QPR fans launch bid to save ailing football club

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The Independent Online

A group of Queens Park Rangers fans has launched a multimillion-pound bid to buy the ailing Second Division football club and to rescue it from administration.

The bid rivals an approach from Andrew Ellis, a former QPR director and the son of an ex-chairman, to buy the club and its holding company, Loftus Road. Mr Ellis, a property developer, is in exclusive talks with Loftus Road and has until 6 August to table a formal offer.

QPR went into administration earlier this year when Chris Wright, the chairman, refused to continue bailing out the club financially.

A spokeswoman for BDO Stoy Hayward, the club's administrators, confirmed yesterday that it had received an offer from QPR fans. She said: "Anyone can bid for the club. All we ask is for them to show proof of funds in excess of £12m. Creditors need to be paid." BDO has received approaches from more than 30 parties.

Mr Wright, the driving force behind the Chrysalis record label, has said that he will write off £7.5m he has invested in QPR, but is anxious to recoup a further £9.5m that he had underwritten in loans and bank overdrafts. Mr Wright said that he would be prepared to sell to Mr Ellis if the property developer came up with the funds.

Loftus Road delisted from the Alternative Investment Market in April because it could see no signs of long-term funding. Its shares had slumped to just 4p. The supporters' consortium is understood to be backed by a big investment company and direct investors. The value of the bid is not known.

Previous proposals to save QPR, including merging with Wimbledon football club and moving to a stadium in Milton Keynes, have been thwarted by the team's fans. Under yesterday's bid, QPR would remain at Loftus Road, which it shares with the Wasps rugby team.

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