x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tony Fernandes delighted at taking over a 'fantastic diamond' in QPR

The Malaysian business tycoon takes over west London club, seeing 'potential' at the Premier League newcomers.

Tony Fernandes has labelled Queens Park Rangers a "fantastic diamond" and pledged to help the club reachtheir "limitless" potential.

The Malaysian businessman completed his takeover of the west London club yesterday after buying out previous majority shareholders Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

Fernandes' company, Tune Group, has bought a 66 per cent stake and his business partners will work alongside the Mittal family, who have retained their 33 per cent stake in the club.

The 47 year old believes QPR have huge potential and has vowed to utilise it.

"You are in London, which is fantastic," he said. "The potential of developing this ground at some stage or to another ground nearby is there.

"There is the potential to develop an academy and good training facilities.

"The potential to take QPR to other parts of the world is also there, with Amit [Bhatia]'s relationships and my relationships in Asia. [The potential is] limitless, and it is a fantastic diamond, which just needs a bit of polishing."

The personal fortune of Fernandes was estimated at £200 million in 2010 when he was ranked Malaysia's 19th-richest person.

The AirAsia founder's deal sees vice-chairman Bhatia return to the board after resigning in May following a disagreement with the board over ticket price increases.

Bhatia joined the board as a representative of father-in-law Lakshmi Mittal in 2007, and Fernandes is relieved to have completed the deal.

Fernandes has promised to bring in new faces to the Premier League club before the transfer window closes in a couple of weeks.