QPR had a near 550-mile round trip to Sunderland last night and the club used money set aside for away fans to provide free travel. The Away Supporters Initiative was introduced after Premier League clubs agreed to budget £12m over three seasons to make the matchday experience better for travelling fans. This equates to £200,000 per club, per season.
Clubs across the Premier League have used this money in many different ways - such as discounting away ticket prices, entering reciprocal pricing deals or providing subsidised coach travel to games.
Cheap travel is one of the better uses of the money but QPR Loyal Supporters' Associaton (LSA) say the club will only work with "official" (QPR LSA are independent of the club) groups when it comes to the initiative. Couldn't the club work with QPR LSA to ensure the group and its members are rewarded for their decades of loyalty?
QPR LSA secretary John Reid explains more in an open letter to the club...
Dear Mr Fernandes,
I am writing to you as secretary of the QPR Loyal Supporters' Association (the oldest Independent Supporter's organisation in Britain, formed in 1987) which represents around 1,000 members, who annually elect our Committee.
In the past the LSA organised sponsored events, bucket collections etc to raise money for our club when the club was in administration. We have run coaches for every game outside of London since 1987. I recently met with Andy Rees to discuss 'away' travel and how the £200,000 grant from the Premier League is to be used. He informed me that the money will be used to subsidise tickets and also to subsidise and provide free travel. However I was stunned when he stated that the money would only be used for 'official' travel.
We are a bona fide supporters organisation affiliated to the FSF and we are the only extant supporters club at Queens Park Rangers.
We would like to discuss how funds can be made available to enable the members of the LSA to enjoy the benefits of the grant. Most of our travelling members are members of the 'away' travel scheme.
A big thank you from the LSA for all the work you have done for the Club. As always the LSA will always be there for our beloved club.
Come on you R's!
All the best,
Secretary, QPR LSA
The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don't necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn't be attributed to the FSF.
Thanks to Brent Flanders for the image used in this blog, reproduced here under CC license.