Friday 12 October 2012
For Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes his affair with English football was not love at first sight.
The Malaysian-born businessman took over the West London club last year and has been open about his plans for taking the Barclays Premier League club forward, whether via traditional media or through his Twitter account.
In an exclusive interview, Fernandes also explains the reasons behind his openness and how a sense of business was imbued in him from an early age.
His first sight of English football was not one that left a positive impression.
“We used to get delayed telecasts on something called ‘Starsoccer’, which was Midlands football,” Fernandes said. “I used to watch it and I found the games very tedious – it was very long ball, muddy pitches, it was backwards and forwards kicking.
“Then I saw Brazil play and I thought, ‘Wow!’ But at about that time, just around 1974 actually, I saw West Ham play and they were so different from any other club. It was Trevor Brooking and Patsy Holland , and [Frank] Lampard Sr. I thought, ‘Wow!’ this team play different football. So I started following English soccer."