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QPR fans have their say…
QPR fans have their say…
Friday, 23rd May 2008 10:34

…on the season ticket prices, the appointment of Iain Dowie as manager, the three signings we’ve made so far and the impending release of next season’s fixtures.

In the first of a new feature we’re hoping to continue throughout the season five of our message board regulars have their say on the big issues affecting QPR at the moment. This week Gobbles, Jawad, Ted Hendrix, Tony of Lofty Heights fame, Warren Fox and WatfordR, offer us their views. If you want to take part in the next vox pop, probably the week after the fixtures are released, e-mail me at

1 - The dust is now starting to settle on two major decisions made by the club last week. Firstly the season ticket prices - how much more expensive is QPR going to be for you next season? Have the board got this badly wrong or do QPR fans have to expect this kind of thing now?

Gobbles - My season ticket in the Upper Loft has gone up from £398-£599 and I am still fuming about it. It's not even just the money, it's the back-handed way it was all done. And how come they re-designed it so behind-the-goal tickets cost the same as ones on the halfway line, is this the only club in the world that does that? The reason they did it was because the stand was popular and they were trying to make as much money as possible. I will renew, but it won't be easy and because my job means I miss several games, I am possibly looking at paying nearly £50 per game. However, as I'm in the front row, I realise that is one of the few seats in the ground where I get decent leg room.
I think the board badly miscalculated, but our board has always miscalculated things like that - the glorious five year plan mucked up for a bit of cash in hand. When Wright took over, I was told the first thing the people "who ran the club" did was give themselves a pay rise. I have no problem paying my way, but this has made me realise that the new board are much like the old board - they really don't care about me.

Jawad - Well I sit in the upper loft, so I’ll be paying £600 for my season ticket. If you take into account that I will have to use the pay monthly scheme, I think I'll end up paying around £675. It is a ridiculously huge increase in tickets, and one which will have a huge impact on our attendances and the atmosphere next season. I don't see why we should expect this kind of thing now. We do have a very loyal fanbase, and those of us that have been going week in week out for 5, 10, 20 years deserve better than a 50% increase in prices.

Ted - I have gone from £398 up to £533, affordable for me and I have already paid (under protest) the only reason being, I re-new quickly every year for fear of losing my regular seat. The board has got it wrong; quite simply it is a scandal. When the take over was announced I was naturally chuffed, having said that, I'll admit to being ever so slightly suspicious, I don't have anything personal against our owners, I'm just old fashioned I suppose and a little 'wary' of change. The ST hike was out of order and uncalled for. I'm still not sure how some regular fans with family are going to pay. I find that sad.

Tony - I am a ST holder in the Upper Loft, so mine is now a 'gold' seat and increased by 50%. I will renew but will probably mean I will have to go without a summer holiday this year. Basically, the board have got this totally wrong and have kicked the loyal supporters firmly in the privates. No early bird prices, no reward for existing ST holders and just three weeks to pay up, or it's a case of if you don't want it, someone else will and I do think that QPR fans will have to get used to this sort of thing from now on.

Warren - At first I thought the price hike was outrageous, my family ticket has now gone up £400.00. It's a bad situation for the club, but the board saved us from total ruin they are not going to spend all there money, the fans have to help the club too.OK some families and students wont be able to buy season tickets this season but I think the board thought long and hard about this and this was the what they came out with.We are not just a football club, we are a business and without careful planning businesses can go bust.The dust has now settled and the fans are buying there tickets, as for the board getting it right or wrong I think we will have to wait and see over the first games, I just can't see it being a sell out week in week out....but we shall see.

WatfordR - I have two tickets, one for me and one for my 11 year old son in C Block. Because that is now designated Platinum, my ticket goes from £463 to £699 (up 51%) and his from £70 to £449 (up 540%!!). 115% up overall. I think the new Board have got most things right to date, but the handling of next season’s ST price increases has been shockingly badly managed. Senior Board members previously suggesting increases of about 10%, no early bird discounts, precious little time for fans to find in some cases many hundreds of pounds more than expected to renew, spin about ST sales to date. Just dreadful, and the Board have much to do if they wish to mend bridges with the current fan base. Do they actually want to? I’m undecided; I’d like to think this is a cock up rather than a middle fingered salute. I guess we’ll know more shortly.

2 - Secondly, the team you're paying to watch is going to be managed by Iain Dowie. Were you disappointed with this appointment? Is this a forward step? How do you think he will do?

Gobbles - I still can't believe that Dowie got the job. I saw him on BBC London News at lunchtime being asked the softest questions you could ever imagine and I found myself involuntarily saying "go f*** yourself". I have a colleague who has very close ties with Crystal Palace and he has filled me full of dread. Expect motivational posters everywhere and lots of scapegoats if things don't go right.

Jawad - I wasn't totally against Dowie's appointment. We definitely need a manager that knows this league extremely well. Although i wasn't unhappy with De Canio, I was never sure if he was the right man to turn us into promotion contenders. Whether or not Dowie is that man is another matter. I actually think he'll do ok. At all his previous clubs, he was very big on fitness training (one of the reasons many Charlton players disliked him), and looking at our 2nd half performances last season and the number of late goals we conceded, this is definitely an area that needed some work. I think we have the basis of a very good squad, with the kind of players that Dowie will appreciate. With one or two big signings, I think he might prove a few people wrong.

Ted - Never thought Dowie would be appointed, thought it was just 'paper talk'. I got foolishly carried away with all the names being thrown about. I don't have a problem with Dowie, but more importantly, I hope our players don't have a problem with Dowie either. Lets just see how he gets on, to be honest, I think he has the hardest managerial job in this division, I wouldn’t like to work for his bosses, I really wouldn’t. Must add that I was both shocked and gutted that LDC went.

Tony - Initially yes, I was a tad disappointed, but maybe we have been a bit spoilt recently? A year or so ago we would have bitten off hands if offered Dowie. I am however, prepared to give people a fair chance. He does know this division and I think he could well be the man to take us forward. The response from the players seems to be positive so all in all, I am fairly comfortable with the appointment.

Warren - The appointment of Dowie did raise a few eye brows. But I think he is the man who CAN get us out of this division. he knows this league inside out, OK he has had a few problems and some jobs didn't work out for himBut he is a Ranger now and we need to be 100% behind him.

WatfordR - Very disappointed to see LDC go, and even more disappointed to see Flav turn away from the continental set up. GP seemed to have done very well with the January signings, and an English speaking continental manager surely would have lent some continuity to the approach the club was taking. We might as well have gone with Colin when Gregory went, and could possibly have ended up getting out of the Championship this year. A wasted experiment in my opinion. This is make or break for Dowie, if he can’t get this current squad into the promotion picture (with a few additions), he’s had it as a manager at this level. I’m expecting plenty of work ethic, organisation and commitment, and if Rowly, Buzz and Vine can be regularly accommodated in the starting XI as well, particularly at home, we could have an exceptional season. Perhaps a little harshly, I’m expecting Dowie will be shown the door at the end of the season whether we get up or not.

3 - The club has announced three signings so far - Cerny, Ramage and Alberti. What do you think of the new arrivals? Where does the arrival of Cerny leave Lee Camp?

Gobbles - Cerny - good signing. Camp needs pressure for his place, I doubt he will be leaving.
Ramage - don't care. Clearly wasn't good enough to be considered for a terrible Newcastle side, so he just comes to us as a Premier League cast-off. We've had a lot of them. I certainly don't believe all these "my Newcastle mates are gutted he's leaving stuff".
Alberti - I cannot believe this will have any impact on our team in the short run, any more than if we had signed a promising 19-year-old from Coventry who had never made their first-team squad. If he turns out to be any good, I'm sure he'll soon be off back to Italy.

Jawad - None of the new signings inspire me a great deal. I don't know enough about Alberti to pass comment on him. As for Ramage, if he can keep himself fit then I think he will be an asset to the squad. He's just come back from a serious injury, so hopefully he'll get a good pre-season behind him. With regards to the goalkeeping situation, I do think we desperately needed to sign a good keeper to give some competition to Camp. I think Camp had a fantastic season and deserves to start the new season as number one, but he knows he will have to perform very well to keep his place, with Cerny breathing down his neck.

Ted - Alberti; Can't comment on him, what I've read about him means nothing to me, I judge players by what they do on the pitch, hope I'm wrong but he doesn’t do anything for me, lets see, but remember this is the Championship and you have to start the campaign at full speed, It's not a training camp.
Cerny; I'm pleased about his signing, well pleased. Last season, if Camp had got injured we would have been well stuffed, Jake Cole doesn’t give me any confidence at all. Camp will be the number one goalie, people seem to forget he saved us more points last season than he lost us.
Ramage, Well pleased with his signing, thanks to MM but now we have our own player at right back, I just hope to God he don't get injured, I'm expecting good things from him. In closing I would add (and I can't help stating the bleeding obvious) if we do not get Mr 20 goals per season, an out and out striker and someone to 'feed him' then I will be furious, I haven’t digested the spin from the club, I've only read it, what I have done is paid up front for it, I've done my bit, but sod going through another season without a goal scorer.

Tony - Obviously, Alberti is an unknown quantity but am pleased with Cerny and Ramage. Working in Stevenage, I work with a good few Spurs fans who are gutted Cerny has gone and rate him highly. Lee Camp's form towards the end of last season was erratic at times, but he had a fine season all the same. Maybe a keeper of proven quality arriving will improve his game and help keep him on his toes. Will be interesting to see who gets the Dowie nod as the season starts though.

Warren - I think they are great signings and show just what the board want to achieve These are players who can get us out of the championship and it Great to have players like these at Loftus Road.As for Lee camp, He hasn't really had any competition since he signed for us and now he has.Still think "OUR" Lee has a great future ahead of him at Rangers and will learn loads from a keeper like Cerny.

WatfordR - Ramage – great signing if he settles in London. I’d like to have heard a little less from him telling us that Keegan will take him back if things don’t work out at QPR, but the general consensus from the Geordies is that he is a solid and gutsy performer. Alberti – surely one for the future, can’t see that he will be a regular starter. Cerny – good signing, possible the kick up the arse that Camp may need, because in my opinion he isn’t anywhere near as dominant around his area as he has been in previous years. Maybe that is harsh on him given he hasn’t had a specialist GK coach for most of the season. If there will be a squad of 22 as we are led to believe – competition for every place – then the GK spot shouldn’t be any different. I hope Camp is up for the challenge of fighting for and retaining his place rather than looking for an easy way out.

4 - The fixtures are due out on June 16. Who do you want on the opening day and what games are you particularly looking forward to?

Gobbles - I'm away in Beijing for most of August. What I would like it for our "ground refurbishment" to fall behind so we have our first four games away. What Dowie would like is Barnsley at home. No Championship match fills me with any particular excitement. I just want to see Buzsacky and Vine playing together again and being given the freedom to play exciting football, not just return to long ball stuff.

Jawad - A big opening day fixture at home could really set the tone for our season. Teams like Reading or Birmingham would probably attract a full house and could be the ideal start (if we managed a victory). Southampton at St Mary's is always a very good awayday and will be one that I will look out for, as is our visit to the City Ground to play Nottingham Forest. We'll probably get our usual Boxing Day trip to Plymouth, midweek visits to Preston and Derby and our two matches in four weeks against Crystal Palace in November/December.

Ted - Reading; and then some. Nobody can tell me anything about Reading that I don't already know. I have been working at their stadium for the last two months. Do I hate them? Of course I do. I'm also willing to hand them a bit of credit too. I know the set up there inside out and you have to hand it to them; from the days of Elm Park, they have come an awful long way. That’s enough credit from me. I'm also looking forward to Southampton away.

Tony - It seems traditionally, we have one of the newly promoted teams, so wouldn't be at all surprised to see us travelling to Swansea or Forest on the opening day. Would love a home game to kick us off though. Looking forward to Blackpool again for a weekend away, but sincerely hope its a August/September time fixture this time. Would love to see Doncaster come up, not only to keep Leeds in League One, but a new ground for me to visit.

Warren - Looking around at who's up and who's down i don't really care who we get as long as it's 3 points and a good performancebut if i have to pick a side it would have to be Birmingham at Loftus Roadthis game would set the standard we would have to play week in week out to get out of the Championship.

WatfordR - Opening day – well I’d like a home fixture and someone that offers a reasonable chance of three points and a good start. Watford would be good because I think they will struggle next season. However there seems to be two unwritten rules in the Championship; send Rangers to Plymouth on Boxing Day, and send them somewhere far away on the opening day of the season (Hull, Burnley and Brizzle in the last three). So a trip to Swansea or Donny/Leeds seems fairly likely. Games I’m looking forward to – bloody Fulham ruined that. Both Watford games, the games against the Fakes, and if a Saturday game came up at Blackpool during August, I think I’d relive that FA Cup weekend of many years ago. And maybe, just maybe, a weekend in late May. As long as this time it has a happy ending!

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