QPR looking beyond Hammersmith & Fulham for new stadium, says majority shareholder

Ruben Gnanalingam looks on
Ruben Gnanalingam took over QPR in 2011, along with Tony Fernandes

QPR are looking at potential options for a new stadium outside the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, says majority shareholder Ruben Gnanalingam.

Rangers say the local council have been unsupportive of a mooted move to the site of the Linford Christie Stadium.

Possible sites in neighbouring boroughs are therefore being explored.

"We might need to look elsewhere to find other spaces which are more viable - and that's what we are looking at right now," said Gnanalingam.

"It's not easy to deal with this borough.

"I think in this borough it's just way too hard to convince the people involved that this is something they want to do, even though we think we can create a lot more jobs and income for the borough."

In response, Hammersmith & Fulham Council said QPR had not been in touch with "any plans of substance" for more than two years, adding that they are "willing to bend over backwards" to help the Championship club.

"We've told QPR we cannot gift hundreds of millions of pounds worth of public land to QPR's multi-millionaire overseas owners," a spokesperson said.external-link

"We have suggested that if QPR are serious about any site in the borough which they need financial help with that they look into a new fan-based ownership scheme for the club so we can guarantee it is the club that benefits and not their owners."

QPR's owners are keen to leave the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, previously known as Loftus Road, which has been the club's home for most of the past 104 years.

The nearby Linford Christie Stadium site has long been seen as Rangers' final chance to secure a new home in the borough.

But hopes of building a new ground there have faded - and Gnanalingam concedes the club are unlikely to move in the next decade.

"Within a two-mile radius is really what we're looking at," he said.

"We can't really go south, so north and west we're trying to figure out what we can find.

"We're scanning. Are we talking to people? Yes. But does it look likely in the next 10 years? I think that's going to be tough, to be honest.

"Number one there's trying to find a site, then you've got to get people to agree to what you'd like to do, and then planning permission in this country is a mystery to most people, so that would probably take five years on its own."

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