Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

New QPR owner pleads for patience

Tony Fernandes
Tony Fernandes

New owner Tony Fernandes has vowed to transform QPR but has advised against overly-ambitious expectations.

Malaysian airline entrepreneur Fernandes completed his takeover on Thursday when his company Tune Group bought a 66% stake. The 47-year-old founder of AirAsia and his business partners will work alongside the Mittal Family, who have retained their 33% stake.

Fernandes has pledged to do what is best for the club. He said: "What made my day actually was there were four kids that came up to me and just said how happy they were. They couldn't have been more than 14 or 15 years old and you kind of felt 'wow, it was worth doing it'. I'll do my best and leave no stone unturned but I want everybody to be realistic."

He added: "The key thing is we will do it together. We will either win together or lose together but the key thing is we will do it together.

"I will be as transparent as I can be, give me as many suggestions as you want and we'll try make this place a better place over the next few years."

Fernandes, who is also the team principal of Formula One's Team Lotus, has promised to bring in new faces to the Barclays Premier League club before the transfer window closes in a couple of weeks.

QPR's start to life back in the top flight after a 15-year absence got off to the worst possible start last weekend with a 4-0 home defeat to Bolton. Fernandes was at the game and has promised to support Neil Warnock's bid to strengthen the team, but was keen to temper short-term expectations.

"I think my major issue is dampening down everybody's enthusiasm that tomorrow everything is going to change. This will take time," he said. "It is not that the previous owners were wrong, it is just they knew they were going to sell so they had a different investment paradigm.

"Having said that, they picked up some great players. The one great thing out of the Bolton game was our strike force looked as good as anybody's.

"DJ Campbell looked fantastic, Jay Bothroyd looked great and up to about 40 minutes we outplayed Bolton. The previous owners did good on a lot of things and I am just here to strengthen it."

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