Queens Park Rangers quick review - season 2013/2014
Queens Park Rangers Football Club (usually referred to as QPR) is an English professional football club, based in White City, London. As the 2010–11 Football League Championship champions, they now play in the top tier of English football, the Premier League, for the first time in 15 years. Other honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, being runners-up in the old First Division in 1975–76 and reaching the final of the FA Cup in 1982.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club were founded in 1886 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute, and their traditional colours are blue and white. In the early years after the club's formation in their original home of Queen's Park, games were played at many different grounds until finally the club settled into their current location at Loftus Road. Owing to their proximity to other west London clubs, QPR maintain long-standing rivalries with several other clubs in the area. The most notable of these are Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, with whom they contest what are known as West London Derbies. Outside London, QPR also traditionally share a rivalry with Watford, although in recent years these fixtures have become less prominent.
After a number of years of financial difficulties which included a period in financial administration, QPR was bought by Formula One tycoons and multi-millionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore in a £14 million takeover in August 2007. In spending £690,000 to acquire a 69 percent majority stake in the club from a Monaco-based consortium led by Italian football agent, Antonio Caliendo, Ecclestone spent £150,000 on his 15 percent, while Briatore bought 54 percent for £540,000 through a British Virgin Islands registered company, Sarita Capital. In addition, Briatore and Ecclestone are believed to have promised £5 million in convertible loan facilities to help buy players and have covered £13 million of debt, in a total commitment to the club of around £20 million. At the time of purchase the remaining 31 percent of shareholders turned down the offer of 1p a share. Four months later, on 20 December 2007, it was announced that the family of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal had purchased a 20 percent shareholding in the club from Briatore. The purchase price of the 20 percent stake was just £200,000. As part of the investment Lakshmi Mittal's son-in-law Amit Bhatia took a place on the board of directors. While Gianni Paladini remained chairman of the football club, Alejandro Agag, as chairman of QPR Holdings (the parent company) was the de facto chairman, until he was replaced by Flavio Briatore in early February 2008. Agag moved into the role of managing director, supported by a deputy managing director, Ali Russell, who moved from Hearts in the Scottish Premier League.
Despite QPR's perilous financial condition in 2007–08, the combined personal wealth of the club's new owners (which included the world's then 8th richest man Lakshmi Mittal) sparked speculation that QPR would receive significant further investment from their new benefactors drawing parallels to their wealthy West London neighbours Chelsea and Fulham. However, no significant further funds were made available to the club other than those injected as part of the purchase of its share capital and much of the subsequent player transfer activity involved loan acquisitions or free transfers. Indeed it was reported in January 2008 that the investors had not discharged the £10 million loan from ABC Corporation (secured on the club's stadium) together with its £1 million annual interest burden—despite the club's prospective annual turnover of between £10 million and £15 million a year. Furthermore around £2 million was still owed to former director and major shareholder, Antonio Caliendo, who waived £4.5 million of loans when Briatore and Ecclestone bought the club. It was expected that the ABC loan would be discharged in June 2008 on its maturity and that the debt owed to Caliendo would be paid off "in early 2008" in line with a funding strategy which Ecclestone publicly stated would not result in the wealthy owners simply bankrolling the club. In fact the ABC loan was discharged on or around 31 July 2008. Mittal's investment is thought to be primarily motivated by his son-in-law's interests and that Mittal himself would remain a silent investor while Briatore, Ecclestone and Bhatia worked together to implement the strategy of slowly building the club up ahead of a push for promotion to the Premier League in 2009. The new owners also pledged to refurbish Loftus Road and use their experience in Formula One to increase sponsorship revenues. On 25 March 2008, QPR confirmed that, from the 2008–09 season and for five seasons, their kits would be supplied by Lotto Sport Italia as part of a number of new partnerships formed by Flavio Briatore. The investment potential of the club's new backers resulted in a number of wildly speculative storylines in the football press throughout the 2007–08 season including rumoured signings of former World Player of the Year winners Luís Figo and Zinedine Zidane (the latter as a possible manager)
Loftus Road Stadium
12/13 Queens Park Rangers Home Shirt
12/13 Queens Park Rangers Away Shirt
Queens Park Rangers 12/13 team squad
Queens Park Rangers
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