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Sunday, April 30, 2006

QPR Finish 4th from Bottom...Winnless in Last 11 Games...

Reading 2 QPR 1

After winning 2 out of his first 3 games, Garry Waddock's QPR finished winnless in their final 11 games, taking 5 points from those 11 games....with 1 point from final 7 games. Their last win was at the end of February. In today, Waddock picked up 11 points from 14 games...If that happens over a full season, we'd be relegated.

QPR's 2005-2006 Results

League Table

QPR 50
Crewe 42
Millwall 40
Brighton 38

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Team Line-Ups for Final Game of Last Season...and From Two Years (Sheff Wed!)...of Three Years Ago (The Playoff Final)

The QPR Line up for the Final Game of the 2005/05 season - May 8, 2005 (at Cardiff, lost 0-1)

Generoso Rossi

Marcus Bignot
Dan Shittu
George Santos
Gino Padula

Lee Cook
Marc Bircham
Martin Rowlands
Jamie Cureton
Tony Thorpe
Kevin Gallen

Richard Edghill
Marcus Bean
Adam Miller

And for THE Sheff Wed Game two years ago
May 8, 2004 Shef Wed 1 QPR 3 (Gallen, Furlong & OG)

Lee Camp
Gino Padula
Clarke Carlisle
Matthew Rose
Richard Edghill

Gareth Ainsworth
Marc Bircham
Richard Johnson
Martin Rowlands

Paul Furlong
Kevin Gallen

Arthur Gnohere
Jamie Cureton
Steve Palmer

And THE Playoff Game Three Years ago - vs Cardiff May 25 2003 (0-1)

Chris Day
Stephen Kelly
Clarke Carlisle
Danny Shittu
Gino Padula
Kevin Gallen
Marc Bircham
Steve Palmer
Kevin McLeod
Richard Pacquette
Paul Furlong
Nick Culkin
Terrell Forbes
Andy Thomson (for Pacquette)
Brett Angell
Tommy Williams (for Padula)

Bircham on Being Sold by QPR

BBC - Bircham not keen to leave Rangers

Midfielder Marc Bircham insists he has "no wish" to leave Queens Park Rangers, despite being transfer-listed.
"I found out last week the club wanted to sell me, so I said they should put me on the transfer list," he said. "They turned down a bid from Sheffield United in January. I was told in March they wanted me to sign a new deal. "To be honest, it looks like I'm going, - I'm a bit angry about the situation. But being a (QPR) fan, a big part of me hopes no-one puts in a bid."

Bircham - I want to stay with Rangers
Marc Bircham has insisted he has no wish to leave QPR despite being placed on the transfer list.
The 27-year-old midfielder is among eight players to be listed as the west London club look to restructure their squad for next season.
Bircham is one of three players - including unlisted Dan Shittu and winger Lee Cook - who will depart Loftus Road if another club meets Rangers' asking price.
"I had no wish to leave," lifelong Rangers fan Bircham said. "I found out last week that the club wanted to sell me, so I said they should put me on the transfer list.
"They turned down a bid from Sheffield United last January and I was told in March that they wanted me to sign a new contract.
"To be honest, it looks like I'm going, and I'm a bit angry about the situation. But, being a fan, there is a big part of me that hopes there is no-one puts in a bid, and (caretaker-boss) Gary Waddock does not want me to go."

14 Players Out? QPR Release 6 and Transfer List 8 Others

14 Players possibly going....Add the several who've left during the season: Bean, Sturridge, Miller and Brown...And the ones who left at the end of last season: Thorpe, Cureton...and the ones who left in the middle of last season: Johnson, Ghnore, Forbes... Lot of players gone.


Today, following talks with Gary Waddock, several players have been released from Queens Park Rangers.

Those who still have contracts outstanding will be placed on the transfer list and those who have come to the end of their deals will be released.

Georges Santos, Richard Langley, Sammy Youssouf, Marcin Kus, Ryan Johnson and Luke Townsend will not be offered new deals by the club.

Stefan Moore, Tommy Doherty, Ian Evatt, Ugo Ukah, Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas, Matthew Hislop and Marc Bircham will all be placed on the transfer list.

Waddock said: "Undoubtedly this is the part of management that no one in charge of a football club ever wants to do. "But these decisions have to be made for the sake of the club as a whole. "After the summer, I want this to be a new era, not just a new season and I have to start planning for that now. "I felt that those who I have released don't fit in with my plans for next season, but I would like to thank them for their efforts and hard work throughout their time at QPR." http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10373~822558,00.html

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ex-QPR Chairman, Bill Power Joins Swindon Board

Very, very best of luck to him, but very sad for QPR fans.

Swindon Official Site

Swindon Town Football Club's Board of Directors are delighted to confirm that Mr Bill Power is to join the club as a Director from Monday 15th May 2006.
Power brings with him a wealth of football experience, having been both a Director and Chairman of Queens Park Rangers FC.
Mark Devlin, Swindon Town FC Deputy Chairman, commented:
"It is fantastic news for the club that Bill has decided to take up the challenge at Swindon. I had the pleasure of working with Bill in my time as Chief Executive at QPR and always found his commitment, passion and business knowledge invaluable."
Bill Power is to join the Swindon Town Board of Directors
The Board have actively been looking for someone with the right credentials and financial strength to come on board to assist the Directors in taking the club forward.
"It is very apparent that, on the football side, things have not gone according to plan this season," said Devlin.
"Bill's football experience helps us to bridge a gap in the Directors team, and will allow other individuals to concentrate on working with the Council and supporters on The County Ground redevelopment plans."
Bill Power commented: "It was fantastic to have served on the Board of QPR at a very exciting time in their history, and since leaving Loftus Road, I have missed the involvement at a club. Mark Devlin and the Board explained the situation at Swindon and asked me if would be interested in getting involved.
"I am now looking forward to playing my part in trying to bring the good times back to Swindon and seeing the fans with smiles on their faces once again," he concluded.

Devlin on Power Arrival

Swindon Town Deputy Chairman Mark Devlin has given his views to the press following today's announcement that Bill Power is to join the club as a Director.
Power was Chairman at Queens Park Rangers during Devlin's tenure with the London club and will officially join Swindon Town on May 15th.
"It is a well-known fact that the club have been looking for an extended of period of time for someone to come in and share the burden of running the club. I spoke to Bill about the possibility of joining us and he has been down to see a few games, met the Board and he is keen to get involved," said Devlin.
Swindon Town Deputy Chairman Mark Devlin
"We have an understanding of where we are, and I must stress that we have not brought Roman Abramovich to the club. However, Bill is a passionate football fan and is looking forward to coming to Swindon and playing his part in taking the club forward.
"Sir Seton has put money into the club over recent years and that burden has fallen squarely on his shoulders. By bringing Bill Power to the club it does two things. Firstly it gives us a bit more financial strength and shares the burden of responsibility, as well as bringing someone in who can help out the Manager with transfer targets."
The Board believe that Power will bring a breath of fresh air to the club, with Devlin grateful to Power for accepting the challenge.
"Bill will be much more hands on that we have been used to before. I don't envisage him being here five days a week but I'm sure he will be in a couple of days a week or so, taking an interest in things all across the club," continued Devlin.
Bill Power is to join Swindon Town as a Director
"I am grateful to Bill for accepting the challenge here at Swindon Town as he is someone with a genuine passion for football. I am sure he can pass on his passion and knowledge and he will be an asset to this club.
"Bill is the type of guy who you enjoy working both with and for. He is a very humble person and has been very successful in business. His friendly and unassuming nature is something that strikes you and he is very much a people's person.
"His arrival will make a significant difference to many aspects of the club. It is really positive news as the Board look to make the most of the coming months as we look to pick up the pieces after what has been a fairly horrendous season and build toward trying for an immediate return to League One, if that is what we have to do," concluded Devlin.

This is Swindon
A significant step forward 27th April 2006

DEPUTY chairman Mark Devlin worked alongside Bill Power during their spell together at Queens Park Rangers. He tells JON RITSON why he feels Town have made a ‘significant’ signing to help take the club forward, although not to expect Roman Abramovich mark two! It’s a well known fact that we’ve been looking for additional help in terms of sharing the burden that Sir Seton Wills has had for years, putting money into the club.“The club have actively been looking for some time, years rather than months, and have spoken to several people and come very close on a couple of occasions, although it hasn’t quite come off.“A chance discussion between someone on the board and myself back in January suggested whether Bill Power, having known him from my QPR days, would be interested in getting involved in football.“My initial reaction without talking to Bill and knowing that he is a passionate QPR fan, is that he was a bit fractured by what went on at QPR and was unlikely to want to get involved in another club.“Fair play to Bill, I spoke to him on two or three occasions, brought him down here, he’s seen three or four games, got to meet members of the board has a good understanding of the situation the club is faced with, where we currently are and he’s really quite keen to get involved and use his knowledge and expertise and bring some additional finance.“It takes a bit of the burden off Sir Seton and maybe from time to time helping us to do things that at this moment we’re unable to do – looking at transfer targets that may carry a transfer fee.“I have to stress that we haven’t brought Roman Abramovich to Swindon.“Bill is a passionate football fan and he’s really looking forward to coming here and to helping put the club on the road again and take us forward.“From my perspective it’s a significant investment that Bill is putting in.“As we all know in football if you want to make a small fortune out of football you generally start with a big fortune and it gets nibbled away at.“There’s no definite outcome in terms of Bill ever getting his money back or even making money out of the club, irrespective of what people might feel.“I think he’ll be a great asset to the place. He’s very much a people’s person. a very humble guy, who’s done well in business.“He comes with no baggage, doesn’t have the last fractured decade of Swindon Town’s history with him.“There have been people the club have been speaking to that have had more than one eye on the development and any potential that might come out of that.“Bill has got involved in this because it’s a footballing opportunity.“I believe Bill’s addition to the board will make a crucial difference as we look to pick up the pieces after what has been a fairly horrendous season and try and use this close season as something positive.“At this moment in time we are not aware of any significant wealthy individuals or group of individuals who just wanted to invest in the club.“We don’t own our stadium, we’ve been losing money and it isn’t something that immediately gets the juices flowing when you’re looking to invest in something to make money for yourselves.“Despite several sightings of people with bulging pockets full of cash, they’ve not made themselves known to us so I’m very grateful to Bill that he’s accepted the challenge, and it is a big challenge, to help take the club forward.

Ex-QPR's Paul Murray Staying on at Carlisle

Murray is United’s man for 2006-07
Published on 26/04/2006

By Jon ColmanCUMBRIAN midfield ace Paul Murray will help launch Carlisle United’s League One campaign next season after signing a new one-year deal with the Blues.The 29-year-old former England Under-21 and ‘B’ star was originally contracted to United until the end of this season after rejoining the club in February.But he has been unable to feature for Paul Simpson’s side, who clinched promotion at the weekend, due to a registration wrangle with his former club, Portuguese top-flight outfit Beira-Mar.But Carlisle-born Murray expects those problems to be resolved in the summer, so he has now penned a new deal and will be eligible to play when pre-season training starts in July. http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/sport/viewarticle.aspx?id=359277

QPR Players For Sale and Paladini's Playoff Expectations

Daily Mail - April 27, 2006 - Players for Sale
Marc Bircham, Danny Shittu and Lee Cook have been put on the transfer list at QPR as part of costcutting measures. Bircham, 27, said: 'They've put a price on me, Danny and Lee, and if those prices are met we'll be gone in the summer. 'I've got a year left on my contract and I could stay but the club wouldn't get money for me, so it would be stitching them up a bit which I obviously don't want to do. 'I know every player has his time to go, but I'm gutted, especially as they had a bid for me from Sheffield United in the transfer window. 'It was turned down and so was one for Danny and that's when they released the statement that they didn't need to sell any players because we were financially stable. 'I was promised a new contract at the end of the season. Four months down the line, they have to get the wage bill down and we're the only three players they can get money for, so we have to go.' Gary Waddock is set to make further cuts to his playing staff with 16 players expected to be moved on.

BBC Gossip/Independent
QPR chairman Gianni Palladini has made it clear he expects Rangers to make the play-offs next season. (Independent)

QPR chairman Gianni Paladini has demanded caretaker-boss Gary Waddock take the team into the play-offs next season.
Waddock is expected to be given the job permanently once an agreement is reached with former manager Ian Holloway, who was sacked in February.
But even though Waddock could struggle to hang onto some of his most valuable assets, Paladini has set his sights on a top-six finish in next year's Championship table.
"We will be looking to end next season in the top six," Paladini said. "I've told Gary it is what I'm expecting, and I have every faith in him.
"Our original three year plan was reached: promotion to the Championship, and then survival. Now, however, it's time to raise the bar.
"We want a strong, young, fast side who are hungry and can help get us where we want to be and play the kind of football that people are happy to watch."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

QPR Players to Learn their Fate - Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times


QPR players will finally discover their fate on Friday when caretaker manager Gary Waddock unveils his plans for next season.
Several members of the 31-man squad will be leaving Loftus Road in the summer, while others have been told they can go at the right price to ease Rangers' financial concerns.Times columnist Marc Bircham revealed this week that he has been made available for transfer, along with star defender Danny Shittu and highly-rated winger Lee Cook.
Waddock admitted: "Cookie has been outstanding for me and he will obviously want to test himself in the Premiership at some stage."That will be a decision for the board if an offer comes in. We all know the financial state of the club and money does talk."I have to make decisions on the players' futures and that'll be addressed by the end of this week. I'll sit down with the players so they all know what's happening and I'm quite clear on what decisions will be made."
Waddock will assume the manager's role as soon as Rangers have agreed a settlement with Ian Holloway, thought to be in the running to take over at relegated Millwall next season.And the caretaker boss dreams of putting together a young squad to emulate Reading, who are seeking to set a Championship points record by beating the Rs in the final game of the season on Sunday.The Royals need three points to top Sunderland's record of 105 points and will be confident against a QPR side that have failed to win any of their last 10 games."Nobody expects us to win - Reading will be getting the trophy and it's their party time, but we're not going there to lie down and die," Waddock insisted."We'll try to enjoy the game and the atmosphere and try our best to finish with a good performance. It hasn't happened overnight for Reading, they built their team gradually and Watford have done it along similar lines."You look at one signing Reading have made - Leroy Lita - and that shows you have to pay for goalscorers. As everybody knows, we haven't got £1m to spend on a player, we have to coach and improve players and I believe we've got a decent base to build on."Waddock will consider handing teenager Ray Jones his full debut at the Madejski Stadium, with Paul Furlong the only other recognised striker available on Sunday.Marc Nygaard is suspended following his red card against Watford, while Kevin Gallen, Stefan Moore, Sammy Youssouf and Shabazz Baidoo are all injured.Right-back Marcin Kus could start, while young defenders Andrew Howell and Jonathan Munday, who have both been unused substitutes in recent weeks, may also figure.

Bircham Acknowledges Probably Leaving QPR...and Club Prepared to Sell Cook & Shittu

Kilburn Times

AS things stand, I'm coming to terms with the fact that I probably won't play for QPR again.The club have told me that they've set asking prices for myself, Danny Shittu and Lee Cook and, if someone meets those prices, we'll be leaving Loftus Road.To hear that is desperately disappointing - most of all because I read it in the press before anything official was said to me.
I don't know how that information leaked out, but I had a meeting with Gianni Paladini and Gary Waddock the day before the Watford game and they explained the situation
.I was meant to be on the bench on Saturday, but after that news I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to play.I know Sheffield United made an inquiry about me earlier in the season and the club turned it down, saying that our finances were stable.
Suddenly they're saying we have to sell players and I don't know how things could have changed so much in a few months' time. If they'd said to me 'we need money, the club's desperate to sell', then I'd have understood it was for the good of QPR. I knew that would have been a possibility at the end of my last contract, but we beat Swindon and Sheffield Wednesday to go up and the club offered me a new deal.I've still got another year on my current contract, but I know I'm on borrowed time and the likelihood is that, if the asking price is met, I'll be going. Maybe a QPR fan could win the lottery and invest in the club, then things might be different. Assuming that doesn't happen, I expect I'll be playing somewhere else next season.And I really fear for QPR next season - we could really struggle. But I hope the fans really get behind Waddo's team and the board and I'll be proved wrong.To read Marc Bircham's exclusive column in full, buy the Times every Wednesday

Sunday, April 23, 2006

QPR's Poor 2005/2006 Home Record


QPR finished their home campaign with Seven Wins, Nine losses and seven Draws. The team scored 24 goals and conceded 26. Must be QPR's worst home record for some time.
(And given that QPR started well winning 3 and drawing 1 of their 4 home games, the record looks even bleaker: From our last19 homes games, QPR won 4; lost 9; and drew 6.)

See - League Table http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_div_1/table/default.stm

[By comparison, our 2004/2005 home record was 9 wins...7 draws...6 losses...Scored 30 goals. Let in 25

2005/2006 HOME RESULTS

Tue 9 Ipswich Town W 2-1
Sat 13 Sheffield Utd W 2-1
Fri 26 Sheffield Wed D 0-0

Tue 13 19:45 Luton Town W 1-0
Sat 17 15:00 Leeds United L 0-1

Mon 3 19:45 Crystal Palace L 1-3
Tue 18 19:45 Plymouth D 1-1
Sat 22 15:00 Norwich City W 3-0

Sat 5 15:00 Reading L 1-2
Tue 22 19:45 Preston L 0-2
Sat 26 15:00 Hull City D 2-2

Mon 19 19:45 Coventry City L 0-1

Mon 2 15:00 Burnley D 1-1
Sat 14 15:00 Southampton W 1-0
Tue 31 19:45 Leicester City L 2-3

Sat 11 15:00 Millwall W 1-0

Sat 4 15:00 Wolves D 0-0
Wed 29 19:45 Stoke City L 1-2

Sat 1 15:00 Crewe L 1-2
Sat 15 15:00 Derby County D 1-1
Sat 22 15:00 Watford L 1-2

QPR Lose at Home to Watford

QPR 1 Watford 2: Watford gain crucial edge for play-offs
Own goal from 10-man QPR wins Hornets home second leg for the semi-finals
By Jonathan Clegg at Loftus Road
Published: 23 April 2006
Adrian Boothroyd boldly declared that he was unfazed by his side's poor record against their play-off rivals this week, with Watford having failed to muster a single victory against any of their possible opponents in next month's end-of-season knockout. Of more concern to the Watford manager will be this subdued performance.
Watford's win, against a QPR team down to 10 men for the entire second half, was down more to luck than judgement. Although much of this match was played out against a raucous chorus of "We are going up" from their supporters, Watford's laboured display did little to support this verdict.
The win ensured Watford will play the second leg of their upcoming play-off tie at home.
"Football's about condensing space and finding space, and we forgot that today," said Boothroyd. "We didn't get it wide enough. We didn't find the spare man, and we let ourselves down a bit today." If Boothroyd was annoyed by the manner in which his young side edged to victory, he should be encouraged by the fact that going into the play-offs, which Boothroyd described as "a total lottery", luck is on their side.
Despite matching their opponents for much of this encounter, QPR conspired to gift the points to their opponents with a farcical late own-goal, having already ensured that the visitors played the whole of the second half with an extra man.
"I think that summed up the last five or six weeks for the team, the squad and the club," sighed QPR's caretaker manager, Gary Waddock.
"We're down on our luck at the moment." Luck, though, tells only part of the story, and in truth, Waddock's players must shoulder much of the responsibility for emerging pointless in a match they bossed.
Waddock had implored his players to match Watford's fighting spirit prior to kick-off, and it seemed that the message had been heeded when Lloyd Doyley's lazy challenge on the Rangers winger Lee Cook allowed Marc Nygaard to score from the penalty spot. However, it seemed that something may have been lost in translation. Moments before half-time, the Danish forward Nygaard, cautioned for removing his shirt when celebrating his opener, galloped down the pitch to play his part in a brawl with Watford's Darius Henderson, and was dismissed by Andy D'Urso.
"He knows that he's let the group down," said Waddock. "I'll be looking at the incident and if he needs to be fined, he will be." By then Watford had already levelled the scores through Ashley Young's smart finish, which came from a long clearance just seconds after Paul Furlong's chipped effort have hit the bar, but they struggled to find a way through QPR's resolute rearguard until Rangers' Georges Santos handed them an unlikely winner by heading a clearance past his own goalkeeper.
Boothroyd, meanwhile, will be hoping that fortune smiles on his team a while longer yet.

By Tom Collomosse, PA Sport
QPR boss Gary Waddock called for a fan who threw a plastic bottle at Watford's Jordan Stewart to be banned from football.
A 41-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident midway through the second half of Watford's 2-1 win at Loftus Road today.
And caretaker manager Waddock admitted he was saddened by the incident.
"Whoever committed this offence should not be allowed back into football grounds," he said. "There is no place for it.
"No-one should be throwing bottles. I don't like to see it at any grounds, and certainly not at ours."
Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd was more light-hearted about the incident. He said: "It was a hot day, and I thought it was a lovely gesture from a fan to keep the players hydrated.
"Jordan did very well; he just picked it up, gave it to the referee and got on with the game, but it's not something you really want to see."
Watford secured a top-four finish in the Coca-Cola Championship with this victory, which ensures they will play the second leg of their play-off semi-final at home.
Most of the match's talking points came in a five-minute spell before half-time.
Marc Nygaard gave Rangers the lead from the penalty spot in the 39th minute - only to be sent off in the 44th minute for two bookings, the first for taking off his shirt after scoring, and the second for dissent.
In between those incidents, Paul Furlong had hit the bar for Rangers, from which Watford broke clear immediately and Ashley Young equalised with a terrific curling shot into the top-right corner.
The game appeared to be drifting towards a draw, but Watford won it 12 minutes from full-time when Georges Santos inexplicably headed past his goalkeeper Paul Jones.
Waddock added: "Georges is devastated, and Marc knows he let the team down by getting sent off. He is just so keen to do well, but sometimes he needs to calm down a little.
"I will be looking at the incident, and if Marc needs to be fined, he will be. He made it difficult for the other players, because it was a hot day.
"This game summed up the luck we have had over the last five or six weeks, and we hope next season it will turn for us."
Boothroyd's men have surprised many by reaching the play-offs this term, and the Watford manager added: "I would imagine anyone would want to be at home in the second leg of a play-off semi-final.
"But we have been equally good at home and away in the league this season, so perhaps it will make little difference

Gary Waddock chose to draw on the positives, despite a 2-1 defeat against local rivals Watford.
Rangers played the entire second half with ten men, after goalscorer Marc Nygaard saw red for two bookable offences.
And the Hornets, who earlier levelled through Ashley Young, only stole maximum points when Georges Santos headed into his own net 12 minutes from time.
"We battled our hearts out after going down to ten men and I'm incredibly proud of each and every one of them.
"On another day, Furs' effort goes in and we go 2-0 up and win the game.
"I don't know what to say - it's just not happening for us.
"Furs must be one of the unluckiest blokes in the world and I feel the same way.
"If there was an award for that at the Player of the Year do tonight I think we'd probably share it.''
Waddock was slightly critical of Nygaard though; whose sending off for two yellow cards gave Watford a numerical advantage in the second half.
"I'm disappointed with Marc. He scored a goal and was playing well, but realises he's let himself and his team-mates down.
"To be fair to him, he's absolutely gutted and so are the rest of the lads, but if we continue to show this kind if fighting spirit, our luck will eventually turn.
"There's no doubt yet again that we deserved to get something from the game.''

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Nostalgia: Chairman Paladini's First QPR Game...25 Months Ago Today!

It was exactly 25 months ago today...against Wycombe (at Wycombe)...as QPR came from 0-2 down to draw 2-2. The QPR team that Day:
QPR's team that day: Camp, Forbes, C arlisle, Gnohere, Rowlands, McLeod, Bircham, Johnson, Gallen, Thorpe, Furlong - subs Edghill, Bean, Cureton - Subs not used Day, Palmer Scorers: Gallen (46), Rowlands (68)

Paladini describing his first game in his QPR World Q&A
"..... I first heard about QPR through my accountant and I went to the game against Wycombe where it was very windy and we came back from 2-0 down. I met Bill Power at the game and I got hooked. The club then asked me to help out and I did." http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/QA/0,,10373,00.html

Wanderers recorded their ninth draw in eleven games after they threw away a two goal lead to draw with promotion chasing Queens Park Rangers at a windswept Adams Park. In front of the biggest League gate of the season at Adams Park and with the wind behind them, Wanderers scored twice in three first half minutes through Matt Bloomfield and Craig Faulconbridge but things were levelled up after the break as the wind turned the game into a near lottery. Kevin Gallen pulled a goal back a minute after the re-start and then on 68 minutes 'Wanderers reject' Martin Rowlands floated in a cross/shot from the right wing that Steve Williams watched sail over his head and into the back of the net. Danny Senda came closest to winning it for Wycombe when he went close in the 75th minute while Williams made up for his earlier misjudgement when he made late saves to frustrate the large travelling contingent from West London.Tony Adams made one change to the side that had drew in the week versus Colchester United - a not fully fit Jermaine McSporran dropping to the bench and Danny Senda moving forward to the right of midfield and Mark Rogers returning to the side at right back for his first appearance since Boxing Day.The effect of the wind was difficult to gauge in the opening stages where Wycombe's best chance came on 7 minutes when Nathan Tyson dragged a shot wide from the left after a good through ball from Michael Simpson. It was Tyson who played a major part in both of Wycombe's goals. First on 26 minutes he raced in on the left side of the penalty but under challenge from Clarke Carlise the ball deflected across the face of the goal where Bloomfield was waiting to convert his first goal in Wycombe shirt. Three minutes later Tyson broke again down the left and this time centred for Faulconbridge to cooly finish for his first goal since February 2003.Tyson was the centre of attention again three minutes before the break when he fought back to retrieve the ball down the right only for Carlisle to challenge roughly backed up by Marc Bircham. Tyson seemed to react by raising his arms to Carlisle and will probably be grateful for only picking up a yellow card along with the Rangers player.Half-time Wycombe 2 QPR 0It was disappointing from Wycombe's point of view to concede so soon after the re-start when Kevin Gallen made the most of poor defending from Wycombe as he was able to take a touch on the right side of goal before finishing past Williams.

However, Wanderers almost restored their two goal advantage on 61 minutes when Currie's goalbound free-kick from the left seemed to be headed over by Faulconbridge from inside the Rangers six yard box.QPR's equaliser will go down as freak goal - Rowlands slung in a cross from the right that swirled and dipped in the wind before nestling in the far corner of the net. Most onlookers would have made QPR favourites to win from this point but Wanderers stuck in there and there was a chance to claim victory when Steve Brown's through ball to Tyson on 75 minutes culminated in Simpson and finally Senda seeing their efforts on goal twarted. At the other Williams made an excellent save from a Gallen free-kick on 82 minutes and with five minutes left on the clock he pushed away another Gallen attempt to earn Wycombe their deserved point and perhaps in more favourable conditions it would have been three.Final Score - Wycombe 2 QPR 2

Rangers boss Ian Holloway commented on the conditions that had spoiled the game as spectacle, commenting "It was a really surreal day. I've never seen wind affect a football match like that before - not even in my amateur days. It was the most bizarre half time experience of my life. I wanted to scream and shout - but I also didn't think it was necessary. I just knew we'd get back in it.".

Meanwhile, Tony Adams said he thought at half time that the two goal lead was not going to be enough bit and was frustrated that Wanderers had conceded straight away after the break. The Wycombe gaffer also didn't concede that his team were relegated "They're giving me everything they've got and as a manager I can't ask for more from them. They haven't thrown the towel in yet and they haven't done since I've been here. We may only have eight games left to avoid the drop but we're going to keep fighting until the last. If we win the last eight games, we'll stay up. Are we going to win the last eight? We'll most definitely try and that's all we can do."

Wycombe: Williams, Rogers (sub 87 McSporran), Vinnicombe, Johnson, Nethercott, Senda, Simpson, Currie (sub 77 Philo), Bloomfield, Faulconbridge (sub 63 Brown), Tyson - subs not used: Simpemba, DixonBookings: Tyson (ungentlemanly conduct 42)Scorers: Bloomfield (26), Faulconbridge (29)

QPR: Camp, Forbes (sub HT Edghill), Carlisle, Gnohere, Rowlands, McLeod (sub 75 Cureton), Bircham (sub 86 Bean), Johnson, Gallen, Thorpe, Furlong - subs not used Day, PalmerBookings: Carlisle (foul 42), Bircham (foul 59)Scorers: Gallen (46), Rowlands (68)http://www.chairboys.ndirect.co.uk/onthenet/reports0304/qpr-h-20mar2004.htm

[And with QPR Report's "adjunct" blog, QPR Board (http://www.qprboard.blogspot.com seemingly gone; Welcome instead to http://www.qprboardroom.blogspot.com/ - Much more to come/to be restored]

Furlong to Player/Coach Next Season...Other Players to Leave

Kilburn Times -Furs to coach the kids
nwl.sport@archant.co.uk 20 April 2006
Paul Furlong will take his first step into coaching next season as part of a major shake-up of the playing staff at Loftus Road.
Furlong's exact role is yet to be defined, but it is thought he will combine the final year of his QPR playing contract with coaching the youth team. It means the veteran striker will escape the close-season cull that could see as many as 15 of the current Rangers squad offloaded once Gary Waddock is confirmed as manager.
But Furlong, who turns 38 in the autumn, was anxious to stress that he is not planning to hang up his boots yet. He told the Times: "Coaching is what they're looking for me to do, it's certainly something that's been spoken about and I'll have to concentrate on getting my coaching badges. "But I've made it quite clear that I'm not finished with playing football and I don't want anyone to think that. When you're finished, you're a long time finished. "I still enjoy playing and when I wake up the day after a game, I'm not full of aches and pains and I still think I've got a bit more to offer. "
I know I can't play football forever, but it's another string to my bow if I can look at coaching as well as playing next season."
The QPR striker - who was Player of the Year last season - first became interested in coaching after helping out with sessions at the Edmonton All Saints B under-11 team where his son plays. But he has endured a frustrating campaign, finding the net just six times and was denied what would have been a winning goal in Monday's rollercoaster 3-2 defeat at Norwich.... http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/content/camden/kilburntimes/sport/story.aspx?brand=KLBTOnline&category=sportfootball&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=sportklbt&itemid=WeED20%20Apr%202006%2011%3A09%3A34%3A373 _________________

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gerry Francis Looks Back Thirty Years! THE Norwich Defeat

Daily Mirror - by Aidan Magee
QPR 1 Derby 1

GERRY FRANCIS wants QPR to thrash Norwich today - to help him ease 30 years of pain.
The former England skipper was a key part of the exciting Rangers side which narrowly missed out on the old First Division title in 1976.
And QPR all but blew their hopes on April 17 that year by losing 3-2 in a Carrow Road thriller - before being pipped by Liverpool shortly after.
Incredibly the two sides meet again today on the same pitch all these years later - but with little more than Championship pride to play for.
Rangers would probably have been the smallest club ever to be crowned league champions, in the end finishing just a point behind the Reds.
Dave Sexton's side was packed with glorious names from the Seventies like Francis, Frank McLintock, Phil Parkes, David Webb and Stan Bowles.
Francis said: "It's amazing that the fixture list has thrown this up exactly 30 years to the day, and at Carrow Road too.
"I remember the day well. It was a great match but it was destined not to go our way.
"It was our only defeat in the last 17 games of that season. We then beat Leeds and Arsenal to finish the season.
"Then Liverpool played at Wolves 10 days later needing a win. They were losing until 15 minutes from time and then they scored three.
"It was unfair because now all the teams would play concurrently on the final day, but Liverpool knew exactly what they had to do.
"They were great times, with great players and some great haircuts - in fact I've still got mine!"
Marc Nygaard headed home Lee Cook's 59thminute cross, but Tommy Smith rescued a point for Derby which ensured their Championship status.
They played the last three minutes with 10 men after Darren Moore was sent off for a second booking following a foul on Cook.
Alan McDonald is ready to answer Garry Waddock's SOS call and pledge his future to QPR.
He agreed to step in on a short-term basis but is now ready to sign a two-year contract

QPR 1 Derby 1 - Reports & Comments


Gary Waddock was left ruing a missed opportunity as the Superhoops were held to a 1-1 draw by Derby County. Tommy Smith's left foot curler handed ten man Derby a share of the spoils, after Marc Nygård had earlier given Rangers a 59th minute lead with his eighth goal of the season. "We should have won the game,'' said Waddock. "We had enough chances in the second half, but we're just not firing in front of goal at the moment. "Last year the ball could've hit Furs anywhere and it would go in - but he's just not getting the rub of the green at the moment.'' Despite only claiming a point from a game they deserved to win, Waddock was generally upbeat with the display. "I was pleased with the performance. We passed it well and overall it was much better than previous weeks. "The young lads settled in and did very well. "It's great experience for them to play against an established Championship side like Derby. "Stefan had a really good game and I was very pleased with Scotty. They've both got very big futures at this football club.''

BBC QPR 1-1 Derby ....

- QPR caretaker manager Gary Waddock "I felt we passed it well, created chances and should have gone on to win the game. "I'd have been devastated if we'd have got nothing. But we'll keep being brave, getting the ball in the box and creating chances. "We've got three games against good sides left, so I can have a look at the players and see if they are going to be good enough to take us forward." Derby manager Terry Westley "That's my 13th game in charge, and the responsibility of trying to keep a club of Derby County's stature in this division is draining. "There is so much going on and the club is in a transitional period. "But at least now we know where we are next season."

QPR: Jones, Kus, Shittu, Evatt, Milanese, Ainsworth, Donnelly (Furlong 5, Bailey, Langley, Cook, Nygaard. Subs Not Used: Cole, Santos, Lomas, Howell. Booked: Bailey. Goals: Nygaard 59. Derby: Camp, Jackson, Moore, Nyatanga, Michael Johnson, Smith, Barnes (Peschisolido 64), Bolder (Idiakez 64), Seth Johnson, McIndoe (Holmes 64), Lisbie. Subs Not Used: Poole, Edworthy. Sent Off: Moore (8. Booked: Moore. Goals: Smith 67. Att: 12,606 Ref: T Kettle (Berkshire). WADDOCK -

Friday, April 14, 2006

ABC, QPR & Derby County - Looking Back

Given current developments at Derby County (see for example, David Conn, Today's Guardian " Derby County chairman quits as police investigate"
http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,1753753,00.html ) instructive to read just some of the past stories re ABC, and their involvement with QPR & Derby. Many, many other news stories and fan speculation can be found on the web.

David Conn - The Independent April 9, 2005

Michael Hunt, the former managing director of Nissan UK, who was sentenced to eight years for his role in the largest tax fraud ever perpetrated in Britain, is, according to sources, the man behind the ABC Corporation, a Panama-registered company which has lent pounds 10m and pounds 15m to Queen's Park Rangers and Derby County respectively, and has mortgages on both Loftus Road and Pride Park.Hunt was convicted in 1993 of conspiring to cheat the Inland Revenue, after Southwark Crown Court heard that for nine years Hunt, along with the company's chairman Octav Botnar and another director, had orchestrated a 'truly massive' tax fraud, by using bogus invoices and a sham shipping agent to siphon pounds 149.2m from the company and launder it through offshore companies, depriving the Inland Revenue of pounds 56.3m tax and pounds 36m interest.Botnar stayed in Switzerland and refused to come back to face trial, although he later agreed a settlement with the Inland Revenue. Hunt, however, who was said by the prosecution to have made pounds 30m personally from the frauds, and another former Nissan UK director, Frank Shannon, were convicted for their parts in the scam. Hunt appealed, but his conviction and sentence were upheld in May 1994. QPR, who had long been in administration following their financial collapse under Chris Wright's ownership, borrowed pounds 10m from the ABC Corporation in May 2002, at an interest rate of 10%, pounds 1m a year, a huge amount for the once-chirpy club to pay. Companies registered in Panama, a tax haven, do not have to disclose their shareholders or directors, but in March 2003 rumours began to circulate on QPR fans' messageboards that Hunt was behind ABC.After ABC provided the money, a 'consultant legal adviser,' Philip Englefield, became a director of QPR to represent ABC's interests on the club's board. The club's supporters' trust, QPR 1st , then discovered that in 1991 Englefield had been struck off the roll of solicitors by the Law Society for improperly taking nearly pounds 900,000 from his firm's clients' bank account.QPR asked him to stand down, which he did, although he continued to act as ABC's contact, a role the club said he discharged professionally. Englefield, it turns out, had also been convicted of theft and fraud offences for taking pounds 4.7m from his firm's client account, and been sentenced in March 1993 to seven years in prison, reduced to six on appeal. A year later, he wrote to The Sunday Times, praising the fish and chip supper, 'the gastronomic highlight of the week' " served up on Fridays in his prison.In October 2003, Derby County, relegated after six seasons in the Premier League and, under their former owner Lionel Pickering, sagging beneath pounds 31m debts, were suddenly put into receivership. The club and their ground were sold to a newly formed company, Sharmine Limited, and new directors were unveiled: Jeremy Keith, a 'business doctor' specialising in financially failing businesses, who had briefly been involved at Portsmouth FC before they went into administration in 1998; Steven Harding, an advertising executive, and a perhaps unlikely figure as the new chairman of Derby: John Sleightholme, a barrister and the deputy coroner for North Yorkshire.At the time the directors said they would not reveal who owned the club, a stance they have maintained ever since. A month later, it emerged that the pounds 15m finance for their takeover had come from the same ABC Corporation, registered in Panama City.Sleightholme had been previously involved in a venture with a former Scottish players' agent, Murdo MacKay, who, a few months later, joined Derby as the club's director of football. MacKay's own business career is somewhat chequered; he was a Fifa-registered players' agent for what he described as 11 'unblemished' years, but one of his companies, Inside Soccer Recruitment, which had a high-profile launch in 2001 and was backed by the former Rangers and England centre-back Terry Butcher among others, went bust just 18 months later, owing a large tax bill and leaving creditors, including a furious Butcher, unpaid.From 1993 to 1996, MacKay was made personally bankrupt after the failure of another recruitment agency, MMK Associates, when 19 creditors, ranging from the Inland Revenue to a furniture loan company, were left owed pounds 157,659. MacKay has, however, said he has put that behind him and is applying his knowledge of football to reviving Derby's fortunes.Last month, Sharmine Limited, which owns Derby, finally revealed who its owners are, but that only opened into a new layer of opaque anonymity in yet more tax havens: two of its shareholders are registered as companies in Belize, the other in the British Virgin Islands.Sources close to the deals, however, confirmed to me this week that Michael Hunt is the ultimate source of the ABC cash. He is understood to operate a family trust registered in Switzerland, whose size, the sources said, runs into 'nine figures'. A lawyer in Basle, Dr Hans Georg Hinderling, has represented ABC Corporation in their dealings with QPR.QPR's current board, chaired by lifelong Rangers fan Bill Power, who took the club over last year, has since been scathing about the ABC loan it inherited: 'It is scandalous,' Power told me, 'that we've been saddled with this debt, from a Panama corporation of all places, at such an outrageous interest rate.'David Davies, the chief executive at the time the deal was done, who is now working for London Wasps Rugby Club, maintained however that QPR had no alternatives at the time: 'Looking back, yes I am uncomfortable about the loan we had to take out, but no banks would lend to us. It was a matter of keeping the club in business.'At Derby, ABC replaced one load of debt, owed to Lombard and the Co-op Bank, with the money now owed to them. The club's directors have told the Supporters' Trust, Ramstrust, that the debts have increased another pounds 4m since they took over, to pounds 35m. Ted McMinn, the former Rams' winger who now commentates for BBC Radio Derby, has been a sceptic from the start: 'We know very little about these people, or why they took over,' he told me. 'They appear to have put no money in themselves, and the debt isn't getting smaller.'In a meeting with Ramstrust last December, Jeremy Keith said of Michael Hunt's rumoured involvement with ABC: 'We can't categorically say who is involved,' although Michael Hunt's name was not on any documentation and was not an officer of the organisation. This week John Sleightholme said they had had no dealings with Hunt.Nick Sellors, of Ramstrust, called for transparency: 'We want to know who owns our club, and why they have to maintain this level of secrecy.'On the field, however, Derby, led by their over-performing manager, George Burley, will be in the play-offs if they can maintain their current sixth place in the Championship. If they manage to pull off an unexpected promotion, they will sail into pounds 25m of Premier League riches, and the club's owners, whoever they are, will presumably be quids in. ABC may even be repaid. That is the football gamble: there is money to be made at the top.Nothing in the secretive, offshore financing and mortgages which prop up and weigh down Derby and QPR appears to be illegal. David Davies told me that in order to exit administration, QPR had had to satisfy the court that the loan came from 'legitimate sources, not illegal activities', and they had done so.This is instead, to its tangled roots, a tale of how football blew the greatest financial boom in its history, and where some of its grand old clubs have had to go to find the cash to stagger on.davidconn@independent.co.ukAdditional research by Matt Denver

David Conn/ The Independent November 8, 2003

THE IDENTITY of the so-called "mystery backer" that loaned pounds 15m to take Derby County from the Co-Op Bank's receivers a fortnight ago can now be revealed; and what could possibly reassure Derby fans more than to know their club is in debt and has mortgaged its celebrated new stadium to a faceless company registered in Panama?Quite why the newly appointed board at Derby, led by the new chairman, John Sleightholme, a barrister and the deputy coroner of South Yorkshire, felt compelled to withhold this news when he took over at the end of last month, is unclear. Mortgages have to be registered at Companies House, and so, a few days later, a document duly appeared on the public record which succinctly stated that: "All that freehold property known as Derby County Stadium Pride Park", is mortgaged to ABC Corporation, of Calle Aquilino de la Guardia no 8, Panama City, the Republic of Panama. This, of course, only gets anyone so far, which is one of the whole points of registering companies in Panama. The Panamanian Consulate in London proudly advertises on its website that a principal advantage for people registering "offshore corporations" in the country is that the Republic operates "the most secure confidentiality laws to be found anywhere." Companies must name officers, but these are usually lawyers working for the owners, whose identity does not have to be disclosed, and the companies do not have to file accounts or regular financial information.The other main advantage is that a company registered in Panama which does not actually operate in the country - like ABC Corporation and most of the 350,000 other companies registered there - pay no tax except a token annual administration fee. The consulate particularly stresses the advantages for banking: "The income derived is exempt from Panamanian taxes, which is a very attractive feature."The limited information available from the public registry in Panama City states that ABC Corporation was formed in October 1984. The address at Calle Aquilino de la Guardia is that of a law firm. Its first officers, a president, secretary and treasurer, were three Swiss lawyers, Peter Lenz, Marcel Muff and Hans Hinderling, who is a registered footballers' agent. Then in 1992 following a meeting at Hinderling's offices in Basle, the officers of the company were changed to lawyers in another offshore tax haven, the Bahamas: Richard Lightbourne, Hartis Pinder and Lourey Smith, of the firm McKinney Bancroft and Hughes in Nassau. But that's it. The identity of the owner, or the source of the money, is hidden.Derby themselves refused to elaborate this week, consistent with Sleightholme's statement when he took over with his fellow new directors, Steven Harding and Jeremy Keith - the prime mover of the takeover - that they would keep the source of the pounds 15m loan confidential. A club spokesman said the loan had been "passed" by the Football Association and League, but this does not mean that the source has been disclosed or vetted in any way. The FA has no system yet for vetting football club directors - the long-promised "fit and proper person test" - let alone to examine the ever more far- flung sources of finance to which many clubs are turning as ordinary banks pull out of the game with their fingers singed.The League did pass ABC Corporation's loan, but under a different rule, the one which prohibits one person or company having an interest in two clubs - as it turns out, the Panamanian nameplate is also on a sizeable loan outstanding at another club, Queen's Park Rangers, and ABC have a mortgage on their cosy old ground at Loftus Road.At QPR, a few details have seeped out since ABC Corporation of Panama City loaned pounds 10m last year, with which the club paid off outstanding debts, mainly to the majority shareholder, Chris Wright, and came out of administration. The interest rate was confirmed by QPR's chairman, Ross Jones, a banker, early this year, as 10 per cent annually; pounds 1m for the near-bust West London club to find, and a nice, tax-free earner for whoever is behind ABC. The club deals with a representative of the lender in London, Philip Englefield, who under his full name of Philip Anthony Devereux Englefield is currently registered as a director of several property companies which are based in Knightsbridge.In May 2002, as ABC's representative, Englefield was made a director of QPR, but then QPR 1st, the supporters' trust whose members have grown desperately concerned about the club's plight, discovered that in 1991 Englefield had been struck off the roll of solicitors by the Law Society. He had, the Law Society found, while a partner in a firm of solicitors in London W1, between July 1988 and June 1990, taken nearly pounds 900,000 from the firm's clients' bank account, in 91 separate withdrawals, for payments "of a personal nature".At his hearing, Englefield admitted the offences, but argued in mitigation that he had been "foolish and desperate, and had not formed any intention to commit fraud." The Law Society described the hole in the firm's bank account as "of a very great magnitude", said the payments "were not made in error" and that "extraordinarily large sums of money were involved." They struck him off as a solicitor and ordered him to pay the costs of the hearing and the inquiry.Shortly after the Trust presented the club with their discovery, on 12 July 2002, Englefield resigned from the QPR board. He is, however, still the man, registered as a legal advisor to various companies, with whom QPR deal to make their regular monthly payments of pounds 83,333. David Davies, QPR's chief executive, confirmed that the club deals with Englefield, and said the relationship with him and ABC was similar to "any other mortgage company", and that their dealings so far had been cordial:"We made the difficult decision to borrow the pounds 10m or die last year because there was no other solution offering itself to enable us to come out of administration. ABC have been fair with us and they have not been predatory."As at Derby, QPR have never disclosed who is behind ABC; Davies has said it is a Swiss trust. There were some rumours earlier this year that the ultimate lender of the money was Michael Hunt, the former managing director of Nissan UK, who in June 1993 was jailed for eight years for his part - allegedly with Octav Botnar, the company's chairman - in siphoning off pounds 149.2m from Nissan UK and cheating the Inland Revenue out of pounds 56.3m, Britain's largest-ever tax fraud. Witnesses to the fraud were called from Panama and Bermuda, and the money, according to the prosecution, was laundered through Swiss bank accounts.In March this year Justin Pieris, QPR 1st chairman, wrote to Davies asking him to clarify whether the rumours that Hunt was the lender were true. Davies had previously officially denied rumours that Fulham's owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, was the lender, however this time he did not confirm or deny it, but replied that he was bound by confidentiality. Davies pointed out that in order to exit administration the club and its administrator, Ray Hocking of BDO Stoy Hayward, had had to satisfy the court that the loan came from "legitimate sources, not illegal activities, and that they had done so"."The most important element," Davies wrote, "is ensuring the loan repayments are met, not what the background of an individual may be. The speculation over who may or may not have been involved in the affairs of Nissan(UK) contribute little to meeting those obligations."That, indeed, is a crucial point. At both QPR and Derby, the loans have merely replaced one hefty creditor with one from Panama, leaving the clubs in the same debt and not increasing their earnings. It is believed to be costing QPR significantly more in interest, and the club is desperate for cash - Davies has budgeted for a loss around pounds 2.5m this season and said QPR will not make it to the end of the season if no new investor comes in. If the worst happens - and Davies said all QPR's directors have to contemplate the club might go bust - the Loftus Road ground, a nice potential development site in Shepherd's Bush, will be repossessed by a Panamanian Corporation, represented here by a struck-off solicitor involved in property investment.At Pride Park, a symbol of the game's new dawn in 1997 when football was coming home and QPR were floating on the Stock Market, Derby would not confirm the interest the stricken club will be paying on its new pounds 15m loan to Panama, or any other details. No doubt, as at QPR, a few odd specks will come out in the wash.davidconn@independent.co.uk

Derby Evening TelegraphNovember 21, 2003
Who Lives In A House Like This?

month has passed since Lionel Pickering's chairmanship of Derby County came to an end, when the club was put into receivership by the Co-op Bank. Mr Pickering, who pumped millions of pounds into the club and got nothing back, was one of Derby's more colourful characters. But new chairman John Sleightholme, four weeks into his tenure at the Rams, remains as enigmatic as ever. Reporter Daniel Bentley took a look around the West Yorkshire village Mr Sleightholme calls home, in search of the Derby connection. At least the lady behind the counter in Boston Spa News and Booze knew that one of her customers was the new chairman of Derby County, even if she didn't know his name."I only know him as a customer," she said, unconcerned. "I just heard about it the other day, but nobody's had much to say about it." Nobody in Boston Spa - a small village in West Yorkshire - appears to support the Rams, with the exception of barrister John Sleightholme, who lives in a bungalow around the corner from the paper shop.Nobody in Boston Spa appears to care, either, that one of their fellow villagers became chairman of Derby County last month, while some seem positively reluctant to believe it. That might be because his home is so relatively modest by the standards of most football chairmen, as villagers readily point out - an ordinary bungalow on an ordinary street, 80 miles drive from Pride Park.It certainly isn't Ednaston Manor, the country house on the A52 to Ashbourne which is occupied by Lionel Pickering, Mr Sleightholme's predecessor at the head of the board table at Pride Park Stadium.Despite humble beginnings - he was a reporter for the Derby Evening Telegraph in the 1950s - Mr Pickering went on to become a multi-millionaire after setting up his free newspaper business, the Trader, which he sold in 1989 for £25m.Ednaston Manor was built in 1912, designed by famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose other commissions included the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, and Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland.It was first owned by the Player family, who ran John Player cigarettes, and has nine bedrooms and five bathrooms.It has about 50 acres of parkland and pasture, while stables and farm buildings on the grounds contain room for five cars.When it was put up for sale in 1979, with an asking price of £250,000, Mr Pickering snapped it up.Another Lutyens-built house in Derbyshire, Eaton House in Repton, went on the market last year for more than £1m.Before Mr Pickering, the top job at Derby County was held by Robert Maxwell, an even more illustrious businessman from the world of newspapers, having been owner of the Daily Mirror since 1984.For 32 years until his mysterious death in 1991, Mr Maxwell lived at Headington Hill Hall in Oxford.Maxwell House, as it was jokingly referred to, was rented from Oxford City Council. But, as Mr Maxwell pointed out, it was the best council house in the country and his transport of choice was a helicopter.Gordon Wilkinson, who runs Wilkinson's butchers in the high street, found it hard to believe that somebody from the village had bought a First Division football club.Mr Wilkinson said: "That's a bit of a surprise to me that somebody who lives in that part of the village would take over a football club. That doesn't sound right, that."I would have thought houses there fetch about £200,000. There are a lot of rich people in this village, but they don't live around there."I would've thought that would be a bit modest for the chairman of Derby County."The next village, Linton, is where all the big noises live - the footballers and directors." Linton is home to former Rams midfielder Seth Johnson, along with his former Leeds United teammate Harry Kewell, who now plays for Liverpool.Peter Ridsdale, the colourful former chairman of Leeds United, now at Barnsley, also lives in Linton.Mr Wilkinson added: "Boston Spa is only a small village, so you get to know a lot of people around here, but I don't know a Sleightholme." Mr Pickering so much liked his local pub - the Yew Tree Inn at Ednaston - he bought it.For many years, visitors to the pub would see him in the lounge area, discussing the club's fortunes with the then manager, Jim Smith.Regulars in Boston Spa's local pub, the Crown Hotel, had not heard of Mr Sleightholme, although one had seen his name mentioned in the local paper, the Wetherby News, in connection with the takeover.Peter Thorne said: "I heard about it, but I don't know who the hell he is. I've lived here for 50 years and I've never heard of him." IF a picture was building of somebody who keeps himself to himself, his neighbour confirmed it. "John's a very private man, so I'm not saying anything," she said. "But he's a super neighbour." One group of people he is better known among are the members of Wetherby Golf Club, of which he has been a member for more than 10 years. He is described as a "mid-handicap" golfer.One member, who knows Mr Sleightholme, said: "He's very well-known there."If he's going to have a drink he will probably come down to the golf club. He comes down and chats and joins in the conversations."He's got plenty of friends, and he's quite generous in the club, donating trophies and things like that, and he's a good organiser." Football allegiances among the golf club regulars tend to converge around Yorkshire clubs, particularly nearby Leeds United, but also Rotherham United and the Sheffield clubs.His friends at the golf club were as surprised as most Rams fans at his appointment as Rams chairman last month.The golf club member said: "It was a big surprise and we really don't know how it came about. Leeds United is obviously the number one topic in here and he's certainly knowledgeable about football."But I don't think he's said who he supports. Doesn't he have connections in Derby, then?" he asked this reporter, baffled.If Mr Sleightholme does have connections in Derby, he has kept them under his hat so far.He certainly doesn't exactly carry the same kind of flamboyance as his Mr Pickering, let alone, Mr Maxwell."Oh no - chalk and cheese," his golfing friend added."He doesn't live particularly opulently. Their only indulgence is that they have a couple of good holidays a year, maybe three."He's certainly not very outgoing or particularly flamboyant." Apart from the golf club, his other regular haunts include the sober surroundings of the Yorkshire crown courts, in Leeds and Hull, where he is taken by his day job as a barrister.He is also deputy coroner for North Yorkshire.The judicial theme spreads to his Glaswegian wife, Maureen, who is well known in the nearby town of Wetherby, where she has been a magistrate for many years and was chairman of the bench until she resigned earlier this year.The story so far...From the moment John Sleightholme strode out in front of the baying media on the day he took over at Pride Park, there has been an air of mystery about the new regime.The initial press conference, Mr Sleightholme later conceded, was not an overwhelming success and left the attendant reporters scratching their heads about who the new owners of the club actually were.Mr Sleightholme, together with business financier Jeremy Keith and marketing entrepreneur Steve Harding, had taken over the club after it had been taken into receivership by the Co-op Bank.But the barrister, who was taking over as chairman from Lionel Pickering, said that the £15m that had made the takeover possible had been put up by someone else, who wished to remain anonymous.A week later, faced with another round of interviews, Mr Sleightholme clarified the situation. The ownership of the club was no mystery - he owned two-thirds, Mr Keith owned the other third.The mystery now surrounded the source of the £15m and the backgrounds of the three men who had taken over the club, with no apparent connection to Derby.The Evening Telegraph learned that the backer was a company called ABC Corporation, a Panamanian lending institution which also helped QPR out of administration with a £10m loan last year.No further details about ABC Corporation have emerged, owing to the secretive nature of company records in Panama, a South American tax haven.Mr Sleightholme did not enjoy the press conference on his first day in the job and is not comfortable with the spotlight the position has thrown on him as the figurehead for a football club which still attracts crowds of more than 20,000 people per match.As well as his job as a barrister, he is the deputy coroner for North Yorkshire - not a common background among football chairmen.The only clue to his interest in taking over an ailing football club is his involvement with Finance for Football, an Edinburgh-based company of which he was co-director.Mr Sleightholme said, at the time of the takeover, that Finance for Football had been "an idea about how you might finance professional clubs".But it never traded and Mr Sleightholme resigned from his position when it became clear he was to become the new chairman of Derby County last month, to avoid the possibility of a conflict of interests.

Derby Evening Telegraph November 1, 2003
Rams' Mystery Backer Revealed

The mystery backer which put up £15m for the takeover of Derby County is a company called ABC Corporation, the Evening Telegraph can reveal. A source close to the new Rams board confirmed that ABC Corporation had lent the money which allowed the club to reduce its debts with the Co-op Bank and clear a £4.65m loan.ABC Corporation's directors are Kevin Brewer (51) and Suzanne Brewer (48), of Birmingham, according to Companies House, the Government register of limited companies which states that the pair each hold more than 1,000 company appointments. ABC Corporation was created in September and a company of the same name helped Queen's Park Rangers out of administration with a £10m loan in March last year.QPR directors have never revealed the identities behind ABC although, last August, it emerged that the company was based in Panama - a South American tax haven.Like QPR, Derby County chairman John Sleightholme has refused to identify the source of the £15m loan used to take over the Rams, due to a confidentiality clause.The loan was used to reduce the club's debt with the Co-op Bank to about £16m and clear its debts with financial house Lombard.The club's debt remains the same, at about £31m, but is broken down into two £8m blocks to the Co-op and £15m to ABC Corporation.The source said: "What they've done is refinance the business. They've paid off old loans and taken out new loans."What's the benefit for the club? Because the old loans were in mortgage arrears, it meant the bank could repossess 'the house' tomorrow."The loans are now structured so that their affordability is in line with the business." The Evening Telegraph has also learned that the club is now directly owned by a new parent company called Sharmine Limited, which is owned by John Sleightholme and Jeremy Keith.After the previous parent company, Derby County Limited, was taken into receivership on Monday, October 20, all of the shares in the club were sold to Sharmine, which was set up by the pair in September.As reported in the Evening Telegraph on Thursday, shares in Derby County Limited - which were owned by more than 1,000 fans, as well as former directors such as Lionel Pickering, Peter Gadsby and Stuart Webb - are now worthless.As part of the refinancing arrangement undertaken as part of the takeover, Sharmine also took out a loan with club bankers, the Co-op Bank. The amount is unknown.Mr Keith said last night: "We have nothing to add, other than that we have to honour the request of the people who have backed us to make a success of Derby, who wish to remain anonymous."But, having now spent the time we have with the supporters, the staff and the players, we feel a great sense of responsibility to Derby and we would not do anything to damage the club."

David Conn/ The Guardian October 19, 2005
The ABC of boardroom intrigue at Loftus Road

We know plenty more now about how Chelsea were airlifted from Ken Bates' debt mountain by the billionaire from nowhere, but for their near-neighbours, Queens Park Rangers, no such outrageous fortune has delivered them from turmoil. QPR were threatened with expulsion by the Football League in 2002, having been in administration for a year, and staggered out only by clutching a £10m loan from the mysterious Panama-registered ABC Corporation, which has burdened them ever since.Now, after a string of boardroom showdowns, the club is run by Gianni Paladini, an Italian former players' agent and, increasingly, Antonio Caliendo, the one-time Mr Big of Italian agents who in 1991 received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for attempted corruption. QPR are mostly owned by two New York-registered companies, Barnaby and Wanlock, who operate from Monte Carlo."I have fallen in love with Queens Park Rangers, its name and history," Caliendo told me, through an interpreter, this week. "We want to rebuild it both as a team and a business." Caliendo, 61, found early success selling encyclopaedias door-to-door, rose up the ranks of the De Agostini publishing group, then in 1979 fixed what were thought to be the first personal endorsements by an Italian footballer, for the international playmaker Giancarlo Antognoni. Caliendo claims that in the 1990 World Cup final between West Germany and Argentina, he represented 12 of the 22 players on the pitch, but he also dates his troubles in Italy from the same year, after his client Roberto Baggio's move from Fiorentina to Juventus, which provoked riots by Fiorentina fans.In 1991, officers from the Italian tax authorities raided Caliendo's offices, he was arrested, then on May 30 he did a deal, accepting a 10-month suspended prison sentence for attempted corruption. Caliendo told me he is intensely proud of his record and defends his reputation for "moral integrity" absolutely. He said he accepted the conviction only on his solicitor's advice, to secure a quick release from prison, and considered suing the government.A year later, in July 1992, an investigation into the collapse of the Italian club Hellas Verona led to Caliendo, among others, being arrested and remanded in custody, but, after a long investigation, he was not prosecuted. "I was never convicted of anything in relation to Verona," Caliendo said. "Several high-profile figures were attacked by the Revenue in Italy at that time."Caliendo said he is ready to "accept new challenges", and, like Paladini, a long-term associate, has given up his agent's licence to become fully involved at Loftus Road. Caliendo is shortly expected to become the club's new chairman. It is expected he will pass the Football League's "fit and proper person test" for directors, because his criminal conviction dates from long enough ago to be regarded as spent.QPR are still reaping the consequences of their version of living the dream, after they were taken over and floated on the stock market in 1996 by Chris Wright, the Chrysalis music entrepreneur. He invested £10m but, in April 2001, with QPR having lost £27m, Wright put QPR into administration. A month later they were relegated to the then Second Division.In May 2002, with the Football League insisting the club could not start the new season in administration, QPR accepted the £10m loan from the ABC Corporation, at 10%, £1m, annual interest, secured on Loftus Road. ABC's owners cannot be officially identified, but sources at QPR believe the man behind the company is Michael Hunt, the former Nissan UK director who in 1993 was sentenced to eight years in jail for his role in what was then Britain's largest tax fraud.In July 2003 a QPR fan and businessman, Bill Power, born and bred in Shepherd's Bush, bought some unissued shares and joined the board; QPR rallied and, with Ian Holloway their manager, won promotion to the Championship.Gianni Paladini told me that, like Caliendo, he was looking for a new challenge, and examined Port Vale and Derby - which also has a loan from the ABC Corporation, £15m - then eventually offered £670,000 for 10% of QPR. The club, facing another red tax bill, accepted the investment hungrily.This barely staunched the financial problems, however, so then, arranged by Caliendo, the two New York-registered vehicles, Barnaby and Wanlock, paid £1.7m for 29.9% of QPR, most of which went straight to the tax man.In August, following boardroom upheavals, Power quit, Mark Devlin was made redundant as chief executive, and the last London-based director, Kevin McGrath, resigned last month. QPR's directors now are Paladini, the former Brazil captain Dunga, representing Barnaby, and Gualtiero Trucco, a 34-year-old based in Monte Carlo, representing Wanlock.The club and its fans are reeling from a series of revelations, particularly about ballooning agents' fees paid out since Paladini became more closely involved. In the six months to June 30 2004, the Football League's list of agents' payments show QPR paid just £12,000 altogether. Then, from July 1 2004 to June 30 this year, QPR paid £320,935 in fees.Many of the payments were to agents who are friends or former associates of Paladini. Brian Hassall, a Midlands-based agent, was involved in a long- running legal claim against Paladini, which was eventually settled, and he was paid the highest single fee, £60,000, when QPR signed the Danish striker Marc Nygaard at the beginning of this season.Paladini told me the payment was absolutely legitimate and not connected to his legal battle: "Brian and I settled it, now we are friends, and of course I deal with people I know. Ian Holloway was looking for a big lad, Nygaard was at Brescia, I checked him out with Roberto Baggio, who said he would be perfect for English football. When you sign a player, you pay agents, that's how football works. Now, after all this fuss, we will try not to do it in future, but all the deals were above board and in the best interests of QPR."All the agents' payments are understood to have been registered with the League, as required by the rules, except one, £10,000 paid to Paladini's close friend Mel Eves when QPR signed Dean Sturridge from Wolves. Paladini explained that Eves was acting for QPR as a dealmaker and so the payment did not need to be registered.The League is understood to have discussed QPR's situation with the FA's financial advisory unit, but neither the FA nor the League is taking any action currently. "We are monitoring the situation," a League spokesman said.Paladini told me that he, Caliendo and the investors, are the only game in town: "What have we done wrong? Put money in to save this club? We want the club to succeed, then everybody, including the investors, will be happy."Talks have begun with a developer about possibly relocating from Loftus Road and building a new stadium in White City, which may clear QPR's financial problems and make them money. Paladini said he could understand, "100%", fans worrying that, in the hands of former agents, their club might be used to make money by moving players in and out.But he said: "Nothing under the table is going on. If anybody thinks there is, let them bring the evidence. But, actually, isn't it better to have people in who know football and have made a living out of it? Clubs got into a mess partly because rich people, who knew nothing about football, put money in - and they got ripped off."david.conn@guardian.co.uk; additional research John Hooper

April 17, 2003 The talk in FOOTBALL.
Unmask the loan Ranger WHO is the mystery Bahamas backer behind QPR? The club were rescued from administration by a £10 million loan from ABC Corporation, a secretive Bahamas-based trust. Thus far all inquiries as to the identity of those behind the move have proved fruitless. If you know any more let us know at the email address below.

The Evening Standard (London)
December 19, 2003 - : Staggering cost of QPR's 10mlifeline: MATT HUGHES
:QUEENS PARK RANGERS are flying at the top of the Second Division but there is a real danger they lack the resources for real lift-off.The club have failed to find new investment since a controversial 10million loan enabled them to come out of administration 19 months ago.The euphoria surrounding Ian Holloway's energetic and enterprising young team has helped mask their financial problems but, make no mistake, Rangers are in real peril.On the surface things could scarcely be better. Rangers have lost just five league games all year and are on course to emulate Rodney Marsh's team of 1967 by winning their division and a cup in the same season - even if the LDV Vans Trophy is not quite the League Cup. Holloway said: "We've made a decent start but need to keep it going. We're only halfway through the marathon and you don't win anything after 13 miles."He is expected to name an unchanged side for tomorrow's trip to Oldham.Success on the pitch has got the crowds roaring back, and this season's average attendance of 14,000 is higher than when they were in the First Division. The club have changed since the indulgent days of former owner Chris Wright, and Holloway's gospel of hard work runs through Loftus Road.Rangers are undoubtedly better for having trimmed the excess fat. The first-team squad has been reduced from a high of 61 to 24, the wage bill cut from 6.7million to 2.3m and losses are down from 5.5m to 2m. With the increase in gate receipts and television revenue that promotion would bring the club hope to break even if they reach the First Division - but therein lies the rub. Rangers are banking on promotion, a risk they cannot afford.Chairman Nick Blackburn said: "The worst case is that we survive, but we want to push on. This team can win promotion."If we don't get promoted we'll find it difficult to keep our best players.The manager will stay as he loves it here and is committed, but players are different."Rangers may not even get that far. Money promised by the Winton brothers to support the wages of Marc Bircham and Dan Shittu has not materialised and Fulham's return to Craven Cottage will cost them 300,000a-year.To complicate matters further, 14 players and the manager are out of contract at the end of the season and the club are in no position to plan for the future. Bircham and Martin Rowlands have attracted attention and Rangers may have to sell one of them as the season reaches its climax.Chief executive David Davies admitted: "The situation is pretty bad. We're in good shape overall but need the investment otherwise we may have to do things that are unpalatable." At the root of the problem is that rather large loan. To pay off outstanding debts to Wright the club borrowed 10m from the ABC Corporation registered in Panama City at a rate that is crippling them.Repayments on the interest alone total 1m a year, not to mention the 10m that must be paid back at the end of the term.The mysterious identity of the company has also angered supporters but Davies is adamant that the club had no choice.He said: "ABC were the only game in town. The only other option was to sell the ground and lease it back but we didn't feel that was in the best interests of the club.We realise the terms of the loan were unfavourable but had no choice. We have good relations with them and they're like any other mortgage company."But QPR need some help paying off the rest of the mortgage. Blackburn shook hands on a 1.8m deal with Australian David Thorne in July but the money never materialised, an unnamed English businessman offered 2m in October before disappearingy.As well as a general reluctance to invest in football, the club are also hampered by their plc status. Stock Exchange rules state that anyone buying more than 30 per cent of a company's shares must make the same offer to all shareholders, so taking overall control is an expensive business. Unless someone is willing to back Ranger's potential soon, a lot of hard work could be wasted.

The Evening Standard (London)
April 14, 2003

HEADLINE: QPR seeks £2m kick-start to revive flagging Fortunes
By Robert Lea QUEENS Park Rangers fans will be asked to put their hands in their pockets and raise up to £2 million for the cash-strapped Loftus Road club.QPR today admitted it racked up losses of £10 million in the past two seasons. The losses cover the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, during which the club was in administration after one of the more spectacular collapses among the stock market listed football companies. It came out of administration last summer after the sale of its sister rugby club London Wasps to Chris Wright, the former QPR chairman.Financial details reveal it was rescued after a £10 million cash injection from ABC Corporation, a secretive Bahamas-based trust that loaned the money secured on the club's Shepherds Bush stadium.That enabled the club to pay off Wright, who had bankrolled QPR from his own music-industry fortune, with a £3.5 million cheque. Wright, QPR's lifepresident, wrote off a further £3.3 million owed to him and waived his rights over the stadium - on which the loans had previously been secured.Wright's controlling shareholding has been given back to the club and is waiting to be sold to a prospective buyer.In the meantime, however, QPR finance director Paul English confirmed the club is looking to sell new shares. "Given the current negative investment climate in the City it is more likely to be aimed at our fan base," he said."We are actively seeking to raise the further capital to ensure the future of the company and club."Rangers made operating losses of £3.5 million last season despite slashing the players' and management's wage bill to £3.6 million from £6.8 million the previous season, when the club made an operating loss of £6.5 million.English said QPR would make further losses this season, though the underlying performance should improve.The Second Division club gets £1 million a season from tenants Fulham.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Waddock Speaking Out About "The Job" and The Future"

BBC- Hoop dreams
QPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock wants the chance to build his own side

Waddock wants to build for future
By Chris Bevan
The Ian Holloway situation needs to be resolved so the club can move forward - that is the most important thing, not any one individual
Gary WaddockQPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock is desperate to be given the chance to put together his own side at Loftus Road.
The 44-year-old has been in temporary charge since Ian Holloway was put on gardening leave on 6 February.
He has won only one game since then but told BBC Sport: "I want to be judged on my team, not somebody else's.
"I want to build my own team and play the style I want to play. I will bring in a better quality of player if I am appointed permanently.
He added: "I have inherited a group of players that Ian has put together.
"Some of these players have played a certain system for four or five years and I have publicly stated I want to change to a passing game.
"I was brought up that way at QPR and I know the sort of player who has been at the club before. I also know what sort of player the fans are loooking for.
"That is no criticism of Ian Holloway and his style of play or the success he had as a manager here. It's just I don't want to copy that - I have my own ideas.
"I've been able to put them into place in training but people don't see that side of it. They only see the team that you pick on a Saturday and you are judged on that.
"At the moment we are not getting the results or the performances that the club demands.
"But the players that are out there are not ones that I have brought to the club. I am not shifting all the blame here - I have a responsibility also - but hopefully I will get my chance.
"I am just starting out as a manager and I want to be a success at it."
Rangers are on a run of three successive Championship defeats and Waddock admits that in many ways the end of the season cannot come quickly enough.
"It is hard at the moment," he said. "We are in an awkward situation and the club is in limbo.
I have done the job on what I look at as a game-to-game basis so far but in recent weeks I am looking longer term
Gary Waddock
"The Ian Holloway situation needs to be resolved so the club can move forward - that is the most important thing, not any one individual.
"I have no idea when it will be resolved though.
"I have done the job on what I look at as a game-to-game basis so far but in recent weeks I am looking longer term and trying to think about a squad that can take the club forward.
"Someone has to plan for the future - and in the role I am in, even as caretaker, that someone is me and the chairman so I do have to look along those lines."
With four games left Rangers have slipped owards the wrong end of the Championship table but are not in any danger of the drop.
Waddock is determined that his players do not take their foot off the pedal in the run-in - and does not want this campaign to simply peter out.
He stated: "There is still plenty to play for. The players have to be professional and keep performing for the club and for the fans who are paying good money to watch us.
"They are also playing for their futures.
"We want to finish as high as we can in the table and, more than anything else, it would be nice to finish the season on a high."

And then what Waddock said on the QPR World Site (reported by Derby OFficial Site)
QPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock has made a plea to the Rangers fans - don't judge me yet.
Waddock took over in a caretaker capacity after Ian Holloway was put on "gardening leave" in January.
The timing of the move meant he had little room for manoeuvre in the transfer window and was only able to add one more player to the squad he inherited from Holloway.
In a passionate interview with www.qpr.co.uk, Waddock said: "I came in at a time when the transfer window was closing so I've worked with the same group of players.
"Judge me when I've put in place the players and the team.
"I've been able to make changes off the field, which a lot of fans don't see, but the most important thing that needs to improve is the playing side and I've not yet had the opportunity to do that.
"But make no mistake about it, during the summer there will be some decisions made, and I'll definitely make them for the benefit of the club, to take it forward.
"I've had the backing from Gianni (Paladini, chairman), Antonio (Caliendo, non-executive director) and the members of the board, they've backed me 100 per cent.
"They want to take the club forward and I've seen what they've done on a day to day basis, and I've got an opportunity to take that forward on the football side.
"I keep saying it, give me a chance to put my players in place, judge me with my style of football, then if there's any criticism I will take it on the chin.
"But at the moment I've had to work with the players that I've been here for a number of years.
"That's fine, and the players have responded, but OK and average isn't good enough.
"This football club is a large part of my life and I want to take it forward, I want to make it successful again."

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