I want the fans to be proud of what we're doing and be involved as much as we can.". Rangers began the season on Saturday with a 4-0 home defeat to Bolton, playing in a shirt without a sponsor, which club sources suggested then was because it was being left ready for AirAsia's name. Are you sure you want to submit this vote? He worked very briefly with Virgin Atlantic as an auditor , subsequently becoming the financial controller for Richard Branson's Virgin Communications in London from 1987 to 1989 before he joined Warner Music International London as Senior Financial Analyst. There were guys on four- or five-year contracts and that takes a long time to rectify. Mittal's son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, who won respect from Rangers fans as chairman last year before stepping down after season-ticket prices were increased and his own takeover offer was rebuffed, is expected to rejoin the board and work closely with Fernandes. The company Fernandes and his partners formed to buy the airline, Tune Air, still owns 26% of AirAsia, and sources close to him say he has sold shares in AirAsia to release the cash to buy into Rangers.

Far from shying away, it seems Fernandes is only just getting started.

You are spoiling the quality of the players. It will take a few more years but we have certainly brought it back to sustainability.”. That is not to say all QPR fans have been behind him. With 1.5m followers on Twitter, hate is never far away. I’ve seen it and it won’t happen again.

“Some of the team talks were... interesting. • Malaysian businessman buys Bernie Ecclestone's 66% stake, Tony Fernandes has become the new majority owner of QPR alongside the Mittal family, who retain their 33% stake. Agents can smell blood. Fernandes restored QPR’s former badge, the club mascot and even changed the kit by returning the blue-and-white hoops to their original size. The excesses of the past — when the club were saddled with a £75.4m wage bill on a turnover of £38.7m in the Championship — have been redressed.

“I am not sure whether my ashes will be thrown around the ground or embalmed at Loftus Road... but I love it. I think there will be a point when I won’t be chairman any more — leadership always needs to be refreshed — but I’ll always have a share in QPR.”. You can find our Community Guidelines in full Fans who have become sceptical about the businessmen arriving as saviours to buy their club are expected to be reassured that Fernandes is paying cash, not borrowing to take over, and he is understood to want the existing loans in the club, including from the Mittal family, to be converted into shares. I love it. here. Fernandes outlines in his book an idea to combine the Premier League and Championship into Eastern and Western leagues, United States style, and then have a final between the two winners to determine a champion.

And his plans extend to proposing a radical shake-up of English football. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? We want to be in the Premier League in the next couple of years. There was no scouting department, no real sports science department, the academy was nothing very much, no director of football, no code of conduct. Nothing, it seems, will force him from the role he loves. “On the one side, you want to cut costs, but if you have 46 games, you need more players and a bigger squad. “But if you look at AirAsia, I started with getting my own house in order, building something and now we are trying to change policy. QPR are on an even keel again under Ian Holloway, with Fernandes in no rush to accelerate progress having witnessed the perils of doing so. QPR fans can expect a smiling, clubby style of ownership from a businessman who appears to relish all his activities, and believes in modern communication, including via his energetic Twitter account. "QPR is a raw diamond and hopefully I can contribute into turning it into a diamond. If he makes good on his promises of investment without debt, and is open with and approachable to supporters, he should win friends among fans who grew miserable over the summer. “It read: 20 consecutive years in the Premier League. But now, I walk in to QPR and it is like AirAsia.”. The disconnect was obvious. Team Lotus, the Formula One team of which Fernandes is the owner and team principal, is sponsored by AirAsia, which also sponsored last year's British Grand Prix, and he has concluded that sport is a very profitable marketing vehicle for his businesses. “It isn’t just football fans, it is Air Asia passengers as well. The Malaysian airline entrepreneur Tony Fernandes is the new majority owner of Queens Park Rangers having bought the whole of Bernie Ecclestone's 66% stake in the club for around £35m. He will also not hide the intention to promote his own companies, the low-cost airline AirAsia, or Malaysian Airlines, in which he and his partner recently bought a 20% stake, with marketing initiatives, probably including sponsoring the Rangers shirt. Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel magnate, is understood to be retaining his 33% stake, although there had been discussions about increasing it by 10%. Fernandes quit Formula One in 2014 because his Caterham team could not compete but he remains steadfast in his belief QPR will thrive. If they call me a four-letter word, I direct messages to them and say, ‘why did you do that?’ Most of the time, they talk big but then when you talk to them they are quite decent people. Onuoha: Holloway has united QPR behind Premier League dream, Steadying the ship: QPR are on an even keel again, Fernandes has introduced a mordernised version of the club's old crest, Fernandes has not plans to accelerate progress under Holloway, Fernandes watched QPR's recent win over Sheffield United, Tony Fernandes admits to QPR mistakes during turbulent tenure but can finally raise a smile, {{#singleComment}}{{value}} Comment{{/singleComment}}{{^singleComment}}{{value}} Comments{{/singleComment}}, {{#singleComment}}{{value}} comment{{/singleComment}}{{^singleComment}}{{value}} comments{{/singleComment}}, QPR’s defeat at Forest set an unwanted Football League record, Show{{#moreThan3}} {{value_total}}{{/moreThan3}} comments, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. “There are days I think, ‘why do I put up with people calling me four-letter words?’,” he said. Fernandes's 66% acquisition comes only two months after his second offer to buy West Ham, the club he supports, was rebuffed by the Hammers' co-owner, David Sullivan, who described it as "derisory". Flying High, My Story From AirAsia to QPR by Tony Fernandes is published by Portfolio Penguin for £18.99. QPR co-owner Tony Fernandes has stepped up his war of words with Hammersmith and Fulham council over the club’s bid to build a new stadium within the borough.

“Sometimes I challenge them. “We were wrong to do that in the first place — we were badly advised — but we stuck at it and redressed the balance.

There is clarity, a wage structure now. And the ways of going to matches. “There was a poster at Everton which really struck me many years ago, walking down from the chairman’s suite,” he said. “The Championship has way too many clubs,” he said.

“I’ll eventually exit AirAsia because I am almost done with what I can do there. “There are some very proactive owners and I will get more involved.”. Work was done to re-engage with the community — evidenced most clearly in Loftus Road staging Game 4 Grenfell to raise money for those affected by the horrific tower fire just one mile away.

There are suggestions that he wants to meet and talk to fans, then actually reduce the ticket prices to a more reasonable increase on what they were in the Championship last season. “If I could secure QPR as a consistent Premier League club with a new training ground and a new stadium, then we will have done something good. “I saw the film,” he said, smiling before taking a long pause. Two of his partners in Malaysia are understood to be investing in the club alongside him. It is, though, fiendishly difficult to give a small club a fighting chance in the Premier League without overspending, and once the deal is concluded, the hard work will begin. However, an appeal over the size, and not the legitimacy, of a £40m fine from the Football League for breaching Financial Fair Play rules shows they have not been forgotten. “I assume I will die somehow in the club,” he said, laughing. It was an angry club when I took over. My dream would be to go to Under-23 games, Under-18 games, everything. It has rarely been said but we actually bought very little. The price is understood to equal the total which Ecclestone and his fellow investor Flavio Briatore have paid into QPR, in shares and loans, since they took over the club in 2007, and does not amount to a huge profit for the Formula One personalities. “I am far away from telling someone how to change a league when we are still building. Born in Kuala Lumpur and educated in England, at the Epsom College boarding school then the London School of Economics, Fernandes qualified as an accountant and worked in the music industry for 14 years before doing the deal which has made his real fortune – buying the then debt-laden AirAsia, with three partners, for a token one Malaysian ringgit (20p) in 2001. The buck stopped with me. Fernandes is expected to pledge around £10m further to invest for new players the manager, Neil Warnock, wants to sign in this transfer window to give Rangers a more solid prospect of surviving in the Premier League. Photograph: Lai Seng Sin/AP. “And as we get better at what we are doing and more successful, then yes I will try to influence the leagues in owners’ meetings. The new owner does not, however, intend to bankroll the club with his own millions every year, but instead believes that on the Premier League's vast TV income, it can grow within its means if run sensibly and with a strong youth policy. Anyone who watched The Four Year Plan could glean an insight into the anarchic reign of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, yet even Fernandes, 53, was not prepared for the mess he inherited. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate?

The Malaysian airline entrepreneur Tony Fernandes is the new majority owner of Queens Park Rangers having bought the whole of Bernie Ecclestone's 66% stake in the club for around £35m. “Wages are a part of it. “They just say, ‘sorry, it was just frustration.’ Many of my haters have become guys who buy me a drink in the pub now.”. “I walked into our dressing room at times and it felt like we had four different dressing rooms, even from the music that was played,” he said. The journey in establishing that structure forms one of the most compelling chapters of Fernandes’s autobiography, which details the mistakes you would not expect an otherwise successful businessman to make, let alone then admit in print. “There is a long, long way to go but I believe the structure is finally right.”. Now it has 220 planes, around 20,000 staff and will carry 73million passengers in 2017.

"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," Fernandes said. He said he mortgaged his home and had only £250,000 initially to invest in AirAsia, which was then reshaped into a low-cost airline flying 18m passengers to 65 cities in Asia and around the world, turning over £790m and making a pre-tax profit of £200m, according to its most recent annual report. A wage cap now exists, a new training ground is in the offing and plans to build a stadium on the site of an athletics track one mile away are edging forward. Scott Parker, the West Ham and England midfielder, is likely to be one of Warnock's targets. He and Briatore became bitterly unpopular with many fans after announcing steepling ticket price rises as soon as Rangers won promotion in May, and they looked for a sale and an exit route.