Charlie Austin, the former QPR striker, has shared his thoughts on the significant off-field developments at his former club, QPR. He played as a striker for the West London team from 2013 to 2016 and returned for the 2021-2022 season.
During his time at Loftus Road, Austin played a pivotal role for the team before leaving at the end of his contract in the summer of 2022. Notably, he was part of the club when Amit Bhatia served as chairman. However, Bhatia is now stepping down from this role following the dismissal of manager Gareth Ainsworth.
Amit Bhatia initially received acclaim for his efforts in rejuvenating QPR, but the club’s fortunes took a downturn over the last year, leading to his decision to step down as chairman.
In response to Bhatia’s significant decision, Charlie Austin expressed his support for the 44-year-old, who remains a minority stakeholder in QPR. Bhatia had been in the chairman role since 2018 and likely played a role in Austin’s return to the club in 2021.
Bhatia has explained his reasons for leaving the position of QPR chairman. While he enjoyed his time in the role, he admitted that his recent silence was due to a lack of answers regarding the team’s struggles over the last 12 months. Despite stepping down as chairman, Bhatia will continue to be involved in the running of the club as a minority shareholder.
To fill Bhatia’s position, Lee Hoos has been appointed as the new chairman, in addition to his existing role as Chief Executive Officer.
QPR currently finds itself in the 23rd position in the Championship table, facing a six-point gap from safety in their battle against relegation. The team has had a challenging season, winning only two of their first 14 games, and they are just two points clear of the 24th-placed Sheffield Wednesday. The newly appointed manager, Martí Cifuentes, is set to lead the team in his first game in charge against relegation rivals Rotherham United on 4 November.
Amit Bhatia’s decision to step down as chairman could lead to significant changes at QPR, with more decision-making power likely shifting to CEO Lee Hoos. This transition comes at an opportune time, coinciding with the arrival of the new manager, Cifuentes, and may mark a turning point for the club. Avoiding relegation to League One is crucial for QPR, and they will be hoping that Cifuentes can quickly deliver positive results for the team.