Belfast Telegraph

Beard planning for future

QPR chief executive Phillip Beard insists relegation from the top flight would not prevent the club achieving their lofty ambitions.

Beard, who was a senior member of the successful London 2012 Olympic Games bid team, joined QPR in August following Tony Fernandes' takeover. With the transfer window closed, the club are turning their attention to achieving long-term ambitions, which include building a new training ground, improving their youth system and eventually moving from Loftus Road to a new stadium.

QPR face a battle to make sure their immediate future is in the Premier League, but Beard insists the club will press on regardless of what division they are in next season "I am working hard to make sure everything we need to do to maintain our position in the Premier League this season can happen," he told QPR podcast Open All Rs.

"Whatever happens, whether we hopefully stay up or, heaven forbid, things don't work out and we go down, that cannot be a signal to stop what we want to achieve with the club. What we have to do is do everything we can to stay up, which is our number one priority.

"The second priority is we need to build and facilitate a new training ground, not just for the first team but we need to build the academy at the club. For young people coming through we need to make this a club that people want to come and join at a very early age so we can develop and nurture talent.

"And then if we really have long-term goals and aspirations - and I think they are achievable - we need to find the right location to look at developing a new ground for QPR, somewhere the club is the anchor tenant at that stadium and where we will be able to do other activities in terms of sport and entertainment.

"Football will be the bedrock of that stadium and a place where we can generate additional revenues from other activities so that the business plan for the club is sustainable. That is the goal and objective of all the shareholders. It is the objective of myself and everybody at the club and I hope every QPR fan will share that vision and dream that we can achieve that.

"The first thing, and it is absolutely without question the most important thing, is to make sure we try and stay in the Premier League."

While Beard believes the club's future lies away from Loftus Road, he insisted they would remain in the Shepherds Bush area and that "two or three options" are already being mooted.

"I can't talk too much about it because it is still in its formative plan," he added. "What I can say is that we totally understand it needs to have great transport links. It has to embrace everything that Loftus Road stands for and, by that definition, it has to be somewhere that is in the same vicinity."


From Belfast Telegraph