Hoos in the Times

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222gers
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Hoos in the Times

Post by 222gers » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:34 am

Nice two column article in the Times football supplement. They have featured us quite a few times. Hoos saying socially distanced crowd for us would be 3700-3800. Fans have donated flags to drape over seats and we have a company providing QPR related crowd noise.

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Re: Hoos in the Times

Post by dm » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:52 am

Was Hoos saying socially distanced crowds are a possibility? If so, I'd still be concerned at the risks associated with travel, pubs, etc. It may be a vaccine is the only answer for many, particularly for those with greater vulnerabilities.

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Re: Hoos in the Times

Post by 222gers » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:34 am

Good question DM. The Rangers, like I guess most clubs, are looking at “contingency plans” in relation to social distancing should it be that full crowds are not allowed. As you say, still problems getting in and out of the ground plus other difficulties. We need the vaccine don't we ?
Pity I can't put the article up on here.

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Re: Hoos in the Times

Post by gyates » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:06 pm

Here's the article:
Lee Hoos: It’s almost a race to the bottom – which owner runs out of cash first
The QPR chief executive tells Gregor Robertson about his club’s preparations for the restart and how the football landscape has coped during this pandemic

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Lee Hoos, the Queens Park Rangers chief executive, who has just pulled down a seat — socially distanced of course — in the Loftus Road lower. After a three-month hiatus the Sky Bet Championship is back and Barnsley are the visitors to west London tomorrow.

Out on the pitch, the groundsman’s lawnmower chunters across the lime-green grass. A few rows down, an incongruous sight: a two-foot high weed, sprouting through a crack in the concrete, peers over the hoardings. Scores of flags, donated by fans this week, have been draped across empty seats nearby. Not since the 2-2 draw with Birmingham in late February has anyone sat in these stands, and supporters will, of course, be absent again this weekend.

Every so often, however, the chorus of thousands of R’s fans wafts through the drizzle. Hoos smiles. “I wasn’t a big fan of piped-in crowd noise, but we’ve hit on a company [Autograph Sound] that’s actually done a really good job for us,” he says. “We came down last Thursday to listen to it, and when you close your eyes, it does sound like a match day.

“They plan to do very QPR-specific chants, and the players, hopefully, will feel that … make them feel a bit more at home. Players adapt. The ones who adapt best will do best in this nine-game run-in.”

Three weeks ago, you may recall, Hoos said he was “appalled” by the EFL’s announcement, without any consultation with clubs, of a June 20 start date that gave players little time to prepare for nine games in 33 days. “[It was] probably less about the date than the intensity,” the former Fulham, Southampton, Leicester City and Burnley executive says, striking a more conciliatory tone. “To be fair to the League they talked with the clubs after that, the communication was fantastic, and they did the right thing, dropped that first midweek game, allowing players to recover.

“The guys came back in great shape, but it’s one thing to run, it’s another to play football. That’s where you get the muscle strains and the injuries. We’ve had a couple of weeks to work with the football now so let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Their match-day routine will be transformed. “Our car parking has been cut in half, and we didn’t have much in the first place,” Hoos says with a laugh. “Then it’s about [planning] the quickest route possible into the stadium, as opposed to the traditional route where they come down the pavement. Social distancing in changing rooms: if you’ve seen our changing rooms, you cannot fit 11 people in socially distanced, so we’re using one of our big lounges for the away team.

“We’ve brought in a Portakabin and hooked up showers for them to use. Our players are going to be in both the home and away changing rooms. It’s about keeping numbers to a minimum, managing risk.”

The absence of fans, however, will be the biggest change and the financial outlook without match-day revenue is bleak. QPR were, not so long ago, leaders in a crowded field of financial basket cases in the second tier. In a decade during which the club were twice promoted to the Premier League, they managed to incur losses of more than £200 million, breach financial fair play rules and, in June 2018, were handed a £42 million fine by the EFL.

Hoos has slashed the wage bill and the club have not paid a fee for a player since 2017, relying instead on free transfers and nurturing young talent. Last season, QPR’s wage-to-turnover ratio was 69 per cent; the league average is 107. Does Hoos, then, believe those efforts have better prepared QPR for a more straitened future? “Yes and no,” the American, who has worked in English football for more than two decades, says.

“The problem is, even if you are on an even keel financially, the fact that you have liabilities but no income coming in, it starts to sink you anyway. Right away you have to move back to shareholder funding, because you don’t have any income stream coming in to cover your costs.

“The way it looks to me right now, it’s almost like a race to the bottom: which owner runs out of cash first. If there’s no money coming in, all you’ve got is the central broadcasting deal from the league, sponsorship deals, which could also be in jeopardy. Most club’s season tickets would have gone on sale already, but it’s very hard to push season cards when you can’t even tell them a) when it’s going to start, and b) if they’re going to be allowed into the stadium. So a lot of clubs are in a very precarious situation right now.”

QPR have been working on contingency plans for what a socially distanced Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium would look like if supporters are allowed back into reduced-capacity stands next season. “We’d probably be looking at 3,700, or 3,800 people in here,” Hoos says. “Cleaning and sanitising costs would go up; policing costs, you would hope, would go down. We’d have to open the whole stadium, so stewarding costs would remain the same even with reduced capacity. While I don’t like the idea of playing behind closed doors, it’s certainly better than not playing at all.”

Nearly 65 per cent of QPR’s fans, Hoos says, have waived a refund on their season tickets for the remaining nine games. “The vast majority have taken up the option of a free streaming service. I’m positive that’s being replicated across football. For most fans football is like a religion; it’s important to support that church and make sure it stands. Not every fan is fortunate enough to be in that position. Some needed the refund because they’ve been severely affected financially but the support of football, across the community, I think, has been fantastic.”

QPR have the benefit of a fruitful academy that has nurtured a number of sellable assets of late. The mercurial Eberechi Eze, 21, is drawing covetous glances from Premier League clubs. On the other wing, Bright Osayi-Samuel, 22, is perhaps the Championship’s most improved player. Will QPR be forced to cash in one or more players this summer?

“It goes with the territory that if you’re a developing club, and someone shines, when an offer comes in that’s right, you take it,” Hoos says. “We’ve never made any secret of that. For QPR, that will absolutely be our model going forward: developing talent, whether that’s some rough diamonds we collect from other places, or through the academy. That really is our DNA.”

Hoos agrees that the pandemic has been a wake-up call for football. “We couldn’t keep going the way we were, so it really is time we reboot,” he says. He supports a salary cap, which is expected to come into force in all three EFL divisions this summer, but not, he says, to “level the playing field”. “Someone like a Leeds United, a massive club, should be able to spend more money than us. I don’t have any problem with that. If there’s a maximum cap, it doesn’t mean we will necessarily spend that amount of money. For us, it’s about sustainability. Trying to gear [expenditure] to revenue.”

Hoos has been heartened by the way QPR and football have rallied to support communities during this crisis. “People must be sick to death of quizzes! But we’ve had some of our old players come back and do [online] quizzes, which have been very popular,” he says. “We’ve run educational pieces. We’ve had our club ambassador, Andy Sinton, analyse games and goals. We’ve highlighted training and development programmes that are available. Our club doctor has been brilliant, sharing [his advice] with the fans.

“The community department has been facilitating food banks, which have been really hard hit in terms of donations. They’ve actually had to move premises, because the amount of food we distribute has increased massively. That in itself shows the perilous state of affairs people are in right now. Football gets a lot of black eyes, but football has really stepped up to the mark during this pandemic. Everybody — fans, staff, players, ex-players — should all be proud.”

In their reverse fixture against Barnsley, in December, QPR hit three goals — but conceded five. It has been that kind of helter-skelter season for Mark Warburton’s team, who lie lie 13th, just six points outside the play-offs, and have outscored every team but West Bromwich Albion (2nd) and Brentford (4th), while only Hull City (21st) and Luton Town (23rd) have conceded more.

Three wins in an unbeaten six-game run preceded the shutdown. So can absent R’s fans still dare to dream? “Who knows? Football’s a funny old business,” Hoos says. “If promotion was based on the form table, then it would be us and Leeds going up right now. We were on a great run. We need to pick that run up again and end strong.”

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Re: Hoos in the Times

Post by 222gers » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:13 pm

gyates wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:06 pm
Here's the article:
Lee Hoos: It’s almost a race to the bottom – which owner runs out of cash first
The QPR chief executive tells Gregor Robertson about his club’s preparations for the restart and how the football landscape has coped during this pandemic

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Lee Hoos, the Queens Park Rangers chief executive, who has just pulled down a seat — socially distanced of course — in the Loftus Road lower. After a three-month hiatus the Sky Bet Championship is back and Barnsley are the visitors to west London tomorrow.

Out on the pitch, the groundsman’s lawnmower chunters across the lime-green grass. A few rows down, an incongruous sight: a two-foot high weed, sprouting through a crack in the concrete, peers over the hoardings. Scores of flags, donated by fans this week, have been draped across empty seats nearby. Not since the 2-2 draw with Birmingham in late February has anyone sat in these stands, and supporters will, of course, be absent again this weekend.

Every so often, however, the chorus of thousands of R’s fans wafts through the drizzle. Hoos smiles. “I wasn’t a big fan of piped-in crowd noise, but we’ve hit on a company [Autograph Sound] that’s actually done a really good job for us,” he says. “We came down last Thursday to listen to it, and when you close your eyes, it does sound like a match day.

“They plan to do very QPR-specific chants, and the players, hopefully, will feel that … make them feel a bit more at home. Players adapt. The ones who adapt best will do best in this nine-game run-in.”

Three weeks ago, you may recall, Hoos said he was “appalled” by the EFL’s announcement, without any consultation with clubs, of a June 20 start date that gave players little time to prepare for nine games in 33 days. “[It was] probably less about the date than the intensity,” the former Fulham, Southampton, Leicester City and Burnley executive says, striking a more conciliatory tone. “To be fair to the League they talked with the clubs after that, the communication was fantastic, and they did the right thing, dropped that first midweek game, allowing players to recover.

“The guys came back in great shape, but it’s one thing to run, it’s another to play football. That’s where you get the muscle strains and the injuries. We’ve had a couple of weeks to work with the football now so let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Their match-day routine will be transformed. “Our car parking has been cut in half, and we didn’t have much in the first place,” Hoos says with a laugh. “Then it’s about [planning] the quickest route possible into the stadium, as opposed to the traditional route where they come down the pavement. Social distancing in changing rooms: if you’ve seen our changing rooms, you cannot fit 11 people in socially distanced, so we’re using one of our big lounges for the away team.

“We’ve brought in a Portakabin and hooked up showers for them to use. Our players are going to be in both the home and away changing rooms. It’s about keeping numbers to a minimum, managing risk.”

The absence of fans, however, will be the biggest change and the financial outlook without match-day revenue is bleak. QPR were, not so long ago, leaders in a crowded field of financial basket cases in the second tier. In a decade during which the club were twice promoted to the Premier League, they managed to incur losses of more than £200 million, breach financial fair play rules and, in June 2018, were handed a £42 million fine by the EFL.

Hoos has slashed the wage bill and the club have not paid a fee for a player since 2017, relying instead on free transfers and nurturing young talent. Last season, QPR’s wage-to-turnover ratio was 69 per cent; the league average is 107. Does Hoos, then, believe those efforts have better prepared QPR for a more straitened future? “Yes and no,” the American, who has worked in English football for more than two decades, says.

“The problem is, even if you are on an even keel financially, the fact that you have liabilities but no income coming in, it starts to sink you anyway. Right away you have to move back to shareholder funding, because you don’t have any income stream coming in to cover your costs.

“The way it looks to me right now, it’s almost like a race to the bottom: which owner runs out of cash first. If there’s no money coming in, all you’ve got is the central broadcasting deal from the league, sponsorship deals, which could also be in jeopardy. Most club’s season tickets would have gone on sale already, but it’s very hard to push season cards when you can’t even tell them a) when it’s going to start, and b) if they’re going to be allowed into the stadium. So a lot of clubs are in a very precarious situation right now.”

QPR have been working on contingency plans for what a socially distanced Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium would look like if supporters are allowed back into reduced-capacity stands next season. “We’d probably be looking at 3,700, or 3,800 people in here,” Hoos says. “Cleaning and sanitising costs would go up; policing costs, you would hope, would go down. We’d have to open the whole stadium, so stewarding costs would remain the same even with reduced capacity. While I don’t like the idea of playing behind closed doors, it’s certainly better than not playing at all.”

Nearly 65 per cent of QPR’s fans, Hoos says, have waived a refund on their season tickets for the remaining nine games. “The vast majority have taken up the option of a free streaming service. I’m positive that’s being replicated across football. For most fans football is like a religion; it’s important to support that church and make sure it stands. Not every fan is fortunate enough to be in that position. Some needed the refund because they’ve been severely affected financially but the support of football, across the community, I think, has been fantastic.”

QPR have the benefit of a fruitful academy that has nurtured a number of sellable assets of late. The mercurial Eberechi Eze, 21, is drawing covetous glances from Premier League clubs. On the other wing, Bright Osayi-Samuel, 22, is perhaps the Championship’s most improved player. Will QPR be forced to cash in one or more players this summer?

“It goes with the territory that if you’re a developing club, and someone shines, when an offer comes in that’s right, you take it,” Hoos says. “We’ve never made any secret of that. For QPR, that will absolutely be our model going forward: developing talent, whether that’s some rough diamonds we collect from other places, or through the academy. That really is our DNA.”

Hoos agrees that the pandemic has been a wake-up call for football. “We couldn’t keep going the way we were, so it really is time we reboot,” he says. He supports a salary cap, which is expected to come into force in all three EFL divisions this summer, but not, he says, to “level the playing field”. “Someone like a Leeds United, a massive club, should be able to spend more money than us. I don’t have any problem with that. If there’s a maximum cap, it doesn’t mean we will necessarily spend that amount of money. For us, it’s about sustainability. Trying to gear [expenditure] to revenue.”

Hoos has been heartened by the way QPR and football have rallied to support communities during this crisis. “People must be sick to death of quizzes! But we’ve had some of our old players come back and do [online] quizzes, which have been very popular,” he says. “We’ve run educational pieces. We’ve had our club ambassador, Andy Sinton, analyse games and goals. We’ve highlighted training and development programmes that are available. Our club doctor has been brilliant, sharing [his advice] with the fans.

“The community department has been facilitating food banks, which have been really hard hit in terms of donations. They’ve actually had to move premises, because the amount of food we distribute has increased massively. That in itself shows the perilous state of affairs people are in right now. Football gets a lot of black eyes, but football has really stepped up to the mark during this pandemic. Everybody — fans, staff, players, ex-players — should all be proud.”

In their reverse fixture against Barnsley, in December, QPR hit three goals — but conceded five. It has been that kind of helter-skelter season for Mark Warburton’s team, who lie lie 13th, just six points outside the play-offs, and have outscored every team but West Bromwich Albion (2nd) and Brentford (4th), while only Hull City (21st) and Luton Town (23rd) have conceded more.

Three wins in an unbeaten six-game run preceded the shutdown. So can absent R’s fans still dare to dream? “Who knows? Football’s a funny old business,” Hoos says. “If promotion was based on the form table, then it would be us and Leeds going up right now. We were on a great run. We need to pick that run up again and end strong.”
Thanks for that, the last four paragraphs weren't in the edition I saw.

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