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Friday, August 31, 2007

Ex-QPRs Signing for New Clubs: Santos and Cochrane

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Sporting Life: SANTOS HEADS TO CHESTERFIELD
Chesterfield have signed experienced defender Georges Santos on a non-contract basis for one month.
The 37-year-old Frenchman started his career in England with Tranmere and took in spells at WBA, Sheffield United, Grimsby, Ipswich, QPR and Brighton.
Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson said: "This arrangement is of mutual benefit as Georges was looking for a footballing opportunity and we need some more defensive cover, especially in the short-term whilst Aaron Downes is on international duty with Australia under-23s.
Sporting Life

YEOVIL OFFICIAL SITE Glovers Announce Cochrane Signing
Yeovil Town have this afternoon announced that Midfielder Justin Cochrane has signed a short term contact with the club.
Cochrane arrived at Huish Park in pre-season and impressed on his debut in the 2-2 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Justin Cochrane started his career with Championship club Queens Park Rangers, where he progressed through their youth system and into the reserves, but unfortunately not the first team.
He was later sold to non-league Hayes, and then in July 2003 he signed for Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer.
In February 2006, Cochrane was loaned out to Gillingham to gain first-team experience, and in April 2006 had a trial with Luton Town where he scored a goal for the reserves.
He was released by Crewe at the end of the 2005-06 season, where he then signed for Rotherham United.
Having been released upon the Millers' relegation to League Two last season, Cochrane arrived at Huish Park July, and has been ever present either in the starting line up or bench since then.
He has made an impressive start to his Yeovil Town league career, scoring two goals in his first two full appearances.
Russell Slade has been impressed with the 24 year old, and has now made his tenure at the club more permanent.
"Justin has worked hard since his arrival at the club, and has done well," Russell said.
"He has really earned his contact, and I am delighted that he has decided to join us.
"He has a very good work rate and plenty of ability.
"I have been pleased with his performances since coming into the side, and his goalscoring has so far proved invaluable...". Yeovil

Ian Holloway on Martin Allen Sacking...Ray Jones Death & An Online Imposter

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BBC - IanHolloway column
MARTIN ALLEN SACKING
We've got Leicester on Saturday and they've sacked their manager, which was a bit of a strange state of affairs - especially after they'd just beaten Watford 4-1. That'll teach him!
The honeymoon's over
Let's hope everything is worked out financially. As far as I'm concerned there should be a rule that no football manager should ever be replaced without his own contract being sorted out first.
Maybe that would sort out these chairman who chuck you on gardening leave, which is totally unjust and unfair. Our contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on but they would be if that rule was brought in...

TRAGIC DEATH OF RAY JONES
He signed while I was still manager at QPR. He was a wonderful kid, irrespective of what he could do on a football pitch.
Ray Jones was tragically killed in a car crash
He was someone I would have been proud to call my son. He was very respectful, a wonderful lad with a brilliant smile.
The room lit up when he came into it, he was one of those people.
My heart bleeds for his parents. He's going to be sorely missed to the world, not just his mum and dad. The world was a better place with him in it....

MY SPACE IMPOSTOR
Someone's got a whole website about me and they're claiming to be me. Apparently you can go somewhere to get on Ian Holloway's MySpace - which I haven't got.
People send in questions and somebody's answering them - but it's not me, it's an impostor. People are being duped - IT'S NOT MY SITE...! BBC

QPR Reportedy Sign Mikele Leigertwood for around £900,000

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As first reported by Dave McIntire in the Ealing Gazette, QPR have now apparently signed Sheffield United's Mikele Leigertwood.

BBC - QPR complete Leigertwood transfer
Mikele Leigertwood has strugged for action at Sheffield United
Queens Park Rangers have signed Sheffield United midfield man Mikele Leigertwood in a £900,000 deal, reports BBC Radio Sheffield.
The 24-year-old joined the Blades last summer but struggled to hold down a regular first team place.
He arrived at Bramall Lane from Crystal Palace after a £600,000 development compensation package was agreed.
Leigertwood's versatility will appeal to QPR boss John Gregory as he builds his squad. BBC

QPR OFFICIAL SITE - LEIGERTWOOD SIGNS
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Sheffield United star Mikele Leigertwood for an undisclosed fee.
The 24 year-old, who can play in defence or midfield, has penned a three-year deal in W12.
Leigertwood, who joined the Blades in July 2006 and has featured in four of United's five League and Cup fixtures so far this season, could be in line to make his QPR bow against Southampton on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, gaffer John Gregory expressed his delight at Leigertwood's arrival: "Since the unfortunate injury to Simon Walton, the midfield area is one we have been trying hard to fill.
"Mikele is an outstanding athlete and footballer who can come straight into the team in that position and I think he is a real quality acquisition for the Football Club."
Leigertwood, who began his career with Wimbledon before later joining Crystal Palace, said: "QPR only contacted me on Wednesday. I had a word with John Gregory and a look around the place on Thursday and I was very impressed with what I saw.
"I'm happy with the ambitions of the Club and hopefully we can all progress together.
"I'm hardworking, honest, and I am never one to shy away. Hopefully, I can bring some steel into the centre of the park."
Leigertwood will wear squad number 32. QPR

See Also
Playing Details http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=27945

Signing for Sheff United
Sheffield United

Sheffield United

Wikipedia/Leigertwood

"After a Final Round of Talks"...Briatore & Ecclestone Set to Announce QPR Purchase!

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Guardian - Stuart James and David Hytner Friday August 31, 2007
"...Flavio Briatore is set to announce that he has purchased a majority stake in Queens Park Rangers, together with Bernie Ecclestone, his fellow formula one powerbroker, after a final round of talks in London last night.
The Championship club are carrying debt of £21m, including a £10m loan from the Panama-based ABC Corporation at an annual interest rate of 10%. But Briatore, the Renault principal, in tandem with Ecclestone, the formula one rights holder, who has changed his mind from three weeks ago and clambered on board, intend to pay off ABC.
Their takeover is estimated to be worth £25m but they will also back John Gregory, the manager, with funds in the transfer market. QPR's board resigned last week to clear the way for the new investors. Guardian

Thursday, August 30, 2007

After Many Months QPR's Tony Roberts Finally No Longer Listed as QPR's Goalkeeping Coach

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Many, many months after reportedly having left QPR, QPR's goalkeeping coach (and current Dagenham first team goalie) Tony Roberts has finally ceased - without comment - to be listed on the QPR Staff Directory. QPR Staff Directory

See Tony Roberts/Wikipedia

Additional Report but Not Yet an Announcement

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BBC - Formula 1 bosses agree QPR deal
Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore have agreed a deal to buy a majority stake in QPR, the BBC understands.
Major shareholder Antonio Caliendo and his backers have agreed to sell their shares in the Championship club.
Briatore heads a group which had been talking over a plan to inject new funds to secure the club finances.
QPR's board resigned on Monday 20 August ahead of an assumed bid for parent company QPR Holdings Limited. BBC

Also: Earlier Reports from Today re Ecclestone-Biatore Takeover - Takeover Reports

Ex-QPR Paul Furlong Still Enjoying His Football

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Dunstable News -Paul Furlong I've got plenty of life left in me yet!

38-year-old veteran on the secrets of his longevity
Eyebrows were raised by one or two Hatters supporters when Luton signed 38-year-old Paul Furlong during the summer.
But three goals in two games from the evergreen forward in excellent wins against Gillingham and Sunderland have more than won over the fans.
The former QPR, Watford and Chelsea man enjoys an ice bath after each game as part of his fitness regime.
And the hit-man, who put in a man-of-the-match display in Tuesday's 3-0 midweek Carling Cup win over Sunderland, says he has plenty of life left in him yet.
Furlong told Luton Today: "It was a great night. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but we acquitted ourselves well and thoroughly deserved to win the game.
"It wasn't about me scoring goals it was more about the team doing well and winning the game.
"I'm here now to help the youngsters with my experience and I think I managed to do that against Sunderland.
"I've played at the top level, but I'm coming down the leagues now and this is the next stage for me.
"I've always wanted to get into coaching and I'm getting the chance to do that here now."
Far from being just an impact substitute, Furlong has started four out of five of Luton's game so far this season and came on as a first-half substitute in the other match in the first round of the Carling Cup against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Asked about what keeps him on top of his game just a month ahead of his 39th birthday, Furlong replied: "It's just a willingness to want to play and still being able to enjoy my football.
"I do feel the bumps and bangs a bit more now than I used to, I'd be lying if I said I didn't, but I know how to look after myself.
"With Sam Parkin unfortunately getting injured I've probably played a bit more than I expected, but I just say 'bring it on'.
"I want to get out there and play and if the manager picks me, there's no way I'll turn a game down."
Furlong has helped to bring on the game of the likes of young Town strikers Drew Talbot and Calvin Andrew.
And he is set to play a vital role when Hatters visit Leeds for what is sure to be a lively encounter on Saturday.
Furlong said: "These are the sorts of games everyone wants to play in. It will be a 30,000-plus crowd and a great atmosphere.
"It's a massive game and a big one for the gaffer. He'll be determined to win it, but so will we and after the performance against Sunderland we'll go there full of confidence." Dunstable Today

Further Board Departures

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[No longer listed as Directors of QPR: Antonio Caliendo, Olga Paladini, and Franco Zanotti. Akin Yilmaz is also no longer listed as Financial Controller.] (Last week, On Monday, three board directors, Nick De Marco, James Ferrary and Kevin Steele departed]/

QPR Official Site - Staff Directory
Chairman - Gianni Paladini
Club Secretary - Sheila Marson
Financial Controller - Mark Cooke
QPR

QPR International Call Ups

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Call ups for Michael Mancienne, Dexter Blackstock and Damion Stewart (along with Nardiello announced a couple of days ago). Meanwhile Dean Parrett scored for England U-17s in their 6-1 win against Northern Ireland. - FA Report

Update: QPR Official Site "Double Call Up"

Michael Mancienne and Dexter Blackstock once again called up by Stuart Pierce for the England U-21 Squad for Montenegro v England - Friday 7 September 2007
City Stadium, Podgorica
Bulgaria v England Tuesday 11 September 2007
Bulgarska Armia Stadium, Sofia FA - England

STEWART Called up again by Jamaica
QPR OFFICIAL SITE
"....The 27 year-old will link up with the Reggae Boys for a friendly on Wednesday 12th September, where the opponents are yet to be confirmed, but are expected to be a highly-ranked Central American Team.
Since making his Jamaica debut in 1999, Stewart has amassed 42 caps his country, scoring twice. QPR Official Site

QPR Signings & Attempted Signings: Sheff Ut's Mikele Leigertwood

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David McIntyre - Ealing Gazette - Deadline signing for Rs

QPR are set to sign Sheffield United's Mikele Leigertwood once a takeover of the club is rubber-stamped later today.
London-born Leigertwood, 24, will cost Rangers around £800,000.
The player can operate in either defence or midfield and was a very highly-rated youngster at Wimbledon before joining Crystal Palace last year.
He has played in the top flight with both Palace and Sheffield United.
Rangers are also hoping to sign striker Kevin Gallacher, 23, from Blackburn before the transfer window closes on Friday.
But a bid to sign West Ham's Hayden Mullins has been rebuffed and hopes of capturing Chelsea's Scott Sinclair appear to be receding. Ealing Gazette

See Also: Wikipedia/Leigertwood

Also:
Rovers to snub late bids - By Andy Neild

" BLACKBURN boss Mark Hughes is ready to resist any late bids for Jason Roberts and Morten Gamst Pedersen....
One player who could be on the move, though, is Paul Gallagher as a number of Championship clubs, including Stoke and Queens Park Rangers, have expressed an interest in taking him on loan.
Rovers do not want to sell Gallagher but they may consider a loan deal until January. Blackburn Citizen

Bircham, Curtis and Paul Parker on Ray Jones (Bircham and Curtis also re Takeover)

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UPDATE: 2:30pm really Nice Act by Arsenal's Robin Van Persie

QPR Official Site -RSENAL'S GESTURE
The Club today received a personal message from Arsenal striker Robin van Persie following the untimely death of Ray Jones.
The Dutchman sent a signed shirt to the Harlington Training Complex this morning, with the note: 'In memory. A sad loss to football.'
Jones, who was tragically killed in a car accident on Saturday morning, was a boyhood fan of the Gunners.
R's skipper Adam Bolder accepted the shirt on behalf of the Club, and told www.qpr.co.uk: "At a difficult time like this, it's nice to see the footballing world come together in the way it has.
"We have all been really heartened by the tributes that continue to flow in, and this shirt and message from van Persie is a lovely gesture."
QPR would like to place on record its thanks to Arsenal Football Club and, in particular, Robin van Persie QPR

Mark Bircham Icons
QPR needs to be taken in a new direction


It was shock to hear about the death of Ray Jones in a car accident. He was a lovely lad and obviously I knew him quite well at QPR. There are some real flash young boys in football but Ray was the opposite of that. He was such a nice lad, relaxed, laid back and really popular.
It's just another terrible tragedy for everyone at QPR and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

As a QPR fan I hope some sort of takeover does happen soon because the club really needs to be taken in a new direction. Of course there has been loads of takeover talk recently, but as with anything at Loftus Road you don't believe it until it happens.
I'm not getting my hopes up until somebody comes in, pays off the £20 million debts and comes up with a plan for the future. At the moment I'm just happy so long as the club keeps its head above water.
QPR deserves to have someone in charge who cares about the club and the fans and I'm hoping that person comes along some time soon. Icons

JOHN CURTIS - ICONS - Subdued Week at QPR

As you can imagine everything is very subdued at QPR this week after the tragic death of young Ray Jones.
The fitness coach and kit man came to our rooms individually before the Burnley game to tell us what had happened and everyone was simply devastated. We all just got straight on the bus and came home.
It was the longest bus journey I've experienced in football. Normally there's loads of banter and laughs, but obviously we were all just very quiet, thinking about what had happened.
As Ray had been injured recently he wasn't training a lot with the rest of us, but he used to get changed opposite me in the locker room and he seemed like a really nice guy. He was quite quiet and was a real gentle giant.
He was a very popular lad with his team mates and it was easy to see why. He was committed and simply a good bloke. He was also a very talented player who had great touch for a big lad.
It's awful that something like this should happen so soon after the death of Kiyan Prince as well. They are two terrible tragedies that have hit young players at this club and we all feel so sorry for their families.
The only thing we can do now is push on. We won't forget these guys and I'm sure they will be everyone's thoughts at QPR, but we know we have games coming up and we have to be prepared.
Southampton come here on Saturday and because the Burnley game was called off we haven't played for two weeks. We need to get back on the pitch and play some football.
We've only had two games and I thought we did really well in our first match against Bristol City. We were really unlucky to come away with only a 2-2 draw from a match we definitely deserved to win.
Cardiff at home was a disappointment. We lost 2-0 and simply didn't play well at all. It was just an off day. We want to put things right against Southampton on Saturday. They may not have had a great start but they are still one of the fancied sides in this league so I'm sure they will be dangerous.
We do want to put the trials of last season behind us and to some extent we feel we are turning a corner. But this is a difficult league and we can't afford to relax for a moment.
There may be talks of takeovers but that isn't something that affects the players at all. There is nothing we can do about it so we don't think about it. If a takeover happens then we hope it will be in the best interests of the club, but all we can do is go out and try to win on the pitch.
I also heard that QPR had been warned about our disciplinary record and that we could be fined if it doesn't improve. But nobody at the club has said anything to us about that and it's not something we are conscious of.
I'm sure nobody here goes out to be dirty. We just get on with trying to play football and win games. I have no idea why we got so many cards next year but it won't affect how we approach the game. We will always go out to compete fairly. Icons

Paul Parker Bromley Times - 30 August 2007
"IT was a terrible shame to hear what happened to young QPR player Ray Jones, who tragically died in a car crash before the club's game against Burnley on Saturday.
I haven't had many experiences of this sort of thing, though I can remember - when I was about 17 - the former QPR keeper Dave Clement took his own life because of depression.
It only came back to me later on in my career when his son Neil, who now plays for West Brom, asked me about his dad when he was an apprentice at Chelsea.
It is always particularly poignant when it happens to someone so young - regardless of the fact it looked like he was going to be a good player - and that he is never going to fulfil his potential in life. Bromley Times

Looking to Saturday

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QPR Official Site August 30 - PLAY YOUR PART
R's gaffer John Gregory has called on all QPR fans to turn out in force to pay their respects to Ray Jones on Saturday afternoon.

Rangers lock horns with Southampton at Loftus Road, in their first fixture since the tragic death of the young QPR striker.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk this morning, Gregory said: "I think there will be a mixture of people at Loftus Road on Saturday - regular fans who come here week after week, and others who will make that extra effort to be here to pay their respects to Ray.
"It would be fantastic to have a full house. I'm sure the fans will shout that little bit louder for Ray and for the team.
"The events of the last seven days have united the QPR family and in the long term we will all be stronger together - both fans and players."
Gregory added: "In many ways, on this particular weekend, football takes a back seat.
"That's honestly how it feels, but come 3.00pm, we've got the chance to put the events of the last week to the back of our minds for 90 minutes.
"Every member of our squad is still hurting, but maybe they'll just run that one per-cent more and chase every ball down that little bit harder than before - and they'll be doing it all for Ray.
"We want to celebrate his life by putting in a winning performance." QPR

Eccelstone and Briatore - Profiles

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Just brief links to profiles of Bernie Eccelstone and Flavior Briatore!

Profiles
Bernie Eccelstone - Wikipedia

Recent stories re Eccelstone and Arsenal:
The Times, August 11 "Ecclestone on verge of launching Arsenal bid"

The Times, August 11: "Celebrated money man joins race to gain control of Emirates"

The Times, July 23 - "Dein driving Ecclestone's Arsenal plan"

1997 Telegraph Profile/Interview with Ecclestone

Flavio Briatore - Wikipedia

Flavio Briatore Own Website

Ecclestone and Briatore's QPR Purchase

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[To be updated!] UPDATED 1:30 pm

DAILY MAIL - QPR set to confirm Briatore's takeover
Queens Park Rangers are expected to announce today that they have been taken over by a consortium headed by Renault Formula One racing team boss Flavio Briatore and the sport's billionaire supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The takeover of the club is expected to be worth about £25m - including taking on a debt of about £21m.
And manager John Gregory has been promised a war chest of £10m to spend on players in January, though he will hope for a quick injection of funds to do deals before the transfer window closes tomorrow night. Mail

SkyNews Bernie Set To Join In For QPR Bid

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone looks set to be part of the team that is going to snap up Queens Park Rangers football club.
He is understood to have teamed up with Renault racing chief Flavio Briatore to buy the Championship club in a deal that could be announced as early as today.
Mr Ecclestone - who is worth around £2.2bn - is also linked to a possible £780m offer for Arsenal.
He apparently decided against going for this deal when his Italian colleague initially approached him but has since changed his mind.
Both men are businessmen, rather than keen football fans.
It is expected that they will bring their business acumen to play in the football arena, having transformed Formula One from a minority interest into a multi-billion pound industry employing tens of thousands of people around the world.
Flavio Briatore, meanwhile, has great taste in drivers - he spotted the talent of former world champions Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso among others.
The Italian tycoon has only seen Loftus Road, QPR's stadium, by air from a helicopter on his way from Chelsea to Oxfordshire.
Any new partnership is expected to repay a £10m loan owed by QPR six year ago and which has been responsible for the heavy burden of interest payments. Skynews

The Sun - August 30 - F1 chiefs win race for QPR - By BOB HAYES
FORMULA ONE bosses Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore have won the battle to take over QPR.
The duo’s successful 50-50 bid for the Championship club is expected to be announced today.
The deal means the club will pay off an outstanding £3million tax bill to the Inland Revenue.
A further £10m budget will be available to Rangers boss John Gregory for the January transfer window.
The new owners will also repay a £10m loan taken out by the club six years ago to get out of administration. That debt has been costing the club £1m in interest a year.
Chairman Gianni Paladini will stay in day-to-day control of the club.
Ecclestone has a £2.2billion fortune after turning Grand Prix racing into a massive money-spinner.
Briatore, the Renault team chief, is the man who spotted a young Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. The Sun

Bernie Ecclestone on Investing in QPR

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The Business Aug 29 - Ecclestone says he will consider QPR bid Rupert Steiner

"Bernie Eccelstone, the billionaire entrepreneur behind Formula One racing, says he is one of the mystery investors who have been approached to join a consortium mounting a bid for Queens Park Rangers (QPR), the troubled London football club.
It is the first time Ecclestone, who has also been linked with a £780m (E1.1bn, $1.5bn) bid to buy Arsenal, has confirmed he is considering joining Flavio Briatore, the Renault F1 boss, who is in informal talks to buy QPR.
“Briatore would like me to join him,” Ecclestone told The Business. “I am not sure what I am going to do at the moment. It depends how much it is. If it is sensible money then maybe yes, why not.”
Last weekend Briatore, speaking at the Turkish grand prix, said: “We have a bunch of friends together. We’ve been talking for the past month but I’ve no idea where we are. QPR are talking to a lot of people.” He refused to name the “friends” involved.
Ecclestone said that any investment would be a private venture rather than take place though his family trusts or the many holding companies connected with F1: “I am looking at it. It would be me personally – nothing do with the trusts. They could never get involved in this sort of thing – it would be more a hobby. It’s a lot smaller than Arsenal. It can only go up, it can’t go down because it is just about the bottom of everything.”
The club, which is owned by a Monaco-based consortium led by Antonio Caliendo, the club chairman, survived administration six years ago and has debts of £21m. A £10m loan to ABC Corporation of Panama is secured against the Loftus Park Stadium in Shepherd’s Bush, which is worth more than £20m.
The board of QPR, currently in talks with three separate parties, expects to have identified a preferred bidder by the end of September." The Business

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

QPR Takeover - Ecclestone and Briatore in Joint Consortium

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The Times - August 30, 2007 - Ecclestone chooses QPR over Arsenal
Gary Jacob and Edward Gorman

Bernie Ecclestone will acquire a majority stake in Queens Park Rangers as part of a takeover that is expected to be announced today, but he has not ruled out bidding to take over at Arsenal at a later date. The Formula One rights holder is joined in a con-sortium by Flavio Briatore, the principal at the Renault Formula One team and one of his closest allies, whose interest was reported by The Times this month.

Ecclestone ruled himself out of the deal when first approached by Briatore, but he has since changed his mind. They could offer a solution for fans desperate for their club to return to their former glory — they finished eighth in the top flight as recently as 1995, but were relegated a season later. They have since spent three seasons in the third tier of English football, beset by financial problems.

Neither businessman is known for a love of football — although they are friendly with Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, and have been to matches at Stamford Bridge — but their sharp thinking has gained a unique place in Formula One. Ecclestone transformed Formula One into a multibillion-pound industry that employs thousands of people in Britain alone, while Briatore helped to master-mind the transfer of a little-known Michael Schumacher and spotted Fernando Alonso, both of whom he helped to turn into world champions.

Briatore, the flamboyant Italian who is thought to be worth about £70 million, has admitted that he has seen Loftus Road, the club’s stadium, only from the air, en route by helicopter from his home in Chelsea to his team’s headquarters in Oxfordshire. Ecclestone, whose fortune is valued at £2.2 billion, would have to sell most of his stake in QPR, the Coca-Cola Championship club, if he wanted to complete the bid for Arsenal that he has said that he is interested in pursuing. The directors of the Barclays Premier League club have agreed not to sell their shares until at least April.

The takeover of QPR will be worth about £25 million, including taking on the debt of about £21 million. John Gregory, the QPR manager, has been promised about £10 million to spend on players in January, but he will hope that there may be funds to bring in some players before the transfer window closes tomorrow night.

The new owners will repay the £10 million that is owed to the ABC Corporation, a company registered in Panama, which provided a loan that helped the club to exit administration six years ago. The interest payments of 10 per cent have been a considerable burden.

The club borrowed a further £1.3 million from the same company to stave off the threat of administration this summer, money that was used to pay Revenue & Customs. QPR still owe the taxman about £3 million and their directors, including Antonio Caliendo, the chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd, and Gianni Paladini, the club chairman, are owed £7 million in loans.

The new owners will probably look at whether it is feasible to continue playing at Loftus Road. Despite its position in West London, the stadium has been estimated by property experts to be worth about £24 million because covenants on the site limit the housing that can be built. QPR officials have previously considered building a joint stadium in West London with Fulham, who would sell Craven Cottage. The officials have looked at a site near the BBC headquarters in Wood Lane, White City.

Other consortiums, including one involving Ronny Rosenthal, the former Liverpool forward, were entertained by QPR this summer, but the business-men felt that the sums could not add up unless the club went into administration to restructure the debt.

Dual control

— Bernie Ecclestone’s involvement in the deal to buy Queens Park Rangers could prevent the Formula One ringmaster from taking over Arsenal.

— Ecclestone would not be allowed to own more than 9.9 per cent of the shares in another club. David Sullivan, the Birmingham City co-owner, owned about 5 per cent of the shares in West Ham United until he sold up to Eggert MagnĂºsson last season. The Times

Ray Jones Remembered by Joe Gallen, Gary Waddock, Gareth Ainsworth and Fans

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Latest Update August 29:

PFA Q&A with Ian Holloway
"Q: WE WERE ALL SADDENED BY THE DEATH OF QPR'S RAY JONES - WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER OF HIM? "
A "He was a great kid and a wonderful talent. It's unbelievable. Unbelievable. All my love goes out to the family. It's heartbreaking. You expect to be buried by your children. There's no worse thing for a parent than to bury your child. I feel so sorry for them. It's a tragedy." PFA's Give Me Football

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Mourning a star

"Ray Jones would have gone on to become a full England international, according to the coaching staff who nurtured him at QPR.
Jones, who died in a car accident in east London in the early hours of last Saturday, had already represented his country at under-19 level and had been tipped to win further international honours.
Joe Gallen, who managed Rangers' Centre of Excellence until the end of last season, has no doubt that the young striker was destined to reach the top level.
Spotted playing for Sunday League side Redwood FC by QPR's youth development officer John O'Brien, the 15-year-old Jones was offered an apprenticeship almost immediately.
Gallen recalled: "As soon as we'd seen him play, we offered him a two-year deal straight away. I was sure then that Ray was going to become not only a QPR player, but a top-class Premiership player as well.
"I also thought he had the potential to be a full international player, in time. He was often compared to Peter Crouch and I remember ringing Ray after watching a World Cup game last summer."
"I told him 'When Crouch came back to QPR, he was 19 and people said he was a bit gangly and lethargic. But once he got into his 20s and got a bit more strength, look at what he's done.
'You're only 17 - think what you can do'. Between Ray Jones and Dean Parrett, we had on our hands two of the outstanding young players in the country.
"Everyone at the club knew Ray's potential. He was the best prospect we'd had at this club since Nigel Quashie and I can't believe he is no longer with us."

Gallen's sentiments were echoed by former QPR boss Gary Waddock, who managed Jones at every level up to the first team and handed the striker his senior debut at the end of the 2005-06 season.
Waddock, now the manager of Aldershot Town, told the Times: "I put him on in the last game of the season, at Reading and the lads went to clap the fans at the end of the game.
"As they were walking off the pitch, Ray thanked me for giving him the opportunity. I told him 'you deserve it' and it was typical of him - he was such a nice, nice lad, genuine and honest.
"He was very down to earth and happy. Everybody liked him - he always wanted to listen and learn, he took everything in his stride and he had the world at his feet.
"Ray was a very talented player and he could have gone on right to the top. He'd already made a name for himself and people were aware of his ability.
"I was absolutely shattered when I heard the news on Saturday. It's such a tragedy and I keep thinking about the lad and his family."

Jones went on to make his first start against Southend at the beginning of last season and netted his maiden goal to win a Carling Cup tie against Northampton, almost exactly a year ago.
He also gained his first international call-up, making his England under-19 debut as a substitute against Holland at Walsall's Bescot Stadium in front of his mother, Lorraine.
Gallen added: "I can't say enough good things about Ray and his family. I took his mum and sister up to see Ray make his England debut and they were so proud of him.
"He adored his mum and she adored him back - I had to literally force him to move into digs nearer the training ground because she wanted him at home in East Ham.
"Ray got on with everybody at the club as well - he loved coming in to training and, in those first two years, we spent hours together out on the training ground.
"He was everyone's mate, really. We had such a strong group, people like Pat Kanyuka, Jake Cole, Shabazz Baidoo, Stefan Bailey, Kieron St Aimie and Andrew Howell, and those boys will be devastated."
Jones added five more goals to his QPR tally after John Gregory replaced Waddock, but his final appearance came in Rangers' pre-season game at Wycombe last month.
A foot injury had kept him out of action since then and was the reason for his absence from the Rs squad that travelled to Burnley last weekend.
The Football League agreed to postpone the match out of respect for the striker, whose death came just three days before he was due to celebrate his 19th birthday.
In tribute to Jones, Rangers will wear his name on the backs of their shirts in Saturday's game at home to Southampton.
The club have also decided to retire the number 31 shirt worn by Jones last season as a mark of respect. Kilburn Times

GARETH AINSWORTH, Kilburn Times Step on the Gaz

"I'M sure no-one will mind if I take this opportunity to pay a tribute to Ray Jones and share my memories of him with you.
The first time I ever saw Ray, my initial thought was that he was the tallest lad I'd ever seen. Even then people were talking about him and saying he had something special.
It was a real pleasure to see him come through the youth team and develop as a player. Ray had massive respect for his elders and, in my book, that was another plus point - you sometimes don't see that in younger players.
But there were never any airs and graces about Ray, even after he got his England cap. He just got on with his job and went about it quietly, a real gentle giant.
Never mind playing for England, one thing that stood out about Ray was his ability to sleep for England! He'd fall asleep on the coach going to away games and sometimes we used to find him asleep in the dressing room between training sessions too.
Recently, we both went up to hospital with Paul Hunter, the physio, to have injections on our respective injuries. We were waiting for around 10 minutes, then the nurse called my name and I went up with Paul. Ray didn't react at all, so I looked behind me and there he was, fast asleep!
Only a couple of weeks ago, we were both doing a bit of swimming with Mark Barry, our sports scientist. Mark and myself both jumped in the deep end, began treading water and were breathing quite heavily after about 30 seconds.
Ray didn't seem to be doing a lot, so Mark said: "Come on Ray, are you trying?" Ray just came out with a great one-liner: "It's all right, I can touch the bottom!"
Football is a macho world and sometimes it's difficult to show your emotions. But I can honestly say that these last few days have brought us closer as a unit and there's no need to say 'we're going to do this or that for Ray' - with the character we have at QPR, we'll do it anyway.
We want to remember Ray as he was. His locker's still got his name on it and it'll stay like that for a long time - he wrote his name into QPR history and he won't ever be forgotten.
I won't be playing against Southampton, but I'll be in the stand wearing a shirt with Ray's name on the back, just as the lads will on the pitch.
My thoughts are with Ray's family at this time and I know the rest of the lads are all thinking of them too. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky Kilburn Times - Shocked fans pay their respects
EVEN before supporters' coaches had returned from their aborted trip to Burnley, many other stunned Rangers fans began gathering at Loftus Road to pay their respects.
A full-size action poster of the teenage star adorned the front of the club shop, while signed shirts, photographs and floral tributes festooned the players' entrance.
Supporters seemed unable to comprehend how Rangers could have been robbed of another bright young talent, barely a year after the tragic death of youth team striker Kiyan Prince.
Season ticket holder Jill Ellacott, who travelled from Edgware with her five children, also QPR fans, said: "Tragedy has hit twice and taken away two lovely lads.
"Speaking to Ray Jones at the Player of the Year do, he seemed a lovely young man. He took all the time in the world for the younger supporters, to stand there and chat and have photos taken.
"It's unbelievable - such a terrible shock. Out of anybody, I would have said he had a bright future. I feel so sorry for his family and I know every QPR supporter will feel the same."
Her sentiments were echoed by Tony Duffy, an Rs supporter since 1964, having come down from Amersham, Bucks, to pay his respects to Jones outside the ground.
"When does it stop, for God's sake? Everyone was looking forward again this year, but for something like this to happen is a terrible loss," he said.
"It won't be easy, but all I can hope for is that we come back stronger and bring back some happy times instead of tragedy."
Like most fans, Jason Coker, from Holland Park, was taken aback when he received the shocking news of the young striker's death on Saturday morning.
"I was out and one of my mates texted me. I didn't honestly believe it was true, but then my dad rang me and told me it was and I felt I had to come down to the ground.
"One of the best moments I remember from last year was him scoring that winning goal at Cardiff. He was one of the best youngsters we've had at QPR for a long, long time.
"A lot of Premiership clubs were looking to buy Ray Jones last year and that shows you how good he was. He was the future of QPR and he'll be missed big time. Kilburn Times

Ray Jones Update: Minute of Applause...FIFA's Sepp Blatter's Condolences

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QPR Official Site - MINUTE'S APPLAUSE
Ray Jones will be remembered prior to kick-off against Southampton on Saturday with a minute's applause.
Following discussions between the Club and the striker's family, it has been agreed that a period of applause would be more suitable as we look to remember his life with fondness.
Tickets are still available for the game at Loftus Road and can be purchased by contacting the Box Office on 08444 777 007. QPR

QPR Official Site - FIFA PAY TRIBUTE
Chairman Gianni Paladini today (Wednesday) received the following message from FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
It is with sadness in my heart that I write to you, having learned of the tragic passing of striker Ray Jones, an 18 year-old England youth international.
On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide family of football, I wish to extend our condolences to you, to everyone at Queens Park Rangers and, most importantly, to Mr Jones' family, friends and loved ones.
Please let them know that today the worldwide football community stands by their side. We hope that in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness. QPR

Also: Another nice piece on Ray Jones by Benjie Goodhart, Guardian Blog
Guardian Blog

Dexter Blackstock on Being in the U-21 Squad and QPR (Prior to Ray Jones Tragedy)

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[The interview was conducted/the article was written prior to the Ray Jones tragedy]

strong>Yaan Tear/Easling Gazette August 23, 2007 - Dex told to bide his time

Dexter Blackstock has been urged by Stuart Pearce not to fret about being overlooked for the U21s in midweek, and told: 'Your time will come!'
Blackstock's delight at being selected for young England's friendly against Romania on Tuesday night was tempered by his failure to get off the bench.
He watched as QPR teammate Michael Mancienne earned his first cap as a half-time substitute in the 1-1 draw in Bristol and was not given the chance to duplicate his goal for Rangers on the opening day of the season on the same Ashton Gate turf.
But the talented 21-year-old has been urged to bide his time by Pearce, who is now in full-time charge of the U21s.
"It would have been nice to get on but it was a good experience all round," Blackstock told the Gazette.
"Hopefully he'll give me another chance.
"To call me up into the squad and then not involve me or call me up again would be a bit strange, but you never know. I just hope I do finally get the chance to prove myself on the pitch.
"There's qualifiers coming up at the beginning of September [against Macedonia and Bulgaria] and basically he said my time will come and that I should be patient - which was what I've been doing.
"I heard I was in the squad last Thursday when the manager came in before training and said that me and Michael had been called up.
"I hadn't been expecting it, even if it's something I've been aiming for as a long-term goal. I didn't expect the call to come when it did.
"Lee Camp played for the U21s last season and said it was a good experience. He told us to just go and enjoy it and we did. I really wanted to get out there, but it was still good to be with the lads and get to know a few of them a bit better. Most of them I knew anyway from youth or club level."
Blackstock will mothball his new England tracksuit for now and concentrate on helping Rangers earn their first win of the campaign.
But in common with most Rangers fans, he would prefer it if the off-field uncertainties were sorted quickly.
"I'm not too sure what's happening with this takeover," he said. "If we are being taken over, then the sooner the better.
"It's not an excuse for performances but we could do with knowing where we all stand and getting assurances that we're moving in the right direction.
"It's not something we talk about in the dressing room really, but we know it's in the background. There's no point in trying to guess what's going on, we will have to be guided by what the club tells us."We won't be thinking about any of that this Saturday though - only about putting right last week's result.
"We started so well against Bristol City that the Cardiff result came as a big blow.
"We just didn't play well and it was just one of those days. We should have won in Bristol but against Cardiff, we have no excuses.
"Everyone wants to get back on track now and prove everyone wrong and Burn-ley's definitely a winnable game.
"We haven't done too well there down the years but I wouldn't take a point now if you offered it to me. In fact there's no game I'd go into thinking like that.
"We can beat anyone at any given time and we want that first one under our belts as soon as possible.
"I want to improve on my 14 goals last season and if I do that, it will be a good season for me and the team and might help us get into the top half of the table.
"I don't mind having the responsibility of being the main man for goals - I think all strikers are the same.
"But it won't just be down to me and as long as other players are chipping in with goals as well, we should be all right." Gazette

Nostalgia: 40 Years Ago Victory and Topped Division 2...20 Years Ago: Victory and Topped Division 1

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August 29th, 1967 QPR 3 Bristol City 1
Goals from Ian Morgan, Roger Morgan and Les Allen
Goalkeeper Mike Kelly made his league debut for QPR (having previously played in the cup) the precedeing season.
Newly promoted QPR after drawing their opening game, were in the midst of a five game winning streak. And at the end of the season: Another promotion, up on goal aggregate!
QPR's Team vs Bristol City
Kelly
Clement Harris Hazell Hunt
Morgan Keen Morgan
Lazarus Leach Allen
Sub: Ian Watson

And Twenty years later (and twenty years ago)
August 29, 1987: Southampton 0 QPR 1

Jim Smith's QPR were top!
Seaman
Dawes Mcdonald Parker Fereday
Allen Brock Fenwick
Bannister Coney Byrne

Local Account of the Crash and All the Victims

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Newham Recorder - Three die in horror crash
29 August 2007

THE lives of three young men have been tragically cut short - with a fourth fighting for survival and a fifth injured - following a horrific road accident in East Ham.

The young men who lost their lives, all former or current pupils of East Ham's Langdon School, were in a black VW Golf which was involved in the accident with a double decker bus on Saturday.

Fire brigade crews, police officers and London Ambulance Service staff got to the scene and found two young men in the VW had suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

They began the grim task of removing their bodies and rescuing the others, while they also had to free the trapped bus driver.

One of those who died was brilliant young QPR footballer Ray Jones, 18, who moved to Manor Park two weeks ago, and who would have been 19 yesterday. The former Langdon pupil, who had played more than 30 games for the QPR first team last season, was said to be a "lovely guy" by local people.

Ray, who was the driver of the car, had only recently passed his driving test and bought his first car within the past fortnight. Before moving to Manor Park, he lived with his nan in a block of flats in Folkestone Road, East Ham.

The second young man to die at the scene was Idris Olasupo,17.

Three other young men in the car were taken by ambulance to The Royal London Hospital.

The third to die on Saturday morning was the best friend of Idris, Jess Basilva, 17.

A fourth car occupant, Arthar Alfred Conrad, 17, is critically ill at The Royal London. His brother Mark, 16, was injured and recovering in the same hospital.

All lived in East Ham.

Scores of floral tributes, written messages and candles were placed at the accident scene on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

It is understood firefighters had to cut the number 474 bus driver from his cab after the accident. But he was not seriously hurt and there were only a few passengers on the bus, who escaped injury.

Police are still appealing for witnesses following the accident which happened at 12.20am Saturday outside East Ham fire station in High Street South. An investigation is being led by the Collision Investigation Unit at Chadwell Heath Traffic Garage.

Three pages of photos and exclusive reports in this week's Recorder - Recorder

Bernie Ecclestone Reportedly Confirms Has Discussed with Briatore QPR Involvement

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Daily Mail - The Screamer ... It's the talk of football

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed he is prepared to join forces with Flavio Briatore in the planned takeover of Queens Park Rangers.
The Formula One boss and Britain's 20th richest man had initially denied any interest in QPR when the story was first revealed by Sportsmail, saying only if Arsenal were up for sale would he invest some of his £2.25billion fortune in football.
But yesterday Ecclestone admitted that he had indeed discussed the takeover at Loftus Road with Renault boss Briatore and 'might get involved'.
He said: 'Flavio has asked me about it and I'm giving it some thought. I'm just doing my day job at the moment but I might get involved.' Daily Mail

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Former QPR Youth Coach Joe Gallen Remembers and Talks About Ray Jones

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From the BBC "Joe Gallen was talking to David McIntyre "
BBC - Remembering Ray Jones
By Joe Gallen Former QPR youth coach


The first time I saw Ray Jones, I knew there was something very special there.

He was playing park football when myself and John O'Brien, who was the recruitment officer at QPR, came across him. I said to John: 'Just look at that kid. He's 15 years old, he's huge and plays like a 24-year-old. We've got to sign him.'

Ray had such natural ability, great touch and great strength.

I knew it would take a while for a boy of that size to grow into his body but there was no doubt in my mind I was looking at a star in the making.

I was always convinced that once he got through the teenage years he'd be absolutely unstoppable

Joe Gallen

And I knew for sure that he could go right to the top when I met his mum. She was such a superb mother. She was so level-headed and so dedicated to Ray, and determined for him to do well.

I thought at that point we had things sewn up at both ends. I'd look after him at QPR, and away from the club we'd have no worries because he was in great hands.

He played for us in an Under-18s game against Swindon. He was still only 15 then. He scored and was outstanding.

We wouldn't usually have signed a player after just one game but we signed Ray after that. We'd seen more than enough.

In the next game he scored two superb goals and I was thinking to myself we had one hell of a player on our hands.

I got really close to Ray after that. We spent loads of time together and he was fantastic. He trained hard and would always be coming to me and saying 'Joe, let's do more training. Let's practise finishing.'

Gary Waddock gave Ray his first-team debut when he was still a second-year apprentice. When he scored his first senior goal, I said to Ray afterwards that it'd be the first of many. I was totally convinced it would be.

And when he made his international debut for the England Under-19s, when he was still just 17, I looked at him and felt I'd be seeing a lot more of him in an England shirt.

I took his mum to that game. I was so proud of him and so proud of her.

Ray Jones died in a car crash last week

I'll never forget that night. Everything was moving so fast for Ray. In a short space of time he'd gone from playing in the park to scoring goals for QPR and getting international recognition.

Make no mistake about it, before he signed a pro contract last summer there were Premiership clubs interested in signing him. More recently, he hadn't been playing so much. That was partly down to an injury.

It also takes a while for young players with Ray's physique to grow into themselves, adapt and find their feet as a player.

I was always convinced that once he got through the teenage years and into his early 20s, he'd be absolutely unstoppable.

And I know others in football felt the same. Compare Ray at 17 or 18 with Peter Crouch at 19. When Peter first came back to QPR from Tottenham he struggled a bit.

Ray was stronger than Peter at a younger age, had a brilliant touch for such a big guy and was scoring goals at an even younger age for QPR than Peter did.

I used to say to Ray he was better than Crouch was at his age. And look at Crouch now - playing for Liverpool and England.

Ray was on the same career path. No doubt about it. He had the attitude and ability to reach the very top. There was never any doubt in my mind that Ray was destined for the top. Not just the Premier League, but the international stage as well. That's how good he was.

He was the most outstanding striker of his type out there. Show me another player of that age, of that size with the natural attributes of Ray's.

Ray would have added his name to the list of great players QPR have had down the years, and he would have achieved many great things in his career.

That makes his death even more of a tragedy. I just can't believe it. I spoke to Ray about 10 days ago and I can't take in what's happened.

And it comes after the tragic death of Kiyan Prince, who I also worked with. It's very difficult to accept.

When I got the call on Saturday telling me what had happened to Ray, it was like the similar, terrible call I received about Kiyan last year. It knocked me for six.

Ray was a credit to himself and his family, and he will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. I was so, so proud of him.

Joe Gallen was talking to David McIntyre BBC

Reported Briatore Philosophy re Running QPR

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From Teamtalk - Briatore to bring F1 to football
Flavio Briatore intends to bring his experience of running successful F1 teams into English football if he completes his takeover of QPR.Briatore, head of the Renault F1 team, is heading a consortium who have made an offer to buy the cash-strapped Coca-Cola Championship club.
"A group of friends and I made an offer because there was an opportunity," he told Spanish newspaper Marca.
"It was an opportunity to do something in football, as I believe that Formula One, from the paddock to the hospitalities, can teach a couple of things to football."
Briatore does not intend throwing money around should he eventually take over at Loftus Road, however, as he insists spending big does not guarantee success in the sporting world.
"The proof of this from the opposite side is that Toyota, considering all the money they have spent, should have won World Championship by now
," he added. Teamtalk

Spanish Newspaper Marca can be read at Marca

Colchester Remember Nearly Signing Ray Jones As Youth Player

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Gazette - Tragic Ray nearly started out with the U's
By Jonathan Waldron
Tragic Queens Park Rangers player Ray Jones came very close to signing forms for Colchester United.
The talented England youth international, who would have celebrated his 19th birthday today, was killed in a car accident on Friday evening in East Ham.
Jones was the subject of two official bids by the U's during the summer and the Layer Road club were known admirers of the youngster.
But less than three years earlier, it seems only a last-minute hitch put paid to the young striker signing for Colchester.
Jones (pictured) played for the U's in a trial game at Essex University when he was 16.
He impressed the then youth-team manager Joe Dunne and the club's former youth development officer Adrian Webster, so much so that they invited him to play in a reserve-team game.
Dunne and former Colchester boss Phil Parkinson watched Jones play as a substitute at a Combination fixture at Reading.
They made up their minds to sign him but the deal fell through at the 11th hour and he signed for QPR in July, 2005.
Dunne told the Gazette: "Ray played for 15 minutes against Reading reserves and we offered him a scholarship.
"But we found out that his birth date was not spot on and that he was a year ahead of what we had believed him to be.
"That meant he would have only been a one-year scholar, which is not something we offered players at the time." Gazette

Colchester Official Site - COLCHESTER MANAGER ON ALMOST SIGNING JONES IN THE SUMMER Geraint's Sympathy For R's
The weekend may have seen the U's win at Preston, but the attentions of the Championship were on West London on Saturday.
Fans travelling to games around the country were shocked to hear the news of the death of QPR striker Ray Jones, killed in a car crash in the early hours of the morning.
And boss Geraint Williams admitted that it was a sad day for football at the weekend.
"We have picked up a fantastic result at Preston, but the news of Ray's death puts things into perspective really," he told the U's local press after the game.
"It is no secret that we were looking to sign Ray over the summer and he was a hugely talented footballer who was destined for big things in football.
"Our sympathies go out to Ray's family and the families of the others involved in the accident at the weekend."
As well as the mooted summer transfer, Jones also had a brief trial spell at Layer Road before opting to sign for the R's two years ago.
Everyone at Colchester passes on their sympathies to QPR and the Jones family at this time. Colchester

Colchester Remember Nearly Signing Ray Jones As Youth Player

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Gazette - Tragic Ray nearly started out with the U's
By Jonathan Waldron
Tragic Queens Park Rangers player Ray Jones came very close to signing forms for Colchester United.
The talented England youth international, who would have celebrated his 19th birthday today, was killed in a car accident on Friday evening in East Ham.
Jones was the subject of two official bids by the U's during the summer and the Layer Road club were known admirers of the youngster.
But less than three years earlier, it seems only a last-minute hitch put paid to the young striker signing for Colchester.
Jones (pictured) played for the U's in a trial game at Essex University when he was 16.
He impressed the then youth-team manager Joe Dunne and the club's former youth development officer Adrian Webster, so much so that they invited him to play in a reserve-team game.
Dunne and former Colchester boss Phil Parkinson watched Jones play as a substitute at a Combination fixture at Reading.
They made up their minds to sign him but the deal fell through at the 11th hour and he signed for QPR in July, 2005.
Dunne told the Gazette: "Ray played for 15 minutes against Reading reserves and we offered him a scholarship.
"But we found out that his birth date was not spot on and that he was a year ahead of what we had believed him to be.
"That meant he would have only been a one-year scholar, which is not something we offered players at the time." Gazette

QPR Remember and Honour Ray Jones - Retire His #31 Shirt

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UPDATE 4:00 PM :

QPR Official Site - SHIRT GESTURE
In memory of Ray Jones, QPR players involved in this weekend's home fixture against Southampton will all carry the name 'Ray Jones' on the back of their shirts, following clearance from the Football League.
The talented striker, who would have been 19 today (Tuesday), was tragically killed in a motor accident last Saturday morning.
As a way of remembering their team-mate, the players have come up with the idea of donning shirts with the youngster's name on their backs.
Manager John Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk: "In conjunction with the players, we have decided that this would be an appropriate way of publicly remembering Ray."
Following Saturday's fixture against Southampton, the number 31 shirt will be officially retired in memory of Jones. QPR
QPR Official Site - REMEMBERING RAY - NUMBER 31
At the request of John Gregory and the entire QPR first team squad, the number 31 shirt has been selected to honour the life and times of Ray Jones.
Jones, who died tragically in a motor accident on Saturday, was handed the number 16 jersey at the start of the season by Gregory, but owing to injury, never had the opportunity to wear it.
As such, it is the number 31 shirt that Rangers fans most associate him with.
Jones scored six goals with the number 31 on his back last season and Gregory believes it is a fitting tribute to retire the shirt in his honour.
"The number 31 shirt was synonymous with Ray Jones," he said, "and we feel it is only right that no-one else will ever wear it again for QPR.
"That was the number he wore when he scored those crucial goals for QPR last season and that is the number we will want to remember him by."
Jones was due to celebrate his 19th birthday today (Tuesday).
May he rest in peace. QPR

PFA Tribute to QPR's Ray Jones

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Players Football Association (PFA) - August 28, 2007
The PFA pays tribute to Ray Jones who died tragically at the weekend


Ray Jones, the young Queen's Park Rangers striker, was killed in a car accident in the early hours of Saturday morning. The teenager, on the threshold of his career, had already shown bags of potential and had made a substantial impact during his time at Loftus Road.

Born in East Ham, London, on 28 August 1988, Ray joined Rangers' Centre of Excellence at the age of 15, progressing to become a trainee on leaving school. He was still a trainee when he made his bow in senior football, coming off the bench for the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign.

Ray graduated to the professional ranks last term and despite being hampered by injuries featured regularly in the first team squad, scoring six goals from a total of 35 appearances in all competitions. One of his most memorable contributions came at Cardiff in November when he netted a last-gasp winner against the then Championship leaders. He had yet to appear in the first team this season, being absent due to a foot injury. A tall, skilful front man who used the ball intelligently, Ray had attracted attention from other clubs and Rangers were reported to have turned down a substantial offer for him at the end of the season.

Ray was also a member of the England Under 19 squad last term, gaining a cap when he came on as a substitute in the fixture with the Netherlands in September.

The club skipper Adam Bolder expressed the feelings of the squad when he said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened. Ray was one of us. A footballer with a passion to succeed for himself and for QPR.

"He had fantastic raw ability, and was destined for a very bright future, both at club and international level. He was a great character, a very popular figure in the dressing room, and he will be sadly missed. "

Rangers' fixture at Burnley on Saturday was postponed as a mark of respect.

All at the PFA send their condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time. PFA

Ex-QPR: Dichio Happy in North America...Cochrane Looking for Contract...Bircham's Injury

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UPDATE: See Also: QPR America and QPR USA


Toronto Star - Dichio starting to feel at home in Toronto
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star
Toronto FC star forward Danny Dichio, with sons Franco, left, and Luca, is known as a hard-nosed player on the pitch and devoted family man at home.

BORN: Oct. 19, 1974 Hammersmith, London, England
HEIGHT: 6-3 WEIGHT: 209 lbs.
Year/Team
1993-97: QPR (1994 – Barnet on loan)
1997-8: Sampdoria (1997 – Lecce on loan)
1998-01: Sunderland
2001-04: West Brom (2003 – Derby on loan)
2004-05: Millwall
2005-07: Preston North End
2007-present: Toronto FC
Source: Soccerbase.com

English soccer veteran has found new life in Canada and the MLS

Aug 25, 2007 Cathal Kelly Sports Reporter
Off the field, the most frightening thing about Danny Dichio is his Canadian accent.
The lanky, English-born Toronto FC forward is recounting the latest unfortunate intersection of his new home and his west London upbringing.
"I was in a restaurant the other day and I asked, `Can I have some water?' The waitress, she's just lookin' at us. She said `Pardon?' So I started repeatin' meself – `Water. Water. Water.'"
Dichio mimes picking up a glass and drinking. No luck. Of course, what Dichio is saying is not `water'. It's `wah-uh.' Finally, he sighs deeply to indicate total surrender.
"So I tried it like a Canadian. `Waaah-turrr.'"
This comes out somewhere between Father Guido Sarducci and Sgt. Sam Steele – a flat nasal whine with a strange lilt at the end.
"She says, `Ooooh, WA-ter.' My kids started laughing at me. `Say it again, Dad' they were saying."
Having seen Dichio's uncommonly menacing style of play, it's surprising he didn't leap to his feet and knock a few diners out of the way in a bull's rush to the water station.
"Guys don't like to play him," his coach, Mo Johnston, said. "With very, very good reason."
"Kicking, shoving, biting," teammate Carl Robinson summarizes Dichio's hierarchy of violence. "But at the end of the game, he'll shake your hand. He's a gentleman. He's actually quite timid, a family man."
A long-time husband to Claire, a father of three, a 32-year-old suburban soccer dad. A gentle soul hidden behind a malevolent, on-field glare.
"It's been blown up a little out here, the physical stuff, because obviously they haven't seen that side of how I play," said Dichio, who is starting his first game since July 29 tonight against D.C. United after recovering from a hip injury. "Maybe they've put two and two together and got six."
There is also much more to Danny Dichio than sharp elbows on the pitch. He has featured on top sides alongside the best players in Europe. But over a 15-year career, he's been on a long search for a home. He feels he's found it in Toronto. Listen to the fans howl whenever he touches the ball at BMO Field and you know the feeling is mutual.
Dichio was raised near London's posh Portobello Road ("more to the grimy side"), the son of an Italian immigrant and an English mother.
He first learned the game from his father, a centre back straight out of the Bill Shankly school.
"A hatchet man, a WWF wrestler," Dichio remembers with a wry smile. "Back when clotheslines were still standard practice in football."
As a 9-year-old, the lanky kid was invited to join the youth academy of his local rooting interest, Queen's Park Rangers.
At 16, he left school and took a full-time scholarship with QPR. Two years later, he was invited to join the senior team.
"The club I grew up with, the one I supported," Dichio said. "It was a dream come true."
Over four years at QPR, he developed into a dependable target man.

In 1997, he walked out of his comfort zone and into a huge opportunity. Dichio was invited to join Sampdoria, at the time an Italian powerhouse.
But only weeks after Dichio's arrival, Sampdoria coach Sven Goran Eriksson left for Lazio. The big Englishman was soon loaned to Lecce, a smaller town where Dichio's young family could not settle. By 1998, they were back in England.
He caught on with Sunderland, more a religion than a team in northeast England, and helped them gain promotion to the Premiership. Then it was on to West Bromwich Albion. Once again, he was part of their promotion push.
However, his family was back living in London while Dichio drove two hours each way to the Midlands to practise each day.
His dissatisfaction was growing. As early as 2001, he began thinking about a move to Major League Soccer. By 2004, he was ready to go.
"My agent said I was stupid to do it so soon, because we could still do a lot more over (in England). I said it's not just about the football for me at the moment. It's about getting away," Dichio said. "I was kind of pissed off with life in that country at that time and the way that footballers were getting portrayed. There was a lot of stuff going on in the papers with footballers and rapes and drink stuff and drug stuff and I didn't want that for my kids."
Instead, a friend from the old neighbourhood, Dennis Wise, lured Dichio to another working-class London club – Millwall.
Dichio helped spearhead the team's improbable run to 2004 FA Cup final against Manchester United. But he missed the big game after being red carded in the semis – "a crushing disappointment." Millwall lost 3-0.
Once more, the urge to cross the ocean was calling him.
He was convinced to move north one more time, to Championship side Preston North End, in 2005. That move sealed his desire for new surroundings. Dichio changed agents and began to plan his departure.
Dichio's first choice was Chicago. The feeling was mutual. But once he arrived for talks, problems cropped up. Green cards, immigration forms.
Meanwhile, Johnston was lurking. When he found out the Fire could not seal the deal with Dichio, he swooped.
"Coming home from Chicago, I got a call from Mo. He said there's no green card problem out here. We'll have you straight away," Dichio said.
Johnston offered Dichio a sight-unseen contract. Dichio accepted a handshake deal. He's never had cause to regret it.
"It's a whole different league. There's not as much off-the-field pressure – media-wise, fan-wise. I came here, loved the field. And I thought, `This is where I can enjoy my football again,'" Dichio said.
There was still the problem of adapting to a new team in mid-season. FC had played three miserable games when Dichio arrived and hadn't managed to score a goal.
Dichio debuted April 28 against the Kansas City Wizards, FC's first home game. Twenty minutes in, the ball flew past him at midfield. He gave chase and touched it on. But before he could latch on to it again, an opponent drifted into his sights. Dichio gave up his pursuit of the ball, chased his target upfield and clotheslined him. Shades of dad. While his man crumpled to the ground, Dichio veered back toward the ball.
It was a brash and roughhousing display. Nasty, even. The stands erupted. The fans had found their man.
"It was just a fantastic atmosphere," Dichio said after the game, somewhat awestruck.
In their next match two weeks later, Dichio scored the first goal in franchise history. Twenty minutes later, he got the team's first straight red card. A hockey player on grass. Now they sing his praises in the 24th minute of each game to commemorate the instant when he marked the club's first tally.
He's notched four more times, making him the club's leading scorer. Injuries have slowed him, but the fight is still there.
Before the club's big game against the L.A. Galaxy, Dichio offered to take cortisone injections so he could suit up and help the team.
"I would not take that sort of risk with him, but that is the sort of player I want," Johnston said.
In the winter, Dichio plans to help out at the field coaching kids. He'd like to move it to coaching full-time some day.
He'd also like to do it in Canada. He, Claire and the kids have already started the process to obtain Canadian citizenship.
"I have wanted to play in this league for a long, long time. I wanted to bring my family out here to enjoy this lifestyle," Dichio said. "There have been many great experiences since coming here – match days, coming to the ground, seeing the fans. But just settling as we have in a country that's miles and miles from home ... that's been the most pleasing for me." The Star

Western Daily Press - COCHRANE: DEAL ME IN By Nathan Jones
Justin Cochrane is hoping to win a contract so he can help Yeovil Town match their form of last season.
Defeat in the opening game of their League One campaign - which was followed by a 4-1 Carling Cup hammering at League Two Hereford - had made another promotion push appear unlikely.
But consecutive victories - 1-0 at home to Port Vale and 2-1 away to Northampton Town - have raised new hope.
Fewer than half the current team were at Wembley when Yeovil lost last season's play-off final to Blackpool - but they have helped lift the Glovers to sixth place in the table.
"The standard has been set high from last year," said Cochrane, who set Yeovil on the way to victory at Northampton on Saturday with a well-taken goal.
"We want to reproduce that same sort of form, so we need to be winning at places like Northampton."
The short-term deal Cochrane agreed with the club just before the season opener at Huddersfield Town is due to run out before Tranmere Rovers visit on Saturday.
"I am hoping to win something longer," said the 25-year-old midfielder. "I will just have to wait and see. Northampton was the last game (of the deal) so if I am going to be eligible for next week I will have to sign something in the week - we will see what happens."
Cochrane has already made a strong case, having got the only goal of the game against Vale. On Saturday, Yeovil were pegged back by Poul Hubertz's equaliser but Lloyd Owusu got the winner in stoppage-time.
Glovers manager Russell Slade will continue his efforts to sign another forward before Friday's transfer deadline.
With Terry Skiverton still sidelined and Darryl Knights on compassionate leave, Slade was down to 17 players on Saturday.
"There are one or two irons in the fire and there is still the loan system you can use after August," said the manager. Western Daily Press

YEOVIL OFFICIAL SITE - MARK BIRCHAM's RECOVERY

"...Finishing off, Jim discussed the latest on Marc Bircham, who is still having problems getting over a hamstring problem.
"As we said last week he'd been doing quite well," Jim said.
"However, he felt some tightness last Thursday.
"That has settled down now, but we did a repeat ultrasound scan on the hamstring.
"That's shown that the small tear he suffered just over three weeks ago is healing, but it's not quite there yet, so we have to take a bit of a step back with him.
"He's back working in the gym at the present time, and we will get him back into running next week,
"But because of the little set back, I think we really need to get him absolutely fully fit, then give him a week of full training before he starts to think about playing games.
"So we are probably looking at a minimum of two, possibly as much as three weeks, before he's in contention to play matches." Yeovil

Yahoo- CHRIS DAY UPDATE - Day hoping to keep Lions place
Millwall's Chris Day is hoping his good early-season form will help him keep his place in the side when Lenny Pidgeley returns to fitness.Day, who had been out for 11 months with injury himself, has been in inspired form this season with former Chelsea stopper Pidgeley sidelined with a toe injury.
And now the 32-year-old former QPR stopper is hoping to use his opportunity to cement his place in Willie Donachie's side.
"It's been good for me to get a few games under my belt, and I've enjoyed that," Day told the South London Press.
"Everyone wants to play but you know in a squad of 22, that not everyone can be on the park. But now I need to take my chance." Report

QPR Birhdays: Ray Jones (RIP)...Jamie Cureton....Don Masson

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Very sadly, today would have been Ray Jones 19th birthday. August 28, 1988 - RIP. Jones. Very, very, very young.

[On the eve of Ray Jones's birth: August 27 1988, Jim Smith's QPR drew their opening game at Old Traford: Man United 0 QPR 0.
QPR's team that day: Seaman
Fereday McDonald Parker Dennis
Ardilles Allen Brock Barker
Falco Francis - Sub: Stein

[NB: This was QPR Chairman David Bulstrode's last game as Chairman as he sadly died shortly after.]

Memory - From November 2006 - Very Nice Profile of Ray Jones & His Pre-QPR Days

Thursday, November 23, 2006 - Ilford Recorder/Luke Wilson -Profiles Ray Jones
"...[Ray Jones] hails just a stone's throw from Upton Park. Born and raised in East Ham,....
It has been a meteoric rise for the former Langdon School pupil who just 18 months ago was playing Sunday League football for Redwood FC.
His talent caught the eye of QPR's youth development officer John O'Brien, who offered him a trial and the rest, as they say, is history.
"At the moment it's still sinking in that in just 18 months I've gone from playing parks football to being in the QPR first team!" Jones admitted.
"At Sunday league level my team was pretty good and we used to play against academy teams from several professional clubs and so initially playing for QPR's youth team was not much of a step up.
"However when I started training with the first team it was a massive change.
"The physical aspect was the biggest difference as I was playing against much stronger and more experienced players and it seemed to just get harder and harder.
"There's a lot of players at the club that have been there and done it and played at the highest level but they've been very encouraging to me and have helped me settle into the first team."
Things could have been a lot different for the target man, who made his Championship debut against Watford back in May, for at the age of 12 he decided to quit playing 'serious' football....
"Basically I stopped playing youth league football because I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to," he revealed.
"I was still playing nearly every day in the playground and, without wanting to sound big-headed, I used to run past people for fun!
"However my shooting was a little all over the place and so I thought to myself 'I need to get back to playing regularly'!"
One thing that you certainly could not accuse Jones of being is 'big-headed'.
Having made his full debut for the R's at the start of the present campaign, the striker was subsequently handed his first opportunity to represent his country when he came on as a substitute in the England under-19s' clash with Holland in September.
Such moments in the limelight would have undoubtedly inflated the egos of more impressionable characters but not Jones.
His down-to-earth demeanour will certainly keep his feet on the ground along with the help of his highly supportive family, who have served as an inspiration for the young goal-getter.
"My family have all been amazing and they're just over the moon for me," he beamed. "They're all really proud of what I've achieved and they've all really supported me.
"Everyone has been over to see me play for QPR - my mum, my nan, my uncle, aunt, sister and cousins - it's been amazing."
One person who Ray is certainly indebted to is his grandma Maureen, who has watched with pride as her grandson has matured into a Championship footballer.
She, like many of his family, has been there since his humble beginnings in youth football, even making a scrapbook with her daughter (Ray's mother) of all the appearances that their boy has made in the press from a young age.
"My nan used to make all my sandwiches and wake up at the crack of dawn to take me to games," he recalled.
"She even used to make sandwiches for my team-mates and that just sums up the type of amazing person she is!
"The people on our street have all been amazing as well and when I came back home after scoring my first goal for QPR (the winner against Northampton in August), everyone was telling me that they'd just seen my goal on Sky Sports News, that was really weird!"
Jones it seems has the perfect entourage to remain focused on realising his dreams and his humility stands out when posed the question of what the future might hold for him.
"I just want to be the best player I can," he replied. "I hope that I will play at the highest level and hopefully that will be with QPR."
One thing that is for sure though is that in allowing a player like Jones, whose physical presence and eye for goal look set to make him a force to be reckoned with in the future, to escape their grasp, the Hammers may regret the fact they failed to unearth such a hidden gem. Ilford Recorder.

Also birthday today: Ex-QPR, Jamie Cureton Turns 32- Born August 28, 1975
The ex-Norwich/Reading striker was signed by QPR at the end of our Division 2 Promotion race. Unfortunately, at QPR for the most part, it didn't quite work out as many hoped. QPR Record: 20+ 23 as sub - 6 goals (including a hatrick). Last season, Cureton had a brilliant season for Colchester. And he joined Norwich in the summer and is again scoring. Details See Wikipedia

And one other birthday from a couple of other days ago:

DON MASSON - Turned Sixty-One Born August 26, 1946
Midfielder, Don Masson, bought by Dave Sexton in December 1974 from Notts County for 100,000 pounds. Playing alongside Gerry Francis, Masson played an integral part in QPR's 1975/1976 "Championship side." Scottish International, Masson also played an integral part in QPR's European campaign and League Cup the following season. In October 1977, new manager Frank Sibley sold Masson to Derby County in a straight swop for Derby's winger, Leighton James.

See: Don Masson/Wikipedia

Masson's Playing Record

QPR Net's Ron Norris Interview with Don Masson - Masson Q&A

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nardiello Again in the Welsh Squad

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Nardiello again named to the Welsh squad. Wales squad to play Germany on 8 September in Cardiff and Slovakia on 12 September in Trnarva: Hennessey (Wolves), Price (Derby), Coyne (Tranmere), Bale (Spurs), D Collins (Sunderland), J.Collins (West Ham), S Evans (Wrexham), Gabbidon (West Ham), Morgan (Peterborough), Nyatanga (Barnsley), Ricketts (Hull), Crofts (Gillingham), S Davies (Fulham), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), M Jones (Wrexham), Koumas (Wigan), Ledley (Cardiff), Parry (Cardiff), Robinson (Toronto), Bellamy (West Ham), Earnshaw (Derby), Eastwood (Wolves), Nardiello (QPR). BBC

Tributes and Kind Words Pour In...No Date Yet for Rescheduled Burnley Game

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Many, many tributes and kind words from across the football world, from managers; players; fans. See Tributes and comments including from Ian Holloway, Joe Gallen, Ainsworth, Bolder, John Gregory and Gianni Paladini

Lancashire Evening TelegraphClarets wait on re-arranging QPR clash
BURNLEY manager Steve Cotterill says the club cannot look into re-arranging Saturday's postponed game against Queens Park Rangers until later this week.

The Championship match was cancelled following the death of young QPR striker Ray Jones in a motor accident in the early hours of Saturday morning.

On hearing the news, Rangers contacted the Football League and Burnley FC to request that the game should not go ahead.

However, due to the Clarets' involvement in the Carling Cup this week, a new date for the Rangers game is largely dependent on the outcome of tomorrow night's second round clash with League One Oldham Athletic at Turf Moor (kick-off 7.45pm).

"We haven't had a chance to look at (a re-arrangement)," said Cotterill.

"What throws us a little bit at the moment is the Carling Cup really. It would certainly be a lot easier to have pencilled in maybe in a couple of days' time or in a couple of weeks, but because of the Carling Cup and our involvement in that we don't know at the moment yet, so we really haven't had an opportunity to look at that yet.

"We won't look at it, probably before tomorrow's game. But afterwards we can plan certrainly a little bit more for the next six to eight weeks."

Meanwhile, Cotterill revealed that the Clarets had no qualms about agreeing to QPR's request to postpone Saturday's game.

And he paid tribute to 18-year-old Jones, who played against the Clarets on the opening day of last season. The England youth international was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident in east London, in which two other teenage passengers were killed and two more were injured, one seriously, when a car and a bus were involved in a collision shortly after midnight on Saturday.

"It has been a difficult day all round and certainly more so for Queens Park Rangers then ourselves," said Cotterill after the postponement was announced.

"It's a very, very sad day in football. He was a nice young man and budding young footballer who I am sure had a good career ahead of him.

"I spoke to John Gregory (QPR manager) and Mick Harford (assistant manager) this morning, we've liaised with Queens Park Rangers all along and they have our deepest sympathy.

"It was never a problem to call the game off. Sometimes football is put into perspective and whilst we were looking forward to the game, we were more than happy when we knew that QPR perhaps weren't in the right frame of mind."

QPR chairman Gianni Paladini said: "We are all shocked and saddened by the news. It is a huge loss for this football club.

"Ray had the world of football at his feet and he will be sorely missed by everyone connected to Queens Park Rangers.

"Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends and we will be doing everything we can to help them through this terrible time."

It is the second tragedy to befall Rangers in 15 months. In May 2006, 15-year-old youth team player Kiyan Prince was stabbed to death outside his school.
By Suzanne Geldard - Lancashire Evening Telegraph

Sunday, August 26, 2007

QPR's Briatore Takeover - One Supposedly Involved

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Mail - QPR fans fearworst if Flavio moves in

The price of Flavio Briatore — of Formula One fame — saving Queens Park Rangers seems likely to be a move from Loftus Road, the club's on-off home since 1917. Sean Mulryan, boss of the Ireland-based Ballymore property development group, is involved in Briatore's international rescue team.
Mulryan was among the Irish businessmen who backed the Drumaville Consortium which installed Niall Quinn as chairman at Sunderland as part of last year's takeover.
Mulryan's interest is said to be in the redevelopment of Loftus Road and the construction of a new stadium. The old Unigate site in nearby Wood Lane remains a possible destination, but Rangers fans fear having to journey further afield to see their team in future. Mail

Ray Jones RIP- Additional Tributes, Reports, Memories

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[UPDATED: 3:30pm

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION - Tributes to Jones
Tributes have been paid following the tragic death of 18-year-old QPR and England footballer Ray Jones who died in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A forward with a promising future for both club and country, Jones played 35 times for QPR last season and earned several call ups to the England U19 squad although injury restricted him to just one cap last term.
FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick sent his deepest sympathies to the family: "It is absolutely tragic news to lose someone so young with such a bright future.
"Ray was a fantastic lad and a player with great potential, he proved that last season with QPR and in earning his place in the England U19 squad. The coaches in our youth setup always enjoyed working with him - it's devastating news.
"On behalf of The FA I would like to send my deepest condolences to all the family and friends of Ray and everyone at Queen's Park Rangers." FA

QPR OFFICIAL SITE - JOHN GREGORY A BEAUTIFUL BOY'
John Gregory has described the late Ray Jones as 'a beautiful boy, who had the potential to become a QPR legend.'
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk this afternoon, Gregory said: "Ray was a beautiful boy. He was a fantastic person, with a big, big heart.
"He was only 18 years of age and had his best footballing years in front of him. He was already a hero amongst QPR supporters and he had the potential to go on and become a legend.
"I remember he was the star of the show in my first few weeks here.
"He scored the first goal of my reign against Hull City and then notched a typical Ray Jones goal against Southampton a week later.
"He really did have the footballing world at his feet and the fact he can't go on and fulfil the undoubted potential he had is a tragedy in itself.
"It's hit everyone at the Football Club really hard. The players are absolutely devastated.
"Ray was one of the most popular figures in the dressing room. No-one ever had a bad word to say about him and that for me says everything you need to know about Ray Jones, the person and the footballer.
"It's a tragic loss and our sympathies and condolences go out to his family and friends at this awful time." QPR


Ray Jones RIP in Wikipedia - Wikpedia Profile

Sunday People -News FLASH - Crash victim Ray 'a tragic loss' to QPR
Midfielder Gareth Ainsworth led the tributes for his QPR team-mate Ray Jones, who was tragically killed in a car crash yesterday.
Ainsworth said: "This is just unbelievable news. I spent a lot of time with him and he had what it takes to go right to the top. He was a fantastic lad.
"He worked hard at his game and had a smile for everyone. My condolences and those of everyone at QPR go to his family. He will be terribly missed."
Rangers cancelled yesterday's match at Burnley and chairman Gianni Paladini said: "We are all shocked. It's a huge loss - Ray had the world at his feet."
The talented England Under-19 forward was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday.
Former QPR Head of Youth Joe Gallen, who signed Jones for the Loftus Road academy, said: "This is absolutely tragic. Ray was the real deal.
"We found him playing in a youth league in Essex and he hit six goals in 18 games last year." People

BBC - "Former QPR manager Ian Holloway, who is now at Plymouth, added his own tribute: "It's a terrible tragedy. A young life taken away. A young talent gone.
"I knew him, he was a great kid and a fantastic talent as well, so my heart bleeds for all of them. For me there's no worse thing than to have to bury your child and I'm so sorry for them." BBC

Sunday People England ace Jones killed in car smashBy Tom Carlin
England youth soccer star Ray Jones died with two pals in an horrific car smash yesterday.
The Queens Park Rangers striker, 18, is thought to have been at the wheel when a VW Golf crashed into a double-deck bus.
Qpr postponed yesterday's match with Burnley as tributes flooded in for Jones. The Championship club's chairman Gianni Paladini said: "Ray had the world of football at his feet and will be sorely missed."
The other youths who died in the early-hours crash in East Ham, east London, were named as Jess Basilua and Adris Olasupo, both 17.
Brothers Mark and Arthur Conrad were injured. The five had been school pals in East Ham.
Team-mates said Jones, who would have been 19 on Tuesday, was "a fantastic lad". People

SUNDAY MIRROR - MATCH ABANDONED AS SOCCER STAR DIES
By Grant Hodgson
Devastated footballers called off a Championship game yesterday after a teammate was killed in a horror smash.
Talented England under-19 and Queens Park Rangers striker Ray Jones, 18, died when his VW Golf hit a double-decker bus.
Two 17-year-old passenger pals also died while two others, also 17, were injured in the East London pile-up in the early hours yesterday.
QPR's game at Burnley later yesterday was scrapped after teammates told bosses they were too upset to play. A QPR source said: "The club is in mourning following the tragic news."
The mum of Ray's injured pals, Miriam Magambo, said: "Ray died instantly. The whole thing is terrible." And family friend Yomi Onimole, 32, said: "He lived for football. Everyone is devastated."
Ray, who would have turned 19 on Tuesday, was at home in London because a foot injury had ruled him out of the Burnley clash.
The 6ft 4ins striker first signed for QPR at 15 and was called up to the England under-19 squad after scoring six goals last season. Sunday Mirror


The Observer - QPR mourn death of striker Jones
Match at Burnley postponed after promising teenager dies in accident
Jason Tomas Sunday August 26, 2007
QPR's match at Burnley was postponed after the death of their teenage striker Ray Jones - one of the most exciting young players outside the Premiership - in a car accident in east London on Friday night.
Jones, who was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday, was a product of QPR's youth system. After his first-team debut in April 2006, against Watford, he made 35 appearances for them in all competitions last season - scoring six goals - and earned a call-up to the England Under-19 squad.
He was strongly tipped to move to a Premier League club, after turning down a number of new QPR contract offers, and of those keeping close tabs on his performances, Fulham, were known to have made a firm bid for him. The bigger clubs linked with him also included Derby County, who offered £5.75 million for Jones and left-winger Lee Cook (who has since left for Fulham).
However, Jones, apparently influenced by the QPR view that he would develop more quickly in their first team than in reserve team football elsewhere, signed a new three-and a-half-year agreement with them in January. He had not played this season because of a foot injury.
Despite yesterday's postponement, Burnley held an open training session at Turf Moor at 3pm as a mark of respect to Jones. Though the session was free to all supporters, there were collection points inside the ground for fans to make a donation to a nominated charity of QPR's choice. QPR, in a statement on their website, said: 'Everyone at Queens Park Rangers extends their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ray at this sad time. The club will be making no further comment at this stage and we ask you to respect our wishes as we grieve for our young striker.'
Jones' death is the second tragedy to hit QPR recently. Last year their 15-year-old youth team player Kiyan Prince was stabbed to death outside his school. Observer

REPOSTS

Very Nice Profile of Ray Jones & His Pre-QPR Days

Thursday, November 23, 2006 - Ilford Recorder/Luke Wilson -Profiles Ray Jones
"...[Ray Jones] hails just a stone's throw from Upton Park. Born and raised in East Ham,....
It has been a meteoric rise for the former Langdon School pupil who just 18 months ago was playing Sunday League football for Redwood FC.
His talent caught the eye of QPR's youth development officer John O'Brien, who offered him a trial and the rest, as they say, is history.
"At the moment it's still sinking in that in just 18 months I've gone from playing parks football to being in the QPR first team!" Jones admitted.
"At Sunday league level my team was pretty good and we used to play against academy teams from several professional clubs and so initially playing for QPR's youth team was not much of a step up.
"However when I started training with the first team it was a massive change.
"The physical aspect was the biggest difference as I was playing against much stronger and more experienced players and it seemed to just get harder and harder.
"There's a lot of players at the club that have been there and done it and played at the highest level but they've been very encouraging to me and have helped me settle into the first team."
Things could have been a lot different for the target man, who made his Championship debut against Watford back in May, for at the age of 12 he decided to quit playing 'serious' football....
"Basically I stopped playing youth league football because I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to," he revealed.
"I was still playing nearly every day in the playground and, without wanting to sound big-headed, I used to run past people for fun!
"However my shooting was a little all over the place and so I thought to myself 'I need to get back to playing regularly'!"
One thing that you certainly could not accuse Jones of being is 'big-headed'.
Having made his full debut for the R's at the start of the present campaign, the striker was subsequently handed his first opportunity to represent his country when he came on as a substitute in the England under-19s' clash with Holland in September.
Such moments in the limelight would have undoubtedly inflated the egos of more impressionable characters but not Jones.
His down-to-earth demeanour will certainly keep his feet on the ground along with the help of his highly supportive family, who have served as an inspiration for the young goal-getter.
"My family have all been amazing and they're just over the moon for me," he beamed. "They're all really proud of what I've achieved and they've all really supported me.
"Everyone has been over to see me play for QPR - my mum, my nan, my uncle, aunt, sister and cousins - it's been amazing."
One person who Ray is certainly indebted to is his grandma Maureen, who has watched with pride as her grandson has matured into a Championship footballer.
She, like many of his family, has been there since his humble beginnings in youth football, even making a scrapbook with her daughter (Ray's mother) of all the appearances that their boy has made in the press from a young age.
"My nan used to make all my sandwiches and wake up at the crack of dawn to take me to games," he recalled.
"She even used to make sandwiches for my team-mates and that just sums up the type of amazing person she is!
"The people on our street have all been amazing as well and when I came back home after scoring my first goal for QPR (the winner against Northampton in August), everyone was telling me that they'd just seen my goal on Sky Sports News, that was really weird!"
Jones it seems has the perfect entourage to remain focused on realising his dreams and his humility stands out when posed the question of what the future might hold for him.
"I just want to be the best player I can," he replied. "I hope that I will play at the highest level and hopefully that will be with QPR."
One thing that is for sure though is that in allowing a player like Jones, whose physical presence and eye for goal look set to make him a force to be reckoned with in the future, to escape their grasp, the Hammers may regret the fact they failed to unearth such a hidden gem. Ilford Recorder.


Guardian Blog - Guardian Unlimited January 5, 2007 - Football League Spy: 10 to watch in 2007

Ten of the best prospects outside the Premiership to keep a close eye on during the next 12 months.
Barely a day goes by without David Nugent, Gareth Bale and Freddie Eastwood being linked with a big-money move to a Premiership club. But the lower leagues are awash with talent beyond these obvious names, as our following list shows. Please feel free to add your suggestions below.
8) Ray Jones (QPR) A rare reason to be cheerful at Loftus Road this season, the young striker's scoring record - five in 14 games - still isn't the greatest. But at 18, he already stands 6ft 4in and weighs in at 14½st, and defenders across the country must be wondering how they'll handle him once he bulks out. His manager John Gregory is confident that, with a bit more experience, Jones can play at the highest level. "He could be in a position where he is ready to go into Arsenal's or Manchester United's first team at the age of 23," he admits. Guardian Blog

January 2007: Ray Jones Extends His QPR Stay Signing 3 1/2 Year Contract

Friday, January 05, 2007 QPR OFFICIAL SITE - THE REAL DEAL
QPR hot-shot Ray Jones has ended speculation about his future by signing a three and a half year contract with the R's.
The teenage front-man - who has notched six goals so far this season - today (Friday) put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the club.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk moments after the ink dried on a deal which ties him to the club until the summer of 2010, the 18 year-old said: "I've always stated that my intentions were to stay at QPR, so I couldn't be more delighted.
"I'm just glad it's all sorted and I can get back to doing what I love more than anything else - playing and scoring goals for Queens Park Rangers.''
Jones continued: "John Gregory has played a big part in my decision to stay here and now it's up to me to repay both him and the board for the faith they've shown in me.
"I'm here to score goals and hopefully that will go hand in hand with helping QPR progress in the Championship.''
Gaffer John Gregory also revealed his delight at the news, adding: "I'm delighted that this long term saga has finally ended on a positive note.
"The board and myself have worked tirelessly to keep Ray at Loftus Road.
"He could have moved elsewhere for more money, but he's made the choice to remain at QPR which I think is a massive compliment to everybody at this football club.
"It's a three and a half year deal and I think we'll see the best of him over the next few years. There's still a long way to go, but I believe it was crucial in his development as a player to remain at QPR.''
Chairman Gianni Paladini told www.qpr.co.uk: "It's been hard work, but it's a great day for Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
"We've given him a three and a half year contract and it signals our intentions in terms of the squad we're trying to build here.
"We've got Ray, Blackstock, Cook and Rowlands all on long term deals and the future of this football club is very bright.''
Jones joined QPR in February 2005 at the age of 16 after he was spotted playing local Sunday football in East London.
He made an immediate impact on his arrival, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances for Joe Gallen's Under-18 side and in the same year, made three appearances for the Reserves, finding the back of the net once.
His impressive displays led to a first team call-up at the end of the 2005/06 campaign, where he featured in the R's final two games of the Championship season against local rivals Watford and Champions Reading. QPR

December 21, 2006 - Skysports - JONES TO SIGN NEW QPR DEAL -By Mike McGrath, PA Sport
QPR striker Ray Jones admits it is a "buzz" to be linked with a move to the Premiership but remains confident his contract dispute at Loftus Road will be resolved next month.
The 18-year-old's current deal with the Championship club expires at the end of the season and he has been linked with a move to Fulham and Charlton when the transfer window opens next month.
But Jones, speaking at the launch of the Wickes Young Apprentice award, said: "I think by January we'll have that sorted out and I'll just concentrate on my football.
"It's flattering to get linked with clubs in the Premiership, it's a big buzz, but I'm at QPR and do what I'm doing at the moment for QPR, whatever happens in the future will happen."
Jones has scored five goals this season and has made an impression with his frame causing defenders problems, despite QPR struggling at the wrong end of the Championship.
"I've got a few goals this season and want to get a few more," Jones added.
Veteran QPR striker Kevin Gallen, who was also at the launch of the Wickes Young Apprentice award, believes it is important for the club to secure Jones' signature.
"Ray's a good player and we need to keep our good players at the club and not give them away, so it's important he signs," said Gallen.
"First and foremost we need to get out of trouble then we can bring more young players through - Sporting Life

June 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007

QPR Announce Rejected Colchester's Jones Bid
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QPR Official Site - JONES BID REJECTED

The Club have rejected a £200,000 offer from Colchester United for teenage striker Ray Jones.
The R's received a formal offer from the U's this morning for the 19 year-old's services, but Chairman Gianni Paldini was quick to rebuff the approach.
Commenting on the derisory bid, Paladini said: "There's no way we're going to sell our best players unless the price is right and Ray Jones has a very big part to play in our future.'' QPR

June 2007 - QPR Reject Increased Colchester Bid for Ray Jones
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - QPR Official Site - NO DEAL!

The Club have today (Tuesday) rejected an improved six figure offer from Colchester United for teenage hot-shot Ray Jones.
Rangers Chairman Gianni Paladini knocked back an initial £200,000 offer from the Layer Road outfit yesterday morning and has also rebuffed the U's improved offer, made at lunchtime today.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Paladini reiterated his desire to keep his best players at Loftus Road: "Unless the price is right, we won't be selling our best players.
"We've rejected offers for a few of our players in the last 24 hours and I'll say it again, we're not willing to let our best players leave the Club on the cheap.''
Paladini continued: "We're building for the future here and that means keeping our best players.
"Ray has a very bright career ahead of him and he's an integral part of our first team squad.'' QPR

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Ray Jones (& Loanee Mancienne) Back in the England U-19 Squad
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The FA.Com England U19 v Switzerland
International U19 Friendly
7.30pm, 14 November 2006 Gresty Road, Crewe Alexandra FC
Brian Eastick has confirmed his 18-man squad to take on Switzerland on 14 November, with the core of the team remaining from their recent trip to Austria for the UEFA Preparatory Tournament.
Liverpool's FA Youth Cup winning trio of Paul Anderson and Craig Lindfield, who scored three goals between them against Austria, and Adam Hammill retain their places as does Derby County's Giles Barnes.
Queen's Park Rangers' forward Ray Jones also returns to the squad after missing the visit to Austria through injury and Eastick is keen to take another look at many of the players who accquited themselves well against Spain and Italy.
...Ray Jones Queens Park Rangers 18 28.08.1988
.....Michael Mancienne Chelsea (on loan to QPR ) 18 08.01.1988....

QPR's First Win last Season Versus Southend - Reports/Comments

John Gregory's First Game As Manager
September 2006 - BBC - QPR 2-0 Hull
John Gregory's reign as QPR boss got off to a winning start as goals from Ray Jones and Dexter Blackstock earned a deserved win over struggling Hull.
Hull were under pressure, but could have led but for QPR keeper Paul Jones' fine save from Michael Turner's header.
Rangers broke through on the hour as Jones tapped in his first league goal after being set up by Damion Stewart.
And Blackstock sealed the victory as he headed home after Lee Cook supplied a superb curling cross. BBC

QPR's following Win at Southampton- Reports/Comments

From yesterday:<

Expressions of Condolences

Initial Reports re Jones RIP

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