Jul 20 2012 By Jacob Murtagh
QPR chief executive Phil Beard admits a move to the club’s new training ground is behind schedule.
Rangers had hoped to move to a new state-of-the-art elite training facility at Warren Farm on a 63-acre site by July next year.
But last night the CEO revealed significant improvements to the current training set-up at Harlington has reined in the urgency.
The club is the preferred bidder to a 200-year lease on the land on Windmill Lane that borders Southall and Osterley, subject to planning permission, but it could be 2014 before they set up shop there.
Beard told the Chronicle: "I’ve slightly changed my opinion now [about the timescale].
"We’ve made significant changes to Harlington and by doing that there’s less of an urgency to get out.
"I don’t think it can still be seen as a Premier League training facility, so the plan is still to get Warren Farm up and running as fast as possible and the community project as well.
"But I don’t think there’s this urgency to get in there even if we haven’t finished because Harlington is in a position now where Mark [Hughes] feels it delivers what he needs.
"However, for the medium to long term we’ve got to move to the new facilities as soon as possible. We need to get it absolutely right."
QPR are in the process of submitting initial plans to Ealing Council, which include a covered dome and an outdoor 3G artificial pitch.
And Beard believes the project will take around a year to build once they are given the green light by the authorities.
"We’re working very closely with the council to make sure we deliver on what we promised on the community side," added Beard, who helped spearhead the successful bid for the London 2012 Olympics.
"I would rather we get it absolutely right than try to move as quickly as possible then realise it’s not how we want it.
"I don’t want to find ourselves opening our new training ground and then people regretting we didn’t spend more time on it.
"The key to it is to get it right for the first-team and the academy as well."
Follow me on Twitter.