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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Season Review #4 - The Close Season Ends...Shittu Goes...Paladini Speaks

The pre-season came to a close as QPR's opened their season at Burnley (which they lost 0-2). In pre-season forecasts, QPR were rated as one of the likely relegation strugglers. At QPR, things continued. Danny Shittu was finally sold - to Watford after initially it looked like he'd be joining WBA. Ian Evatt went to Blackpool on loan And just after the season began, QPR signed Blackstock from Southampton and Rehman from Fulham. And in the "real world," former Chairman Bill Power and former CEO, Mark Devlin, and his son and the pilot were involved in a small plane crash. Injured but survived. And back at Loftus Road, Chairman Paladini was speaking on various issues.

QPR Chairman Paladini: "Living in Fear...Bullet Proof vest...Enemy Within"
Sunday Mirror 6 August 2006 LIVING IN FEAR
Contract killer threat forces QPR chairman to wear a bullet-proof vest GIANNI EXCLUSIVE - Anthony Clavane

QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is living in fear after a contract was legedly put out on his life.
Following advice by the police, the controversial Rangers chief now has to wear a bullet-proof vest.
In an exclusive interview with Sunday Mirror Sport, Paladini hit out at fans opposed to his regime at Loftus Road, calling them the "enemy within".
Paladini said: "I find it incredible what's going on here. You have to fight against so many things. This must be the only club where the fans love to put s**t on their own club on the website."
Two weeks ago, a group of men were cleared of forcing Paladini to resign at gunpoint during a match against Sheffield United.
The Italian tycoon claimed he was surrounded by hired thugs, punched and slapped, and then warned he'd be killed if he refused to sign a letter of resignation.
But a judge threw out the case against the men. There is no suggestion that any of those men are involved in the alleged contract on Paladini.
Former agent Paladini invested £600,000 in the West London outfit in March 2004 and was initially employed as a consultant to bring in players.
Last year he ousted Bill Power as QPR chairman, removed chief executive Mark Devlin and claimed victory in a bitter struggle for control of the club.
But one of his strongest allies, former Brazil skipper Carlos Dunga, resigned from the board last week after his shock appointment as his country's new national coach.
Ever since Paladini became a director of the debt-ridden Championship club he has faced hostile criticism from a section of supporters.
The Italian tycoon was furious to discover an attempt to sabotage an interview with him on the QPR website after he returned from the R's pre-season tour of his home country.
He said: "I went mad. It's been cancelled now. They're trying to wind me up. I give up, I really do. I nearly got a heart attack when I saw it.
"They put the face of a fan up there, somebody is stirring things up.
"Sometimes I wonder why I got myself involved in this situation. Whatever you do, you can't win. Even if you win the league and get promoted, you'll still have people who criticise.
"I feel like a dartboard. People are always throwing darts at me.
"We have an enemy within. What kind of people do these things? How can you be a QPR fan when you put this s**t in?"
Paladini also suspected foul play when one newspaper reported last week that Rangers players were turned away from their training ground because the rent had not been paid.
He blasted: "This did not happen. I have a statement showing we paid Imperial College, who we rent the ground from, £32,250 on 18 July. How can they shut it for non-payment two weeks after paying the rent? It's insane.
"There were people from a QPR fan group outside the training ground at 7.20am, putting it out that the players had been locked out.
"But people were asleep at that time. The players didn't go in until 10am.
"They put out so much s**t, so much rubbish, that I just give up.
"Since I've come here there's been problem after problem after problem but now, thank God, it's all left behind. Now we will only concentrate on the football and take this club forward.
"With the players we've brought in and the new manager, Gary Waddock, we're looking forward to an exciting season.
"We've reduced the average age of the team and we've brought in players to give us stability for the next two or three years.
"It's been a very difficult time. But it's business as usual. I just carry on doing my job.
"In this game you need a lot of money. When I came here we were losing more than £500,000 a year but, by the end of next season, we should be out of debt.
"I'm lucky that the people with me they are prepared to put in money. This month, to pay the wages, they had to put in more money."
"When I came here we got promoted and we've been two years in the Championship. Look at clubs like Birmingham, who spend eight or nine million, or Wolves, Coventry, Leeds.
"They spend a fortune every year. They are on a very different level to us.
"Fortunately I've been involved in foot ball for the last 30 years and it's helped me a lot, because I1 can get certain players in."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Chairman Paladini Denounces Few who "seem intent on Damaging Team Morale and destroying the club"

Having just returned from the R's pre-season tour of Italy, QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini can't wait for the big kick-off.
"The trip to Sorrento was a great success, providing the players and coaching staff with an opportunity for some intense training and team bonding.
"Despite the players staying in one of the town's grandest hotels, and having been fitted with brand new QPR tailor-made suits for every player, the trip paid for itself and the Club even managed to make a tiny profit from it.
"Gary, Macca and the coaching staff are now ready for the new season. I believe we have a much improved squad, with summer signings including Armel Tchakounte, Jamaican international defender Damion Stewart, Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas and the much talked about Nicky Ward, and the important re-signing of Lee Cook for two more years.
"Many of last season's first team have improved over pre-season and it has been particularly pleasing to see Martin Rowlands back to full fitness. A number of the youth squad have made tremendous steps forward during pre-season and will be fighting for places in Gary's first team.
"It is frustrating that, despite all the hard work everyone has been doing during pre-season, a tiny minority of people seem intent on damaging team morale and destroying the Club in the run up to our important first game.
"Not only have they once again invented wholly false rumours about the state of the Club, but unfortunately a couple of journalists with a record of writing stories against QPR, and with links to some of the individuals intent on destabilising the Club, have blown up these rumours and made up stories from nothing.
"Last week it was suggested in some of the press that we were putting QPR up for sale. Unfortunately the journalists responsible for this story failed to even check the official statement from Antonio Caliendo, Chairman of Holdings, on the Club's official website, making clear the Board's continued commitment to QPR.
"I have always said if someone with QPR's best interests at heart wants to come along and buy out the existing Board we would not stand in their way. Nothing has changed and nobody has come forward. We will continue to seek out new investors to take the Club even further forward, but as Antonio made clear last week, we are committed to QPR.
"The Club is in a better financial position than it has been in for a number of years. Things are still tough, but we have reduced the annual debt by millions and intend to reduce it further. Yet ridiculous rumours still seem to be invented by a few people for reasons beyond me.
"The latest is the absurd rumour suggested on a message board that the players were locked out of the Harlington training ground, when in fact Gary Waddock had just given them the day off as they had only recently arrived back from a busy schedule in Italy.
"The same newspaper that had to apologise for a series of inaccurate stories about me last season, the Evening Standard, then chose to repeat this wholly false rumour as fact without even checking with me, the coaching staff, or even Imperial College - the owners of the training ground.
"In an article by a journalist named Wayne Vesey, under the headline 'Locked-out Rangers are unable to train' the Standard claimed that the Club was locked out of the training ground on Monday. Such a clearly false statement damages the reputation of the Club, and the morale of the players and supporters. I have been advised it is libellous and our lawyers will be contacting the Standard immediately to demand a retraction.
"QPR fans will ask themselves why should people invent such rumours? The purpose can only be to destabilise the Club and to injure the morale of players and fans just days before the season kicks off. The Club will not allow another season to be derailed by these people.
"The Board, Gary Waddock and the coaching staff, and the players and other members of staff, are all united in our focus to move this great club forward and to achieve success this season on the pitch. We believe we have the squad and the resources to do so. We will not allow a tiny group of people, driven by an agenda that has nothing to do with football, to destroy this Club.
"I urge all fans to treat such rumour-mongers with the contempt and scepticism they deserve. They have been claiming we would go into administration every week for the past year, and they never admit they are wrong when we don't.
"They claimed we were locked out of the training ground before and even that the groundsmen would not cut the grass at the stadium. They predicted we would spend all the Club's money on agents' fees when we have spent less than nearly any other club in this division. They predicted we would sell off Loftus Road and all our best players because we could not afford their wages.
"Just yesterday they claimed we were locked out of the training ground because we could not afford the rent; but today, as scheduled, our players are training at the training ground. On each and every occasion their rumours have been proven false.
"As I believe you say in England, when someone cries wolf so many times, people stop listening. But every time the rumour-mongers are proven wrong they invent another rumour, so desperate to be proven right and for the Club to fail.
"For the last time I say to those who's criticism of the Board has developed into an agenda to undermine the Club, if you know of a better alternative to take QPR forward with the necessary funding to support it, then please let us know. Otherwise stop pursuing a divisive and destructive agenda. The Board, the players and staff and the thousands of fans of QPR will not allow a small selfish group to ruin the season for the rest of us.
"I know most QPR fans will be sensible enough to take every rumour and press speculation with a hefty pinch of salt. We seem to be in the 'silly season' right now - only today I saw an article in the Mirror claiming I had rejected an offer of £3million for Danny Shittu from Wolves and would only sell him for £10 million.
"The story is, of course, rubbish. As I have said all along, we don't want to sell Danny, but if someone comes in with an offer of £3million or above it will be up to him to decide. Nobody has made such an offer and so Danny will be starting the season with us.
"So as we prepare for the opening game at Burnley on Saturday, and then two exciting home games against Leeds United and newly promoted Southend United, I cannot wait for the football to start and for the players to do the talking on the pitch."And I urge every single QPR fan to get fully behind Gary and the boys and help them to turn this into a glorious season. Come on You R's!'' Gianni Paladini

CLUB STATEMENT Queens Park Rangers Football Club would like to issue the following statement to clear the air over yet more wildly inaccurate reporting in the press and on various message boards.QPR staff were admitted to the training ground on Monday. No players were refused admittance to the ground yesterday. This is because no players turned up as it had been decided to give them an extra day off after their pre-season tour to Italy. The players are back at the training ground today (Tuesday) working hard for the opening match of the season at Turf Moor on Saturday. We can confirm that there was no Portsmouth player on trial with the Club either yesterday or today. It should also be noted that the items printed in the press had not been checked with either QPR or Imperial College before being published.And remember... www.qpr.co.uk is the R's official website - where all the breaking news comes first and fastest.http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10373~875417,00.html

QPR Chairman, Paladini Denies "Locked Out of Training Ground" Rumours
- July 31, there were assertions on QPR Fan Messageboards that players had been locked out of the club's (rented) Harlington training ground. There was a brief 'snippet' re this rumour in the July 31 Evening Standard. There was no official statement/comment re this by the club.

Mirror August 1, 2006 - RANGERS RENT ROW MYSTERY

Paladini last night denied his players had been locked out of the training ground because the troubled Championship club had not paid the rent.
Several QPR players claimed they were turned away from their Harlington training HQ when the gates were locked in the latest apparent financial setback.
Rangers may be entrenched in debt, but Paladini stressed the rent was paid to Imperial College on July 18.
And he also insisted star defender Danny Shittu would not be sold before Saturday's kick-off - despite Wolves' £3million offer.
Paladini said: "We can prove the rent was paid and our manager Gary Waddock was there yesterday and allowed in.
"The players were simply given a day off and that is why they were not at the training ground yesterday.
"It's been a very difficult time for the club - the worst I can ever remember.
"As for Danny Shittu, we have had two offers but we are determined not to sell him. If we could not pay our rent then we would have sold him to Wolves a long time ago.
"There are about three or four clubs interested in signing him and we've had contact from Birmingham, West Brom and Norwich.
"If I can get a bid for £10m then we will listen, but if we don't get that sort of money then he'll start the season with us."

Soccernet's Championship preview 2006/7 - Richard Jolly
Last season: 21st Manager: Gary Waddock - A QPR favourite who offers the prospect of better football at Loftus Road, despite a mediocre end to the season.
In: Damion Stewart (Bradford, free), Adam Czerkas (Kolporter Korona, loan), Egutu Oliseh (La Louviere, free), Armel Tchakounte (Kitchee FC, free), Nick Ward (Perth Glory, free).
Out: Dean Sturridge (Kidderminster, free), Richard Langley (Luton, free).
A largely unprofitable March and April did not stop QPR promoting Gary Waddock to succeed Ian Holloway, whose style of football may be deemed more suitable for the lower divisions.
Despite an eclectic bunch of rather cheap signings, he will operate with basically the same squad. The benefit is that it still includes Danny Shittu, the giant centre back whose uncompromising displays have attracted attention. The downside is that an ageing forward line requires rejuvenation and, as Marc Nygaard (9) was the most successful, a prolific scorer.
Waddock also needs to ease a reliance on Gareth Ainsworth to create while proving an end-of-season slump was not a sign of things to come.
Key man: Danny Shittu - QPR's leader in defence. He could be rather overworked this season.
One to watch: Shabazz Baidoo - Lively young striker who was normally used as a substitute last year.
Must do better: Stefan Moore - Came from Aston Villa in search of first-team football, but did not really make the most of it.
Prediction: If Waddock can ally a greater emphasis on passing with the spirit and resilience that were trademarks of Holloway's team, mid-table. If not, they may be among the strugglers.

Assessing QPR's 2006/07 Prospects - Guardian August 4, 2006
Team by team, how the football season shapes up
Your guide to the Championship hopefuls and hapless

Queens Park Rangers
Manager Gary Waddock
Captain Kevin Gallen
2005-06 League 21st, FA Cup 3rd rd, League Cup 1st rd.
Key man Nick Ward The 21-year-old has caught the eye in his first pre-season at QPR. The attacking central midfielder was called into an Australia squad in February.
Prediction Oscurity Mid-table would be decent for a club who finished one place above the drop last season. A regimented, punishing pre-season is expected to reap rewards. Commentator's kit Last month Dunga became the first director to leave Loftus Road to take over as Brazil coach.
In Egutu Oliseh (La Louvière) free, Nick Ward (Perth Glory) free, Adam Czerkas (Odra Wodzislaw) season loan, Armel Tchakounte (Kitchee) free, Damion Stewart (Harbour View) free.
Out Richard Langley (Luton) free, Dean Sturridge (Kidderminster) free, Ugo Ukah released, George Santos released.

Telegraph - Manager: Gary Waddock (July 2006).
In: Damion Stewart (Harbour View, U), Egutu Oliseh (La Louviere), Adam Czerkas (Odra Wodzislaw), Armel Tchakounte (Carshalton), Nick Ward (Perth Glory, U).
Out: Marcus Bean (Blackpool), Richard Langley (Luton), Dean Sturridge (Kidderminster), Ugo Ukah (Nouresa Calcio).
Released: Marcin Kus, George Santos, Sammy Youssef.

Squad numbers: 1 Simon Royce, 2 Marcus Bignot, 3 Mauro Milanese, 4 Ian Evatt, 5 Danny Shittu, 6 Tom Doherty, 7 Matthew Rose, 8 Marc Bircham, 9 Nick Ward, 10 Kevin Gallen, 11 Gareth Ainsworth, 12 Jake Cole, 14 Martin Rowlands, 15 Dominic Shimmin, 16 Steve Lomas, 17 Lee Cook, 18 Stefan Moore, 19 Armel Tchakounte, 20 Scott Donnelly, 21 Paul Jones, 22 Shabazz Baidoo, 23 Stefan Bailey, 24 Patrick Kanyuka, 25 Damion Stewart, 26 Sean Thomas, 27 Egutu Oliseh, 28 Adam Czerkas, 29 Paul Furlong, 30 Mark Nygaard, 34 Matthew Hislop, 35 Jonathan Munday.
Website: www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk
Odds: C: 100-1, P: 40-1, R: 2-1.

QPR Accept WBA's Bid for Danny Shittu (Now subject to Personal Terms/Medicall)
The sale is not exactly a complete surprise although Paladini has been quoted as saying a number of things. July 27 -skysports reported "...Queens Park Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini has hinted that West Bromwich Albion are close to meeting his side's asking price for Danny Shittu.... "If we have to wait for the money in instalments, then that's fine, but I always said the fee would be £3 million.

QPR Official Site - Deal Agreed
QPR have reached agreement with fellow Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion for the £3million transfer of Dan Shittu.
The player is due to travel to The Hawthorns on Friday to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms.
The overall deal is worth £3million in total and the R's have negotiated a 10 per-cent sell on clause for any future transfer involving the player.

West Bromwich Albion Official Site QPR accept £1.5m Shittu bid
ALBION have had a £1.5million offer accepted by QPR for central defender Dan Shittu.

The fee could rise to £3million if certain criteria are met.
Nigerian international Shittu will travel to the Black Country tomorrow (Friday) to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.
Stay tuned http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10366~876737,00.html?ptvParm=

BBC - QPR accept Baggies bid for Shittu Danny Shittu
Shittu has made more than 160 league appearances for QPR
QPR have accepted an initial offer of £1.5m from West Bromwich Albion for defender Danny Shittu.
The Baggies have struck a deal which could rise to £3m according to his performance and that of the club.
The 25-year-old is set to travel to the Hawthorns on Friday discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.
WBA boss Bryan Robson wants to bring in defensive cover for Neil Clement and Thomas Gaardsoe who will both miss the start of the season through injury.
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini had previously insisted his club would not accept less than £3m for defender Danny Shittu.
Watford had a bid for the giant centre-back rejected.
Shittu moved to Loftus Road from Charlton in 2002 in a £350,000 deal funded by QPR fans Matthew and Alex Winton. He has since made 162 league appearances and is a firm favourite among supporters.

SKY - QPR accept Shittu bid By Alex Dunn - Created on 3 Aug 2006

West Bromwich Albion have agreed a fee for Queens Park Rangers defender Danny Shittu.
After a period of negotiation between the Championship rivals an accord has been struck whereby West Brom will pay an initial fee of £1.5 million.
The fee could eventually rise to £3 million depending on various criteria that will be appearance and success related.
success related.
Shittu, an imposing central defender, has established himself as one of the more powerful performers outside of the top flight and is seen as an ideal signing by Baggies boss Bryan Robson.
West Brom defensive duo Neil Clement and Thomas Gaardsoe are currently struggling with injury and Robson has previously stated a desire to add more competition to his ranks.
Shittu will travel to the Midlands on Friday for a medical and to discuss personal terms. http://home.skysports.com/list.asp?hlid=407699&CPID=10&clid=35&lid=2&title=QPR+accept+Shittu+bid#

BBC - Ferdinand's Concerns
Ferdinand troubled by QPR unease By Chris Charles
QPR legend Les Ferdinand is hoping the club can put their problems off the pitch behind them as they get ready for the new season.
The striker, who scored 90 goals in 170 appearances for Rangers, is concerned stories of boardroom upheaval and mounting debts will take their toll.

Ferdinand told BBC Sport: "I'm upset with all the off-the-field antics at QPR that have overshadowed the club.

"I wish they could resolve this stuff and concentrate on the football."

Ferdinand, dubbed 'Sir Les' by the QPR fans during his eight-year spell at Loftus Road, admitted things were not looking great but had every confidence manager Gary Waddock and his assistant Alan McDonald would turn things around.

"My old team-mates Gary and Alan know all about Queens Park Rangers and I hope they can do the business," he said.

"They've got blue and white flowing through their blood so hopefully they can bring them back to where they need to be."

The bookmakers are not convinced, making QPR one of the the favourites to be relegated from the Championship after they failed to win any of their final 11 games last season.

A summer of discontent has seen the club's reputation dragged through the gutter, with a court clearing seven men of forcing then-director Gianni Paladini to resign at gunpoint during the home clash with Sheffield United last season.

Since then, Carlos Dunga has quit as a director after being asked to coach Brazil and Paladini, currently chairman of the west London side, has hinted that Rangers' main investor, Antonio Caliendo, could be ready to pull the plug.

Ferdinand, 39, remains upbeat about the future of the club where he made his name, saying: "I wish they'd stop talking about all the issues off the pitch and get back to talking about the great football Rangers traditionally play.

"If Gary and Alan are allowed to do their jobs, I really hope they can get QPR back into the Premiership as soon as possible."


Predicted Championship - Final League Table
1. West Brom2. Southampton3. Crystal Palace4. Birmingham City5. Coventry City6. Sunderland7. Derby County8. Leeds United9. Wolves10. Burnley11. Norwich City12. Preston 13. Leicester City14. Cardiff City15. Stoke City16. Hull17. Ipswich Town18. Sheffield Wednesday19. Plymouth Argyle20. Southend United21. Luton Town22. Barnsley23. QPR24. Colchester United http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=374680&root=england&cc=5739

Championship Preview - The Times "Could go down"

The Times - Championship Preview
"QUEENS PARK RANGERS - There will be plenty of new faces on the pitch at Loftus Road this season, but unfortunately for Rangers supporters, most of Gary Waddock’s signings, who come from all corners of the globe, are untried both in this country and at this level. Expect to see a new face in the home dugout if they do not gel quickly into a winning side. Last season: 21st. This season: could go down"

BBC - The Championship form guide
"...BBC Sport verdict: New boss Gary Waddock had a difficult introduction to the job last season. But although results were bad, some performances showed promise. Waddock has the club in his blood and has pledged to play attractive football too. He has strengthened his squad over the summer but needs a good start to avoid a lengthy battle against the drop.
Key man: Nick Ward. Big things are expected from this Aussie youngster.

QPR's Prospects & Plymouth. ..Coral: Plymouth 5/6 odds to finish ahead of QPR
Will Quinn's arrival inspire Sunderland? CLOSE RACE TO ESCAPE THE CHAMPIONSHIP
By Brendan McLoughlin, PA Sport
"...If last season's late form is anything to go by, QPR are already relegated. Defeat in six of their final seven games suggests new boss Gary Waddock has his work cut out, just like predecessor Ian Holloway - sent on gardening leave by Rangers in February - and now Plymouth manager. A new striker was first on Holloway's list as he snapped up Sylvain Ebanks-Blake from Manchester United and he will hope that will help the Pilgrims survive again.

Coral - Championship Betting PLymouth
14th last season, Plymouth Argyle are under new management following Tony Pulis’s return to Stoke City.

New boss Ian Holloway has beefed up his attack with the signings of Barry Hayles from Millwall, and Manchester United youngster Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, veteran frontman Micky Evans leaving for Torquay.
The Pilgrims are 80/1 with Coral to win the Championship, 25/1 to be promoted and 5/2 to be relegated.
Striker Nick Chadwick is 125/1 to be the division’s top goalscorer while in Coral’s match bet market, Plymouth are 5/6 to finish ahead of Ian Holloway’s old club QPR.

BBC - Watford bag Shittu from Rangers
"...Watford have signed QPR defender Danny Shittu for an initial fee of £1.6m.
The 25-year-old had looked to be heading for West Bromwich Albion after Rangers accepted a £1.5m offer. But the Hornets scuppered West Brom's plans, signing the Nigerian international on a three-year contract in a deal that could rise to £3m.
"We're signing another player who fits the Watford way, hungry to learn and to prove his worth at the very top level," said Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd..."

Dan Shittu has today signed for Watford after the Hornets made an improved offer for the Rangers defender.
The verbal agreement QPR had previously reached with West Bromwich Albion on Thursday was sidelined after Watford presented an offer which couldn't be ignored.
QPR will now see an improved sum up front as soon as Shittu makes the short journey to Hertfordshire, plus further potential earnings subject to various criteria being fulfilled.
The terms and conditions of further revenue generators, which incorporate appearances and future Watford success, were also an improvement on the initial offer that the Baggies had put on the table.
The lure of Premiership football and the fact Shittu would now no longer have to relocate was also too tempting for the defender to turn down.
Shittu's contract will see him stay at Vicarage Road for the next three seasons and he will be eligible to play in Tuesday night's game against Inter Milan.
Shittu signed for QPR in January 2001 from Charlton Athletic for an initial fee of £250,000, after spending two months on loan at Loftus Road.
Since his move to Loftus Road, Shittu made 172 appearances and netted 16 goals for the Superhoops.


WATFORD have today (Sunday) completed the signing of central defender Danny Shittu from Queens Park Rangers for an initial fee of £1.6m.
Danny Shittu
The 25-year-old completed formalities late last night, penning a deal that will see him stay at Vicarage Road for the next three seasons.
Shittu sat out the Hoops' seasonal opener at Burnley yesterday having previously made nearly 200 appearances for the Loftus Road outfit.
And a delighted Hornets' boss Aidy Boothroyd hailed the signing of Shittu as a major stepping-stone in his Premiership preparations.
"In Danny we're signing another player who fits the Watford way - hungry to learn, and eager to prove his worth at the very, very top level against the best.
"He is somebody that we have been chasing for some time and I'm pleased that he will now have the chance to fight for a place along with the other excellent centre-halves we have at the club."
Shittu will now link up with his new team mates and will be available for Tuesday night's high-profile friendly with Inter Milan.
The Hornets could pay up to a further £1.4m for the Nigerian international depending on appearances and further Watford successes.
Shittu was subject to a £1.5m bid earlier this week by Championship side West Bromwich Albion, but Watford subsequently had there slightly improved offer accepted by QPR Chairman Gianni Paladin

Sunday, August 06, 2006

WBA Comment on Shittu's Watford Choice-
Watford Official Site
Shittu opts for Hornets
WATFORD BOUND...Shittu has joined the Hornets
ALBION target Dan Shittu has turned down a move to The Hawthorns in favour of joining newly-promoted Premiership outfit Watford.
After having a £1.5million offer for the Nigerian international accepted by QPR late Thursday night, the Baggies held talks with the player on Friday.
However, Shittu has rejected Albion's offer of a long-term deal and, after subsequent discussions with Watford, who had a similar bid accepted by QPR, he has decided to join the Vicarage Road outfit.
Chairman Jeremy Peace said: "We were well aware of Watford's initial interest in the player but were told by his agent that their interest had ended.
"Therefore, we negotiated a fee for the player with QPR in good faith and reached agreement with them on Thursday night.
"We arranged for the player to travel to The Hawthorns on Friday morning.
"The player arrived at the club with his agent. He underwent a medical and was offered what we believe were very good terms over a long-term contract.
"We feel we did everything possible to secure the player.
"However, we found out during the course of our negotiations that Watford's interest had been rekindled and that the player wanted to have talks with them.
"Clearly, the lure of playing in the Premiership has influenced the player's decision."

Shittu's QPR Farewell
Danny Shittu's Farewell
- Spoke on the QPR's Official Site
Can Watch/Listen to Shittu Comments (if subscriber)

Skysport - Shittu reveals Prem motivation
By Tom Adams - Created on 7 Aug 2006
Watford new-boy Danny Shittu says he had to leave QPR in order to pursue a career in The Premiership.

The stopper snubbed strong interest from West Brom to join The Hornets in a £3 million deal on Sunday, leaving a gaping hole in the Rangers backline in the process.
After almost five years at Loftus Road, Shittu was sad to leave the London outfit, but the short trip to Watford offered him an irresistible chance to test himself at a higher level during the coming season.
"To test myself in The Premiership is something I have wanted to do for a long time," said Shittu.
"I am sorry that I have to leave QPR - but it's something that had to happen.
"It's hard leaving a club that has been like a family to me for the last four years.
"I feel I'm ready for The Premiership. I will work hard.
"I believe I can deal with whatever is thrown at me, and I hope I can make a bigger name for myself than I did at QPR."

Plus great Farewell Piece by Clive Whittingham on QPR Rivals "Shittu sale must become the norm for Rs to survive"

Ron Norris on QPR Net "Picture Specials - Danny Shittu
Thursday 3rd August 2006
"...take a look back through his Rangers career in his very own picture special..".

Official Site Report on QPR XI's 2-0 Defeat at Lewes

Tommy Doherty saw red as a QPR XI succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Lewes on Tuesday evening.
The combative midfielder was given his marching orders in the first half, for two bookable offences, on a night to forget for the R's.
In truth, his dismissal only served to compound Rangers' woes, who handed transfer listed trio Ian Evatt, Matt Hislop and Stefan Moore yet another chance to shine.
R's Reserve Team manager Justin Skinner was understandably disappointed with the result, commenting: "Of course it was a setback. It looked like being a decent enough game after the first 20 minutes, but the referee spoilt it with his decision to give a soft penalty.
"Sean Thomas clearly got two hands to the ball, but the referee pointed straight to the spot. The lads over-reacted a little and Tommy bore the brunt of it with a second booking.''
Aside from the result though, Skinner believes the run-out will stand the players in good stead for the start of the season.
"As with all matches at this time of year, it's all about preparation,'' he told qpr.co.uk.
"Some of the lads have got some much needed game time under their belts and that can only add to the competition for places.''
QPR XI: Thomas, Goode, Munday, Evatt, Hislop, Tchakounte, Doherty, Bailey, Baidoo, Donnelly, Moore.
Subs (all used): R Jones, trialist, Cousins, Howell, Rose.


QPR's Official Team Photo released

QPR OFFICIAL SITE - Evatt to Blackpool on Six month Loan

Ian Evatt has joined Coca Cola League One side Blackpool on a six month loan deal.
The former Chesterfield and Derby defender today (Thursday) penned a six month loan deal with the Seasiders that will expire on January 3rd 2007.
Evatt joined the R's in June 2005 for £150,000, but after falling out of favour under former boss Ian Holloway, he was eventually placed on the transfer list by Gary Waddock at the end of last season.
The 24 year-old defender - who made just 22 appearances for the R's - could make his Seasiders debut against Brentford on Saturday.
Waddock believes the loan deal is good for both parties, commenting: "Evo will get first team football and some much needed match fitness so it's great for both him and the Club.
"I had a good look at him last season but I came to the decision to place him on the list and I stand by that.''

Blackpool Official Site
Pool Raid Championship

THE SEASIDERS today completed the six month loan signing of Queens Park Rangers defender Ian Evatt.
Evatt arrived at Loftus Road on a three year deal from Chesterfield in the summer of 2005 having put pen to paper in Majorca, when QPR chairman Gianni Paladini flew out to meet the no nonsense defender.
After falling out of favour with former Rangers manager Ian Holloway, Evatt was instantly recalled to the squad under caretaker manager Gary Waddock, going on to make 27 appearances in season 2005/06.
Standing at 6' 3" the former Derby defender is expected to make his Pool debut on Saturday when the Seasiders take on Brentford at Griffin Park.
We will have more reaction to this story shortly?

Sky Duo fail in Blackstock bids
By Peter ORourke - 3 Aug 2006

Skysports.com understand Wolves and Queens Park Rangers have had bids rejected for Southampton's Dexter Blackstock.
Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday, along with Wolves and QPR, are thought to be chasing Blackstock.
The arrival of Bradley Wright-Phillips at Southampton has increased competition for places at St Mary's and suitors of Blackstock are hoping the South Coast club may be willing to let the forward leave.
Queens Park Rangers boss Gary Waddock has previously expressed his interest in Blackstock and he followed that up with a firm bid which was rejected by Southampton.
New Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is also looking to add to his striking options and tabled an offer for Blackstock.
Southampton are in no rush to let Blackstock go and are holding out for their full valuation of the player.

Ex-QPR Chairman Bill Power Says No QPR Return
BBC/Wiltshire - Power to stay with STFC

Swindon Town director and £1 million investor, Bill Power, says he's staying at the County Ground...
Swindon Town director Bill Power says he is staying with the club for the long term and there is no chance of him going back to Queen's Park Rangers.
He only joined the Robins earlier this year having previously been involved at QPR and has pledged to invest more than £1 million.
Last week the current Rangers chairman said he would be willing to let Power take back control of the West London club if he was interested.
But speaking during Saturday's 1-all draw with Reading, Power says his future is at the County Ground:
"I've thrown my hat in with Swindon and I've never gone back on things before.
"The next three or four years are going to be very exciting here and I just wish the season was starting today, you know, the way they're playing it's great."...

Friday, August 04, 2006
Penrice Reported Set to Link Up wth Holloway
Plymouth Evening Herald - 4 August 2006
Gary Penrice should become the latest addition to Ian Holloway's backroom staff at Home Park by next week.
Penrice was a coach for Holloway at both Bristol Rovers and Queens Park Rangers and is a trusted ally of the new Pilgrims' boss.
When Holloway was put on 'gardening leave' by QPR in February after a fall-out with chairman Gianni Paladini, his two coaches - Penrice and Tim Breacker - suffered the same fate.
Holloway took over at Argyle on June 28 but Penrice and Breacker remain on the payroll at the west London club.
"I have offered something to Gary Penrice and he has had a problem to sort out with QPR," said Holloway. "I think they are doing that as we speak. The role I will be talking about will be different to what he did at QPR."
Holloway confirmed no offer had been made yet to Breacker.
When asked whether he would like to bring Breacker to Home Park, Holloway replied: "We will have to wait and see. Other things will have to happen at this end first."... http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=184334&command=disp

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