QPR and The FA In Talks About Possible Wembley Move
A few weeks ago it was reported that Bernie Ecclestone was selling his shares of QPR. Lakshmi Mittal was quoted through Amit Bhatia, the QPR Vice Chairman and his son in law that he was committed to the club and would not be selling his shares. Now we’ve heard that Ecclestone was concerned about the Premier League potentially deeming the current configuration of Loftus Road as below a necessary standard to maintain a Premier League club, should the Rs be promoted after this season. QPR currently sit atop the Championship, and look a sure bet for promotion.
Additionally, the Italian was concerned about the lack of the revenue the club generates. QPR, despite a cosmopolitan squad and international ownership, has not grown in stature or scope since the club was bought in 2007. The smallish Loftus Road ground makes it impossible to rely on match-day revenues to survive.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has ruled out any new ground for QPR and Mittal’s group has been forced to seek other options for the team. Mittal and his group, is committed to West London and will not consider moving the team out of the area. A ground share with Fulham or Chelsea was also deemed unacceptable to the club.
After investing millions in QPR, the Indian owners have been forced to negotiate with The FA about the availability of Wembley Stadium should QPR be promoted after this season. Given the recent controversy involving four teams from Northwest playing in Wembley FA Cup semifinal weekend and the continued anger in the North that the England National Team never plays a home match outside London anymore, the potential QPR-FA deal could generate much needed revenue for the Rs without forcing them to leave West London, while giving the FA enough football dates to move the FA Cup and select England friendlies around the country. Our source also indicates that Wembley will no longer be available for NFL games or concerts, except in the summer if QPR and the FA are able to complete the deal. QPR along with the England National Team would be the primary tenants of the facility.
Loftus Road sits on valuable real estate but word is that QPR plans to maintain the ground for League Cup and early FA Cup matches. Should QPR return to the Championship, the deal with the FA becomes null and void and they will return to Loftus Road.