Despite supporting QPR as a kid and welcoming new investment from Malaysian Chairman of Air Asia Tony Fernandes sadly QPR's traditional contemptuous treatment of our local diverse population remains unchanged which prompted my memo to Chairman Tony Fernandes last year.
West London has had many changes over the years like other parts of London, where first the vast council estates of White City and Shepherds Bush were populated by the Irish then West Indians and now the Muslim community. However, one constant has remained and that is how QPR first with West Indians and now the Muslim community have literally pushed away the goodwill as well as positive sentiment of ethnic minorities who are willing to engage with their local football club.
Recently QPR in the guise of their CEO Philip Beard was sent an innocuous request to consider holding a Iftar Event during Ramadan for not only the Muslim population on their doorsteps but also their own Muslim footballers who LM has also mentioned. Given that QPR is funded by huge investment from Muslim Malaysia and has a Muslim Director on it's Board in Kamruddin one would have thought they should have embraced the idea. However, sadly the request was rejected with the most ironic of responses stating that QPR would be "observing" Ramadan while in the Far East being entertained by Muslim hosts. In other words they can travel 10,000 miles to observe Ramadan but not 10 minutes to embrace their Muslim neighbours. Is it any wonder that on match days you will hardly see a non white face on the terraces.
Racism in its direct form is often understandably seen through the lens of monkey chants banana throwing or anti Semitic hissing at Jewish supporters while the recent John Terry-Anton Ferdiand saga has also highlighted the nasty residual racist aspect by some within the game. However, racism in its subtle indirect form is also prevalent in the game and used to great affect. Take a look at the lack of Black football managers when Black players have excelled or the lack of Black Administrators within the FA or Premier League. White men in suits pervade the upper echelons of the game to the detriment of women and Ethnic Minorities which is why you still get crass moments of Sky TV handing alcholol "prizes" to Muslim footballers.
Little has changed since LM's first post on Muslim Footballers in the League back in 2009 when I first highlighted the growing dominance of Muslim players on the pitch while off the pitch little genuine effort is made to embrace or welcome Muslims into the family of football. The one change LM has highlighted is the continuing dominance of outstanding Muslim footballers despite a virtual news blackout on the topic of brilliant Muslim footballers. In addition, get ready for another Muslim inspired football revolution at Nottingham Forest following the Kuwaiti Muslim Fawaz Al Hassawi takeover.
In order to be fair and balanced there have been the odd occasion when those within the game have shown a sympathetic understanding towards the customs and requirements of Muslim football players. Most notable has been Alan Pardew Newcastle's Manager who stated his desire to build a prayer room for his outstanding Muslim footballers. Neil Warnock when he managed QPR showed fantastic understanding of Adel Tarrabt's requirements during Ramadan.. However these important steps have sadly been the exception rather than the norm.
At QPR we have fantastic diversity in the boardroom from Tony Fernandes, Amit Bhattia and kamruddin however, given their travelling demands they mistakenly leave the operational day to day running of the club in the hands of typical white men in suits like CEO Phillip Beard. Man City are the model QPR should follow Muslim owner Sheikh Mansour who appoints a Muslim chairman Khaldoon Mubarak with great Muslim players following huge Muslim investment and ultimately the Premier League title.