Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Council Promise to Stop QPR Move

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Council Promise to Stop QPR Move

Article excerpt

HAMMERSMITH and Fulham Council are to support the campaign to prevent Queens Park Rangers moving out of Loftus Road.

Former director Andrew Ellis, a Knightsbridge property developer, is poised to buy the club, who are in administration, and his eventual plan is to move them to a new stadium near Heathrow Airport.

But a consortium of supporters have tabled a rival takeover bid and pledged to keep the club at the ground which has been home since 1931.

Now councillors have also vowed to do all they can to stop the Loftus Road ground from being sold.

Ellis, the son of former club chairman Peter Ellis, is in talks with owner Chris Wright and has until 6 August to finalise his offer.

But Mayor Andrew Slaughter said: "The overwhelming majority of QPR fans say that the club is associated with the ground. We aim to see QPR survive and thrive at Loftus Road."

Councillor Wesley Harcourt said: "The Council is committed to keeping Queens Park Rangers in the borough.

If Andrew Ellis gets control of QPR, our planning policy is such that we can make it very difficult for the ground to be sold at a profit.

"This Council fought against the redevelopment of Chelsea's ground and gave planning permission for Fulham to develop theirs. It is about time that Queens Park Rangers got the same amount of airtime."

Parading the back page of Tuesday's Evening Standard, which revealed that a consortium of Rangers fans had tabled a bid to rival Ellis's, Councillor Stephen Burke told last night's council meeting: "If QPR leave for Heathrow, it would be disastrous for the club and the borough. It would be the death knell for the club and the fans do not want it.

"I hope the club listens to the fans and I hope the council does everything in its power to keep QPR in the borough." Tory councillor Greg Hands added: "When clubs have moved, those that have been typically successful have been based in a city or town where there is only one club, like Sunderland and Middlesbrough. …

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