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Sunday, December 17, 2006

QPR's Year in Review - June 2006

JUNE 2006: WOrld Cup & "The Trial" Vedicts - All Acquitted...New Fixtures Out

QPR Chairman Paladini re QPR On & Off the Field
QPR Official Site - June 8, 2006
With the start of a new season beckoning, Gianni Paladini would like to clarify the position and goals of QPR:
Last year was a difficult season both for the club and for me personally. I feel that resultant media coverage and speculation has obscured what the Board are striving to achieve with the club, so I would like to take this opportunity to re-state our goals.
Let us state up-front that our ultimate goal is to get the club back into the Premiership where we believe QPR belong, but we know that this will only be achieved with a gradual step by step approach.
To achieve this goal we need to provide the club with financial stability and to improve the quality of playing squad and coaching staff.
As stated previously, the aim of the current Board is for the underlying business of the club to break-even.
Next season will see further improvements and we expect the losses fall to below £1m - a significant improvement on the years before I became involved with the club.
Without the financial support of the current Board, the club would have gone into administration last season. With the financial resources being made available, the club will not go into administration with the current Board in control.
All the members of the Board are people who love football and are committed to QPR.
The Board has already put in place our financing for next season and we will continue to bring in new investors, to help fund further improvements to the squad and the club.
We are currently engaged in discussions with potential new investors, who are very enthusiastic about QPR, and we hope to make an announcement about this in the near future.
The Club would also like to highlight three commercial deals that the current Board have done for the club.
The new four year deal with our shirt manufacturer Le Coq Sportif will bring in an additional £250,000 per annum; the new shirt sponsors Cargiant will bring in £150,000 per annum; and the new stand and shorts sponsors GJ Electrical will also bring in another £150,000 per annum.
In addition, there are two other high value commercial deals, currently in the final stages of negotiation, that will be announced soon.
There would appear to be a contradiction between the club breaking even and improving the quality of the squad. Recent experience has taught us that just spending money on players will not guarantee results, unless of course you have the resources of Russian oligarch at your disposal.
However, with a solid financial and administrative base established at the club, the Board and new investors will feel confident enough to provide further resources for the playing squad.
As I still get asked about the ABC loan I would like to tell the fans and shareholders that we are hoping to replace the ABC loan in the near future with a cheaper loan from a more reputable financial institution.
What do we know about the ABC Corporation? Unfortunately very little, we have suspicions, but we can't prove who the controlling interest behind the ABC Corporation is.
The ABC Corporation's lack of transparency means that the Board must question their motives and their attitude towards the club which is why the Board wish to refinance the ABC loan. We will be reviewing the legality of the ABC loan.
Just to confirm what has been stated previously, Gary Waddock is the Manager-designate and once the situation with Ian Holloway has been resolved then Gary will formally be announced as the Manager.
Recent speculation in the press about a dispute regarding compensation between Ian Holloway and the club is wholly untrue.
We continue to have an amicable relationship with Ian, who is still being paid in full. Ian hopes to have a managerial position sorted out with a new club shortly.
Gary has been responsible for selecting next season's squad and coaching team. The first team squad for next season will comprise of 26 players which is only two players less than the squad we started last season with.
Many old favourites are still here such as Dan Shittu, Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth, Paul Furlong and Kevin Gallen.
Martin Rowlands and Matthew Rose will also be back from injury. We are spoilt for choice with two excellent goalkeepers in Simon Royce and Paul Jones as well as Jake Cole and Sean Thomas waiting in the wings.
We have a superb group of youngsters coming through with Scott Donnelly, Shabazz Baidoo, Stefan Bailey, Dominic Shimmin and Pat Kanyuka.
Our new signings include Damion Stewart, who had a good game for Jamaica against England and Armel Tchakounte from Cameroon. We look forward to announcing the final three signings that we are currently negotiating with as soon as we are able.
I would like to thank all the fans that have already renewed their season tickets for next season.
The volume of season tickets processed so far at 6,300 is slightly down on the number of tickets processed at this stage last year, a pattern that has been reflected across other clubs, but we expect further sales once we confirm next season's signings.
The vast majority of these are full price season ticket renewals and 443 are new full price season ticket holders.
There are 417 free tickets for kids so far and I am personally delighted that we have attracted these young season tickets holders as they are the fans of the future.
We have put our finances in order, our losses will continue to fall towards a break even situation, we have a new manager ready to take us forward and we have a new and younger squad that will form the basis of a team to challenge for promotion to the Premiership.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the first home game of next season, and I thank you for your continued loyal support.
Come on you R's! Gianni Paladini QPR

Official Site - Baidoo Signs Two Year Deal SHABAZZ PENS DEAL
Shabazz Baidoo has today (Monday) put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the R's - signing a two year deal.
The teenage striker - who bagged his first goal for the Hoops against Plymouth Argyle in mid-November - signed on the dotted line at Loftus Road this afternoon.
"I'm really happy,'' Baidoo told qpr.co.uk.
"It's always been a dream of mine to be a professional footballer and today is a day I'll remember for the rest of my life.
"QPR is in my blood and I'm going to do my best to become a regular in the first team next season.
"My first senior goal against Plymouth came a lot earlier than I expected, but I followed it up with another versus Crewe and now I've had a taste of it, I want more of the same.
"I'm fortunate that I'm training and learning from two QPR legends - Paul Furlong and Kevin Gallen - and hopefully one day I can emulate what they've achieved at this Club.''
Baidoo, 18, made seven starts in all competitions last season - scoring twice - and also figured a further 10 times from the substitute's bench.
Caretaker Manager Gary Waddock was understandably delighted with the news, commenting: "Shabazz is a great young player with a very bright future.
"He's a natural goalscorer and although he's still got a lot to learn, it's fantastic to see another scholar become a professional.
"He's got fantastic pace, a good eye for goal, runs in behind defenders and works hard - all the attributes required to be a top striker.''
Chairman Gianni Paladini was equally pleased to see the youngster commit his future to the club.
"It took a while, but common sense prevailed eventually and we're delighted to see Shabazz commit his future to Queens Park Rangers Football Club,'' Paladini told qpr.co.uk.
"Yet again it proves that we are moving in the right direction and Shabazz, as well as the other youngsters in the squad, now have a great opportunity to shine.'' QPR

Official Site- P.A. IDOL - Do you fancy being the voice of QPR?
The Club are seeking an R's fan to fill the role of P.A. on matchdays at Loftus Road and a la Simon Cowell, Nicky Chapman and Pete Waterman, today marks the launch of our very own P.A. Idol.
If you think you've got what it takes to generate the unique air of expectation prior to kick off and during the half time interval at the home of the Hoops, look no further.
All we ask is that you 'think on your feet' and send in your very own version of pre-match entertainment - which should include a run down of the afternoon's teams and your best efforts at raising the atmosphere of the crowd prior to a big match.
The deadline for all applicants is Friday 7 July.
Send an audio file to iant@qpr.co.uk or post a cassette / disc to The Press & Publications Department, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, Loftus Road Stadium, South Africa Road, London, W12 7PA.
Please include your full name, address, telephone number, age and a brief outline of any previous experience in this field.
Minimum age requirement is 18 and above. For further information, contact Commercial Manager Gary Hooper on 020 8740 2518.
The best efforts will be broadcast on QPR World and although R's fans will be able to have their say in an online vote, the final decision will be made by the QPR press team and Commercial Manager Gary Hooper.
The aim, as ever, will be to offer 'more than just 90 minutes of football' and build on the Club's core principals: Pride, Passion, 'Real Fans, Real Football,' Inclusiveness, Family Atmosphere and Community.
The main focus of the matchday entertainment will be on the team entrance, with particular focus on QPR. The entry should be stirring, and raise the home crowd's pride and passion - not to mention their volume - creating an intimidating atmosphere for any visiting team.QPR

Stew-Peas in international action against England earlier this summer
Damion Stewart is officially a QPR player, after the Jamaican international received a new work permit today (Friday).
The 25 year-old defender, who spent last season on loan at Bradford City from Caribbean Club champions Harbour View, became Gary Waddock's first signing of the summer transfer window when he agreed terms on a three year deal on May 4th.
His existing work permit was due to expire on June 30th, but he has now been granted a new one until the summer of 2009.
Nicknamed 'Stew Peas' by the Reggae Boyz, Stewart - who has amassed 30-plus appearances for his country and lined up against England in a World Cup warm-up match at Old Trafford on June 3rd - is an athletic and tenacious defender with poise, speed and an effective no-nonsense style of defending.
Gianni Paladini and Antonio Caliendo welcome
'Stew Peas' to Loftus Road
Stewart will join up with his new team-mates when the first team squad return to pre-season training on June 28th. QPR

This morning, QPR were informed that the pre-season game against Brentford has been cancelled.
Despite contacting Brentford last week, we were led to believe that the game would still be taking place in spite of the fact the Club had received several phone calls from fans to ask if the game was still going ahead.
Assistant Secretary Terry Springett explains: "It's very disappointing to have been informed of Brentford's decision to pull out at such a late stage, especially when we contacted the club last week when rumours had started to surface the game may have been in doubt.
"Only last Wednesday we were informed by Brentford that the game was indeed to go ahead, so at the time, felt it unnecessary to make an announcement on the official website.
"It would appear that their initial decision to take the game against us was taken without thorough consultation with their groundstaff, who have now informed the Club that the pitch at Griffin Park will not be ready in time.
"However, having received a phone call from Brentford this morning, we would like to inform our fans that the pre-season game against them, scheduled for Tuesday July 18, is indeed off.
"We will be doing our best in the next few days to find suitable alternative opponents for that week." Brentford

QPR travel to Turf Moor - the home of Burnley - on the opening day of the 2006/07 Coca Cola Championship campaign.
Gary Waddock's men kick off the 125th anniversary season by facing Steve Cotterill's side on Saturday 5th August, before hosting Leeds United at Loftus Road three days later.
Waddock said: "It's a tough start for us.
"There are no easy games in this division, but we're quietly confident about the season ahead.
"It wouldn't have mattered who we'd got on the opening day, because this league has proved time and time again that it's the most keenly contested in English football.
"Burnley's a tough place to go, but to be honest I'd rather be going to Turf Moor at this time of year when the pitch is in good condition and the weather okay, than later in the season when the elements could work against us like they did last season.''
Indeed, Rangers' last trip to Turf Moor ended in defeat when Andy Gray notched the only goal of the game on a blustery April afternoon - but Waddock is confident the Hoops will be in far better shape by the time they make the trip North on the opening day of the new campaign.
"We've recruited well over the summer and with one or two more new additions before the start of the season, we'll be in good shape when the campaign kicks off on August 5th,'' he said.
"It's exciting times for QPR, and the whole squad - including the coaching staff - are really looking forward to the season ahead.''

After the home clash against Leeds, the R's welcome newly promoted Southend United to Loftus Road on Saturday 12th August, before taking on Paul Simpson's Preston North End side at Deepdale on August 19th.
Other eye-catching fixtures include the home tie against a new-look Crystal Palace side, managed by former England under-21 coach Peter Taylor, on November 4th, and the trip to recently relegated Birmingham City on Boxing Day.
The R's host Stoke City on the final day of the season, at the end of what is sure to be another keenly contested Championship campaign.QPR

QPR are delighted to announce the appointment of Justin Skinner as their new Reserve team manager.
Skinner, who played alongside Gary Waddock during his playing days at Bristol Rovers, joins the Club after a successful spell as coach in the academy set-up at Chelsea.
The 37 year-old - whose career also included spells at Fulham, Walsall, Hibernian and Dunfermline Athletic - is delighted to cross paths with his long time friend and fellow playing colleague once again.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for me and one which I'll relish,'' Skinner told qpr.co.uk.
"Gary and I have been friends for a very long time now and when he asked me on board I never had any doubts that it was a good move for me.
"I'm really happy to be here and I'm looking forward to the season ahead.''
Skinner has previous experience with the QPR academy set-up, as well as a spell coaching at Windsor & Eton FC.
"I really enjoyed my previous spell here but this is a different challenge altogether,'' added Skinner.
"It's a massive test, but one which I'm really optimistic about.
"I've been in the situation as a Reserve team player before, so I know what it's all about. I'm the link between Gary and Macca and the first team squad, and Joe Gallen and the youth set-up.''
Waddock himself was delighted with the appointment, commenting: "Justin will prove to be an excellent addition to the already strong backroom staff we have here at QPR.
"He's not only a good friend of mine, but is also a football man through and through.
"He's a bright, young, talented coach and will bring an array of new ideas and initiatives to the training ground.'' Skinner

Gary Waddock welcomes his squad back to pre-season training on Thursday and the message is clear: The hard work begins now!
The R's first team squad return for pre-season training tomorrow morning, buoyed by the addition of two new signings - in the shape of Armel Tchakounte and Damion Stewart - and the imminent arrival of Nick Ward from Perth Glory.
But Waddock insists it's time for the talking to stop and for the real work to begin.
"Pre-season is the worst possible time for professional footballers, but at the same time it's the most important,'' Waddock told qpr.co.uk.
"They've been under strict instructions over the summer months and we're expecting them to return in good condition on Thursday morning.
"Pre-season will be very tough this year, but the benefits will be clear for all to see. The players will head to Burnley on the first day of the campaign as fit as they possibly can be and that will give us the best opportunity to make a decent start.''
The first team squad return to Harlington
tomorrow (Thursday)
Waddock revealed internationals Paul Jones and Damion Stewart will have an extra few days to recharge the batteries after their involvement for their respective countries over the summer, with the pair set to return to Harlington next Wednesday.
"Damion and Paul played a few games for Jamaica and Wales respectively over the summer, so it's only right they get a few more days off than the rest of the squad,'' Waddock told qpr.co.uk.
"We've already added two good players to the squad and with Ward due in next week and one or two others hopefully following in due course, we're all really looking forward to the new campaign.'' QPR

June 28 - Waddock Appointed - WADDOCK APPOINTED

QPR have announced Gary Waddock as first team manager following the appointment of Ian Holloway at Plymouth Argyle.
The new role for the former QPR boss means that Waddock, who was named as Caretaker Manager in February, will now be able to officially take up the title of QPR manager.
Ian Holloway was in charge at Loftus Road since February 2001 and oversaw 266 games in his time at QPR, experiencing relegation and then promotion.
When he was placed on gardening leave earlier this year, Waddock stepped up from his position as first team coach to oversee the managerial side and has since instilled a 'no nonsense' work ethic at Harlington.
Waddock first recruited Alan McDonald as a first team coach before restructuring the scouting network and transfer listing and releasing 14 players in a bid to freshen up the squad and bring in his own men.
The new QPR boss said: "I'm delighted that QPR have finally been able to officially announce my position as first team manager.
"Now I'll feel a lot more confident in my role and I'm looking forward to implementing further changes behind the scenes as well as on the pitch.
"I've got a great back room staff here and we've been planning the coming season all summer.
"The work ethic and training methods will be subjected to a complete overhaul and we're looking forward to seeing the results on the pitch."
You can see Gary Waddock's first interview as QPR manager on QPR World tomorrow.Waddock


Flanked by Chairman Gianni Paladini, Gary Waddock met the press today (Friday) for the first time since being appointed R's manager.
After being named as Ian Holloway's successor on Wednesday afternoon, Waddock oversaw his first training session yesterday, before taking time out this morning to meet the national press.
"It's my dream job - without a doubt,'' said Waddock.
"I've played and coached the Club and this is the final step for me.
"It's good for everyone that the situation is resolved; for me, the Club and for Ian Holloway - the timing is great.''
Waddock revealed he has tried calling Ollie to wish him all the best, saying: "I've tried ringing Ian, but the phone has been engaged non stop. I'll try him again today, because I genuinely wish him all the best at Plymouth - except when we play them!''
Waddock continued: "It was a great experience last season. I learnt a lot in that period of time as Caretaker and it should stand us in good stead for next season.
"The players are back and the buzz is back. We've got a fantastic set-up and we're all really looking forward to the new campaign.
"Our first league game is the one I'm really looking forward to. The next game is always the most important in football.
"We've got to be realistic, but we - the staff and the players - think we can drastically improve on last season.
"There are some big, big sides in the Championship, spending a lot of money, but we believe the players we've signed, and those we're targeting, can take us to the next level.
"We'd love to go out and match the spending power of the Coventry's and Birmingham's of this division, but we need to balance the books at the same time.''
Paladini also expressed his delight at the appointment, commenting: "I trust Gary, I believe in him and I'm sure he can take this Club to a new level; back to where I and the fans think we belong.
"We made the decision that Gary was the natural replacement. They type of football he plays is fantastic; his attitude is second to none; and he's QPR through and through.
"Myself and the board aim to take this Club forward and with Gary in charge we're confident that will be the case.
"This is a new era for the Club. We're trying to put this Club back to where it belongs.
"Our aim, our ambition is to make the play-offs. You've got to set yourself targets and that is our aim. It might not happen immediately, but if you don't set yourself targets there is nothing to aim for.''
Paladini also reserved praise for Holloway, saying: "I'm glad for Ian and I'd like to thank him for the job he's done here. I wish him all the best at Plymouth.
"He was fantastic for this Club, but things change. The past is the past and we're focusing on the future. That's what counts most now.''
Paladini also revealed that the search for new players in continuing: "We're still on the look out for players.
"We're interested in one who has played in the World Cup and one who is with a Premiership side, but we'll have to wait and see.
"We'll not take any risks. We've got a few irons in the fire, but until we're convinced by the players 100 per-cent, we won't sign them.''
And finally, Paladini had a message for the fans: "The board is united, the Club is together. We're working towards being financially stable and I can definitely say that any problems we had in the past are now firmly behind us.
"We're moving forward for the good of this Club. Success breeds success and I'm confident that under the guidance of Gary Waddock, his staff, and the players, we can progress.'' href="http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10373~854157,00.html">QPR

QPR - Watch
30.06.2006 TV News DREAM COME TRUE We bring you exclusive footage from today's Press Conference involving manager Gary Waddock and chairman Gianni Paladini - Watch

Ian Holloway Says Still Under Contract...Wants Situation Resolved
Sky Sports

...Meanwhile, Ian Holloway has reiterated that he is still under contract with the Championship outfit.
The outspoken manager was placed on gardening leave by Rangers in February after a dispute with chairman Gianni Paladini and has called on the Football League to sort out the ongoing problem.
"I've got a two-year contact to run and have been placed on gardening leave which means they haven't sacked me," Holloway told Sky Sports News.
"If they had done I would be owed two years money so I am technically paid every month at moment to do some gardening and not go to work which is not nicest situation.
"This wouldn't happen in The Premiership because you have to sort a manager out within four weeks, which I think is a simple rule for lower divisions to do as well. I don't think it's right and I don't think it's fair, but that's life."

QPR Official Site - June 15, 2006
QPR are pleased to announce a pre-season friendly against MK Dons on July 15.

After only just receiving the official word from Brentford that the game scheduled for July 18 was to be cancelled, QPR have been busily trying to arrange a fixture to take its place and are delighted that MK Dons have been able to fulfil our requirements.MK Dons were themselves trying to hastily find opposition after also having a game cancelled.
The game will take place at the National Hockey Stadium and will kick off at 3pm and will be the first meeting of the two clubs since the Dons' move to Milton Keynes.
Gary Waddock said: "I'm obviously very pleased to have managed to get another pre-season game fixed up as quickly as this, and my thanks go to MK Dons for answering our request.
"We needed another game around that weekend, and I'm now looking forward to visiting Milton Keynes for the first time with a QPR side.
"It's not that far and hopefully our fans will turn out in force to support us there." - QPR

QPR Schedule - and Then Cancel - Game vs Milton Keynes Dons ("Wimbledon") after original Brentford Game Cancelled
-QPR Official Site - June 16, 2006 - MK DONS GAME CANCELLED

Gianni Paladini would like to make the following statement, after making the decision to cancel the game against MK Dons on July 15.

"After several phonecalls and threats from our own supporters, I have decided not to go ahead with the game.
"I was extremely embarrassed at having to call the club secretary at MK Dons after he had done all he could to arrange a fixture on a day where we struggled to find any opposition.
"We were tremendously grateful to MK Dons for having initially agreed to play the fixture after Brentford cancelled the original game due to be played on July 18.
"Had that cancellation not have arisen, this whole situation would have been avoided.
"After Brentford pulled out, QPR re-contacted ALL Premiership and Football League clubs within a two hour travelling distance, yet MK Dons were the only club who answered our request.
"QPR apologises to everyone at MK Dons who pulled out all the stops to arrange a fixture at such short notice and also to all our fans that were willing to travel to the MK Dons fixture and were looking forward to visiting a new ground."
Gianni Paladini QPR

Bradley Wright-Phillips to QPR on Loan?
-The Mirror, June 1, 2006 BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS

"QPR are close to agreeing a deal to sign Bradley Wright-Phillips on loan"

SEE QPR REPORT FOR JUNE 2006 - QPR Report June 2006

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