QUEENS Park Rangers, who have had more grounds than any other professional club in England, must move again if they are to survive as a Premier League team, the owner Tony Fernandes said on Thursday.
QPR have played at 16 known venues and have made four ground changes since 1931. They finally settled back at Loftus Road in 1963 but with the ground currently capable of holding only 18,439 it has the lowest capacity in the Premier League.
The club have plans to move to a new 40,000-seater stadium three miles away and Fernandes said in a statement on the clubâ€™s website the move was vital if they were to compete at the top level.
â€œWe need to move if we are to sustain a top-flight club,â€ he said. â€œOld Oak Common is the only realistic place for us to move. It is close to our fans and our roots, with great transport links.â€
QPR have been in the area for over 100 years and have a loyal fan-base. However, the huge car dealership Cargiant, the clubâ€™s former sponsor, owns 47 acres of the land and has its own plans for redevelopment, while the largely underdeveloped area has also been earmarked for new rail links with a new station. The club say 88% of their fans support Old Oak as the location for the clubâ€™s new ground.
â€œWe are delighted that so many of our fans and members of the local community share our vision for the future of both QPR and Old Oak,â€ Fernandes added. â€œThis is only the first stage of consultation and we will continue to work with the community as we develop our plans in more detail.â€
The club say the regeneration will deliver more than just a stadium, providing 24,000 homes, 55,000 jobs and community facilities. – The Guardian