Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Fernandes admits QPR mistakes

Tony Fernandes says it is back to the drawing board for QPR

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has given a blunt assessment of his time at the helm of the club, admitting his mistakes contributed to the club's recent relegation.

Fernandes will preside over a major overhaul of the squad at Loftus Road this summer, less than two years after buying up the majority shareholding.

Speaking in Monte Carlo, where his other major sporting investment, Caterham, are competing in this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, Fernandes said: "With QPR we are right back at the drawing board, and we are going to go back to my principles of life."

He added: "You learn a lot when you are going down. You don't learn a lot when you are doing great.

"I am not predicting we will bounce back up straight away, but I am working hard to make sure we have the right culture and right type of people in the club. If that means staying in the Championship for a couple of seasons to get it right, then that is worth it."

The AirAsia boss certainly has a full portfolio to deal with, and though the day-to-day running of his airline must take precedence, he admits things might be different at QPR and F1 back-markers Caterham had he been able to give either more of his time.

"The difference between QPR, Caterham and AirAsia is that AirAsia is something I live and breathe every day," he said.

"With all due respect, if I'd spent every day at Hingham [Caterham's headquarters] and every day at Loftus Road, I dare say it would have been a bit different. It's easy to say I've spread myself too thinly, but I don't think that's the case. What I should have done is delegate more.

"I am not that involved in my other businesses as much and I should have been like that, but this is the danger when passion conflicts with common sense."

Asked whether he had taken his eye off the ball, Fernandes replied: "It is an an experience, and I'm just a bit different to everyone else. Take Formula One. Everyone in the paddock has made huge errors in their life. They don't stand up and say 'I f***** up'. I have. It's the same in the football world. I don't think every single chairman has made a decision that's right all the time. But I have decided to step up and say I could have done it better."

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