QPR ready to scrap Warren Farm project

QPR are considering ditching plans to build a new training ground at Warren Farm.

It is more than two-and-a-half years since West London Sport revealed that Rangers were looking to turn the dilapidated sports centre between Osterley and Southall into the club’s new headquarters.

Their proposals were approved by Ealing Council but objections from local residents have caused a lengthy delay to the process.

So lengthy, that what began as a reluctant contingency plan should the Warren Farm move be scuppered has become regarded by Rangers as potentially a better option.

Rangers initially hoped Warren Farm would look like this by 2015.
Rangers initially hoped Warren Farm would look like this by 2015.

That option is to extend their current training base at Harlington, which has already undergone significant improvements in the last couple of years.

Talks have taken place with Imperial College, who own the site near Heathrow, and both parties believe the project is viable.

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes explained: “I have to admit I’m tired of judicial reviews and this and that. We need to move on.

“Imperial are the land owners and we can work with them and maybe build something better.

Fernandes says extended Harlington now looks an attractive option.
Fernandes says extended Harlington now looks an attractive option.

“We’re going to have a board meeting in a few months and decide then. If I was a betting man I’d say we’ll be at Harlington.”

Rangers’ thinking has also been reshaped by the apparent success of their academy’s move to the Concorde Club, near Harlington, which they have used since last year in what was also initially regarded as a stopgap.

It was originally seen as essential that the academy and first team are based in the same place.

The pitches at Harlington have been extended and are now in excellent condition, while the interior has also been significantly improved in the last two years.

And with the possibility of the site being upgraded, QPR believe they may have stumbled across a more cost-effective way forward – even though an eventual victory over Warren Farm seems likely were they to stick to their original plan.

Rangers have been training at Harlington for several years.
Rangers have been training at Harlington for several years.

Fernandes added: “What’s happened is like when you make an offer for a player and he waits. Do we wait forever or take the next best option?

“In this case, we never even thought about it [staying at Harlington] but when you think suddenly think you may not get it [Warren Farm] you start looking at an alternative.

“Then maybe you start to think: ‘Actually, maybe the alternative is better’. That’s what has happened here.

“I think we’d win on Warren Farm, but now we’ve got another option.”

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