Stand up if you love Rangers
PUBLISHED: 16:51 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky IT S still unclear whether we can expect some form of organised demonstration of discontent from QPR fans at Saturday s game against Derby. But if there isn t any, that says more about the way the club has changed than any number of fireworks
By Ben Kosky
IT'S still unclear whether we can expect some form of organised demonstration of discontent from QPR fans at Saturday's game against Derby.
But if there isn't any, that says more about the way the club has changed than any number of fireworks displays, supermodels, or classy cuisine in the executive boxes ever could.
Remember the sit-down protest at the Manchester City game after the horrendous notion of 'Fulham Park Rangers' became a very real threat in 1987?
Or the pitch invasion against Leeds seven years later by supporters who were upset and bewildered at the way owner Richard Thompson was steadily dismantling a team of genuine promise to balance the books?
Let's stress that we do NOT advise anyone to invade the Loftus Road pitch on Saturday, or at any other match.
But, if QPR fans care enough about the recent saga over ticket prices, they need to display their displeasure - and a united front - to the club's owners in some way before, during or after the Derby game.
It's bad enough that Flavio Briatore - and let's be clear, it is he who makes the decisions, not Messrs Ecclestone or Mittal - thinks it acceptable to fleece fans for £50 a time to watch a team who have not yet won anything or come close to doing so.
But, even after the Football League intervened to prevent Rangers raising prices for Derby fans, there was no real climbdown from Briatore - only a rather puzzling club statement thanking those who had actually forked out an obscene price for 'platinum' seats.
It has been truly alarming to see some comments on supporters' internet forums, reminding us all that, but for Briatore's buy-out just over a year ago, the future of QPR would have been a return to administration at best.
True as that may be, it does not make it acceptable for him - or anyone else - to turn the club into his plaything, a corporate entity shrouded by marketing and rebranding and despised by fans of other clubs for an attitude that is cold-hearted and smacks of greed.
Whatever Briatore thinks, a club loses its soul if it brazenly disenfranchises its traditional fanbase.
This may be a 'new era'. But it's still as vital as ever for the fans to show their passion for QPR has not dimmed.