The Four Year Plan - A Documentary About Queens Park Rangers

The Four Year Plan

Tagline: "A bankrupt Football Club. Billionaires with a blueprint. What could go wrong?" 

Surely when you throw enough money at a problem, the situation will alleviate itself and the status quo is maintained? Not necessarily and there is an underlying factor which is often forgotten. Yes, human beings and their complicated relationships by which seemingly simple situations are further escalated until nothing but chaos and infighting are left to emerge from the rubble. But tellingly, out of chaos and frenetic energy can come success.......

This is the premise of the documentary "The Four Year Plan" directed by Mat Hodgson. Shot over a four year period at Queens Park Rangers, the documentary showed the boardroom infighting with all main involved parties (Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone, Lakshmi Mitta, Amit Bhati) and the endless stream of managers / care taker managers (John Gregory, Luigi Di Canio, Paulo Sousa, Iain Dowie, Gareth Ainsworth, Jim Magilton, Paul Hart / Mick Harford and finally Neil Warnock) in their attempt to return the glory days to Loftus Road at any cost, both human and financial.

When some of the world's wealthiest men decided to buy Queens Park Rangers, a then down and out West London football team, the future looks bright and promising with one sole target; to make QPR financially viable again and return the club to the heights of the English Premier League whereby simply competing guarantees a substantial revenue stream via TV rights, sponsorship and match day cash streams of ticketing and corporate boxes.

The men in question included formula one tycoons Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone who, in 2007, brought a 69 percent stake with an initial 14 million pound investment. Later on, the stakes were raised even higher when Lakshmi Mitta, the Indian billionaire also invested and receives 20 percent of Briatore's slice of the pie. Everything looked set in place for endless success...but then of course, often the best plans do not go to plan. The then team's turmoil on the pitch is matched by the dramas of the boardrooms.

Every sports fan knows what happened next. Under the guidance of Neil Warnock, QPR reached the promised land of the premiership despite a potential 10 point deduction due to financial irregularities. Back in the top flight, ownership again changed hands to Malaysian businessman, Tony Fernandes, who became a majority stakeholder.

When you give access to a camera crew to document every move of a financially struggling football team and their attempts to regain their long lost status of top level football, you can only expect fireworks to fly......

A fascinating documentary!


By Christopher KL Lau

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