The club was formed in 1886,
when a team known as St Jude’s
(formed in 1884) merged with Christchurch Rangers
(formed in 1882). The resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the players came from the Queen’s Park
area of North-West London. QPR became a professional team in 1889 and played their home games in nearly 20 different stadia (a league record), before permanently settling at Loftus Road
in 1917 (although the team would briefly attempt to attract larger crowds by playing at the White City Stadium
for two short spells: 1931 to 1933 and the 1962–63
QPR were promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season. Dave Mangnall
was the manager as Rangers enjoyed four seasons in the Second Division, being relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham
was signed from Leeds United and went on to make most ever league appearances for QPR (519). Prior to the start of the 1959–60
season saw the arrival of arguably the club’s greatest ever manager, Alec Stock
. The 1960–61
season saw QPR achieve their biggest win to date: 9–2 vs Tranmere Rovers
in a Division 3 match. In time, Stock, with the advent as Chairman in the mid-60s of Jim Gregory
helped to achieve a total transformation of the club and its surroundings.
, QPR won the Division Three
championship and became the first Third Division club to win the League Cup
on Saturday, 4 March 1967, beating West Bromwich Albion
3–2, (coming back from a two goal deficit). 42 years on, it is still the only major trophy that QPR have won. The final was also the first League Cup Final to be held at Wembley Stadium
. After winning promotion in 1968 to the top flight
for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just one season and spent the next four years in Division 2. Terry Venables
joined from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season and Rodney Marsh
was sold to Manchester City. During this time, new QPR heroes emerged including Phil Parkes
, Don Givens
, Dave Thomas
and Stan Bowles
. These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement
, Ian Gillard
, Mick Leach
and Gerry Francis
In 1974 Dave Sexton
joined as manager and, in 1975–76 led QPR to the runners-up spot in the First Division, missing out on the Championship by a single point with a squad containing seven England internationals and internationals from the home nations
. After completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool
who went on to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers
to clinch the title. Wolves were relegated to the Second Division that same season. The late 1970s also saw some cup success with Rangers reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup and in their first entry into European football reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup losing to AEK Athens
on penalties. Following Sexton’s departure in 1977 the club eventually slipped into the Second Division in 1979.
In 1980 Terry Venables
took over as manager and the club installed a ‘plastic pitch’
. In 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final
for the only time in the club’s history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur
. Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay. The following season 1982–83
QPR went on to win the Second Division championship and returned to English football’s top division. After a respectable fifth place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification, the following year, Venables departed to become manager of Barcelona
. Over the next seven years, various managers came and went from Loftus Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid table but avoided relegation. The most successful season during this period was the 1987–88 season in which QPR finished fifth, missing out on a UEFA Cup campaign due to the ban on English clubs in European competition as a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster
. They were also runners up in the 1986 League Cup, losing to Oxford United
, a key player in the 1970s QPR side who had proved himself as a successful manager with Bristol Rovers
, was appointed manager in the summer of 1991. In the 1991–92 First Division campaign they finished mid-table in the league and were founder members of the new Premier League
, finishing 5th, as top London club, in the 1992–93 inaugural season. Francis oversaw one of QPR’s most famous victories, the 4–1 win at Old Trafford
in front of live TV on New Years Day 1992. Midway through the 1994–95
season Francis resigned and very quickly became manager of Tottenham Hotspur
and Ray Wilkins
was installed as player-manager
. Wilkins led QPR to an eighth place finish in the Premiership. In July 1995 the club’s top goalscorer, Les Ferdinand
, was sold for a club record fee of £6 million to Newcastle United
QPR’s struggled in the following season and were relegated at the end of the 1995–96 season
. QPR then competed in Division 1 until 2001 under a succession of managers. Gerry Francis
returned in 1998, however the 2000–2001 season
proved to be a disaster, and Francis resigned in early 2001. Charismatic former player Ian Holloway
became manager but was unable to stop Rangers from being relegated to England’s third tier for the first time for more than thirty years. Following the 2003–2004 season
QPR returned to Division 1 and struggled for consistent form over the next two campaigns before Holloway was suspended amidst rumours of his departure for Leicester City
. A poor series of results and lack of progress at the club saw Holloway’s successors Gary Waddock
and later John Gregory
(both former players) fail to hold on to the manager’s job.
During this same period, QPR became embroiled in financial and boardroom controversy. Although the club had floated on the Alternative Investment Market
in 1991, in 2001 it entered administration
(receivership). A period of financial hardship followed and the club left administration after receiving a £10m high-interest emergency loan which continued to burden the club.
Scandals involving the directors, shareholders and others emerged in 2005–06 season
and included allegations of blackmail and threats of violence against the club’s chairman Gianni Paladini
In an unrelated incident QPR were further rocked by the murder of Youth Team footballer Kiyan Prince
on 18 May 2006
and, in August 2007, the death of promising teenager and first-team player Ray Jones
in a car crash.
Following this low point in the club’s history as Rangers also faced mounting financial pressure, in the same month it was announced that the club had been bought by wealthy Formula One
businessmen Flavio Briatore
and Bernie Ecclestone
(see Ownership and finances
below). During the 2007–08
season, Rangers competed in the Football League Championship
(see also: Queens Park Rangers F.C. season 2007-08
). John Gregory’s
reign as manager came to an end in October 2007 after a string of poor results left QPR at the bottom of the Championship and he was replaced by Luigi De Canio
until the end of the 2007–08 season. Further investment followed in early 2008 as the club looked to push for promotion to the Premier League
within four years, on the back of greater financial stability.
On 14 May 2008 Iain Dowie
was announced as the manager to begin the campaign to return Rangers to the top flight.
However, on 24 October 2008 Iain Dowie
was sacked after just fifteen games in charge of the club.
On Wednesday, 19 November 2008, QPR named former Portugal midfielder Paulo Sousa
as their new first team coach.
However, on 9 April 2009, His contract was terminated after he allegedly divulged confidential information without authority.
On the same day as Sousa’s sacking as QPR Manager, Player/Coach Gareth Ainsworth
was appointed as Player/Caretaker Manager of QPR for a second time. In June 2009 Jim Magilton
was named as new manager of QPR. Despite leading QPR to a good start to the 2009/2010 season, a loss of form combined with an alleged head-butting incident
with Hungarian midfielder Ákos Buzsáky saw the club further embroiled in controversy. Jim Magilton
left the club by mutual consent on 16 December 2009, along with his assistant John Gorman
. They were replaced by Paul Hart
and Mick Harford
on the next day. Less than a month and only 5 games after becoming manager at QPR, Paul Hart
parted with the club on 14 January 2010. The reasons for his leaving the club were unstated.
On 30 April 2011, QPR secured promotion to the Premier League
with a 2–0 win over Watford FC
A subsequent FA investigation involving QPR’s acquisition of Alejandro Faurlín
threatened to deduct points from the side and put their promotion into jeopardy. The investigation concluded on 7 May 2011, with QPR found to be at fault in two of the seven charges, and received a £875,000 fine. However, there were no points deducted by the FA, and QPR’s promotion to the Premier League was secured.
In January 2012, club chairman Tony Fernandes
appointed Mark Hughes
as team manager
36 hours after the previous incumbent Neil Warnock
was sacked. Following a tough start to his Loftus Road career and after a run of 5 straight home wins, Hughes and QPR escaped relegation despite a dramatic 3–2 defeat at Manchester City
on the last day of the season.
On 23 November 2012, Mark Hughes was sacked on the back of a poor start to the 2012–13 season,
having amassed only 4 points in 12 games and with the club languishing at the bottom of the Premier League despite significant financial investment in new players in the 11 months of Hughes’ tenure. A day later, Harry Redknapp
was confirmed as the new manager.
On Sunday 28 April 2013, in a 0–0 draw against fellow relegation rivals Reading F.C. and with 3 games of the season to play, QPR were relegated from the Barclays Premier League down to the Championship after two seasons in the top flight.