Football: Fernandes targets Premier League survival

LONDON, Aug 21, 2011 (AFP) - Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes insists he would regard his first season as QPR owner as a success if the team avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Fernandes completed his buy-out this week after purchasing the 66 percent shareholding of previous majority stakeholders Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

The multi-millionaire's arrival has seen QPR linked with a host of big-money signings and raised expectations at Loftus Road.

But Fernandes is well aware that there is plenty of work to do before QPR -- promoted as Championship winners last season -- can hope to establish themselves in the English top-flight.

"I think at QPR in time we can build something quite special. It's going to take time," Fernandes told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

"I'm not someone who's going to make big predictions or say 'we're going to do this and that'. Let the results speak for themselves and let's step by step build something and the next step is to stay up.

"We're not a Manchester United or a Manchester City or a Chelsea. I think its important not just to throw money at the game, some of that money should go into the development side and that is key for me, to build a good academy and good scouting system and really get the grass roots right."

After losing their opening game of the season 4-0 at home to Bolton, Neil Warnock's side rebounded with a 1-0 victory at Everton on Saturday to mark the start of the Fernandes era in style.

Fernandes plans to bring some stability to a club that has often seemed unsettled by all the boardroom power games and that means Warnock will be allowed to carry on his work despite reports that a new manager may be brought in.

"His passion and his enthusiasm is very infectious," Fernandes said. "He's a new man now because he can look at a lot of different options which he didn't have before.

"Neil's the kind of guy that can motivate the team to perform as they did (against Everton) and I think he's a special guy. He's a good guy and we're very happy with him."

Fernandes also revealed he was looking at the possibility of moving away from Loftus Road to a bigger stadium.

"Definitely we would like a bigger stadium and a nicer stadium," he said.

"We have to try and stay around the area because I think that's very important and there were some options which were put forward by the last owners.

"A lot will depend on how the council sees it , but definitely that's something I would like to do at some stage.

"I think it's tough to develop Loftus Road. There's stuff around here which potentially may work and which has been discussed by the previous owners and the Mittal family with the council so that would be my top choice."

Other news