Fernandes to use Air Asia as fallback shirt sponsor

Air Asia: possible shirt sponsor for QPR
Air Asia: possible shirt sponsor for QPR

New QPR boss Tony Fernandes has promised fans that he will sign up his own Air Asia brand to be the club's shirt sponsor, should he fail to land an external deal.

QPR failed to land a sponsor for the start of the football season, despite being promoted to the Premier League this year.

Fernandes, owner of the Team Lotus Formula 1 team and airline company Air Asia, took over QPR after he bought out major shareholder Bernie Ecclestone and former Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatore.

In an interview on the QPR website,  Fernandes said: "Sponsorship isn't a top priority to be honest. Obviously there's maybe a little bit of pride involved that we're the only club without a sponsor, but we could get a sponsor tomorrow, but at what price?

"If worse comes to worse, I'm sure I can persuade Air Asia or Malaysian Airlines to come on board and sponsor us."

Air Asia is owned by the Malaysian businessman. Malaysian Airlines is government-owned.

There are no rules preventing club owners providing shirt sponsorship to their football teams.

Manchester City – owned by an Abu Dhabi-based consortium led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – has Ethiad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates, as its main shirt sponsor.

Etihad Airways is owned by the Abu Dhabi government. The oil-rich state's ruler, Shekh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan, is Sheikh Mansour's half-brother.

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