QPR open to ground share as stadium options are investigated

 

QPR hope to make their new stadium available for other events, and have not ruled out the possibility of a ground share, chief executive Philip Beard revealed today.

Multi-millionaire Tony Fernandes bought QPR last summer and ordered the club to start planning for a move from their current Loftus Road home, which holds just over 18,000.

Having the smallest ground in the Barclays Premier League is inhibiting the London club's growth and Beard wants to build a new stadium which brings in extra revenue from as many sources as possible.

"To have a stand-alone football stadium that only hosts 19 home domestic matches a season would probably not make the numbers work," Beard told the London Evening Standard.

"What is important is that it is the home of QPR but it will need to have facilities to do other things as well.

"A full-on ground-share is more challenging, but I am hoping to emulate an entertainment destination model where you roll the pitch away and use it for other things.

"Look at (Arsenal's) Emirates Stadium. They hosted Coldplay for three nights - that is the sort of activity you need to host to generate the revenues to make the club sustainable and ultimately invest in the team going forward."

Finding a large space to build a stadium of up to 45,000 will not be easy, but Beard was quick to allay fears the club would be moving far away from their west London roots.

"The criteria is that we need to find somewhere that hopefully isn't too far from Loftus Road," he said.

"Our fanbase is a very passionate, loyal and local one. We need to stay in the area if we can. That is almost a must."

Meanwhile, Rangers today announced that defender Bruno Perone has left the club after his contract expired.

The 24-year-old joined from Brazilian side Tombense last summer but only made two appearances for QPR.

The club announced this afternoon that back-up goalkeeper Radek Cerny has signed a one-year contract extension.

"I'm pleased. At my age, if I'm offered a one-year deal, that's perfect for me," the 38-year-old told QPR's website.

"It's fantastic to still be involved with the Premier League."

PA

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