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QPR ready to scrap plans for new training ground at Warren Farm

16:30 18 July 2014

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes

PA Archive/Press Association Images

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes is prepared to upgrade the club’s current training ground in Harlington rather than proceed with his plans to build a new facility at Warren Farm.

The Rs owner has grown frustrated by setbacks in his plans for the development of a new facility in Hanwell and wants the matter to be resolved soon.

He said: “We are going to move on. We are not going to stand still.

“Imperial are the land owners here [at Harlington].

“We are talking to Imperial about expanding and making it bigger and better here.

“We are going to have a board meeting in a few months when we are going to decide. If I was a betting man I would say it would be here.”

Local residents who are members of the Hanwell Community Forum are opposed to the plans for the new facility and Fernandes says the delay has made him reconsider his plans entirely.

He said: “The judicial reviews keep coming. The local residents keep complaining – it’s only a few but it doesn’t take many to stop something.

“I have the philosophy that I will wait for no one.

“If we make an offer for a player and he waits to see if a bigger club comes – do we wait forever or do we take the next best option?

“In this case, we never even thought about here [Harlington], but when you think something, you may not get that, so you start looking at an alternative and then suddenly you think maybe the alternative is better - that’s what has happened here.

“I think we will win at Warren farm but now we have got another option and that is not too dissimilar from the transfer window.”

The initial plans for Warren Farm include a two-storey indoor training centre, a three-storey office and bedroom block, an artificial indoor pitch and ten outdoor pitches but Fernandes is now considering something less extravagant at Harlington.

He said: “What is a training ground? Is it a Rolls-Royce training ground?

“You can give me the best football boots but it ain’t going to make a big difference.

“What makes a difference is the coaching or the player.

“Of course you have to have basic facilities, but do we need a training ground like Spurs or Southampton?

“There is a road that is going whether that is with us in the Premier League or the Championship. That’s the academy, that’s the training ground – that’s the stadium. That has to proceed.

“Then there is staying up in the Premier League.

“I don’t think they are intertwined. One isn’t dependent on the other. You see some clubs who go up and down a few times and then kind of build a base.

“I’m very clear that we have to get the academy ticking over, which now is doing a good job – but there’s lots more to be done.

“The proof in the pudding is when someone graduates from the academy to the first team.”

Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82

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