QPR Report Twitter Feed

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Year Ago: QPR Chairman Paladini Strongly Responded to Critics

One Year Ago, QPR Chairman, Gianni Paladini responded to assertions on QPR Fan Messageboards and in a couple of newspapers that players had been locked out of the club's rented Harlington training ground because of a failure to pay a bill.
In a lengthy official statement on the Club's website, Paladini denied the "locked Out of Training Ground" rumours and then strongly lambasted "a tiny minority of people seem intent on damaging team morale and destroying the Club." The Chairman went on to say a number of other things (which can be read below). A few days later, in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, the Chairman made some other statements.


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

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

Daily Mirror August 1, 2006 - RANGERS RENT ROW MYSTERY
QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini last night denied his players had been locked out of the training ground because the troubled Championship club had not paid the rent.
Several QPR players claimed they were turned away from their Harlington training HQ when the gates were locked in the latest apparent financial setback.
Rangers may be entrenched in debt, but Paladini stressed the rent was paid to Imperial College on July 18....
Paladini said: "We can prove the rent was paid and our manager Gary Waddock was there yesterday and allowed in.
"The players were simply given a day off and that is why they were not at the training ground yesterday.
"It's been a very difficult time for the club - the worst I can ever remember...

And a few days later:

Sunday Mirror 6 August 2006 - LIVING IN FEAR
Contract killer threat forces QPR chairman to wear a bullet-proof vest GIANNI PALADINI EXCLUSIVE - Anthony Clavane

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

Blog Archive