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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ex-QPR Update: Paul Furlong, Chris Wright, Etc

The Times - Luton want Furlong
Luton Town want to sign Paul Furlong, the 38-year-old striker who was released by Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season and was considering retirement. Kevin Blackwell, the Luton manager, is keen to offer Furlong a one-year deal as he aims for promotion from Coca-Cola League One. Furlong has played for six clubs since making his league debut for Coventry City in 1991-92 - The Times

[As noted on QPR Report, a couple of days ago, Sunday Telegraph re QPR's former Chairman and current "life President," Chris Wright: : Chrysalis Group to sell radio stations Chrysalis Group is finalising the £170m sale of its radio stations Heart, Galaxy and LBC to financier Michael Tabor. An announcement could come tomorrow. Chief executive Richard Huntingford is expected to announce his resignation, after a handover period. He will receive a bonus estimated at around £1.5m for completing the sale. Chairman Chris Wright will stay on to lead the rump of the company, a music publishing business valued at £105m . Sunday Telegraph

The Times - Chris Wright
Business big shot: Chris Wright by Dan Sabbagh

Chris Wright’s education in the music industry began at Manchester University in the 1960s, where he booked acts such as The Yardbirds and Cream. His graduation in the industry came in 1967 when and Terry Ellis formed Chrysalis, one of the first independent music businesses.
Over the following two decades their acts ranged from Leo Sayer to Blondie and Spandau Ballet.
Trouble hit in the late 1980s, when Mr Wright and Mr Ellis split. In 1989 Mr Wright was forced, amid financial problems, to sell the record label to EMI, a decision he regretted.
He managed to retain the music publishing arm and he helped to build up a television production arm and, from 1994, the Heart and Galaxy radio business. However, hopes of creating a mini-media conglomerate faded this decade. Mr Wright, 62, who is now chairman and a 25 per cent shareholder, has been forced by investor pressure to sell out of television and – yesterday – radio, for £170 million. That leaves him with the music publishing operation behind David Bowie and OutKast, so now he can focus on the business he knows best.
His fortune has been estimated at £95 million but there have been bumps on the road. He bought QPR in 1996. Heavy losses at the long-struggling London club forced him to put it in administration in 2001, costing him about £15 million.
He has retained his interest in sport – he owns Wasps rugby club, which is just about profitable, and the Stratford Place racing stud in Gloucestershire. The Times

The Guardian - Allen makes swift return Chris Tryhorn
Monday June 25, 2007 Guardian

Charles Allen, the former ITV chief who quit under pressure from shareholders, made a swift and unexpected return to the media sector today as the chairman of a private equity buyout of Chrysalis Radio.
Mr Allen is also believed to have a shareholding in the newly created investment firm, Global Radio, which is to buy stations including Heart, Galaxy and LBC for £170m.
Global Radio is led by Ashley Tabor, the son of betting entrepreneur Michael Tabor and the chief executive of Global Talent Group, a music publishing, artist management and rights ownership business. He and Mr Allen were introduced earlier in the year and decided to bid for Chrysalis Radio after it was put on the block in February...
Global Radio is backed by a coalition of wealthy Irishmen, including JP McManus, John Magnier and Dermot Desmond, who all have links to Lydian Capital Partners, a Swiss-based private equity group chaired by Irish entrepreneur Denis Brosnan. The precise breakdown of Global Radio's share register has not been disclosed.
The firm's ambitions in UK radio also remain under wraps as it focuses on completing the Chrysalis deal over the summer. It will be hoping that radio can retain its appeal to advertisers at a time when audiences are fragmenting.
Chrysalis's chief executive, Richard Huntingford, will step down this year after 20 years with the company, because it no longer needs a group management structure. He said yesterday the radio business would be better off in private hands.
"Consolidation led by private groups is definitely the way forward for the commercial radio industry," he said. "We felt the radio industry needed further consolidation but there are limits to financial resources — as a plc you have constraints. Plcs need to work to short-term agendas, but with private companies, consolidation is much easier as it often requires a longer-term view."
Mr Huntingford was responsible for taking Chrysalis into radio with its first licence in 1993, subsequently building it up to be a significant national player. The company put its radio business up for review this year after missing out on a wave of consolidation two years ago.
Chrysalis said yesterday it had made £95m out of the radio business and would return between £90m and £100m to shareholders after the sale to Global Radio.
The exit from radio leaves Chrysalis as a standalone music publishing business and follows its retreat from TV production in 2003 and book publishing two years later. Chrysalis started life in 1967 as an entertainment agency and record label, and its founder Chris Wright remains its chairman and a 26% shareholder. The Guardian


Steve Morrow Offering His Views about Beckham and US Soccer (Football!)

Lancashire Evening Post - Morrow warns against Beckham miracle
.... FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow does not expect him to do it again with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Former Arsenal midfielder Morrow last week got a first-hand look at the struggling Galaxy as his team beat them 3-1.
That result left the Galaxy second bottom of the Western Conference in Major League Soccer, with only nine points from as many games.
After watching that game, the former Northern Ireland international believes the Galaxy's problems are too big for Beckham to solve alone.
"They haven't had a good start to the season up to now,'' Morrow said.
"David Beckham on his own isn't going to turn it around and I don't think (Galaxy coach) Frank Yallop expects him to.''
...However, the likes of captain Landon Donovan - one of the highest-paid players in the league prior to this season's influx of foreign stars - ensure there is plenty of pressure on the Galaxy's salary cap.
Morrow, who spent two seasons as a Dallas player after a long career in England, also warned Beckham that life in MLS will not be as easy as many expect it to be for him. For one thing, Beckham can expect opposing defenders to single him out.
"For sure he will be get special attention,'' Morrow said. "All of the more talented players in the league do get a little more tightly marked, but that is something (Beckham) has dealt with all this career.''
The biggest danger, Morrow believes, is underestimating the league he is joining.
"He certainly can help on the field,'' he said. "But you have to realise the standard is much higher here than people back in Europe think.
"I get offered players all the time and they come over and it's very quickly apparent they are just not up to it.
"I'm forever telling agents that the standard is much higher than they think.''Report

[And from a few weeks ago, news of another ex-QPR player, now in the USA: John Spencer

"....Ex-Scotland international John Spencer is being sued by Motherwell FC for a loan which was registered with the Scottish Premier League.
Papers lodged at Hamilton Sheriff Court claim the club gave Spencer £100,000 interest-free when he signed in 1999.
Lawyers say they fear that Spencer, who now lives in Texas and is thought to own properties here, could try to move his assets abroad or sell them off.
The club also want interest at eight per cent from when they claim the loan was due to be repaid in January last year.
Lawyers for Spencer - a coach at Houston Dynamo - say they will fight the action, expected to be heard next month.
Another action for a separate loan of £358,000 Motherwell claim they gave Spencer is still outstanding.
Spencer, capped 14 times for Scotland, was Motherwell's record signing when he joined from Everton in a £500,000 deal.
The case is due to be heard in May and witnesses could include Rangers manager Walter Smith, who was Everton boss at the time, and Derby County manager Billy Davies, Spencer's brother-in-law, who was then Motherwell boss.
A spokesman for the club said yesterday: "It is well known that we have had a long-running dispute. This action is part of that."
At the family home in Texas, Spencer's wife Amanda, 36, said: "There are issues surrounding these so-called loans so this is why we are not willing to back off."
Daily Record

Spencer is currently Assistant coach at Houston Dynamo - Spencer

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