Date:Saturday September 10 2011
Amit Bhatia has spoken about why he decided to leave Queens Park Rangers, and what convinced him to return to the club.
The vice chairman has been an integral fixture in the revival of Rangers' fortunes and reputation, coupled with the arrival of Tony Fernandes.
A popular figure among the players, management and supporters - the son-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal has revealed the well-documented reasons for his departure from W12.
'It was a very difficult decision for me,' Bhatia told QPR.co.uk.
'It's a wonderful role and responsibility to have, to be vice-chairman of this football club and it's not a role that I ever took lightly, so to resign that position was a very difficult decision for me.
'I received so many wonderful notes and letters from people who felt sad when I had resigned as vice-chairman. I said at the time that I must have done something right along the way if people wanted me to stay on
'It's an extremely humbling experience for me, but something that to some degree was out of my hands, no matter how sad I felt about it. The decision to come back on board was for my love of the club.'
It was well-documented at the time that Mr Briatore and Ecclestone did not empathise with Bhatia's way of doing business - presumably with a view to departing the club in the short-term.
The departure of Ishan Saksena and subsequent resignation of Bhatia made for dim reading among supporters and having seen the prices released soon afterwards it was evident what had occurred.
He explained that he is proud to be back making decisions at Queens Park Rangers and is immensely happy to be working alongside the like-minded Tony Fernandes.
'As a result where we stand now, coming back on board, it's the stuff dreams are made of really.
'To come back to a decision-making position and have a voice and have such a supportive partner in Tony - who I'm extraordinarily fond of - we get along really well, and the family is enjoying it as well.
'I've always said if we can have a club that we can be proud of off the field that we do things well and we always handle ourselves with dignity and pride then all the other things I think the football fans will accept.
'It's our responsibility to make sure the fans are proud of the club and continue to support us.'
To say that the landscape has changed would be somewhat of an understatement and it's almost bizarre to see how the scenery has shifted on several occasions in such a short space of time.
The elation of promotion was soured by news of board-room wranglings and subsequent loss of Bhatia and ticket prices being increased significantly. It was clear that the more recently elusive Briatore was back in control - if not in terms of shares then in terms of influence.
Thankfully things are now back to a more brighter, optimistic future, and while Bhatia would not be drawn on his ambitions, he like many other supporters is hoping for steady growth, continual improvement and for QPR to once again become an established Premier League side.
Date:Saturday September 10 2011
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