Lotus boss Tony Fernandes completes QPR takeover

Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes has completed his takeover of Premier League newcomers QPR.

The 47-year-old has secured a 66% stake in the club, buying out previous majority shareholders Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

Fernandes will work alongside the Mittal Family, who have retained their 33% stake.

"QPR is a raw diamond and hopefully I can contribute into turning it into a diamond," said Fernandes.

He will take the role of chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd and will be joined on the board by joint Tune Group owner Mr Kamarudin Bin Meranun, one of Malaysia's most successful business tycoons.

I could easily say we're going to win the Champions League and the Premier League but that's really not my style... I don't want to make big promises I can't guarantee

Tony Fernandes

"Everyone knows I've followed West Ham all my life but I've always had a soft spot for QPR," said Fernandes, who is also team principal of Formula 1's Team Lotus. "Rangers were one of the first teams I watched as a child at Loftus Road."

Amit Bhatia, who will resume his position as vice-chairman, told the club's official website: "I'm very excited to welcome Tony to QPR and having spent considerable time with him, know that we share the same vision and values.

"We have discussed in great detail how to restore pride at the club and I'm very pleased with the outcome of these discussions.

"It was a very difficult decision to resign from the board when I did, so I'm thrilled to be back and would like to thank all those who supported me and my family and look forward to serving the club to the best of my abilities again.

"Tony and I will work alongside each other to try and make this season as exciting and successful as possible. I love this club and this is a very happy day for me."

Fernandes added: "The opportunity to get involved with the club was mentioned to me by the previous owners and here I am.

TONY FERNANDES

  • Birthplace: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Age: 47
  • Education: Accounting and finance at London School of Economics
  • Former roles: Senior financial analyst at Virgin Communications, managing director at Warner Music, Malaysia, vice-president Warner Music South-East Asia
  • Current business interests: Co-founder Tune Group, chief executive of low-cost airline AirAsia and team principal of Team Lotus Formula 1 outfit
  • Awards: Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year 2010
  • Value: Named 20th richest Malaysian by Forbes with a reported net worth of £248m

"I've always wanted to be involved in football and the appeal of a London club, like QPR, was too good an opportunity to turn down."

QPR won promotion back to the Premier League by winning the Championship under manager Neil Warnock last season.

They kicked off their campaign back in the top flight with a 4-0 home defeat by Bolton last weekend but Fernandes has already given his backing to the former Sheffield United and Crystal Palace boss.

"It's a momentous day," said Warnock. "Everybody connected with QPR should be excited."

Fernandes added: "I have ambitions in the long term.

"I could easily say we're going to win the Champions League and the Premier League but that's really not my style. I don't want to make big promises I can't guarantee.

"I want the fans to be proud of what we're doing and be involved as much as we can.

"The fans pay good money and are stakeholders, so whatever we do, I want the fans to be proud. We'll do it in style and with integrity.

"I'm keen to create a good Academy, so that there's a constant supply of players. We're in a fantastic part of London and we should be bringing kids through.

"The third aspect is to be a strong partner in the community and to make a difference in the community.

"Of course, you don't go into anything in the sporting world and not want to be the best, but these things take time and I'd rather let the results speaks for themselves."