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QPR set to look further afield for new stadium

English Championship football club Queens Park Rangers is set to explore the possibility of moving to a new stadium outside the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

QPR currently plays at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (pictured) in Shepherd’s Bush but in recent years the club has expressed an interest in moving to a new stadium.

In April 2019, the club requested to turn Linford Christie Stadium in Wormwood Scrubs into a 30,000-capacity community ground. However, QPR’s majority shareholder Ruben Gnanalingam has revealed that talks with Hammersmith & Fulham Council over a move to Linford Christie Stadium have not proved fruitful.

Gnanalingam said the club would explore moving to a new home outside of the borough, but he admitted that it would be tough to find a solution within the next 10 years. QPR has played at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, formerly known as Loftus Road, for 104 years.

“We might need to look elsewhere to find other spaces which are more viable – and that’s what we are looking at right now,” Gnanalingam told West London Sport.

“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.”

Gnanalingam added: “Within a two-mile radius is really what we’re looking at.

“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.”

In response, Hammersmith & Fulham Council said that it is willing to “bend over backwards” to help QPR, as it has done with fellow Championship club Fulham and Premier League outfit Chelsea. But the council said that QPR has not been in touch “on any plans of substance” for over two years.

A council spokesperson said: “At our last meeting with their CEO, we asked him about why they were apparently struggling to find even the £20m funds to build the Warren Farm training ground.

“We’ve told QPR we cannot gift hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of public land to QPR’s multi-millionaire overseas owners. 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.”

Image: QPR