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Saturday, June 30, 2007

QPR & Ex-QPR Rumours: Cook, Sahar, Shittu, Carlisle, Gallen

Cook to Derby says the Messageboard
Fulham Vital Football (which certainly does NOT mean this is accurate) "Fulham appear to have missed out on QPR player and fan but more importantly exciting left winger Lee Cook. Derby have reportedly offered cash plus Lee Camp in a deal which will see Cook earn up to fifteen to twenty thousand pounds a week..." Vital Football

Ben Sahar to QPR says The Times

to Derby for 3 million says The Sun

Carlisle to Plymouth?
"PLYMOUTH will line up a £100,000 bid to lure defender Clarke Carlisle, 27, from Watford." The Sun
- Mirror - "HOLLOWAY LINING UP CARLISLE - 30/06/2007 Plymouth boss Ian Holloway is lining up a £100,000 bid for Watford defender Clarke Carlisle." Mirror

Kevin Gallen to Plymouth?
Holloway is quoted as having offered the deal and is waiting for a response but is optomistic.

Also: Today's QPR Report Snippets re Tony Roberts, Steve Lomas, Shrewsbury Friendly and a "flashback"

And QPR Report Yesterday: News re Jamie Cureton, Tommy Doherty, Nikki Bull and Barry Silkman

QPR Snippets

From Today's Times "...Ben Sahar, the Chelsea forward, is expected to move to Queens Park Rangers on loan for six months. He follows Michael Mancienne and Jimmy Smith, who made a similar move last season...." The Times Today's Telegraph "Chelsea
QPR want to sign 17-year-old striker Ben Sahar on a six-month loan. Jose Mourinho wants the Israeli to gain more first team experience with the Championship side next season." Telegraph

ShrewsburyNot yet announced by Shrewsbury on their official site: The July 31Friendly vs QPR. (Shrewsbury List who they are playing)

Gillingham are being linked to released, Steve Lomas

The changing face of QPR: Updated Staff Directory (with presumably a couple of changes to the Directory yet to be made)- Squad Numbers

Tony Roberts, Dagenham and the Insurance issue still unresolved

On this day two years ago, then-QPR Manager, Ian Holloway was talking about Flo
BBC - Holloway admits interest in Flo
QPR boss Ian Holloway has confirmed his side are hoping to sign ex-Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo.
But he admits he is not confident on his chances of persuading the 32-year-old Norway international to leave his Italian club Siena.
"He will attract interest elsewhere. To get a player of his quality is a real 100-1 shot," he told QPR's website.
"We've done all we can to persuade him that QPR is a great club, but we fully respect Tore will need to take time."...
"We are shooting for the stars here - but there is nothing wrong with trying to bring in the very best players available," Holloway added.
Holloway has already signed defender Ian Evatt, midfielder Tommy Doherty and striker Stefan Moore this summer, while goalkeeper Simon Royce will join on 1 July after his contract at Charlton has expired. BBC

And in a nostalgic "blast from the past:" From the Spring of 2005
QPR's then Chairman Bill Power and then CEO, Mark Devlin talking about the (much-criticized) season ticket increase and other issues. Agree or disagree; right or mistaken; look back in hindsight, etc, but the effort to grasp the club's financial problems is evident. - QPR


You can now read an edited transcript, or listen to a recording, from the Q&A with Bill Power and Mark Devlin answering YOUR questions on season tickets...
Or simply read the transcript from the event below. Many thanks to everyone who submitted questions.

It's all very well comparing the next season's prices to teams like Watford or West Ham.But what do you say to those of us who know that a parent and child season ticket to watch Chelsea is going to be cheaper? Or what do you say to those who point out that your sudden huge whack in prices will stop them introducing the next generation of fans to Rangers?

Mark Devlin - The prices have been set to try and gain the revenue that the club needs to function because we can't go on begging for money. It's all been done to put us on a more stable footing.

We gave out a lot of free games last year in a very haphazard fashion and all that's happened is that supporters now won't be getting as good a deal as they were last season. I just hope that they can see the reasoning behind what we've had to do.

Are the club trying to discourage both families and children? If not how do they justify the fact that the highest increases apply to these groups?

Bill Power - We looked at all of the prices and it was in those sections where the biggest discounts were being given.

MD - The prices have been set in stone so they won't be changing now. Begging to our Directors for money had to stop. With regards to the child season ticket holders we'll be looking at giving them a £30 club shop voucher and if every one of them takes us up on that offer it will cost us in the region of around £60,000.

Will the club consider offering at least a cup game in with the season ticket. I know our record in the cups is not the best at a difficult time a gesture might help.

BP - FA Cup games involve other clubs so it would be remiss of us to give away tickets for free without having first consulted them. But of course we will look at the discounts if it is at all possible.

Are you planning for ticket promotions for next season?

MD - We would have to be careful as we wouldn't want to be seen to be diluting the value of a season ticket. But once we know the make up of (the division) next season there may be three or four games where we can look at possible promotions which would be in the Lower School End.

Why was such a dramatically high increase on Season Ticket prices considered necessary in one season?

BP - We were discussing these prices in November 2003 and that will tell you all you need to know about our predicament back then - we were desperate for money.

Was the option of notifying supporters in advance of the massive price increases considered?

MD - In hindsight, maybe consultation with some of the supporters groups should have happened, although I HAD spoken to some people involved with them about big increases. But maybe we could have done it a bit better.

But (In terms of explaining the rises) Bill and I both did interview with the website which you could read, and listen to, free of charge, without having to subscribe to QPR World as someone incorrectly suggested.

Then the letters were delivered at the weekend which again explained the reasoning behind the increases. We haven't tried to put a spin on this at all - we've only ever presented the fans with the facts.

Recent season ticket/ticket price increases appear to be based on the ongoing cost of servicing the ABC loan. If this crippling loan is the prime cause of having to 'penalise' the fans what are you doing to get away from ABC?

BP - The loan is crippling us, but that isn't the only reason for the season ticket increase. There are things happening next year that have never happened before. Not only is our season being condensed, but the changes to the transfer window ruling will mean that we need a bigger squad and of course all this means we need more money.

MD - It costs us £1m a year to service the ABC loan and we've looked at other companies who can take over this loan for us without such a high rate of interest. But what we were being told by other banks was that we needed to prove we were more stable before they would become involved with us and that's another reason why we need more money.

Plus next season we will have to finance a section for disabled supporters. On top of that we've also got to spend between £160,000 and £200,000 on essential renovation for parts of the stadium.

These are all things that have been batted away in the past and we buried our head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. But the fact of the matter is, this work now needs to be done.

How many renewals does the board expect (or require) to happen before the end of May and what contingencies are in place if this volume target isn't met? Also has any research been carried out to quantify the expected renewal rate?

BP - It would be wrong of me to presume anything, I would never presume anything of our fans. But what I will say is that I hope that everyone renews their season tickets. I really do think that this will be the best money that our fans will ever spend. If they were excited about promotion to this league last year then they really shouldn't be able to wait for next year. I really don't think they will regret spending this money. And if any of our fans don't think that we researched this then I really don't know what they must think of us.

MD - In terns of financial research when discussing the new prices, we worked out what we would earn if everyone renewed and then we worked backwards to see what we would earn if only 90%, 80% and so on renewed. If we hit a point where not enough money was coming in then we drew up contingency plans. We just hope that people can see the rationale behind these decisions.

Aren't there better ways of raising revenue? What about reducing staff at the stadium, or why not cut back on the amount of free tickets dished out?

MD - We have made redundancies and switched suppliers for certain things and by doing that it looks as though we've saved somewhere in the region of £350,000-£400,000. All of the directors are keen on seeing as few complimentary tickets as possible distributed and we have a system where they all have to be justified before they are signed off.

If we are short of money why give Ian Holloway a three year contract and ask the fans to pay more next season to watch the same players ?

BP - Giving Ian Holloway a new contract is all part of the stability of the club. I can't say enough about the man. When he joined us he hauled us out of the abyss. Everyone knows about Ian's enthusiasm and he is an imperative part of this club. I must also add that his three year deal is of course two years after the end of this season.

MD - Our job is to manage the business so that we don't end up staring down that financial abyss again. We want to have enough money to fund a squad for the years to come because the fans come here because they want to see a team that wins more games than they lose.

I do not understand how the club feel that they can justify paying for a unproven player like Davies and paying him a sizeable (for our team) wage and then turn around and tell the fans we have no money and there has to be a huge increase on our season tickets. Could you please tell me how the club expect us to believe we have no money and then go and offer players like Davies this money?

BP - We've got the best fans in the country here and some of them happen to be very wealthy and very kind and it was those fans who offered to stump up the money for Andrew Davies. QPR Holdings could not have afforded to purchase him - that deal would have been funded by the fans.

How many players will the enhanced revenue enable the manger to bring to the club in the anticipation that QPR a challenge for promotion at the end of the season?

MD - I would say that we probably need around four or five new players before the start of the season. We will be looking at players like the youngster we got from Arsenal.

BP - Ian Holloway has got a list of players of every position that he wants to bring in. his biggest problem is me telling him not to spend too much money and to go out and find us one of his gems.

How many players can we expect to leave during the summer? Is Mr Paladini looking at long term building or just a quick fix?

BP - Gianni Paladini is here for the long term. He never supported a football club before he came here and now he and his family are big QPR fans and he is no longer an agent.

It's been mentioned that "The club have been helped out by the board recently to keep us going"Has this been in the style of Chris Wright/Roman Abramovich type loans and therefore put us in MORE debt or has it been in gifts and hence kept the debt down.

BP - If there is a fan out there who would just like to give the club £1m of his own money then I'd like him to give me a call. Yes, they are all loans - but if the Club went into administration tomorrow I would be homeless and penniless. That's how much I've invested in the Club.

We've tried to be as reasonable as possible. I've met other chairman from other club's who were in a right panic over the position of their club and I wouldn't have wanted to swap places with them. We want to take this club forward now. If it takes two or three years then that's what it takes, but the sooner the better.

MD - Our level of indebtedness have come down. There were companies including the Inland Revenue who we owed money to and we were hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

The fans wanted to hear our levels of concern about how much trouble we were in, but there was no need to inform them then as the Directors stepped up to the plate. But we simply can't keep asking these people to invest their own money, it's not a never ending supply.

If we purchase our season tickets through the payment plan, why will we only get individual tickets rather than the season ticket book as has always been the case?

MD - We had horrendous problems last season with supporters falling behind on their payments and we had to write off their season tickets. So this step has been taken to protect the club. We may revisit this decision, it may be that we can issue batches of ticket, or we may still even revert back to how we did things this season. This is still being looked at.

Club on Season Ticket deadline
"...Supporters are advised to purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Rangers have the Premiership in their sights and 2005-06 promises to be a season to remember. Make sure YOU are part of the action!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Another Signing: John Curtiss From Nottingham Forest

QPR have signed the almost-29 year old, ex-Manchester United, Barnsley, Blackburn, Sheffield United, Leicester, Portsmouth, Preston and Nottinham Forest defender, John Curtis (who was recently released by Nottingham Forest).

Fri 29 Jun 2007

QPR have agreed terms with versatile defender John Curtis.
The 28 year-old, who was released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season, passed a medical and agreed a two year deal at Harlington this evening.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Curtis, who began his career at Manchester United, expressed his delight at the move: "I'm delighted to be here.
"The move only really materialised in the last 48 hours or so. DC (Danny Cullip) gave the gaffer my number and it's taken off since then really.
"We had a very positive meeting on Thursday and I was very impressed by what John had to say. He's clearly determined to move the Club forward and I'm delighted to be part of it.
"Hopefully, I can nail down a regular spot in the side. I've been promoted from this division before and also lost out in a couple of play-off finals, so I can't wait to get started.''
A former England Under-21 international defender, Curtis - who is capable of playing in a number of positions - lists Premiership duo Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth amongst his former Clubs.
Manager John Gregory spoke in glowing terms of the R's new signing, commenting: "I'm delighted to have someone of his experience and ability joining us.
"I've done my homework on him. He's a fantastic lad, a great professional and I'm sure he'll be an instant favourite with our supporters.
"He's a very versatile player and will give us great options in a variety of positions.''
Curtis will wear the vacant number 21 shirt. QPR

See Curtis Career - Soccerbase

See Wikipedia re John Curtis

Posted on: Fri 29 Jun 2007

John Curtis began his career under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

He went on to make 19 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils, before spending a season on loan at Barnsley.

His performances for the Tykes didn't go unnoticed though and in the summer of 2000, Blackburn Rovers boss Graeme Souness swooped to secure his services in a £150,000 transfer.

Curtis was an ever-present during his first campaign at Ewood Park, as Blackburn were promoted to the Premiership.

England Under-21 caps followed in due course, only for injury to limit his participation in season 2001/02 to just ten top-flight appearances.

He failed to regain his regular starting place, and spent the second half of the 2002/03 campaign on loan at Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United.

At the end of the season he was released by Blackburn and was immediately snapped up by Leicester City on a free transfer.

However, Curtis' spell with the Foxes was unsuccessful, and after making just 17 appearances, he was transferred to Portsmouth in February 2004.

After failing to win a regular starting place in the Pompey side, Curtis was loaned out to Preston North End at the start of the 2004/05 campaign.

In January 2005, Curtis was transferred on a free to Nottingham Forest, for whom he made 90 appearances in all competitions.

Ex-QPR Update: Cureton Joins Norwich...Venables' First QPR Signing Turns 55

BBC - Cureton completes Norwich switch

Cureton began his career at Norwich, before leaving in 1996
Norwich have signed Colchester striker Jamie Cureton for an undisclosed fee.
Cureton, the leading scorer in the Championship last season, requested a move earlier this month, and the U's made it clear they do not want to sell.

The 31-year-old began his career at Norwich, making 29 league appearances before spells with Bristol Rovers, Reading, QPR, Swindon and Colchester.
Cureton only moved to Layer Road on a permanent basis last summer, after a successful loan spell.
He scored 23 goals in 44 league appearances, but cited a perceived lack of ambition when he handed in his transfer request.
Cureton told Norwich's website: "I scored a lot of goals at youth and reserve level here and managed to get a few goals for the first team.
"I will be 32 in August but I still have plenty in the locker. I'm probably playing the best I have ever played and I'm raring to go."
Hull chairman Paul Duffen recently revealed that Cureton was a target for Tigers boss Phil Brown. BBC

Barry Silkman Turns 55
Barry Silkman, who Venables made his first signing for about 20,000 pounds when he first took over QPR in 1980.

Wikopedial Profile

And not exactly an "ex-QPR" but (as noted on the QPR messageboards) best wishes for Tommy Doherty, hospitalized in the Bahamas with appendicitis.

Bucks Free Press - Tommy Doherty
WANDERERS' bid to sign last year's Player of the Year Tommy Doherty could be derailed because he is stuck in a foreign hospital.

The QPR midfielder, who spent much of last season on loan at Wycombe, is stuck in the Bahamas after having an emergency operation to remove his appendix.

A spokesman for his agents Clarke Willmott said: "He is still in hospital. He is due to fly back on Saturday but he might not be allowed. We don't know when he will return. He might not be allowed to fly for a while because of the risk of deep vein thrombosis."
When he returns it is thought he will then need six to eight weeks to rehabilitate before he can start pre-season training - ruling him out of the big kick off.
Wanderers' league season starts on August 11 and before then manager Paul Lambert will want to test his squad in pre-season action.
Lambert is keen to land the former Northern Ireland ace on a full-time basis but has struggled to thrash out a deal with Rangers.
Rangers are happy to let him go but Loftus Road chairman Gianni Paladini told the Daily Mirror earlier this season that he wants £100,000 for his want-away out-of-favour player. Press

BBC Nikki Bull
Bull undecided over Shots future
Aldershot goalkeeper Nikki Bull has confirmed talks about his future are still going on.
The England semi-professional international has been at the Rec for five years after joining from QPR.

He told BBC SCR: "There's still a possibility of me moving on. Part of me does need a new challenge and a change.

"But the arrival of my former boss at QPR Gary Waddock as manager here has maybe changed things. I'll make a decision in the next fortnight of so." BBC

QPR's New Backroom Hires: Two From Wycombe

Former Wycombe Wanderers duo Steve Brown and Keith Ryan have joined the R's backroom team.
The pair will oversee the R's Youth department and be responsible for the Club's Under-18 and Under-16 squads, as well as the Centre of Excellence.
Brown, 40, and Ryan, 37, were released by the Chairboys as a result of a cost-cutting exercise earlier this month.
Gregory welcomed the duo's arrival, commenting: "Steve and Keith will be two fantastic additions to the backroom staff, and the Youth department, in particular will benefit from them.
"Their enthusiasm and passion for football is second to none and they've got years of experience and knowledge within the game, both as players and coaches.
"It was always my intention to overhaul the Youth department and I couldn't be more delighted with the two men that we've brought in to run it.
"Steve will be our Youth Team Manager and Keith will be responsible for the full-time scholars' education programme, which for a number of years has sadly had appalling examination results.''
Brown, who made 443 appearances during a ten year spell as a player at Adams Park, was number two to Wanderers boss Paul Lambert last season.
Ryan, who clocked up over 500 appearances for the Blues, was responsible for the Chairboys Reserve side last season. QPR
Steve Brown

Steve Brown began his career at Northampton Town in 1983, but left just two years later to join Irthlingborough Diamonds.

He re-joined the Cobblers in July 1989, before then Wycombe Wanderers boss Martin O'Neill swooped for his services in February 1994.

'Brownie' was a huge fans' favourite at the Club, amassing 443 appearances in all competitions for the Chairboys, scoring 43 goals.

He was part of the Wanderers' squad which reached the FA Cup semi-final in 2001 and after retiring three years later, he was appointed as Assistant Manager to then Wycombe boss John Gorman.
orman's move to Northampton soon after fuelled speculation that Brown would return to one of his former Club's, but in-coming boss Paul Lambert retained the fans' favourite, until his release on June 22nd 2007.

Keith Ryan
Keith Ryan started his footballing career at Berkhamsted Town, before Wycombe Wanderers boss Martin O'Neill signed him in 1990.

'Rhino,' as he was affectionately known by Wycombe fans, played in over 500 games for the Club.

He notched 50 goals from midfield during that period, including the Chairboys' consolation against Liverpool in the 2001 FA Cup semi-final.

Following the departure of Manager Tony Adams in November 2004, Ryan was appointed Caretaker Manager until the appointment of the replacement Manager John Gorman.

Gorman rewarded Ryan's service for the Club by making him an Assistant Manager, alongside Brown.

Ryan retired from professional football in April 2006. QPR

By Matt Cecil - 29/06/07

'Brownie' and 'Rhino' have taken up new roles with QPR

Recently-departed coaches Steve Brown and Keith Ryan have joined the coaching team at Queens Park Rangers to work under ex-Wanderers boss John Gregory.

The duo parted company with the club this summer after a combined total of thirty years at Adams Park, and join forces with Gregory, who managed the Wanderers between October 1996 and February 1998.

Brown and Ryan have been installed into the youth department at Loftus Road, overseeing the Under-18 and Under-16 teams as well as the Centre of Excellence. Brown will take on the role of Youth Team Manager with Ryan taking control of the full-time scholars' education programme.

John Gregory
Gregory: reacquainted with Brownie and Rhino
R's boss John Gregory was happy to welcome the pair:

"Steve and Keith will be two fantastic additions to the backroom staff, and the youth department in particular will benefit from them," he told qpr.co.uk. "Their enthusiasm and passion for football is second to none and they've got years of experience and knowledge within the game."

Wanderers' Managing Director Steve Hayes was delighted to hear the news:

"I'm very, very pleased for Steve and Keith. They've been tremendous ambassadors for Wycombe Wanderers and I'm sure they'll be a great success at QPR."

Everyone at Wycombe Wanderers would like to wish Steve and Keith all the best in their new roles with QPR. Wycombe


By Alan Parry - 29/06/07

Keith Ryan leaves Adams Park after 17 years, 517 appearances and 50 goals.

Wanderers can reveal today that Keith Ryan, one of the Blues' longest-serving former players, has ended his career at Adams Park after 17 years.

Ryan's departure follows last week's news that Steve Brown had left his post as assistant manager. Wanderers' Managing Director Steve Hayes explained that the club had been forced to restructure its coaching staff for financial reasons.

Ryan joined Wanderers in 1990 and was a leading player in the team that won promotion to the Football League under Martin O'Neill in 1993. He played over 500 games for the Blues despite suffering serious knee injuries that eventually brought his playing career to an end just over a year ago.

After moving onto the coaching staff, "Rhino" had a spell as caretaker manager following the sudden departure of Tony Adams and he was later made first team coach under John Gorman. He also helped to run the reserve team.

Paul Lambert told wwfc.com: "This has been a really difficult time for everyone. It's hard enough having to say goodbye to any employee, but Steve and Keith are legends at Adams Park so this decision was even tougher."

He added: "I want to put on record our thanks and gratitude to both men. Brownie and Rhino made immense contributions to this club both as players and as coaches and in some ways it's the end of an era. I know that our fans will be upset to see them go, but sadly these were changes that had to be made." Wycombe


Written by: Alan Parry - 22/06/07

After 13 years service as a player and a coach, Steve Brown is leaving Wycombe Wanderers.

Brown, who was signed from Northampton Town in 1994, was the mainstay of Wanderers team that won promotion to Division Three under Martin O'Neill.

He went on to make almost 400 appearances for the Blues before retiring as a player three years ago. Brown then joined the coaching staff at Adams Park working initially with the youth teams before being appointed assistant manager to John Gorman in 2004. He continued in that role when Paul Lambert replaced John Gorman last season.

Managing Director Steve Hayes paid a tribute to Brown when he told wwfc.com; "Brownie has been a fantastic servant for this club so this is a sad day for all of us. He was truly a legend at Adams Park and he'll never be forgotten by the fans."

Hayes went on: "Over the last few weeks we've been reviewing our finances at the club and it was felt that we needed to streamline our coaching staff. Steve leaves with our best wishes and he will always be welcomed back here."

Steve Brown told us: "I'm sad to be leaving but decisions were made and now I have to get on with my life. Wycombe Wanderers has been a huge part of my career and I'll be leaving behind a lot of good friends and great memories."

Things Said #1: Chairman Paladini Last Summer


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 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." Sunday Mirror

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 QPR

QPR Appoint New Physiotherapist

QPR announce the replacement to Prav Mathema as QPR Physiotherapist (Mathema moving on to Chris Wright's WASPS).

The Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Hunter as Head Physiotherapist.
The 35 year-old replaces Prav Mathema, who announced his decision to leave the R's after eight years service, to take up a similar post at Rugby Union giants London Wasps at the end of last season.
Hunter, who was the Assistant Physiotherapist at Premiership Club West Ham United last season, arrives with a comprehensive CV, which includes stints at Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace.
Hunter, who will work alongside R's Assistant Physiotherapist Shane Annun and Sports Performance Manager Joe Dunbar, is relishing the opportunity to link up with the R's backroom team, commenting: "I've been working my way around the country for the last 14 years or so, but this is my first job as Head Physio, so I'm really excited by the challenge ahead.
"I've been fortunate enough to work with some fantastic professionals during my career and I'm just grateful to John Gregory and Queens Park Rangers for giving me the opportunity to take it to the next level as Head Physio.
"Joe and I know each other from spells at Charlton and Cardiff, so the wheels are already in motion. It's very much a case of liaising with both Shane and Joe in a bid to get the players back to full fitness as soon as possible.''
Manager John Gregory added: "We're obviously delighted to have someone of Paul's experience and standing in the game joining us, in what is a hugely important position within the backroom team.
"He was the outstanding candidate of the 50 or so applicants we had for the position and he's also been somewhat of a lucky charm throughout his career. He has been part of three play-off winning sides and was also a member of the Crystal Palace backroom staff when they secured automatic promotion QPR

QPR Squad Numbers Announced: Left Open: #1 and #10

QPR today announced the new squad numbers. Among the numbers left open: #1 and #10. Among the players not listed: Nygaard and Doherty.

QPR Official Site - Squad Numbers Announced

2. Marcus BIGNOT
3. Chris BARKER
4. Danny CULLIP
5. Damion STEWART
7. Adam BOLDER
11. Gareth AINSWORTH
12. Jake COLE
14. Martin ROWLANDS
15. Dominic SHIMMIN
16. Ray JONES
17. Lee COOK
18. Stefan MOORE
20. Kieron ST AIMIE
22. Shabazz BAIDOO
23. Stefan BAILEY
27. Samspa TIMOSKA
28. Zesh REHMAN
29. Nick WARD

A Year Later, Gary Waddock Talks to Aldershot Fans


Full Report From Aldershot Town Supporters Forum
A packed Phoenix Club saw a successful Fans Forum on Friday evening where supporters were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock. Also representing the club were Chairman John McGinty and Chief Executive Doug Wilson. We provide a synopsis of the matters addressed by Gary at the meeting. We will provide further information provided by John and Doug on the website during next week.

A packed Phoenix Club witnessed an encouraging evening on Friday as supporters were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock who conducted himself with enthusiasm and humour added with a noticeable desire to be successful.

The new boss was included in a panel of three people with Chairman John McGinty and Chief Executive Doug Wilson.

The 45 year old former Irish international explained how his previous experiences should hold him in good stead for the future before opening the floor to questions. Gary explained that he had accumulated approximately 600 senior appearances in an extensive career that started at QPR.

He also appeared 21 times for the Republic of Ireland before a coaching career saw him responsible for the Youth Team, Reserve Team and eventually Manager at his boyhood club.

The Forum lasted two and a half hours and the following points were discussed by the new boss:

Gary Waddock

- He said that the turn out at the Forum was fantastic and he was appreciative of the welcome he has received.

-He explained that he wants to return Aldershot as a Football League club during his tenure as manager of Aldershot Town Football Club and whilst there are no guarantees that is his aim. He knows plenty about the Conference and is confident that the club can compete next season. He will not get carried away and he has set his own target and wants a period of sustained success to progress the club.

- Gary said that many names have been bandied about as possible targets for next season. He continued, stating that he was in talks with a number of potential signings and would talk to anybody with the ingredients he is after to improve the squad.

- He is hoping to operate on a squad of 18 players but added that although the current squad has 12 players Ryan Scott will not be available at the start of the new campaign due to his broken leg sustained at Altrincham. He is hoping for positive news next week. Within the squad he is looking at permanent signings. The loan market will only be considered during the campaign dependant on injuries and other relevant matters.

- Whilst he would not elaborate on any possible signings he did state that the players that he has spoken to have been impressive and want to play for the club. If these targets do sign for the club the announcements will be made through the official website after all paperwork and medicals have been completed.

- If the preferred players did commit themselves to the club the supporters will be enthused.

- All 12 players that are signed up so far will start with a clean slate and that from what he has seen Terry Brown and Martin Kuhl brought in some quality players with whom he is looking forward to working with.

- Gary is expecting Nikki Bull to report for pre season training and is in his plans for season 2007/08 and that he has not received any offers for Nikki at this moment in time. He also confirmed that Nikki played under him at QPR and he is looking forward to working with Nikki again. Louis Wells will be coming back for pre season training to have a look at him.

- Former Aldershot Town player Adam Miller also worked with Gary at QPR and he rates him as a person and a player and believes that he was unfortunate not to have become a regular first team player at Loftus Road.

- The supporters will get to know Gary and that he has a burning desire to succeed. He wants to do that at Aldershot Town and he wants to show people what a good manager he is.

- He confirmed that his teams will be organised, professional and fit and will play a passing game. His teams will, however, be adaptable and If he needs to change things during the course of a game he will.

- He is aiming to bring in younger players who are more athletic and who can get around the pitch but he wants quality too.

Along with Martin Kuhl Gary wants to develop players to make them better performers. That will ensure that the club also has players that are assets too which will ensure that we have a successful team.

- An emphasis of developing players that will progress through the youth ranks to the first team will be encouraged.

- Whilst it is a priority to achieve Football League status whether in the short or medium term a concentration of achieving cup success would be advantageous too.

- A captain will be decided once the players have returned to training where Gary will have the opportunity to assesss a suitable candidate.

-Gary confirmed that he is in overall control and he wants to command respect from his players.

- He is a family man who has been married for 24 years with an 11 year old daughter who are both football supporters too. He lives in Berkshire and is aware of the history of the club.

- The most influential Coach/Manager he ever played under was Terry Venables. He learnt an awful lot from him during his time at QPR and will utilise what he has learnt in addition to expressing his own ideas.

- The hardest, most difficult opponent he ever came across was Graeme Souness.

- He has watched Aldershot Town over the past couple of years and said that he knows where the areas are required for improvement. He said that with the planned signings due the squad will be improved.

He also added that some horrendous individual errors were made in matches last season and that whilst the manager is there to be shot at players have to take responsibility too. If the needless mistakes had been cut out last season the club would have finished a lot higher than it did. He also said that one of the matches he viewed during the last campaign was at Woking which was a great indication of where improvements are required.

- He has known Martin Kuhl for some time coming across him as a player and also during his time as Youth Coach at QPR when Martin held a similar role at Aldershot and they get on famously well and Martin's coaching experience and also knowledge of the Football League and Conference was invaluable.

He also expressed how supportive Martin has been since he arrived at the club. They will work together as a team but Gary will have the final decisions.

- Gary said that football clubs are all about the supporters. A massive positive he has noticed in his short time at Aldershot is the enthusiasm around the club and the kindness of the supporters and staff.

- The players that he has spoken to have all commended the supporters of Aldershot Town knowing that when they have played at the Rec for other clubs they notice the positive backing of the home crowd.

- Gary was informed about the RBA and their supportive and enthusiastic role of playing as a "12th man" for the team. He expressed how appreciative he was of this and that he will do everything he can to do well and said that the supporters can make a massive part in the success.

- He concluded that QPR had been a large part of his life. He grew up in north west London near Wembley and joined the club as a 13 year old progressing through the ranks to make his first team debut at 17. He will always look out for their results but confirmed that he is fully committed to Aldershot Town Football Club and he is now a new supporter of Aldershot Town and relishing his new challenge. Aldershot

ALDERSHOT Supporters Forum- Further Update
We are pleased to inform supporters of non playing matters that were discussed at the packed Supporters Forum held at the Phoenix Club on Friday evening where fans were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock. The matters listed were discussed by Chief Executive Doug Wilson and Chairman John McGinty...
He added that with the arrival of Gary Waddock, the known strength of the core squad plus anticipation of new signings coupled with the efforts of our new key sponsor, Ezylet.co.uk the Board hope to notably exceed this conservative number, but this of course rests firmly with the fans.
He also confirmed the importance of operating to a balanced budget. Clearly the club has to address its overall financial position but Gary has been advised if the attendances are regularly higher and we do well in Cup competitions some additional funding for the player budget will be forthcoming during the course of the season...
Chelsea FC
- Chelsea FC has been exceptionally good to Aldershot Town since the inaugural agreement of their reserves playing at the Rec commenced in 2001/02. In accordance with the contract they have already paid the club for season 2007/08 giving the Board a cushion whilst they look at alternative opportunities....

Chairman Paladini One Year Ago "[A]ny problems we had in the past are now firmly behind us"

One year ago, yesterday, Gary Waddock was officially appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers. One year ago, tomorrow, QPR held a press conference with Waddock and Chairman Paladini (although Waddock had been acting manager since the February) at which Waddock and Paladini expounded on various matters

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" QPR

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Flashback" - QPR Youth Coach Joe Gallen's QPRNet Interview

QPR announced today the departure "with immediate effect" of the head of QPR Youth Joe Gallen (brother of former QPR player and Captain, Kevin Gallen)

A couple of years ago, QPRNet conducted an interesting/informative interview with Joe Gallen. It can be read at: QPR Net "The Joe Gallen Interview"

Updates: Holloway Hopeful re Kevin Gallen...Gregory on Nardiello...Nardiello on Barnsley...Mark Stein to Barnet

Plymouth Evening Herald -ARGYLE MAKE GALLEN OFFER
CHRIS ERRINGTON - 28 June 2007

Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Holloway is confident of completing the signing of striker Kevin Gallen.Gallen, 31 (pictured right), has been offered a one-year contract by the Pilgrims this week and they are awaiting his response.
It follows his release by Championship rivals Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season.
Gallen spent the final four months of last term on loan to Argyle, making a total of 16 appearances and scoring twice.
Holloway hopes a deal can be agreed with Gallen before Argyle start pre-season training on Monday.
But, if not, the Pilgrims' boss believes Gallen could still report back with the rest of the first team squad.
Holloway told Herald Sport: "I'm very, very hopeful indeed that Kevin will sign for us.
"I talked to his agent a couple of days ago and then spoke to the board of directors. I'm delighted they have agreed to support me in this.
"Kevin has been around a bit, and been to other clubs and not done as well as he should have, but I still believe he could add a lot to us.
"Hopefully, we can come up with a deal which Kevin agrees is right and the club agrees is right."
Meanwhile, Holloway has still to decide whether to add another defender to his squad after the £50,000 transfer of centre-back Hasney Aljofree to Swindon Town last week...One defender Holloway has been linked with is Watford's Clarke Carlisle...
Evening Herald

TEAMTALK - John Gregory on Nardiello and Blackstock
QPR boss John Gregory believes new signing Daniel Nardiello can form the perfect strike pairing with Dexter Blackstock.
Nardiello agreed a two-year deal with Rangers earlier this week after turning down Norwich and former club Barnsley, and Gregory is confident the 24-year-old will be the ideal foil for Blackstock.
Gregory said: "He might just be what we are looking for in terms of a long-term partner for Dexter.
"No-one really expected (Colchester striker) Jamie Cureton to score the goals he did last season, but he struck up an interesting relationship with Chris Iwelumo, and I am hopeful we will see something similar from Danny and Dex.
"Danny is an intelligent player, who is capable of playing anywhere in the attacking third. His goalscoring record is impressive at this level, so it is an exciting signing for the club." Teamtalk

BBC - Nardiello upset with Tykes chief
Nardiello joined QPR on Wednesday after rejecting Barnsley's offer
Striker Daniel Nardiello has expressed his disappointment at comments made by Barnsley chairman Gordon Shepherd over his recent move from Oakwell to QPR.
The 24-year-old had a change of heart over Barnsley's offer of a new deal.
Shepherd had criticised Nardiello, claiming he had given assurances that he would only leave the Tykes for a club closer to his Midlands home.
"It's not as black and white as he's trying to make out," Nardiello told BBC Radio Sheffield.
"I' suppose I have to take his comments on the chin, but I'm disappointed with what the Barnsley chairman has said.
"He's made promises to me in the past and not kept them, but I never made a fuss and just got on with things.
"I didn't like the way he treated my mate Chris Shuker a couple of seasons ago either."
Shuker left Oakwell for Tranmere last summer under something of a cloud.
The winger was offered a new contract, but the offer was withdrawn after he failed to respond within a set deadline, and he later moved to Prenton Park.
QPR head of youth Joe Gallen has left Loftus Road, having served the club since October 1998. BBC

[BBC] - Mark Stein becomes new Barnet physio
Barnet have appointed much-travelled former Chelsea striker Mark Stein as their new physiotherapist. Stein, whose brother Edwin managed the Bees in the early 1990s, stood in as physio at Underhill last season after a stint at Grays in the same role.
As a player, Stein scored nearly 250 goals for nine different clubs.
He served Luton, Aldershot, QPR, Oxford, Stoke, Chelsea, Ipswich and Bournemouth before finishing his playing career at Dagenham & Redbridge. bbc

Index to Today's Postings on QPR Report

A List of Postings on Today's QPR Report

Updates: Holloway Hopeful re Kevin Gallen...Gregory on Nardiello...Nardiello on Barnsley...Mark Stein to Barnet

Holloway Hopeful re Kevin Gallen...Gregory on Nardiello...Nardiello on Barnsley...Mark Stein to Barnet

QPR Supposedly Want Chelsea's Sinclair on Loan and supposedly have agreed Smith/Mancienne Loans

QPR Youth Head Joe Gallen "Departs"

One Year Ago Today: "The Trial" Concluded (With Not Guilty Verdicts)

One Year Ago Today: Gary Waddock (Officially) Appointed QPR Manager

Ex-QPR Update: Tony Roberts and Danny Shittu

Ex-QPR Chairman Bill Power on his Continued Interest in Swindon Takeover

Chelsea's Ben Sahar to QPR?

QPR Supposedly Want Chelsea's Sinclair on Loan and Supposedly have Agreeds Smith/Mancienne Loans

Daily Mail: QPR target Sinclair as their third man

Queens Park Rangers will attempt to sign Chelsea's Scott Sinclair on loan when they finally sell Lee Cook.
Rangers have already been told they can have Chelsea pair Jimmy Smith and Michael Mancienne on six-month deals after both spent last year on loan at the Loftus Road club. Mail

QPR Youth Head Joe Gallen "Departs"

28 Jun 2007
After being called to a meeting with Manager John Gregory at the Club's Harlington Training complex this morning, Head of Youth Joe Gallen has left the Club with immediate effect.
Gallen, 34, joined the Club in October 1998.
Commenting on Gallen's departure, Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk: "We thank Joe for the contribution he has made to the Club during his time here and wish him every success in the future.'' QPR

Gallen's departure is already reflected in the updated staff directory

[Also listed in the Staff Directory: QPR's recently-appointed "Commercial and Communications Director" Paul Parker (which QPR in its official announcement described as a "temporary appointment". However despite Parker's title, there is no phone number or email address provided.]

One Year Ago Today: "The Trial" Concluded (With Not-Guilty Verdicts)

One year ago today, June 28, 2006 "The Trial" came to a conclusion as the remainder of the accused were found not guilty. Below: How the trial's conclusion was reported at the time)

BBC, June 28, 2006 - Men cleared in QPR threats case
Four men have been found not guilty of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a Queens Park Rangers director. Gianni Paladini told Blackfriars Crown Court he was punched and threatened just before a home game last August.
In total, six men faced charges of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and gun possession. On Wednesday, four men were cleared.
Last week, club shareholders David Morris and John McFarlane were also acquitted of the charges. Mr Paladini, 60, told the court he was forced to sign a resignation letter after being ambushed at gunpoint at the ground in Loftus Road, west London. Mr Morris, 50, from Buckinghamshire, and Mr McFarlane, 39, from west London, had denied all charges. The other defendants who denied all charges were: Andy Baker, 40, from Somerset; Aaron Lacey, 36, from Watford; David Davenport, 38, from Buckinghamshire, and Michael Reynolds, 45, from north London. The co-defendants told the court they had been invited to the game by Mr Morris's brother and were given a guided tour of the stadium. BBC

BBC Updated Report
"...Explaining the decision to direct the jury to clear the men, Judge Charles Byers told the jury that in the prosecution's case, Mr Morris had been the "essential core" of the blackmail plot and without him the case could not stand.
David Davenport, who runs a security business, said afterwards: "We always expected we were going to get 'not guilty', it's just a big weight off."
Tracy Stent, a co-ordinator at the QPR First Supporters' Trust, said: "It has been a traumatic time for the club and things have come out during the course of the trial which have been quite extraordinary really, regarding what goes on behind the scenes at a football club in relation to various arguments that were going on.
"From a fan's perspective, we need to just learn from the experience, move on." BBC

BBC SUMMATION OF EVENTS AT QPR - Trial shone light on QPR 'soap opera'
By Chris Summers BBC News website

Seven men have been cleared of forcing a director of Queen's Park Rangers football club to resign at gunpoint moments before the start of a match. The allegation was set against the background of a struggle for power at the club.
If it had been scripted in an episode of Footballers' Wives it would have appeared far-fetched.
The accused
Andy Baker (pictured), 40, from North Petherton, Somerset - acquitted
Aaron Lacey, 37, from Watford, Hertfordshire - acquitted
David Davenport, 38, from Chesham, Bucks - acquitted
Michael Reynolds, 45, from Wood Green, north London - acquitted
David Morris, 50, from Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire - acquitted
John McFarlane, 39, from Hayes, west London - acquitted
Barry Powell, 34, from Greenford, west London - acquitted
Daniel Morris (David's brother) - has disappeared. A European warrant has been issued for his arrest
But what allegedly happened behind the scenes at QPR's Loftus Road ground before the kick-off in their first game of the 2005/06 season sounded stranger still.
Gianni Paladini, a 60-year-old former football agent whose client list had included top stars such as Fabrizio Ravanelli, Benito Carbone and Juninho, became involved with QPR in the summer of 2004.
The club, based in west London, finished fifth in the inaugural season of the FA Premier League but they dropped out of the lucrative elite in 1996 and had struggled financially ever since.
Also in 1996, music tycoon Chris Wright took over the club, but five years later he was forced to put the club into administration due to crippling debts.
A year later the club got out of administration but only after securing a £10m loan from the ABC Corporation, who are based in Panama.
The interest on the loan is around £1m a year and, as one QPR fan told the BBC News Website: "The club has never made a profit of £1m, so I don't know where the money is coming from to pay the interest."
This was the background of financial desperation out of which Mr Paladini emerged.
A promising teenage footballer, he had been forced to give up the game at the age of 18, before playing a single game for his home town club Napoli.
He became an interpreter in the football industry and eventually an agent
Mr Paladini, who had come to Britain in the 1960s, lived in Solihull, just outside Birmingham with his wife, Olga, and children Stephen and Kate.
In 2003 he had expressed an interest in taking over another cash-strapped club, Staffordshire-based Port Vale, but when that fell through he turned his attention to QPR and bought £600,000 worth of shares.
Desperate for cash
The trial at Blackfriars Crown Court heard that few questions were asked about Mr Paladini by the QPR board, which was simply glad to meet someone who wanted to inject money into the club.
In fact Mr Paladini had remortgaged one of his homes and was far from the multi-millionaire saviour who supporters thought would rescue their club.
By August 2005 several people within the club had become hostile towards Mr Paladini and were suspicious about his plans for the club.
On 13 August nearly 14,000 fans turned up to see QPR play Sheffield United.
Mr Paladini arrived at the ground around 2pm with his son, daughter and grandson Gianluca, who was due to be the club's mascot that day.
The trial heard he went upstairs to the chairman's suite and bumped into David Morris, the owner of a 2% share in the club, who asked to have a private word with him.
Mr Paladini claimed he was led into the chief executive's office and was surrounded by a group of thugs.
Mr Paladini, a slender, bespectacled figure, said he had been terrified and claimed that at one point one of the gang held a gun at his head and said: "Sign, sign the paper - we'll kill you."
He claimed he was forced to sign several documents resigning from the club and assigning his 14.7% stake in the club over to Mr Morris. Police never found the documents, only a scrunched up piece of paper in Mr Paladini's handwriting.
Mr Paladini's family alerted the police and armed officers arrived at half time and arrested Mr Morris and several other people.
They questioned Mr Paladini who, at one point, broke away from the interview to go to the directors' box and celebrate a goal by QPR's Marc Bircham.
Several men were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm.
The prosecution claimed Andy Baker had been hired by Mr Morris to recruit a gang of hard men to intimidate Mr Paladini.
But giving evidence at the trial, Mr Baker said he had been invited as a guest of Mr Morris's brother Dan and was hoping to tout for the club's lucrative stewarding contract, which was up for renewal.
Asked about the £7,000 found by police in the pocket of his hooded top he said part of it was wages for his employees and the rest was "to grease some wheels at QPR to help us get the (stewarding) contract."
On 28 June a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court found six of them not guilty of all charges. A seventh man had already been acquitted on the judge's directions.
Boardroom coup
But while 13 August 2005 was the most dramatic day in the history of the soap opera which is QPR, the saga is not over.
Mr Paladini, backed by several friends and fellow investors - including Brazilian World Cup winner Dunga and two Monaco-based companies - ousted chairman Bill Power shortly after the incident.
In February this year the club's highly-rated manager Ian Holloway left after a series of rows with Mr Paladini, who had brought in players including Mauro Milanese, Stefen Nygaard and Dean Sturridge and foisted them on the manager.
During the trial Mr Paladini had been asked by Mr Morris's barrister, Jim Sturman QC: "Did you ever say to manager Ian Holloway that you would kill him?"
"In a funny way, yes, but it didn't mean anything at all," replied Mr Paladini.
Earlier this year QPR's former chairman Bill Power joined the board of directors at Swindon Town and promised to invest £1m in his new club. BBC

BBC: The murky world of football finances
By Chris Summers BBC News website

The trial of seven men accused of trying to blackmail Queens Park Rangers director Gianni Paladini at gunpoint has highlighted the parlous finances of many football clubs outside the Premiership elite. All seven were acquitted on Wednesday.
For the chosen few in the Premiership, football is a land of plenty.
Players get paid tens of thousands of pounds a week and multi-million pound sponsorship and TV deals are a given.
But for the vast majority of professional clubs in Britain the sport is a hand-to-mouth existence and the dreaded word "administration" is never very far away.
Dozens of clubs up and down the country are saddled with enormous debts and many of them are making losses of hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
But fans of all these clubs have aspirations and this often puts pressure on directors to go for broke.
Gambling on promotion
QPR, a Premiership team until 1996, took a gamble in a bid to regain their membership of the elite.
They signed players like Chelsea's John Spencer and Stoke City's Mike Sheron - £2.35m each - and allowed their wage bill to balloon out of control.
In 2001 chairman Chris Wright was forced to put the club into administration.
The following year, threatened by expulsion from the Football League if they did not come out of administration, the club borrowed £10m from the Panama-based ABC Corporation.
With no high street banks willing to lend them the money they had been forced to go to ABC, a "lender of last resort".
But although QPR were now out of administration they now had to pay annual interest of 10% - £1m a year - and this for a club whose income was a fraction of Premiership neighbours Chelsea or Fulham.
QPR were not alone in begging for money from ABC.
Derby County, who were relegated from the Premiership in 2002, borrowed £15m from the company.
Derby, whose wage bill grew, now has huge debts
A new consortium took over Derby earlier this year and discovered it had debts of around £45m.
In the summer of 2004, former football agent Gianni Paladini, whose client list had included top stars such as Fabrizio Ravanelli, Benito Carbone and Juninho, appeared on the scene as QPR's saviour.
While there is no doubt Mr Paladini was well connected - one of his friends was Brazil's World Cup-winning midfielder Dunga, who joined him on the board of QPR - he had no experience of running a football club.
Nor was he a millionaire, let alone a Roman Abramovich-style billionaire.
Mr Paladini had looked at investing in Northampton, Rotherham, Derby County, Burnley and Port Vale, before finally plumping for QPR.
But his £600,000 investment came from remortgaging his home and, under cross examination by Jim Sturman QC, Mr Paladini admitted he was in financial dire straits in the summer of 2005.
"Yes, because I got involved with QPR. Everything I had was spent on QPR," he said.
Eventually, Mr Paladini deposed Bill Power as QPR chairman. Mr Power, a dyed-in-the-wool QPR fan, has since switched his allegiances and joined the board of directors at Swindon Town, promising to invest £1m.
Lower down the league there have been countless examples in recent years of clubs becoming involved in financial difficulties or boardroom power struggles which have proven more dramatic than anything seen on the pitch..... BBC

The Times -QPR gun case men are cleared
By Adam Fresco
A group of men accused of taking a director of Queens Park Rangers Football Club hostage at gunpoint during a game and forcing him to write a resignation letter were today cleared of all charges.
In a scene reminiscent of the television gangster series The Sopranos, Gianni Paladini was said to have been punched and slapped by a gang of five "heavies" hired by David Morris, a director of the club, during a violent boardroom ordeal.

The defendants were arrested by armed police at half-time as they sat in an executive box watching the game against Sheffield United. But today Judge Charles Byers instructed the jury to acquit the remaining four defendants.

Andy Baker, 40, Aaron Lacey, 36, David Davenport, 38, and Michael Reynolds, 45, were originally on trial alongside three other men accused of an attack on Mr Paladini, a millionaire who is now chairman of the Championship club, at QPR’s ground last year.

But after a jury cleared QPR director David Morris of charges of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence Judge Byers threw the case out against all of them.

He said that the Crown had put the case against Mr Morris "as the instigator, organiser and financier of the conspiracy to blackmail" and he was "the essential core of the blackmail and without him there we have no blackmail and no conspiracy".

Mr Morris and co-defendant John McFarlane, 39, of Hayes, Middlesex, were cleared of the charges last week. A seventh defendant, Barry Powell, 34, of Greenford, Middlesex, was acquitted of all charges last month.

Blackfriars Crown Court was told that Mr Morris, 50, had wanted Mr Paladini to relinquish control and give up his majority shareholding of the West London club.

David Williams, QC, for the prosecution, alleged that that Mr Morris had "hired muscle" to force out Mr Paladini.

He said that Mr Paladini, 59, who had bought £600,000 of shares in the club - a controlling stake - had "ruffled feathers" with his fiery Latin temperament.

The team was suffering from serious financial problems and languishing in the Coca-Cola Championship division.

The alleged attack took place in the chief executive's office at QPR's Loftus Road stadium in Shepherds Bush, West London, minutes before the kick-off, Mr Williams said.

"This was no classic boardroom struggle at a football club of the type with which you might be familiar from the business papers or sports newspapers," he said.

"A gun was produced and possibly another held to the head of Gianni Paladini, who then owned a 14.7 per cent stake in the club. At the dictation of Mr Morris, a co-director, he was forced to write out a letter of resignation and to sign two documents. To ensure he did so, he was intimidated by the presence of hired muscle provided by Andy Baker."

The court was told that Mr Morris had asked Mr Paladini for a chat in the chief executive’s office. There, Mr Williams maintained that Mr Baker punched Mr Paladini in the stomach and said that the men were QPR fans and "what they were doing was best for the club".

"A gun was produced, whether real or imitation we cannot say," Mr Williams said. "It was pointed at Mr Paladini before being placed on the table in front of him.

"From the rear he could feel something being pushed at the back of his head. He was never in a position to see if that was a gun or not but, understandably, feared that it was.

"It was against this scene Gianni Paladini was forced to write his letter of resignation. He was shouted at, slapped and punched by the group until he complied. He had no means of escape and, terrified for his safety, did as he was told."

Mr Morris was said to have shouted at him, "Sign there. Sign now", while one of the gang said: "Let's kill him now."

After leaving the boardroom Mr Paladini broke free and began screaming. Police were alerted as the gang fled. Armed officers evacuated guests from executive boxes at half time, then arrested Mr Morris, Mr McFarlane, Mr Baker, Mr Powell and Mr Lacey.

In the box they found an unfinished letter of resignation in shaky handwriting and £7,000 in cash, which Mr Williams contended was payment for the "hired muscle".

Michael Carpenter, a solicitor representing Mr Baker, said outside Blackfriars Crown Court in London: "He feels absolutely fantastic, a great sense of relief, it has been utterly shocking for him, he has been trying to conduct his business and has had time on remand, has had to hand himself in very early in the morning and spend time in the cells each day and he is just relieved at long last justice has been done." Times

The Sun -QPR gun case thrown out

See Also: QPR1st's Tracy Stent - "Final Verdicts" - - The Final Verdicts and a summary of what was heard during the trial.

[And published later, QPR1st's Tracy Stent comprehensive Trial Report

One Year Ago Today: Gary Waddock (Officially) Appointed QPR Manager

June 28, 2006: Gary Waddock (Officially) Appointed QPR Manager (as Ian Holloway is appointed Manager of Plymouth).

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. QPR

Video of Waddock on the Appointment

BBC Plymouth appoint Holloway as boss
Holloway has managed QPR and Bristol RoversPlymouth have appointed former QPR boss Ian Holloway as their new manager. BBC

Ex-QPR Update: Tony Roberts and Danny Shittu

Barking and Dagenham Post - 27 June 2007 NEIL TRAINIS.

....Negotiations regarding the reimbursement of a reported £150,000 insurance money that is preventing goalkeeper Tony Roberts from playing in the Football League is thought to be ongoing.
The pay-out was awarded to the Welshman by an unnamed insurance company when he broke a finger while playing for Millwall in 1998 and was forced to retire from professional football.
He is due a testimonial against West Ham at Victoria Road on July 14 having amassed 311 appearances during a seven-year stay at the League Two newcomers but the likelihood of Daggers' longest-serving player gracing the Football League again remains in the balance, with 45 days to go before the start of the season.
Still has suggested in recent weeks that progress is being made and he and chairman Dave Andrews are quietly confident that a compromise can be struck, but it is unclear whether the insurance company are willing to accept less than the amount they paid out and there has so far been no confirmation on Daggers' website of a resolution to the discussions.
The hold-up has meant that an official announcement of Roberts signing a new two-year contract has also not materialised and the 37-year-old may be waiting to see what develops before committing his future to the Daggers. Report

Daily Mirror Rumour: Daily Mirror -DAN'S THE MAN FOR STRACHAN
CELTIC plan to offer Watford star Dan Shittu (above) the chance of Champions League football with a shock £2million swoop. The big Nigerian defender impressed at Vicarage Road but looks set to leave. And Celtic boss Gordon Strachan sees the 26-year-old as a potential replacement for Bobo Balde, who continues to struggle with injury problems Mirror

Ex-QPR Chairman Bill Power on his Continued Interest in Swindon Takeover

Swidnon Advertizer - SWINDON TOWN: Trust want CVA answers
By Gareth Moorhouse
TRUSTSTFC chairman Paul Davis has challenged Swindon Town officials to reveal their hand as the clock ticks down towards the deadline for the CVA payment.....
Meanwhile, the Swindon Advertiser understands a new investor has shown an interest in the club, in addition to the previous mystery investor' and the Bill Power-led consortium bid.
But as the club continues negotiations behind closed doors, Davis wants reassurance the board can meet their financial obligations....
Davis would also like to see the club re-open negotiations with Bill Power about a possible takeover.
The two parties are currently at loggerheads over the £1.2 million which Power claims was a loan, with a court battle the likely outcome
Power told the Swindon Advertiser: "I'm still open to persuasion, but at this moment it looks like we're going down the legal route.
"I've spoken to a QC and the documents are currently being prepared.
"I would still love to take over the club with the consortium. If the club were willing to offer the deal we first discussed I would sign it right now.
"But all of a sudden there was a totally different deal on the table. I will not sign that now and I will never sign it."
Power also dismissed claims he was about to launch a takeover bid at Queen's Park Rangers, where he was chairman for two years between 2003 and 2005.
He said: "I still have a lot of friends at QPR and I have dinner with the chairman quite regularly, but I still want to take over at Swindon.
"I've had nothing but kindness from the Swindon fans. I don't want to see their club go into administration again because I know how deeply that will affect them.
"I know what I agreed to, and the difference between that and what the board want me to sign is like chalk and cheese.
"I've been left with no other option but to go down the legal route." Swindon Advertizer

See Also: For Ex-QPR Head, Bill Power, Another Swindon Takeover "Challenger"

Chelsea's Ben Sahar to QPR?

Haaretz - Sports shorts
"...Chelsea is expected to announce today that it will lend Ben Sahar to Championship club Queen's Park Rangers. After Charlton said it was uninterested in Sahar, who has asked to remain in London, the option of his being lent to QPR was raised, and the Israeli is expected to accept it. "Even though I prefer to play in the Premier League, the club (QPR) has lots of fans and is in London," Sahar said. The loan is expected to last until January. (Uzi Dann) Haaretz

Daily Mirror
"...Meanwhile, Chelsea are also willing to let Israeli striker Ben Sahar start the new season on loan in the championship. London clubs Charlton and QPR are both possible destinations for the frontman for the first five months of the new campaign

See - Ben Sahar Profile - Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For Ex-QPR Head, Bill Power, Another Swindon Takeover "Challenger"

June 27: This is Wiltshire -New investor shows interest in Swindon
By Nick Mashiter
A NEW investor has made contact with Swindon Town in the hope of buying into the club.
Non executive director Bob Holt confirmed there were now two interested parties in the Robins, excluding the fans' consortium, who have still yet to lodge a formal bid under the leadership of former QPR chairman Bill Power.
He said: "Talks with the original investor have been progressing slowly but now someone new has come in and wants to jump the queue."
Any new investment would be welcome at the County Ground with a £900,000 CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement) due to be paid to the club's remaining creditors on Saturday.
The CVA was set up in August 2002 but mixed messages have been coming out of the different parties involved as the deadline looms.
Swindon Borough Council leader Rod Bluh claimed the Robins had asked to re-open negotiations over the June 30 deadline.
Town then issued a statement denying they wanted to extend the deadline, but confirmed they met with council officials on June 6 to discuss the CVA status.
This was all after CVA supervisor Andrew Andronikou claimed he has the authority to "extend and vary" the deadline.
Andronikou was contacted by the Gazette, but refused to confirm or deny if the CVA payment would be met on Saturday.
A club statement was due to be released tomorrow. This is Wiltshire

Nardiello's QPR Signing Officially Confirmed

QPR Official Site - Striker Signs

Welsh international striker Danny Nardiello has agreed a two year deal with QPR.
The 24 year-old hot shot, who scored seven goals in his final nine Championship appearances for Barnsley last season, passed a medical and completed the formalities this morning.
Speaking moments after signing, the former Manchester United front-man, who bagged nine goals in all competitions last season, said: "Once I'd heard of QPR's interest and spoken to John Gregory, my mind was made up.
"When I was a youngster I remember watching Les Ferdinand in the Blue and White Hoops. Loftus Road took my eye from an early age and although I've only played there once, I can't wait to make my debut for Queens Park Rangers.
"I just want to cement my place in the side and perform to the best of my ability week in, week out.''
Nardiello continued: "It's always a hard decision to leave, but the benefits of this move were great for me and my footballing career.
"It's a fresh start for me and I can wait to pull on the QPR shirt and prove to the Rangers supporters what I'm about as a player.
"I learned a lot at Old Trafford during the six years I was there and I really enjoyed my time at Barnsley, but I just felt this was the right time to move on.
"I'm ready to take it to the next level and from what the gaffer has said, QPR are really going places and I can't wait to be part of it.''
Courted by an array of Championship Club's, including the Tykes, the signing of Nardiello represents somewhat of a coup for QPR, as gaffer John Gregory explained to www.qpr.co.uk.
"We've been watching his situation for a while and I'm just glad he's decided to come here,'' said Gregory.
"He could've re-signed for Barnsley, where in my opinion he would've been somewhat in the 'comfort zone.' I wanted to know whether he had the ambition and the desire to come to London, where he knows absolutely nobody, and force his way into my team and help QPR progress as a Football Club.
"It's a big challenge for him, but he's taken it on and that says a lot about him as a person and as a professional footballer.
"He's an intelligent player, who is capable of playing anywhere in the attacking third. His goalscoring record is impressive at this level, so it's an exciting signing for the Football Club.''
Nardiello will wear the number eight shirt, vacated by Marc Bircham. QPR

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