Amit Bhatia must have been gagged! Last season he seemed to have become the “voice” of the Board. But this season not only had we, the fans, heard nothing from Bhatia (or the Board, let`s be honest); but Bhatia himself had hardly been seen around Loftus Road. If he came to the matches, he rarely sat in the Directors` Box until, that is, last Saturday.
With the well-documented Boardroom changes can a refreshing change in attitude towards the fans. First, came an unusually verbose announcement of those Boardroom changes themselves. Next, Bhatia was back in his seat in the front row of the Directors` Box for our first win in 2010 against Doncaster – and jumping up and down like a crackerjack experiencing all the highs and lows the rest of us “mere mortals” were experiencing during the match!
Now, Amit Bhatia – the so-called “voice of the Board” aka Vice Chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd – has spoken to QPR Player – and said so much they have had to split the interview into three parts! I listened in to part one and decided that, delighted as I am to be hearing his thoughts and opinions once more, I wanted to share with my fellow Vitallers. But I want you all to “hear” him as I did – without my interpretation. So read on for a Q&A with Amit Bhatia as given yesterday to QPR Player.
Q. What did the announcement last Friday mean for the future of QPR?
AB “Well, I think that it is an important event and it`s important less from a shareholding perspective but it`s more important from a decision-making perspective, from a vision perspective, from a direction perspective. The biggest change that has happened since the restructuring is the fact that Ishan Saksena is now the Chairman on the Club.
“I believe that he has a different set of instructions and vision for the Club for how the decision-making within the Club should be. And the stability and security that should come with running a football club are all things that I believe will be very different going forward.”
Q. Why was long-term friend and associate, Ishan Saksens, named Flavio Briatore`s successor and not you?
AB “Ishan is somebody who I have known for a very long time and I have an enormous amount of trust in. The reason Ishan was made Chairman rather than myself is because I believe that it`s important to make a distinction between owners and Chairmen of the Club. I believe that QPR needs somebody who is full-time attentive to QPR and its needs. It is 100% commitment. It`s not a position that I take lightly or, I believe, should be taken lightly. I believe that the right person for Chairman is somebody who dedicated 100% of their time and attention and focus on the job in hand.
“Obviously I have other interests and business that I am involved in that also require my attention. And so, I didn`t want to be in a position where I was not able to commit the kind of love that this Club needs by being the Chairman. And I thought that it was probably the best decision, at that point in time, to make somebody who could do the best job at hand.”
Q. Could the timing of the change been better – namely before the closure of the January transfer window?!
AB “I guess in a way I`m disappointed that we were in a position that it had to happen at all! I wish that things had continued very smoothly in the Club but obviously things were not going very smoothly in the Club and so a change had to happen for the betterment of QPR. So the timing was not ideal, of course, because it seems that we are in a situation today where we can make less changes – whether it be to strengthen the squad or otherwise – than we would have been able to do had we been able to had this restructuring have happened prior to the January transfer window. In that regard, I think the timing could have been better for sure! “
Q. What is the most important factor which you believe, as a decision-maker on the QPR Board, needs to be reintroduced to QPR?
AB “The vision of myself, of the family as well as of the Board of QPR is, first and foremost, to reintroduce stability into the Club. It`s of great importance in any organisation. An organisation cannot succeed and the people involved in the organisation cannot succeed if there`s no stability from the top.
“The most important change should be that the Club is now stable. Secondly, I think that we need to have long-term, strong decision-making. Things need to be done by professionals who excel at those particular fields.
” And it should not be a situation where we fall back on some of the old mistakes that were made – many of them made, not because of any bad intention, but simply as a lack of experience or know-how. So I think that, by empowering the right people, and by doing things the right way, that we will achieve great success.”
Well – he certainly has my attention!! I can`t wait to hear his thoughts on, amongst other topics, season ticket prices ? Watch this space 😉
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