Over ambitious dreamy-entrepreneur Tony Fernandes revealed his new mega ambitious plan, in North West London. Obviously it would involve a lot of borrowings and capital instruments to raise cash.
QPR chairman reveals new 40,000-capacity stadium plan
Tony Fernandes believes a move into a bigger stadium would help reduce ticket prices © PA PhotosEnlarge
Queen’s Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes has announced plans of a “huge project” to move the club into a new 40,000-seater stadium, according to a report in The Times.
The newspaper reports the club has already started investing in land on the Old Oak Common site, while a new ground would be part of a £10 billion redevelopment of West London. The site is around a mile away from the club’s current home, Loftus Road.
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Fernades believes investing in the project and moving into a new stadium will help the club establish itself as a large force in the Premier League. According to the report, the club has made a reported bid of £21m for a site close to the Common, while they are also prepared to invest a further £15m to obtain planning permission.
They are convening with the Hammersmith and Fulham Council as well as the Greater London Authority over the plans.
Plans also include a residential area with the potential for 24,000 new homes, while the inclusion of a new commercial sector would feature a luxury hotel, offices and restaurants. Regeneration of the area is reported to create around 50,000 jobs.
“This isn’t just building a stadium but virtually a whole new community,” Fernandes told The Times. “The football club gives us the anchor, the huge number of eyeballs which come with the attention of being in the Premier League. It is a huge project and the stadium gives it focus and impetus.”
“I feel we can sell 40,000 seats because we are building new homes next door,” he said. “I’m a big believer in flexible pricing and it’s one of my dreams with a better stadium, and London’s corporate hospitality, to reduce the cost of some seats.
Speaking to the BBC, Fernades added: “Loftus Road is – and always will be – a special place for the club and our supporters, but we need more than an 18,000 capacity. With no option of expanding here, we have to look elsewhere and we welcome the Mayor’s and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commitment to regenerate the area.
“Not only will this give us a top-quality stadium to cater for QPR’s needs as the club progresses and grows over the years ahead, but we are very excited about being the driving force behind creating one of the best new urban places in the world.”
Shareholders in the club – including billionaire Lakshmi Mittal – are hoping to attract overseas investors, while the project, which will need planning approval, is also somewhat dependent on the construction of the new Old Oak Common rail hub. The hub would act as London’s main station for the new HS2 rail project.
The fact is that should wake up to reality and smell the real whiff of natural coffee, before even thinking measuring clothes to his own size.
Riong Kali dot com story on the matter:
Why Tony Fernandes should not build QPR a new stadium
DECEMBER 15, 2013
A long time Queens Park Rangers supporter has written an open letter to club chairman Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (pic), advising against the building of a new 40,000-seater stadium to replace Loftus Road.
Daily Telegraph sports writer Thom Gibbs, who has followed QPR for 23 years, praised the AirAsia boss for his ambition, but urged him to proceed with caution in this endeavour.
“The proposed capacity of the new stadium is 40,000, nearly 4,000 more seats than Tottenham Hotspurs’s White Hart Lane,” Gibbs said.
“But in the past 50 years, the highest average attendance posted by QPR was 23,850 in the 1975/76 season, when the club finished second in the top flight.”
Even when QPR were in the top flight last season, the average attendance was just 17,779, not quite hitting the Loftus Road capacity of 18,360 every week, he said.
To regularly fill a stadium that large, QPR would need to be performing spectacularly above their historic level for a sustained period, Gibbs said.
“No club in English football history has ever transcended its status so violently that it is able to attract more than double its established number of fans in the long term.”
What would a cavernous 40,000-capacity ground be like in the wholly possible event that QPR are playing at its current level in the Championship? Cold, quiet and not entirely pleasant, he said.
He advised Fernandes to approach his plans for capacity like he was adding salt to a recipe. Putting too much salt at the beginning will result in something which tastes horrible.
“The likes of Middlesbrough, Derby County, Southampton, Cardiff City, Leicester City, Reading and Coventry City left their traditional homes for new grounds which are flawed and interchangeable.
“The new stadiums of these clubs are only identifiable as their own by the colour of the seats.”
Coventry, for example, decided to construct a bigger stadium and in 2005, moved to the Ricoh Arena from Highfield Road.
But now, the club are playing at the Sixfields Stadium, the home ground of Northampton Town, as they were forced to move from the Ricoh Arena due to a rent dispute with the grounds’ owners.
Gibbs said: “While Loftus Road is an unsustainable long-term home for QPR, but it is a wonderfully enclosed, intimate and one of the few remaining stadiums in England where a raucous atmosphere can be generated by 13,000 fans.
“To assume that people living next door at the Old Oak development, the site of the proposed stadium, will all want to watch football, or watch QPR, is a bad idea.” – December 15, 2013.
This is something The Star would not report. An ardent QPR supporter Thom Gibbs’ open letter to Fernandes, as published by The Telegraph:
Queens Park Rangers supporter Thom Gibbs’ open letter to chairman Tony Fernandes over his stadium plans
Having attended games at Loftus Road for 23 years Telegraph Sport’s Thom Gibbs writes to QPR chairman Tony Fernandes over his stadium plans warning against a mooted moveImage 1 of 2Please don’t go: Not everyone thinks Tony Fernandes’ ideas about a stadium move are good, including long-time QPR fan Thom Gibbs Photo: QPR
How are you? I am fine. I do hope your airline is well. Sorry about theFormula One season. Maybe next year, eh?
I write after your plans for a new 40,000-seater Queens Park Rangers stadium were unveiled on Thursday night. Congratulations, those are some lovely drawings.
As a QPR supporter of 23 years I applaud your ambition and am grateful for the gigantic amount of money you’ve already spent on our club. But I urge you to proceed with caution in this endeavour.
After a decade of decline, English football came roaring back on a tide of cash and European participation in the 1990s. With the game ascending and hooliganism in remission, a spate of new stadiums were built. They are almost all dreadful.
Middlesbrough, Derby, Southampton, Cardiff, Leicester, Readingand Coventry built grounds which are flawed, interchangeable, and only identifiable as their own by the colour of the seats. Coventry’s was such a failure that they’re now playing at the equally grim Sixfields (built 1994), 33 miles away in Northampton.
The anonymous bowls that defined this new era suffer from a uniformly pallid atmosphere, a direct consequence of the distance between the front row of spectators and the pitch. Loftus Road is an unsustainable long-term home for QPR, but it is wonderfully enclosed, intimate and one of the few remaining stadiums in the country where a raucous atmosphere can be generated with as few as 13,000 spectators.
Building a different kind of new stadium that’s geared towards QPR fans being able to help the club win football matches should be a challenge for your architects, not an obstacle to be swerved with another conservative design.
QPR must avoid the divide between corporate guests and the loyal majority whose budget only stretches to cheaper seats. The uninterrupted tier of expensive seats in the middle of Arsenal’s new ground saps noise from a once-loud set of supporters.
The proposed capacity of the new stadium is 40,000, nearly 4,000 more seats than Tottenham‘s White Hart Lane. In the past 50 years the highest average attendance posted by QPR was 23,850 in 1975/76, the season we finished second in the top flight. Last season, again in the top flight although not quite as successful, it was just 17,779, not quite hitting the meagre capacity of 18,360 every week.
You have made encouraging noises about prioritising affordable tickets, and harnessing the support of the new community around the Old Oak development. But to assume the people living next door will all want to watch football, or even want to watch QPR, is to wilfully ignore the disturbing number of children wearing Chelsea, Arsenal andManchester United shirts around Shepherd’s Bush on a match day.
To regularly fill a stadium as large as is planned, QPR would need to be performing spectacularly above their historic level for a sustained period. This isn’t out of the question in shorter spells, but no club in English football has ever transcended its status so violently that it is able to attract more than double its established number of fans in the long-term.
What will a cavernous 40,000-capacity ground be like in the wholly possible event that we are playing at our current level in the Championship? Cold, quiet, and not a pleasant place to be.
I gently recommend that you approach your plans for capacity like you’re adding salt to a recipe. You can always add some more later if it’s required, but if you put too much in now you’re going to end up with something that tastes horrible. I would also gently recommend that you don’t attempt to taste this, or any other stadium.
Remember that what matters to match-attending football supporters is their relationship with their club, the rituals around going to see them play, and a sense of community. You’ve got the chance to build something which serves QPR supporters as well in these ways as Loftus Road. Good luck!
The fact is that Fernandes is coming up with another hair-brain scheme and trying to get others to pay for it. In the past, his commercial greed brought about schemes that he bite but never could properly chew. It is reflective of projects which are not properly thought through.
Always, getting other people to commit money for it.
These projects and schemes actually did not bring about the desired results if not completely failed and doomed. What is worse than all that he did not own up when these projects were reprimanded.
The development of the Old Oak Commons is very ambitious.
Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 9:10:21 AM
Fernandes plans RM53bil project
BY JOHN LOH
An artist’s impression of New Queens Park.
PETALING JAYA: Aviation tycoon Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is planning an ambitious £10bil (RM52.6bil) redevelopment of the Old Oak area in West London, anchored by a 40,000-seat stadium that will be the new home for his Queens Park Rangers (QPR) football club.
The behemoth 40.5ha project in Zone 2 of London will feature 24,000 homes, a 350-room luxury hotel and millions of square feet of entertainment and commercial space, according to a statement from the English Championship club.
The initial phase of New Queens Park, which includes the stadium, was estimated to be worth £200mil (RM1.1bil) and would take six years to build, creating 50,000 jobs, people familiar with the matter told StarBizWeek.
It is expected to dwarf the Canary Wharf financial district and even S P Setia Bhd’s Battersea in size.
QPR said it had signed a letter of collaboration with the Greater London Authorityand the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to “bring forward an early and very significant private sector investment into the Old Oak Common regeneration area”.
The project is endorsed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has made it his priority to revive the densely populated Old Oak as a world-class city quarter.
QPR, which counts Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal as a shareholder and Fernandes as chairman, said it had partnered Stadium Capital Developments and inked exclusivity land arrangements with Network Rail and other landowners who control major parts of Old Oak.
“Loftus Road is – and always will be – a special place for the club and our supporters, but we need more than an 18,000 capacity,” Fernandes said.
“With no option of expanding here, we have to look elsewhere and we welcome the mayor’s and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commitment to regenerate the area, which includes an option to develop a new stadium at Old Oak as a key catalyst to bring forward redevelopment, cementing our future in this part of West London,” he said.
Reports out of London yesterday said QPR had made a £21mil (RM110.5mil) bid for a site in Old Oak, which is better known for being a railway depot, even as it prepared to pour in a further £15mil (RM78.9mil) for planning permission.
Fernandes told The Times: “This isn’t just building a stadium but virtually a whole new community. The football club gives us the anchor and the huge number of eyeballs which come with the attention of being in the Premier League. It is a huge project and the stadium gives it focus and impetus.
“I feel we can sell 40,000 seats because we are building new homes next door. I’m a big believer in flexible pricing and it’s one of my dreams with a better stadium, and London’s corporate hospitality, to reduce the cost of some seats.”
StarBizWeek understands there are about four Tube stations in Old Oak, and QPR is in talks to improve connectivity.
Under a 30-year blueprint drawn up by the mayor, Transport for London and the local council, Old Oak is set to be transformed into one of the best connected locations in the United Kingdom with a proposed High Speed 2 and Crossrail station by 2026.
Planning permission for New Queens Park was targeted to be secured by early 2015 to allow QPR to relocate in time for the 2018-2019 season.
London-based property executives contacted by StarBizWeek expressed some concern about the development, pointing to a similar project involving Tottenham Hotspur, which they say is still “stuck”.
Spur’s 56,000 capacity Northumberland stadium was hit by delays and had to drop plans for a 150-room hotel.
Fernandes’s arguments that the new QPR 40,000 seater stadium would rake in the supporters attributable to the 24,000 hmes built in the development is really lame. The fact is that British football match attendees are supporters of the game and the club.
QPR isn’t a sought after team, when British Premier Leagues football is discussed. The team was relegated down to Football Championship League last season.
Anything grossly ambitious laid out by Fernandes should be scrutinised carefully and probably with a good commercial-sensitive microscope. All the drama in his extra-ordinary salesmanship could be just story board which is not full-proof in the realism of the challenges in the real game.
The Fernandes was never a property man nor he have had any relevant experience and exposure to the trade in any form, size or role. It is dangerous for him to jump into a mega ambitious GBP 10 billion development project in a very volatile and elastic property market like West End.
A man who probably suffer the enigma between superiority and inferiority complex should pay for his own ambitious projects. Nowadays, bailing out not only is something not fashionable, it is even ‘dirty’.