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Bhatia stands down from QPR role
Published : 25 May 2011 18:30:28
QPR vice-chairman Amit Bhatia has resigned from his position citing disagreements with the board over ticket prices and recent boardroom decisions.
Bhatia joined the club in December 2007 as representative of father-in-law Lakshmi Mittal, after the Indian steel magnate bought a shareholding alongside Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. He revealed the sacking of former chairman Ishan Saksena and a near 40% increase in season ticket prices following promotion to the Barclays Premier League forced him to stand down.
"It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as vice-chairman of Queens Park Rangers Football Club," Bhatia said in an open letter to the fans obtained by Press Association Sport. "It has been the greatest honour to have served this club as an owner and board member for the past three years."
He added: "Although there have been challenges, the last 15 months have been a period of stability and success and it gives me immense pleasure to see QPR back in the Premier League where I feel the club belongs.
"However, it is clear to me from recent board meetings that my vision, strategy and direction for the club is very different from that of the other shareholders and board members. The recent decisions to sack club CEO and chairman Ishan Saksena and significantly increase season ticket prices are just two of the decisions I disagree with.
"While it saddens me to leave QPR after such a successful season and at the beginning of an exciting new phase, I do not wish to be associated with or take responsibility for decisions made by the board and with which I disagree so strongly."
"The Mittal family had been in discussions concerning the possible acquisition of the club. However we have been unable to reach agreement on this matter and therefore those discussions have now come to an end. Although no longer a decision-maker at QPR, I shall continue to be a 33% owner and a 100% fan of the club.
"In due course, we will appoint a board representative to monitor my family's investment in the club.
"I shall look forward to supporting the club as a fan next season and would like to thank [manager] Neil Warnock for his leadership and friendship over the past 14 months. It has been my pleasure to work with him and be part of the club's recent success and wish the club every success in the Premiership."
Earlier on Wednesday the club announced it will be charging fans up to Â£72 to watch their team in the Premier League next season. The cheapest tickets will be Â£47 while season tickets are up by almost 40% from last term.