QPR is on the verge of ditching plans for a new training ground in Hanwell - and will develop their existing site at cut-price instead.
Ambitious proposals for the run-down Warren Farm site include a community sports development programme. But the scheme has been hobbled from the outset by the Hanwell Community Forum (HCF) that continues to fight tooth and nail to preserve the area.
Even though HCF lost a High Court challenge earlier this year the group intend to fight on. Rs chairman Tony Fernandes is losing patience.
“I’ve got to admit we may need to move on,” he said. “I’m a little bit tired of judicial reviews and this and that, and we can’t stand still.”
Rangers moved to the Harlington Imperial College grounds in 2007 as replacement tenants for Chelsea who decamped to a new facility in Cobham.
Hoops hoped to go state of the art by spending £6million on Warren Farm, but Fernandes has hit the pause button, and questions spending in the way Tottenham has at a new facility in Enfield.
He said: “We’re going to have a board meeting in a few months to decide, but if I was a betting man I’d say we’d be here at Harlington. It’s only a few complaining - but it doesn’t take many to stop the process. It’s like wanting to sign a new player who ‘umms’ and ‘arrs’ about coming. Do we wait forever or do we take the next best option? And then maybe you think the option was better anyway.
“I think we could win at Warren Farm, but now we’ve got another option, and I've got to the stage where I’ll wait for no-one any more.”
Fernandes wants to work with the Imperial owners and upgrade Harlington, but has no intention of lavishing cash on the grounds.
“What is a Rolls-Royce training ground?" he said. "If you give me the best football shoes, will it make me a better footballer? What makes a difference is the coach and a player. Do we need a Spurs?”
The Air Asia airline founder and boss laughed away the threat of a third airport runway that would carve up the Imperial pitches and the surrounding area.
“If getting Warren Farm approved is difficult, and bearing in mind I’m in the aviation business, a new runway going to be way beyond my lifetime,” he added.