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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Jim Smith Returning to QPR

Guardian - February 7, 2006
Smith, 94 [sic], is set to make an unlikely return to Loftus Road while Ian Holloway becomes acquainted with his garden

QPR line up Smith after Holloway is suspended Stuart James and
Arindam RejTuesday

Jim Smith may make an unlikely return to Queens Park Rangers as director of football, more than 20 years after he first took over at the west London club as manager. The 65-year-old is understood to have been lined up to take on an advisory role at Loftus Road as Rangers prepare for the inevitable departure of Ian Holloway, who was yesterday suspended from his duties.
Smith, who managed at Loftus Road between 1985 and 1988, is known to be a close friend of the QPR chairman Gianni Paladini and although the Championship club would not comment on his possible arrival yesterday they refused to rule out a move for the former Derby County manager, whose last employment was alongside Harry Redknapp at Southampton.
Holloway has been sent on "gardening leave" for an indefinite period after he was linked with the vacant managerial post at Leicester City at the weekend. Leicester have denied reports that an appointment is imminent but even if Holloway does not replace Craig Levein, who was dismissed two weeks ago, it appears unlikely that he will return to QPR.
The former Bristol Rovers manager signed a three-year contract extension 12 months ago but his relationship with Paladini has been strained for some time. Paladini, though, will be keen to avoid any financial settlement with Holloway because it is believed the manager has a rolling one-year deal which would entail a 12-month pay-off if he were sacked.
Holloway, who has been in charge at Rangers for five years, learned that he would no longer be in charge of team affairs on Sunday night. Paladini said that the combination of a poor run of results and the Leicester rumours had prompted his decision to seek a change. Gary Waddock, previously the first-team coach, has been appointed as caretaker manager.
"QPR have not sacked Ian but we are concerned about recent performances and the effect the speculation about Ian joining Leicester might have on the players," said Paladini. "QPR will always be enormously grateful for the contribution he has made over the past five years, in particular gaining promotion for us in 2004."
Waddock is likely to be assisted by the Rangers youth coach Joe Gallen for Saturday's match against Millwall. However two other members of Holloway's backroom staff, Tim Breacker and Gary Penrice, have been temporarily relieved of their responsibilities

QPR suspend Holloway over Leicester linkBy Tom Cary
Queens Park Rangers have suspended manager Ian Holloway on full pay, ostensibly because of speculation linking him with the vacant manager's post at Leicester.
But a series of bad results and behind-the-scenes problems have undoubtedly contributed to the decision of chairman Gianni Paladini to place the eccentric Holloway on "gardening leave" along with coaches Tim Breacker and Gary Penrice. Coach Gary Waddock has been installed as temporary manager.
A statement from Paladini read: "QPR have not sacked Ian but we are concerned about recent performances and the effect the speculation about Ian joining Leicester might have on the players.
"QPR will always be grateful to the contribution he has made over the past five years, in particular gaining promotion in 2004.
"However, it is crucial the team are focused and moving forward, which is why we have appointed Gary as caretaker manager. I hope the fans get behind Gary for the home derby against Millwall on Saturday."
Waddock, a popular figure in his playing days at QPR, is credited with improving the club's youth system in recent years. The former Republic of Ireland midfielder is likely to be assisted by youth coach Joe Gallen, brother of club captain Kevin, for the clash with Millwall.
Paladini is also keen to install former manager Jim Smith as director of football. Smith led QPR between 1985 and 1988 and has since managed Newcastle, Portsmouth and Derby.
Cash-strapped QPR will now try to work out a compensation package with Holloway, who signed an improved contract last year. Meanwhile, Leicester, who dismissed Craig Levein last month and are in danger of dropping out of the top two divisions for the first time in their history, denied any agreement had been reached with Holloway.
A spokesman said: "The process of finding a new manager is still taking place. We won't be commenting on speculation."...

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