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Sunday, August 27, 2006

One Year Ago: "Disharmony at QPR"

This time last year, post-match press reports focused on the behind-the-scenes "problems" at Loftus Road in the aftermath of the ouster of Bill Power and Mark Devlin. As QPR drew 0-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday

The Times August 27, 2005

Eccentric Holloway torn by domestic disharmony at QPR
By Tom Dart
Queens Park Rangers 0 Sheffield Wednesday

EVEN by Ian Holloway’s unmatched standards it was an extraordinary post-match press conference. The Queens Park Rangers manager launched an impassioned defence of his club and their two feuding directors after last night’s dull goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

Bill Power, the chairman, was removed from his post, and Mark Devlin, the chief executive, was sacked after Gianni Paladini, a director, ousted Power at a board meeting on Wednesday with the help of Carlos Dunga, the former Brazil captain, who flew in from Japan to vote.

Holloway said that the uncertainty was affecting his players and used the analogy of a dysfunctional family. Given that a director is alleged to have been involved in the threatening of Paladini at gunpoint before the previous home game, dysfunctional may be an understatement.

“Mum and dad are splitting up, nobody likes that as kids, do they? I feel like a nanny, I’ve got to calm down the kids,” Holloway said. “I can’t stand the last couple of weeks, it’s all politics. I don’t do politics, I’m not Tony Blair. I’m proud that this is worth fighting for, we’ve come a damn long way. I love mum, I love dad, and if one ends up with [the club] I’ll go and visit the other. I’ll stay overnight. They both put the money in, they both deserve this club.

“When my Mum and Dad had a row there was Mum’s side, there was Dad’s side and the truth was somewhere in the middle. That’s the same here.”

There are suggestions that Holloway may be destabilised by the uncertainty. John Gregory, the former Aston Villa manager, who knows Paladini, was present last night. “I’ve got to consider my position all the time, haven’t I? I’m a blimmin’ football manager,” Holloway said.

Power intends to challenge his removal on the basis that Dunga, although a director, was ineligible to vote. Paladini and Power were present yesterday, visited the home dressing-room and appeared on friendly terms.

Holloway went on to compare the situation, bizarrely, to Men In Black. No need to use the Will Smith character’s memory-eraser on those who saw this forgettable game. QPR, injury-hit like their opponents, missed the chance to go top of the Coca-Cola Championship even though Wednesday were reduced to ten men for the final 15 minutes when John Halls was sent off for a second bookable offence.


Ian Holloway revealed the boardroom uncertainty at QPR has left him feeling like a nanny in charge of panicking children.

After his side's 0-0 draw with 10-man Sheffield Wednesday, Holloway was left to reflect on a troubled week that has seen the club announce Bill Power's and Mark Devlin's removal as chairman and chief executive respectively.

Director Gianni Paladini appears to have seized effective control of the club - but the confusion increased when Power and Paladini were seen sitting side by side in the directors box.

Holloway also said Power and Paladini had walked into the dressing room "arm in arm" before the match began.

"I feel a bit like the nanny who is trying to calm down the kids," said Holloway, who went on to compare Power and Paladini to quarrelling parents.

"It looks like mum and dad are splitting up and nobody likes that. I hope they get back together.

"They are the two people who should give me stability, but they are bickering away like they want a divorce - and I'm not going to be their lawyer.

"But I like them both. They showed commitment to QPR when nobody else wanted to - and they both deserve this club."

Former Aston Villa manager John Gregory - a Rangers player in the early 1980s - was in the directors' box and Holloway's position may come under pressure.

The club also announced that Paladini's fellow Italian Gualtiero Trucco - part of the Monaco-based groups of investors who put money into QPR last summer - has been installed as interim chairman.

"Whoever picks up this baton has to be able to carry it forward," Holloway continued.

"If not, they shouldn't pick it up. If they can't take it forward, I'll question my position.

"If they question my position, because change sometimes involves that, what can I do about it? It's not in my control."

Discussing the game, Holloway believed his side had become downhearted too easily towards the end of the match.

He added: "Some players showed disappointment before the fat lady had picked up her mic and started to sing.

"Show disappointment in the dressing room. It takes only a second to score a goal."

Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock was left shaking his head after his injury-hit squad suffered four more losses.

John Hills was sent off for a second bookable offence and will be suspended, while Glenn Whelan, Lee Peacock and Drissa Diallo were added to an already lengthy injury list.

Sturrock said: "There's a Scottish character (Fraser) in [the TV comedy] Dad's Army who always says 'we're doomed' and that's how I feel at the moment.

"We've no rhythm because injuries mean I can't get the players on the training ground - but I'm proud of their performance tonight.

"We worked hard on the shape in training, and that benefited us.

"But I was disappointed with Hills. His sending-off was a bit of a zany moment."

THE GUARDIAN - August 27, 2005

Rangers raise a point despite boardroom chaos

Arindam Rej at Loftus Road
Saturday August 27, 2005
The Guardian

Trouble is mounting at QPR. A boardroom power struggle has unsettled the club to such an extent that this result was peripheral for their fans. The sooner they find out who their next chairman is, the better.

Not that focusing on this point would have cheered them up. They failed to overcome a Wednesday side who picked up three injuries in 51 minutes and were reduced to 10 men for the final 15.

Bill Power is expected to mount a legal challenge after his removal as chairman, during a board meeting this week in which the chief executive Mark Devlin was also sacked. Rangers' director Gianni Paladini has taken control, with Gualtiero Trucco as the interim chairman.

Background worries are not unusual but this month the events have been scarcely believable. Paladini, whose long-held ambition is to run a football club, had his resignation demanded when he was threatened with a gun before the game with Sheffield United.

The club was further startled by this week's news. Power and Paladini had worked together to bring down the previous regime 14 months ago but relations have deteriorated to such an extent that Power, despite remaining a director, has lost his job. More bizarrely Power still claims he is chairman.

Amid the chaos there was a match taking place last night and the first half was encouraging for Rangers. They created the best chances, with Gareth Ainsworth and Kevin Gallen often involved. Ainsworth created the first by forcing his way through, cutting inside and setting up Gallen who curled over a shot from the edge of the area.

Tommy Doherty gave Gallen another opportunity but the striker took a second touch rather than strike it first time and David Lucas was able to charge and snuff out the danger. Ainsworth then came to the fore again with a long-range volley from Gallen's cross that Lucas palmed past a post. Paul Furlong was also close after more good work from Ainsworth but he nodded over.

Wednesday were offering little and their manager Paul Sturrock was forced into two injury-induced substitutions as Lee Peacock and Glenn Whelan succumbed. Then Drissa Diallo became the third casualty and all the replacements were used.

Furlong's deflected free-kick was the first time that the reorganised Wednesday were tested but it was a rare attack. Wednesday looked sharp and should have taken the lead when Chris Brunt's cross was steered wide by David Graham.

QPR were caught unaware by Adam Proudlock in the 70th minute. He wriggled around Danny Shittu before being thwarted by Simon Royce. Craig Rocastle also had a sniff of goal with a low half-volley that Royce again caught.

Wednesday soon abandoned slim hopes of snatching a win, though, as John Hills was booked for a second time for a reckless lunge on Ainsworth.

Simon Royce, Marcus Bignot, Mauro Milanese, Matthew Rose, Danny Shittu, Gareth Ainsworth, Marc Bircham, Tommy Doherty, Adam Miller (Stefan Moore), Paul Furlong, Kevin Gallen

Sheff Wed
David Lucas, Graham Coughlan, Drissa Diallo (Richard Wood), John Hills, Frankie Simek, Burton O'Brien, Ritchie Partridge, Craig Rocastle, Glenn Whelan (Chris Brunt), David Graham, Lee Peacock (Adam Proudlock)

And Ousted Chairman Bill Power's Pre-Match Post on the QPR.org Messageboard

Bill Power Message Direct To QPR Fans
WWW.QPR.ORG > Message from Bill Power >>

Bill Power
This is the only posting I will be making and, I will not be responding to any questions. Apologies if that is frustrating, but I am sure you will understand.

A lot of things are being said and posted which are wildly off the mark.

As in every board meeting different opinions were expressed, totally normal.

What should be noted is that everybody at that meeting believed they had the interests of QPR in mind. No I didnt agree with everything, but to put things into perspective there was 100% agreement about most of the topics discussed. Obviously I could not comment on the decisions that were made after Kevin and I had to leave the meeting for family reasons and it continued without us.

We are all talking amicably as we must above all else make sure that the club continues its revival.

Everyone of us want only success for the club.

Now what we all ask is that you do your part. When Ollie talks about the effect you have on the team it cannot be underestimated. We all know how unique our ground is when we really get behind the boys. We all remember the feeling around the place the night we beat Oldham in the play-off semi-final and that atmosphere is what we ask you to give us again tonight.

Whoever plays tonight give them your all and you can be sure they will give you the same back.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who has been kind enough to call me, text me and mail me. I have been overwhelmed by the many kind words that I have received and find myself truly humbled.

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