doesn’t stop. Whilst everyone else was at the seaside, having a barbecue, or decorating the spare bedroom, those of us at QPR 1st not sitting at home in front of the computer, or on the phone to each other updating progress in our respective areas and planning a busy week ahead, were off down the pub. The Queen Adelaide on the Uxbridge Road to be exact.

It was a meeting arranged by the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium, which is headed by Pete Winkelman. He had phoned QPR 1st out of the blue last Thursday. His sales pitch centred on why he understood (he really did, he assured us) that a move to Milton Keynes wouldn’t be popular with QPR fans. But it looked increasingly like the club was going under and here they were, white knights to the rescue. He didn’t actually describe themselves as that, but that was the image he wanted to create. And the reason he thought he could – and had – got away with it is because he is another on a long list of people who believe that all football fans are thick. And therefore gullible. It’s enough to make you weep.

So what do we know about Pete Winkelman? Well, he owns the Linford Manor Recording Studio in Milton Keynes. A lot of big acts make records there. In the Eighties he managed the band (We’ve Got A) Fuzzbox (And We’re Going to Use It). His business partner then was his sister Patsy – and the pair were Birmingham City fans. Now he heads up the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium. Informed opinion has it that they are strictly second division when it comes to funds.

He and his partners have been trying to attract an established club to Milton Keynes for some time now. They began by wooing Luton, then made overtures to Wimbledon, both without success, and have now got their sights set on QPR. So much for white knights.

For anyone interested, click this link to hear Pete Winkelman back in February talking on BBC local radio in Luton about moving Wimbledon to Milton Keynes.

A name which keeps cropping up in the press as interested in buying QPR is estate agent Andrew Ellis, son of ex-chairman Peter. But details of Andrew’s plans for the club are sketchy and the result of guesswork at best. So far, he has kept his cards close to his chest – and that includes having made any sort of contact with QPR 1st.

So it was a big surprise then to find Andrew at the Queen Adelaide standing alongside Pete Winkelman and putting the case for QPR moving to Milton Keynes. A move of course that will leave Loftus Road empty.

There were about 50 fans present, largely from the LSA. Each of them would take a lot of convincing that relocating halfway up the M1 was the way forward for QPR. It needed a powerful argument and a first class presentation. What followed was a shambles. If these are the sort of people holding the future of QPR in their hands, then we really might as well all pack up now and read the last rites for our beloved club. Except of course they don’t, and we will ensure they never do.

The meeting lasted for just over an hour. The microphone kept cutting out – which at least spared the assembled audience some of the drivel that was being spouted in the name of rescuing QPR. Andrew Ellis took the stage first, and explained why he can’t bid for the club by himself, as he hasn’t got the financial clout. He said that the guys from Milton Keynes had come along to give their views on why they feel a move could be beneficial to everyone, and asked the audience to hear them out. Andrew was backed by Mick McCarthy, who introduced himself as a founder of the LSA, said a few words about the situation at the club, and how none of us want this move, but at least let’s listen to what they are proposing.

Pete Winkleman took to the stage. He explained why he and his consortium feel such a move for QPR would benefit QPR and QPR fans, because they guaranteed the club would prosper. Milton Keynes is ideal for a Football League club as the nearest ones are a full 30 minutes away. As convincing arguments go, it wasn’t exactly up there with the best. He wasn’t helped by a faulty microphone… or the fact that half his audience were chatting amongst themselves or getting up to replenish their drinks.

It seems that for this gallant display of white knightery, the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium are willing to pay £2.5m. That this kind of sum wouldn’t even get them to the table is perhaps an indication of how safe it is to dismiss the notion of QPR relocating to the part of leafy Buckinghamshire that has concrete cows and a nightmarish roundabout system.

It’s a mickey mouse bid, from a mickey mouse consortium, with mickey mouse ideas. And the only insult in that verdict is to Walt Disney.

He then showed a video of the Milton Keynes bowl and the surrounding area. It’s the surrounding area that’s earmarked for QPR. Currently fields, a new ground will be built as part of a five-year plan, with QPR moving in two years’ time and playing at the Bowl until the new stadium is built. In the interim, funding would be made available for QPR from the consortium for transfers, and running costs. If we haven’t got that quite right, then that’s because trying to watch a soundless video on a 14″ television screen mounted on a table on a stage isn’t that easy.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, if there’s a proper business plan to all this, it wasn’t waved about – not even for effect. Apart from a three-minute video, it wouldn’t surprise if the whole thing was sketched on the back of an envelope. All the same, Pete Winkelman asked those present to go away and think about it. Without laughing, presumably.

Chris Leach, a QPR fan and relative of Mick Leach, took the mike, thanked the Milton Keynes consortium for coming along, and made a brief statement to the effect of, “If we have to stay a small club, then so be it. Our roots are West London and that’s where we want to stay. I think the general feeling is thanks, but no thanks.”

In respect of the proposed sale of Loftus Road plc, QPR 1st make the following statement:

“Over the past 24 hours, QPR 1st has learned that there are currently three seriously interested parties bidding for Loftus Road plc. They are a city consortium led by Brian Melzack, another consortium led by Lord Razzall, and the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium. Each party is currently in negotiations with Chris Wright and the administrator.

It is QPR 1st policy to talk with potential new owners and encourage them to consult with the fans and be entirely open about their plans for QPR. We have stated that representatives from QPR 1st will make themselves available anywhere, any time should an interested party choose to make public their intentions through the supporters trust.

In line with this, QPR 1st representatives met last night with Brian Melzack and three members of his consortium. They explained their current status and confirmed that they are yet to finalise plans and funding regarding a bid. Their proposals may include a move to a new stadium in the future, although details were not tabled. The consortium will provide further details when their offer is finalised.

Tonight, QPR 1st received a telephone call from Pete Winkleman, leader of the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium, in which he outlined details of the proposed purchase and relocation of QPR to Milton Keynes for the start of next season.

As QPR 1st is committed to Queens Park Rangers Football Club being maintained in its current form and continuing to be based in the local area, a policy that is supported by local politicians, the Shepherds Bush business community, and most importantly by the overwhelming majority of QPR fans, we will meet with the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium at the earliest opportunity.

QPR 1st has had no formal contact with the Lord Razzall consortium, and invite them to open talks with us.”

If you have any queries to make in relation to QPR 1st, please email them to: info@qpr1st.co.uk

With news that Chris Wright has imposed a Friday deadline for any potential bidder to ‘buy back’ Wasps, QPR 1st makes the following statement:

“Having given both written and verbal assurances that he would effectively sell back either Wasps or the Twyford Avenue training ground to any bidder for Loftus Road plc, QPR 1st is dismayed at the 5.00pm Friday deadline set by Chris Wright for that option to be taken up.

Although no time limit on the ‘buy back’ was agreed at the EGM, it is our view that the deadline is unacceptable and wholly unrealistic. We do not believe it allows any bidder sufficient time to consider the option in full. We accept the need for Wasps to be able to plan properly for next season, but do not believe that extending the deadline to a minimum three weeks from the date of the announcement will have an adverse effect on those plans. We therefore call upon Chris Wright to extend the deadline to a more realistic date.

QPR 1st is also concerned that the business of the plc increasingly appears to be conducted on the back pages of the London Evening Standard. We note with concern that the Standard consistently puts forward the views of Chris Wright in a sympathetic manner, whilst ignoring the genuinely-held concerns of QPR fans and painting a false impression about the conduct of the fans in protesting about the situation at the club.

We are led to understand that Chris Jones, whose by-line appears on most of the QPR stories in the Standard, is a rugby writer, a Wasps fan and a personal friend of Chris Wright. It is quite obvious that David Mellor is also a personal friend of Chris Wright, and he too has consistently belittled the concerns of QPR fans in his Standard column. We therefore do not believe that the London Evening Standard is providing a fair and balanced view of the problems affecting QPR at this time.”

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.

The past 24 hours have been one of the busiest days yet for us. It’s a critical week of course, with the EGM taking place and today’s deadline for putting forward a candidate in the forthcoming general election.

As stated yesterday, we have made a further formal request to Chris Wright regarding the terms of the sale of Wasps and the Twyford Avenue training ground. The response to that is obviously critical to our voting strategy and questioning at the EGM. There will be fuller information about that here tomorrow (Thursday). In the meantime, thanks to all those who have emailed us with comments and questions. They are all being taken into consideration.

A number of fans have written to ask about how to go about giving their proxy vote to QPR 1st. That can be done by returning the voting form as soon as possible to Lloyds-TSB Registrars at the Worthing address contained in the literature you will have received as a shareholder. On it, alongside the name of the person who you are giving over your proxy vote to, please enter the name ‘Maurice FitzGerald’. A sizeable number of people have done this already, and the more received the stronger the vote becomes. If you have an admission card, there is nothing to stop you attending the meeting in person and voting accordingly. If you have any queries on any of this, please contact Maurice at molefitz@aol.com.

Despite being promised a meeting with Chris Wright on a fortnightly basis, attempts to arrange a face-to-face last night at the youth team game were unsuccessful as he was away on business. Neither was it possible to meet with acting chairman Nick Blackburn, as he was otherwise engaged with Peter Crouch and his agent. Obviously a meeting with them prior to the EGM was highly desirable, and we are attempting to secure a new date as soon as possible.

Having given careful consideration to the idea of putting up a QPR 1st candidate in the forthcoming election, it was finally decided today, the deadline for nominations, not to do so. The reason is that we have been actively lobbying the candidates for the three main political parties, Clive Soley (Labour), Justine Greening (Conservatives) and Martin Todd (Lib-Dem) and are pleased to say that each of them have expressed a willingness to put their names to the following letter:

“We the undersigned, as your prospective parliamentary candidates in the forthcoming election, would like you to be aware that we view Queens Park Rangers Football Club to be an essential part of the fabric of the local community. In the light of that fact we would like to assert the following:

* That it is vital Queens Park Rangers Football Club be maintained in its current form and continues to be based in the local area.

* That the administrators operate a policy of openness and consult with supporters on key issues related to the club’s future.

* That the current and future owners support the QPR 1st supporters trust and accept the need for supporter representation on the board of the club.

Yours etc”

It is reassuring to know that we have cross-party support on this issue and will be working to ensure that the successful candidate maintains an on-going and healthy interest in QPR’s future.