There's hope for Rangers at last
By Ben Kosky FINALLY, Flavio Briatore gave QPR fans their best news in two and a half years – his statement of resignation. Briatore probably didn t realise it, but he was spot on last Friday when he boasted that he felt proud to have helped save this hi
By Ben Kosky
FINALLY, Flavio Briatore gave QPR fans their best news in two and a half years - his statement of resignation.
Briatore probably didn't realise it, but he was spot on last Friday when he boasted that he felt 'proud to have helped save this historical club'.
His decision to relinquish the reins of power may well have resuscitated a club that he distorted into a 'project' and a 'brand', estranged from its loyal fanbase, and turned into a by-word for farce and ineptitude.
Ultimately, Briatore's chairmanship will go down in Rangers' history as a wasted opportunity - a period of false hope, atrocious PR and style over substance.
But that is now in the past. The future is in the hands of new majority shareholder Lakshmi Mittal, his son-in-law Amit Bhatia and chairman Ishan Saksena.
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Bhatia, in particular, has given fans good reason to believe he shares their passion for Rangers - and, most importantly, will take their concerns into account.
It was Bhatia who took note of the supporters' anger last season, when Briatore planned to charge them a staggering �50 a time, and publicly shelved the proposal.
That is the key to this new regime at Loftus Road: will they learn from the mistakes of the old one?
Will they reopen regular channels of communication with the fans? Will they recruit people who understand football instead of trying to run that side of the business on the cheap?
Will they rebuild the coaching, scouting and administrative structures that were neglected under Briatore instead of expecting a 'sporting director' to deal with anything and everything?
Will they allow the team manager to do his job without interference and knit together a successful squad over the course of a few years, if that's what it takes?
Will they inject funds into the youth set-up - the lifeblood of the club - instead of squandering huge amounts of money on a never-ending stream of average journeymen and short-term loans?
And, most importantly, will they be ready to take advice and be open to alternative ideas instead of stubbornly relying on spin and propaganda to counter dissenting voices?
The recent history of QPR proves that, when everyone connected with the club - players, coaches, directors, supporters and yes, even the local media - pull together, they can achieve something special.
It's not too late to recapture that - but, for the moment, the first objective must be to get behind the new board, the manager and the team and help them win the fight against relegation.
Maybe it's premature to sing 'we've got our Rangers back' already. But, at last, QPR fans can feel cautiously optimistic that they will.