QPR announce Fernandes-led takeover

QPR have announced Tony Fernandes as company chairman and majority shareholder.

Amit Bhatia, who has long been keen to join forces with a potential buyer, has returned to his role as company vice-chairman.

Kamarudin Bin Maranun, one of Malaysia’s top businessmen, will also be involved with the club.

QPR say Fernandes – boss of AirAsia and the Lotus Formula 1 team – has acquired a 66% stake, buying out Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

The popular Bhatia, son-in-law of stakeholder Lakshmi Mittal, stood down in May.

He was unhappy at the removal of Ishan Saksena as company chairman and managing director, while another hike in ticket prices made Bhatia’s position untenable given his fan-friendly image and apologies for previous increases.

Born in Malaysia, Fernandes was educated in England, attending Epsom College and later the London School of Economics.

He is a West Ham fan and earlier this year was linked a takeover of the east London club, which did not materialise.

Fernandes has enjoyed huge success in business and his many notable achievements include establishing AirAsia as one of the world’s leading airlines.

QPR were widely reported to be up for sale for £100m, although that was mainly based of an off-the-cuff comment by Ecclestone in response to suggestions Mittal was keen to buy him out.

There were some discussions between the pair soon after the end of last season, but they failed to make progress – much to the disappointment of many inside the club who wanted Mittal to take control.

But Bhatia has always maintained that the family were keen to increase their involvement in the future.

When QPR announced in March that they were discussing a possible takeover, he immediately issued a statement of his own insisting that the Mittals would not sell their stake.