No place like home
PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky QPR have no plans to leave Loftus Road in the near future, according to the club s deputy managing director Ali Russell. Rumours of Rangers departure from their home of the last 45 years have been circulating for some time and increased foll
By Ben Kosky
QPR have no plans to leave Loftus Road in the near future, according to the club's deputy managing director Ali Russell.
Rumours of Rangers' departure from their home of the last 45 years have been circulating for some time and increased following the takeover by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.
But Russell says the club have not ruled out redeveloping Loftus Road if they achieve their ambition of Premier League football - and, if that were not possible, they would prefer to remain in the Shepherd's Bush area.
"I don't think we'd be spending the money we've spent on the stadium this summer if we were planning to move out next year," Russell told the Times.
"Once the stadium is sold out five times over, we'll look at opportunities and there might be opportunities at the stadium itself - it's too early to write off what we might be able to do here.
"We've got to stay focused on getting to the Premier League, and the location here is very important to the owners. They bought into it because of the club's history and the fact that it's synonymous with this area.
"We feel very positive about playing at Loftus Road - it gives us a good atmosphere and creates a 12th man on the pitch."
Rangers were encouraged by their opening day attendance of just under 15,000, but Russell - who is also the club's commercial and marketing director - is confident of bringing more fans through the turnstiles.
"Traditionally, we've had a very active role in the community," added Russell.
"We're investing in our Football in the Community scheme to help us extend that role further and engage with people who might have got out of the habit of going to QPR.
"We want to give them a motivating reason to get down to Loftus Road and we'll welcome them with open arms."
QPR were the third highest spenders on agents' fees in the Championship during the second half of last season, according to figures released by the Football League.
Rangers forked out £310,000 in payments to agents between January and June, a total topped by only Stoke and Leicester, who exited the Championship in opposite directions.
That figure was an increase of almost £100,000 on QPR's payments in the first half of last season and the overall outlay by Championship clubs last year rose by around £1.75m compared to the 2006-07 campaign.
Unsurprisingly, the Rs were also involved in far more player registrations and contract dealings - 46 - than any other club in the Football League during the same period.