QPR chief executive: relegation won’t wreck our future
Beard confident Rangers remain on course to achieve long-term ambitions
QPR chief executive Philip Beard believes the club remain on course to achieve their long-term ambitions under Tony Fernandes – even if they are relegated.
Rangers sit two points above the drop zone with just four matches left, and face a must-win encounter against Tottenham Hotspur at Loftus Road on Saturday.
But, despite their difficulties on the pitch, progress continues to be made, with negotiations to secure a new training ground at Warren Farm in Southall well under way,
That comes after the club’s centre of excellence last week relocated to improved premises in East Acton, and Beard insists the long-term strategy remains in place.
The Rs supremo has also handed his backing to manager Mark Hughes, who he believes has a crucial role to play over the coming years.
“It is a roller-coaster ride of a season and no-one knows what will end up happening,” Beard told London24.com. “But it would be fantastic for everybody at the club, particularly the fans, if we can stay up.
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“If we don’t then we will re-group, dust ourselves down and start again. What I have tried to say is that the impact of what happens this season does not slow down what happens with regards to the stability of the club – and that includes building a new training facility.
“With regards to that facility, we’ve got several options, including a really favoured option, and we’re getting close to what we want to do. We’ll know by the end of the season.
“It’s important right across the club, not just for the first team but for the youth teams as well. We want to start growing our own talent and I think a new training ground will help us to do that.
“Like everybody at the club, I don’t want to have one season in the Premier League after they worked so hard to get there. But it is a fact of life that three clubs will go down this season, and we’re in the mix of four or five clubs in that situation.
“I have enormous respect for Mark Hughes. We have put the right person in at the club and I hope we have a long relationship with him. I’d like to think he’ll help us build the future of the club over the next few years.”
After eight months at Loftus Road, Beard admits he has developed a bond with QPR, and believes Rangers owe it to their fan-base to drag themselves clear of the relegation zone.
“I have a real affinity with the loyal fans. I have been a sports fan and a football fan all my life and I have seen how important the club is to the fans,” he added. “More than 2,000 people went to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, travelling up there by whatever means they could, and were more vocal than the home fans.
“After that result they were probably feeling bruised and disappointed over the weekend. I share that, as does everybody at the club.
“It would be fantastic for the fans if we can get the necessary points to keep us in the Premier League.”
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