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Sunday, September 30, 2007

WBA Defeat QPR

UPDATE 6:00 PMOn live TV, QPR let in five against WBA and are now alone on the bottom. At half-time, the score was 3-1 (Ainsworth scoring for QPR). Final Score WBA 5 QPR 1. QPR remain the team in the four divisions yet to have won a game this season.
Sheff Wed 6 points 8 games
QPR 3 points from 7 games Minute-by-Minute
League Table

Rangers' boss John Gregory revealed he has had talks with incoming new owner Flavio Briatore and hopes he will be given time to turn things around once the takeover is completed.
He added: "We have all seen in the past people have got votes of confidence and they have gone the following week.
"So you just have to believe everything that they tell you.
"I have got a lot of trust in Flavio. We have talked about the future and I have to believe that he is a man of his word.
"I have had long conversations with Flavio about wanting to improve the squad.
"We have talked about bringing in players on-loan and, come January, if we are in a good position I am sure that Flavio will spend. He wants to win.'' Sporting Life

# QPR manager John Gregory on the impending takeover:
"We have all seen people get votes of confidence and they have gone the following week.
"So you just have to believe everything that they tell you and I have got a lot of trust in Flavio (Briatore).
"We've discussed the future and if we are in a good position in January I'm sure Flavio will spend. He wants to win." BBC

John Gregory refused to blame his players after the 5-1 defeat against high-flying West Bromwich Albion.
Speaking moments after the final whistle at The Hawthorns, Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk: "I'll protect my boys until the end of the earth.
"I don't worry about my own position.
"We'll get back on the training ground tomorrow morning and regroup for Wednesday."
Gregory added: "I suppose the only positive to take is the fact we can put the wrongs of this display to right in three days time.
"Sheffield Wednesday lost a number of games on the bounce and have won their last two and it can have a huge impact, both on the players and the league table.
"Three points against Colchester will make a huge difference."
Gregory praised the performance of West Brom, adding: "It was an extremely difficult afternoon.
"The Baggies are an exceptional side and today, they kept the ball extremely well throughout the 90 minutes.
"The Albion front two were very clever and caused us all sorts of problems." QPR

BBC Match Statistic: POSSESSION - West Brom 58% QPR 42%

Sporting Life Statistics
Shots On Target
14 7
Shots Off Target
6 2
Fouls (Conceded)
6 13
12 3
Yellow Cards
0 2

WBA Official Site Match Report

KEVIN Phillips crowned his 50th Baggies appearance with a brilliant two-goal blast as Tony Mowbray's men stormed into second spot with a truly five-star display.

Top scorer Phillips' fifth and sixth of the season and strike partner Ishmael Miller's third in two games earned Albion a richly-deserved 3-1 half-time lead.

And stunning second-half volleys from Robert Koren and skipper Jonathan Greening in the 57th and 65th minutes respectively wrapped up a fifth successive Championship win at The Hawthorns.

Gareth Ainsworth's 24th-minute reply - the first league goal conceded by Albion on Black Country soil this term - was the only blot on their copybook.

A sell-out home crowd lapped up the goal-fest as the visitors' first away defeat of the season left them rooted to the foot of the table.

The result made Tuesday's disappointing Carling Cup defeat seem like a distant memory as the five-goal blast made Albion the division's highest scorers..

Although yesterday's results saw the Baggies slip a place to fourth, Mowbray's men kicked off this televised encounter knowing a victory would move them within a point of leaders Watford.

The Baggies boss made two changes from the last league outing at Scunthorpe eight days ago, with Kevin Phillips and James Morrison replacing Chris Brunt and Zoltan Gera, who both dropped to the bench.

Albion looked full of beans from the off and caused Rangers no end of problems during the opening ten minutes.

Miller used all his brute strength to shrug off Danny Cullip and charge into the box.

He centred towards the unmarked Phillips, but Zesh Rehman slid in in the nick of time of hack the ball clear, denying the ex-England hitman a simple tap-in.

The strike partners swapped roles 60 seconds later, with Phillips teeing up Miller 15 yards out.

The 20-year-old pulled the trigger first time but his scuffed effort clipped off Damion Stewart and crept just wide of the far post.

Albion went even closer from the ensuing corner, with Phillips peeling away from his marker to smash Greening's perfect centre off Martin Rowlands' knee on the goalline, onto the near post and out to safety.

The hosts continued to keep the West Londoners pegged back and their pressure paid off with two goals in a minute.

Filipe Teixeira fed Miller in the 17th minute and the 'Moston Menace' raced past Rehman before squaring to Phillips, who had ghosted between two QPR defenders to tap home from three yards.

It was Phillips' 27th Baggies goal, making him the highest scorer currently on the club's books - one ahead of long-serving defender Neil Clement.

And Phillips returned the favour moments later.

Miller beat the offside trap to race onto the ex-Sunderland man's throughball before firing under Lee Camp's body and into the net.

The goal was much celebrated by England defender Micah Richards - Miller's Eastlands team-mate - who was sat in the Halfords Lane Stand.

The Baggies were in complete control - but a lapse in concentration handed John Gregory's side a 24th minute lifeline.

Dexter Blackstock leapt at the far post to head Rowlands' free-kick across the face of goal and Ainsworth held off Teixeira to poke home.

That was Rangers' first effort on goal and they soon recorded another, with Ben Sahar jinking inside Carl Hoefkens before dragging a right-footed shot well wide of the far post.

But normal service soon resumed.

Morrison sprinted onto Teixeira's lay-off, beat left-back Chris Barker before seeing an acute 15-yard drive brilliantly turned wide by Camp at his near post.

Greening whipped the corner in and the unmarked Leon Barnett powered a header towards the far post, where Stefan Moore kept it out with his thigh.

The ball bounced onto the lurking Phillips' knee and back towards Moore, who desperately hacked clear.

But it was a momentary reprieve as a moment of Phillips magic restored Albion's two-goal cushion in he 39th minute.

After Camp had done well to push away Miller's stinging 15-yard drive, Greening collected the loose ball and cleverly fed the 34-year-old, who curled a delicious effort over Camp and into the far corner of the net.

QPR threatened briefly before half-time when skipper Adam Bolder whipped in a dangerous right-wing cross.

The ball appeared to be arcing towards Blackstock before Barnett intervened with a terrific clearance which snuffed out the danger.

Albion were back on the attack after the interval - but almost shot themselves in the foot in the 49th minute.

Barnett had to take evasive action after Paul Robinson under-hit his backpass.

But the ex-Luton defender's attempted clearance cannoned off Sahar's knee and fortuitously flew straight at Dean Kiely.

Back came Albion and clever play by Miller fed Teixeira on the left.

The £680,000 bargain buy found Morrison eight yards out but the ex-Middlesbrough man wastefully side-footed over the bar.

Baggies chances were now coming thick and fast and, after Rangers had failed to properly clear Robinson's centre, Morrison let fly with an 18-yard volley which Camp gathered at the second attempt.

It was finally 4-1 in the 57th minute.

Phillips raced onto Koren's sublime throughball, held off Cullip and was denied a hat-trick by Camp's smart near-post save.

However, Cullip could only head the loose ball to the edge of the box and Koren slammed it in the top corner with a ferocious left-foot volley.

Albion were not satisfied and continued to pile forward at will.

Phillips raced onto Miller's square ball and saw his low 15-yard drive deflect off Stewart and squirm wide of the far post.

From sub Chris Brunt's ensuing corner, Robinson powered a header towards the far top corner and only Camp's brilliant one-handed save denied the left-back a first goal of the campaign.

Again, it was to prove brief respite as the Baggies netted from Brunt's following 65th-minute flag-kick.

Blackstock cleared his lines with a near post header but the ball looped invitingly to Greening, who lashed an unstoppable 25-yard volley inside the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Morrison, Koren, Greening (Gera 68), Teixeira (Brunt 63); Miller (Beattie 68), Phillips. Subs not used: Steele (gk), Pele.

QPR (4-4-2): Camp; Rehman (Curtis HT), Cullip, Stewart, Barker (Bignot 60); Ainsworth, Bolder, Sahar (Ephraim 60), Rowlands; Moore, Blackstock. Subs not used: Cole (gk), Timoska.

GOALS: ALBION - Phillips (17 & 39), Miller (18), Koren (57), Greening (65). QPR - Ainsworth (24).

BOOKINGS: QPR - Curtis (foul 51), Rowlands (foul 80).

REFEREE: A D'Urso (Essex).


Kevin Phillips bagged a brace, as free-scoring West Bromwich Albion produced a five-star show to extinguish the R's unbeaten away run.

Rangers were second best in every department at The Hawthorns, on a day when the Baggies ran riot in front of the live Sky Sports cameras.

The R's trailed 3-1 at the end of an enthralling first period.

Albion opened the scoring in the 18th minute courtesy of Phillips, before he turned provider for Ishmael Miller, who sprinted beyond a static Rangers rearguard to make it two 60 seconds later.

The R's briefly rallied and when Gareth Ainsworth made it 2-1 when he smashed the ball home from close range in the 24th minute, the visitors sensed a revival.

But Albion restored their two-goal buffer just before the break, as Phillips notched a sublime goal, curling the ball past Lee Camp from the edge of the penalty box.

The rampant hosts made certain of the victory early in the second half, when Robert Koren smashed an unstoppable strike past Camp, before Jonathan Greening sent a fearsome 25-yard volley into the far corner to make it five.

With Danny Nardiello (hamstring) and Sampsa Timoska (illness) both ruled out, John Gregory handed starts to Ben Sahar and Zesh Rehman at The Hawthorns.

Ainsworth and Adam Bolder both overcame ankle and knee injuries respectively to play, while Stefan Moore replaced the suspended Mikele Leigertwood.

Veteran striker Phillips led the Baggies front-line, while at the other end of the pitch, Dean Kiely - who saved a Paul Furlong spot-kick the last time the two sides met - lined up in goal.

Albion made much of the early running, with Miller at the heart of their positive start.

In the eighth minute, the Manchester City loanee sent an enticing cross into the near post, which Damion Stewart did well to clear, under pressure from Phillips.

Miller was at it again a minute later, only to see his scuffed effort deflected wide by the outstretched boot of the Jamaican international defender.

It was all West Brom and when Phillips met Jonathan Greening's corner kick in the ninth minute, Rowlands was in the right place at the right time to clear his half-volley off the line, albeit by the aid of the post.

Miller was proving a constant threat and when he skipped past Rehman with ease in the 17th minute, Phillips was left with the easiest of tap-ins from two yards, for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Seconds later Miller made it two, when he arrived onto Phillips' precise through ball before baring down on goal and slotting the ball underneath the exposed Camp from 15-yards.

Undeterred, the R's got themselves back into the game in the 24th minute.

Rowlands flighted in an inviting free-kick to the back post and Dexter Blackstock headed across goal for Ainsworth to tap home from little more than a yard, for his first goal of the campaign.

It was also the first league goal Albion had conceded at The Hawthorns this season, much to the disgust of Mowbray, who bemoaned his side's defending from the dug-out.

Buoyed by their goal, Rangers grew in confidence as the half progressed and when Sahar cut in from the left flank on the half hour, his fearsome drive flew a yard or so wide of Kiely's left hand post.

The Baggies were equally as impressive on the counter-attack though and when James Morrison left Chris Barker trailing in his wake down the right flank, he cut and inside and was only denied by a first class save from Camp.

The ensuing corner almost resulted in goal number four, but Leon Barnett saw his towering header cleared off the line by Moore, and then Phillips was denied by the same player, albeit at the second attempt.

Camp had to be at his agile best to thwart Miller in the 40th minute, but he was powerless to prevent Phillips making it 3-1 just 30 seconds later.

Greening slipped a neat pass into the path of the Baggies top-scorer on the edge of the penalty box and he did the rest, curling a textbook right footed effort beyond the R's number one and into the top corner of the net.

John Curtis replaced Rehman at the resumption, with the summer signing slotting in at right back.

Rangers were very nearly gifted a second goal in the 49th minute, when Paul Robinson's misplaced pass put Barnett under pressure and his clearance from inside the box cannoned back of Sahar and into the grasp of the grateful Kiely.

Curtis was booked for two fouls in as many minutes on danger-man Filipe Teixeira, before Morrison sent a fizzing volley on target, which Camp gathered at the second time of asking.

Albion put the result beyond all doubt in the 57th minute.

Camp produced heroics to save Phillips' initial effort, but when Danny Cullip's clearance landed at the feet of Koren, his fearsome strike from 18-yards whistled past the startled R's custodian.

Moments after Camp tipped Robinson's goal-bound header over the bear, the hosts made it five - courtesy of another wonder-goal.

Blackstock's clearance from yet another Albion corner appeared to be adequate enough, but when Greening arrived bang on cue to meet the ball on the volley, Camp stood motionless as it rocketed into the bottom corner.

Rowlands did his utmost to reduce the arrears when he had two efforts saved in as many minutes by the otherwise untested Kiely, but it was Albion who finished in the ascendancy, with second half substitute Craig Beattie having a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside in the dying moments. QPR

Also: Daily Mail Match Report

Sky Sport Match Report

WBA vs QPR: Today's Teams + Gregory Says Not Worried by Takeover

[Rehman returns...and on the subs bench: a goalie: 3 defenders and a winger]

Today's teams
QPR (4-4-2): Camp; Rehman, Cullip, Barker, Stewart; Ainsworth, Bolder, Sahar, Rowlands; Moore, Blackstock. -- Subs: Cole (gk), Bignot, Curtis, Ephraim, Timoska.

ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Koren, Morrison, Greening, Teixeira; Miller, Phillips. Subs: Steele (gk), Beattie, Gera, Pele, Brunt.

[A litte different from the 1967 or 1982 Teams vs WBA!)

1967 League Final -QPR: Springett, Hazell, Langley, Keen, Hunt, Sibley, Lazarus, Sanderson, Allen, Marsh, R. Morgan.(sub I. Morgan)

WBA: Sheppard, Cram, Williams, Collard, Clarke, Fraser, Brown, Astle, Kaye, Hope, Clark

1982: FA Cup Semi-Final: Hucker - Gillard Hazell Roeder Fenwick- Currie Micklewhite Waddock Flanagan - Allen Stainrod

SKYSPORTS Takeover doesn't faze Gregory. QPR boss not worried by change of owners

John Gregory insists he does not fear for his job following the change of ownership at Queens Park Rangers.
Formula One duo Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone have had an offer for the Championship club recommended by the board.
It has led to speculation that Gregory's days are numbered at Loftus Road, with Gianluca Vialli and Martin Allen linked with the role.
But Gregory, whose side have endured a difficult start to the new campaign, is not worried about the impact of the new owners.
He feels his four-year tenure as Aston Villa manager under Doug Ellis stands him in good stead for the future.
Not worried
"I worked for Doug Ellis at Aston Villa and after every defeat I was expected to be gone by Monday morning," Gregory told Sky Sports.
"I think after six months we hit a bit of a dodgy spell, and we lost three out of five or something, and drew the other two.
"It was supposed to be my last chance in the next game and four years later I was still there.
"I didn't worry about it then, and I certainly won't worry about it now Skysports

Vine Loan to QPR?

[Vine's name was touted a few weeks ago and there were reports that he was too expensive a loan]

The People - HOTLINE - £2.5m flop Rowan in QPR's boat
Birmingham misfit Rowan Vine looks set to join Championship strugglers QPR on loan.
Striker Vine, 25, joined Blues from Luton for £2.5million in January but has yet to play a Premier League game.
His only two first-team appearances came in the Carling Cup and he failed to score in either of them. The People

NB: From a Fan Site September 11 Interview with QPR Chairman Paladini,
(Q) What about Vine and Clements?
(Answer) would you pay £55,000 a week for Clement or £75,000 a week for Vine?. They want assurances that we buy these players in January now. Thats how much it works out. As it stands I would rather not do the deal for these players
What if, we don't want to keep them, what if they don't fit in. I am inclined not to do them. The whole ball game has changed now, teams know we are the richest club in the championship and they are trying to get more money from us. I know karen Brady well, she is my neighbour, but we won't do this deal. Interview

Hint! On This Date a Year Ago, QPR Broke the Form Book and Picked up First Away Victory

It's QPR vs WBA today...on TV...before WBA's biggest crowd of the season (as WBA have lowered ticked prices for today's game Today. A Year Ago today, QPR picked up their first away win with goals from Blackstock and Ray Jones (RIP) and ended Southampton's run of four consecutive victories. G-d willing, a similar result today! (And like today, the ref a year ago, was Mr. D'Urso!). Jimmy Smith made his QPR debut (and new manger John Gregory picked up his second victory in a week - and refused to speak to the press!)
A very, very different QPR team a year ago from today: P Jones, Bignot, Rehman, Stewart, Rose (Kanyuka 21), Rowlands, Bircham (Lomas 62), Bailey (Smith 62), Cook, R Jones, Blackstock. Subs: Royce, Gallen. - Scorers: Blackstock & Jones.

Saturday, September 30, 2006 - QPR Official Site - Southampton 1 QPR 2
Rangers turned the formbook upside down to clinch a valuable, yet thoroughly deserved victory at St Mary's.
First half goals from former Saint Dexter Blackstock and fellow front-man Ray Jones made it two wins on the bounce for new R's boss John Gregory.
Victory was no less than QPR deserved, on an afternoon when each and every player shone against a Southampton side occupying a play-off place at the start of the day.
Rangers led 2-1 at the break, with Blackstock and Jones on target after Jermaine Wright's early goal gave Southampton a dream start.
Wright arrived bang on cue to volley home Mario Licka's cross on two minutes, albeit with the aid of a heavy deflection.
It took Rangers a good 15 minutes or so to settle, but in truth, all John Gregory's men had to show for their early efforts was a fierce Martin Rowlands strike which Kelvin Davis tipped to safety.
But Rangers are a resolute bunch under the new management structure, and when Lee Cook found Blackstock six-yards from goal, the former Southampton striker bagged only his third goal in QPR colours.
And the first half comeback was complete four minutes before the break, when teenager Jones fired home after robbing Davis of possession by the corner flag.
The new gaffer named an unchanged side for his first away match in charge of the R's.
Paul Jones and Dexter Blackstock lined up against their former Club, the latter for the first time since joining QPR in the summer, while Marc Bircham retained the captain's armband.
Chelsea loanee Jimmy Smith was named amongst the R's substitutes, as was fit-again Club Captain Kevin Gallen.
Rangers trailed inside 110 seconds, to a deflected Wright goal.
icka's cross from the left flank fell perfectly for the former Ipswich Town midfielder, who - with the aid of a deflection off Damion Stewart - volleyed the ball past the unsighted Paul Jones.
And but for a fantastically timed tackle by Zesh Rehman five minutes later, Bradley Wright-Phillips could've made it two, after Rangers yet again failed to deal with a Rudi Skacel set-piece.
The R's were second best all over the park in the opening exchanges, as Gregory cut a frustrated figure in the QPR technical area.
And his worse fears were almost compounded on 12 minutes, when a trademark Gareth Bale free-kick from fully 25-yards, forced Paul Jones into a fine save.
Undeterred, Rangers should have scored themselves on 16 minutes through Rowlands.
Lee Cook played provider, teasing his way into the box before laying the ball on a plate for Rowlands, whose powerful near post strike was superbly tipped to safety by Davis.
Matthew Rose was forced from the fray midway through the half, with Pat Kanyuka replacing him.
His arrival prompted a defensive reshuffle, with Marcus Bignot moving to left back, Rehman to right back, and Kanyuka partnering Damion Stewart at the heart of the back four.
Grzegorz Rasiak almost doubled the hosts' advantage on 24 minutes, rising tallest to meet a Gareth Bale cross, which Paul Jones did well to gather at the first attempt.
Jones had to be at his agile best again on the half hour, diving full length to his left to tip round dangerman Licka's deflected free-kick.
Despite continually struggling to get to grips with their high-flying opponents, Rangers were on terms on 35 minutes and what a goal it was too.
Blackstock returned to haunt his former Club with a splendid header, but only after Rowlands and Cook played their part in a terrific, free-flowing move.
The former arrowed an inch-perfect 70-yard ball into the path of Cook, who after two unsuccessful attempts at beating the first man, whipped in an enticing cross, which the former Saints striker finished with aplomb.
The travelling QPR faithful were in dreamland six minutes later when Jones - with Davis attempting to usher the ball out of play by the corner flag - intercepted and curled home a delightful finish from the tightest of angles.
Neither side offered anything in the way of goalscoring attempts in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, prompting Saints boss George Burley to introduce livewire Nathan Dyer.
The Southampton substitute made an immediate impact, volleying an innocuous effort on goal, which Jones did well to tip round.
Gregory responded by introducing debutant Smith and Steve Lomas on 62 minutes, with Bircham and Bailey making way.
But it was Southampton who continued to pose the greater threat in the final third, with Dyer seeing his shot blocked by a combination of Jones and Stewart.
Stewart almost put the game to bed at the other end two minutes later, rising high to meet Cook's corner kick.
The Jamaican international made a terrific contact, but the ball sailed a yard or so wide of Davis' left hand post.
Rangers were beginning to enjoy the lion's share of possession as the match reached its final 15 minutes and when Rehman found Smith in a wide position, the highly-rated youngster sent in a splendid centre, which Blackstock fired over from an acute angle.
Rehman was enjoying the freedom of the right flank from his unorthodox full-back position and after beating two men with ease, the former Fulham man shot high and wide from fully 25-yards.
The toot on referee Mr D'Urso's whistle at full time signalled the start of a QPR party in the away end - and they had every right to celebrate, after more than playing their part in an enthralling away day for the R's.
Southampton: Davis, Makin, Pele, Baird (Jones 70), Bale, Skacel, Licka, Viafara, Wright (Dyer 57), Rasiak, Wright-Phillips (Surman 77).
Subs: Miller, Ostlund.
Scorers: Wright 2
Bookings: Licka 90
Sending Offs:
QPR: P Jones, Bignot, Rehman, Stewart, Rose (Kanyuka 21), Rowlands, Bircham (Lomas 62), Bailey (Smith 62), Cook, R Jones, Blackstock.
Subs: Royce, Gallen.
Scorers: Blackstock 35, R Jones 41
Bookings: Rehman 43

- OBSEVER Gregory maintains the Rangers revival
Jamie Jackson at St Mary's - The Observer

Sunday Mirror - SOUTHAMPTON 1-1 QPR Peter White At St Mary's
QPR - Jones 7, Bignot 6, Rehman 7, STEWART 8, Rose (Kanyuka 6), Rowlands 7, Bircham 6 (Lomas 6), Bailey 6 (Smith 6), Cook 6, Jones 7, Blackstock 7.
MANAGER Gregory 8 REFEREE A D'Urso 6
MAN OF THE MATCH - DAMION STEWART Very solid at the heart of Rangers' rearguard
Sunday Mirror

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vital Football QPR Looks at Various QPR Sites

Vital Football QPR Vital Looks At Unofficial QPR Sites

In an unprecedented move, Vital QPR takes a look at several other unofficial R's websites currently out there in cyber space and tries to make sense of it all.

Hoop fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to unofficial websites, but which site best caters for your needs?

It doesn't take a genius to work out that there is a finite number of Rangers fans with internet access, so which site offers you, R fans all round news coverage, message board banter etc.

The following list of sites is by all means not definitive and for those sites not mentioned below may I apologise in advance. One can always add a link and make yourselves known on the Vital message board forum under the above headline.

As a newcomer to the web, I haven't really had the opportunity to digest and absorb what each site represents. So with the help of Vital QPR readers I am trusting those out there to add their comments and explain exactly what each site offers.

The following are in no particular order:

QPR web-blog appears to be run by someone who has QPR blood running through their veins. Just about every news item is covered with loads of links.

QPRNet.com appears to be mainly focused on registered users posting on a sole message board. Several other features are attached.

QPR.org appears to be forum based.

Rivals QPR has the busiest message board by far. The editor, Clive runs a tight ship and writes quality articles. Rivals are due a face lift before the year is out.

QPR - LSA appears to be a message forum.

Independent R's message board. As above.

FootyMad doesn't have an editor. The site looks old and tired and desperate of a facelift.

Vital QPR might be the new kid on the block but as you can see, the site has to tussle for a small cluster of internet fans...Vital Football -QPR

Ian Holloway on His Time at QPR and Other Perspectives

Another review/profile of Ian Holloway's new autobiography.

The Observer - Anger management

A football book launch with a difference took place in Bristol recently. Instead of it being a deadening plug by a reluctant footballer and an embarrassed ghost writer overseen by a PR with blonde highlights, this was a genuine affair.
The star was delighted to be there and thrilled to be among so many good friends. He thanked his mother, 'aka Short One'. 'She takes more tablets than Moses climbing the mountain and I swear I can hear her rattle when she walks, but she's 74, and an absolute star - and she still works at a chemist in Bristol, which is quite handy because she's also their best customer!'

He apologised to his wife, Kim, for leaving her 25 years ago and promised never to do so again. He remembered his dad who died at 'just 59, which is no age at all, is it?' He thanked his ghost for producing a book that 'My wife says is like me without all the bullshit. If David [Clayton, the ghost] had kept that in, it would have been four times longer.'

The book is Ollie: The Autobiography of Ian Holloway (Green Umbrella). Holloway is now manager at Plymouth after a journeyman career as a player. The book is refreshingly honest and pricks the pomposity and pretensions of footballers and those who employ them.

When he arrived as a midfield player at Queens Park Rangers in the 1990-91 season, he found it something of a culture shock after a decade more on than off at Bristol Rovers. 'One of the lads said, "Oh, I can remember the days when I used to buy my suits from Burton's," and I was thinking, "Christ! I've got one at home I got from Asda!' I hadn't progressed as far as Burton's yet.'

After an interview for the manager's job at Millwall in 2006 he recalled: 'If we couldn't agree on the basic issue of how good Barry Hayles was, then I doubted we'd be able to agree on a number of things.'

In 2005, when he was having difficulties with the chaotic Gianni Paladini regime at QPR, never more so than when guns were brandished in the boardroom, he issued the directors with a vote of confidence saying: 'They're inexperienced, but I'll give them time to get it right.' The board 'weren't too impressed'.

A leitmotif of the book is Holloway's anger. As an adolescent he gouged holes in the walls behind the football posters that decorated his room. As a 40-year-old he trashed fruit stalls with supermarket trolleys. Between, he had a right go at Roy Wegerle after he failed to make much of an effort in the first half of a QPR game away to Manchester City.

'How dare you say that to Roy Wegerle?' said QPR captain Alan McDonald.

'Fuck off!' said Holloway.

'Sometimes it's just meant to be, Ollie,' said Wegerle.

Holloway, now 44, was in danger of moving from angry young man to grumpy old man without a moment's pause for relief. 'When I was 41 I had an anger-management feller help me be a better person,' he says as we have a coffee the morning after the launch. 'It was very enlightening. My wife only ever saw the angry side. I didn't want to keep giving her that.' Shortish and slightish, he can appear spiky, but is more curious than combative.

'I could be sitting at home having a meal and I was thinking about what my striker Paul Furlong was doing in training,' he says. 'My anger was such that we could win 10 in a row but if we lost the eleventh I was not a happy person. The feller said to me, "Even Arsene Wenger has lost one this year. Do you think he would moan? You would." He proved to me that I didn't believe in free speech. He proved I was a problem-causer, not solver. And all I needed to do was to talk to myself the way I did to the players because my self-talk had become very negative.

'So now every morning I look in the mirror, which ain't a nice thing to do, and remind myself that the world's a nicer place when you are all right on yourself.'

He seems calm, perhaps because he no longer has to cope with the pressure of managing Rovers. 'It was a great learning curve, but everything was just too important,' he says of his time with the club he supported as a child. 'It taught me how not to do the job.' The chairman who sacked him had queued to have five books signed the evening before. Holloway bears no grudge. 'Geoff Dunford gave me the chance to be a manager. Without him, I might never have got started.'

Now he is at Plymouth, which 'is a pleasure because there is only one club in the area and wherever I go I don't have to look over my shoulder.' He is fully aware of the absurdity that for the past 11 years football writers have been noting down everything he says. 'It's just ridiculous. There are only three outcomes - you win, you lose, you draw - and there is only so much you can say about football, really.

'I don't like it when they call me madcap. I'm not mad and I don't wear a cap.' He is surprised people take so seriously his attempts to break the routine with a little comedy. The best-known example was his explanation for a convincing victory for QPR: 'It's like when you meet a bird who's not the best-looking. You talk, things go well and she gets in a taxi with you, get her back home and lovely jubbly, let's have coffee.'

This caused a predicted furore, which is exactly what he intended because he wanted to cover up the fact that he was having problems with his defender Clarke Carlisle. 'Behind some of my jokes there is a more serious me,' he says. But the jokes keep coming because the reporters expect him to write their copy for them and he, unlike more circumspect managers, cannot help himself.

His style of management is simple. 'I believe all of us can shine and I think we're all good at something and if I have one talent, it's that I think I can spot that shining within people and I can get to it and encourage it and take away some of the worries and concerns so that they can go away and shine.' The film Coach Carter, apparently, exemplifies this.

And it is one with which fans identify. At Plymouth, QPR and Bristol Rovers he has become a local hero. 'I won't tolerate anyone not trying their best,' he says, speaking like a true fan.

However great his commitment, though, football has always come a distant second to family. At QPR, the other players' wives would look around baffled before asking Kim: 'Where's the nanny?'

'I wouldn't want to give responsibility of bringing up the children to someone else,' Holloway says. 'What else is there? We are here to carry on the species and educating our children is the biggest job we will ever do. My wife agrees.'

He may have chosen her, but initially he relied on best mate Gary Penrose - who has been at his side throughout most of his career - to relay the invitation, which Kim initially declined. Finally, Holloway plucked up the courage to speak for himself and they spent their first date watching All Creatures Great and Small on television at her parents' house. Holloway was really nervous and that was before 'old James Herriot soaped up his arm and then, on my life, wham! Right up the cow's arse.

'All of a sudden Kim's younger sister pipes up, "Mum, do cows have a clitoris?" Her mum didn't bat an eyelid. Had I misheard her? Had she asked if cows like liquorice?' Later the 15-year-old Ollie returns home and asks his mum what a clitoris is. He still hasn't found out whether a cow has one.

Kim and he had some bad times. When he was 18, while she cutting his hair, he boldly told her he was leaving her and: 'She shaved it up the back and left a big lump on the top and I looked like a member of Kajagoogoo - she did a right number on me. But good on her because I deserved nothing less.'

When Holloway was struggling at Wimbledon and Brentford in the mid 1980s, Kim developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and had to undergo chemotherapy. 'What's it like dating a baldy bird?' asked the ever-charming Wally Downes, a team-mate at Wimbledon.

To their surprise and delight Kim recovered so well that she gave birth to a son, William. And shortly thereafter identical twins, Chloe and Eve. The twins - and a third daughter, Harriet, born later - are profoundly deaf. 'One of the things I got very wrong was thinking that deafness would mean quietness. It was quite the opposite. They can't hear a sound so they make the most awful noise.'

And nothing was funnier than an Ollie tantrum. If you cannot hear someone, watching them losing their temper is a hoot. They would wind him up and then settle back to enjoy the show.

The current bane of his life is the Bosman ruling and its unintended consequence that, with freedom of movement after the age of 24, players are being offered 'five- or six-year deals and we are creating a monster. The challenge of being a human being is playing a game and then trying to play it better. If you are promised a good salary for a long time it is easy to let standards slip.

'We are encouraging players to be disloyal. It's not freedom of contract it's bloody stealing. It's only a loophole. Why not close it down?

'We have a right and duty to bring these young fellows up. I'm very concerned about them not being good human beings. I don't want to watch kids throwing stones at cop cars, for Christ's sake.'

Holloway's wife has also done some writing. 'She's written a children's book about a deaf girl, but someone said it was too similar to JK Rowling. Now she's started an adult-humour one, a bit like Shirley Valentine, called The Ring, The Bling and The Rabbit.' It is about two sisters - one married to a football manager, the other working in a sex shop, which is a promising premise.

Holloway, somewhat surprisingly, ends his book with: 'Now, as the great Robert Shaw once said when portraying Quint in Jaws, "Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies."' Let's hope Kim doesn't end hers with 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...' The Observer

Where Are They Now: - Ugo Ukah?

Ugo Ukah - also known as Ukah Ugochukwu - is now with the Polish Club, Widzew Lodz joining them from
the Italian club, Giulianova Calcio. [There are various stories re Ukah in Poland, but they're mostly in Polish.] About the club Widzew Lodz See Also Ukah's career Stats
[From a match report
"Ugochukwu Ukah, the Nigerian-Italian who is itching to play for the Super Eagles, had another good game for his Polish club last weekend. The central defender hit a header against the cross bar as his club, Widzew Lodz, lost 1-3 at home to Wisla Krakow - Report

About 18 months ago, QPR announced that Ugo Ukah (Ukah Ugochukwu) had left QPR to join the Italian club Nourese Calcio. And that was that. The pre-season came; Squad numbers were handed out...Press pre-season previews listed Ukah as one of the players having been released by QPR.
Then suddenly, one day in a Reserve match, the name Ukah was the name of one the QPR Reserve players...And it belatedly came out that the Ukah transfer had fallen through and he'd been back at QPR. It was just never announced by the club.
In January 2007, he was released a second time and joined the Italian Club

May 22nd 2006: QPR Announcement on its Official Site:
The Club can confirm that Ugo Ukah has today joined Italian outfit Nourese Calcio on a free transfer.
Ukah, who made just two appearances for the R's, has signed a three year contract with the Serie C2 side.
Chairman Gianni Paladini confirmed the news to qpr.co.uk: "We've negotiated a fifty per-cent sell-on clause and we wish him all the best.''
The Nigerian defender, who joined the club in the summer of 2005, figured in back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Coventry City and Northampton Town in August.
'.....Stay tuned for qpr.co.uk for all the breaking news! QPR

Defender Ugo Ukah has joined Italian side Nourese Calcio after failing to make an impact at QPR. Nigerian-born Ukah, lured to Loftus Road last summer, has penned a three-year deal with the Serie C2 side after making just two appearances for Rangers.
SPorting Life

QPR Official Site January 2007- Ukah Leaves -QPR have terminated defender Ugo Ukah's contract with immediate effect.
The 22 year-old - who made just two appearances in all competitions since signing for the R's in the summer of 2005 - follows Egutu Oliseh and Ian Evatt out of the Loftus Road exit door." QPR

Ugo Ukah's QPR Timeline

August 2005, Ukah Plays for QPR on trial in Ibiza Tournament

July 20, 2005 - Ukah Signs for QPR on a free, apparently from the Italian club, Pro Vasta

January 2006: Holloway announces Ukah leaving

April 2006: Ukah one of the players Waddock announces is being released.

May 2006: QPR Announce Ukah's has gone to Italy.

November 2006: Ukah's name suddenly pops up as playing for QPR Reserves

November 25, 2006 - Ukah's name listed on the back of the QPR Programme, with the #40 shirt. (Official Site list of players does NOT currently list Ukah - Playing Squad)

BBC July 20, 2005 - QPR swoop for Nigerian defender
QPR have signed Nigerian defender Ugo Ukah on a three-year contract following a successful trial. Ukah, 21, played in Rangers' recent victory in the pre-season Copa de Ibiza tournament, and impressed boss Ian Holloway enough to earn a deal.
"Every day in training I give my all to improve, and Ian Holloway seems to like that," Ukah told the club's website. "I enjoyed my time in Ibiza, and to play in the final against Coventry there was amazing." BBC

QPR Official Site 2005-2006 Season

Name: Ugo Ukah
Nationality: Nigerian
Date of Birth: 18/01/1984
Height: 6' 0" (183cm)
Weight: 12st 11lbs (81.26kg)
Previous Clubs: QPR
QPR completed the signing of Ugo Ukah on a three year deal after a successful trial with the club.
Despite a series of promising outings for the Reserves, Ukah - who can play in the centre of defence or at right back - has failed to make the breakthrough to first team level and was placed on the transfer list by Gary Waddock in April 2006.

BBC - Janaury 4, 2006 Ukah going as Holloway wields axe
An attempted clear-out is imminent at Loftus Road
Defender Ugo Ukah has been told he can leave Queens Park Rangers.
The Nigerian has made just two first-team appearances since being brought to the club by chairman Gianni Paladini last summer.
Manager Ian Holloway is set to tell at least four other players they are not in his plans and should move on.
"Some lads haven't done it for me. I've told Ugo that he can go and I'll be telling others the same. We need to move forward," said Holloway.
"I want to add to the squad. If I can't buy anyone I'll at least look to bring people in on loan." BBC

April 28, 2006 - QPR Official Site Players Released
Today, following talks with Gary Waddock, several players have been released from Queens Park Rangers.
Those who still have contracts outstanding will be placed on the transfer list and those who have come to the end of their deals will be released.
Georges Santos, Richard Langley, Sammy Youssouf, Marcin Kus, Ryan Johnson and Luke Townsend will not be offered new deals by the club.
Stefan Moore, Tommy Doherty, Ian Evatt, Ugo Ukah, Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas, Matthew Hislop and Marc Bircham will all be placed on the transfer list....
Official Site

July 21, 2005 Football: QPR contract for Ukah after trial
Independent, The (London), Jul 21, 2005
The Nigerian defender Ugo Ukah has signed a three-year deal with Queen's Park Rangers following a trial spell. The 21-year-old, who played for Italian club Reggina last season, was involved in Rangers' victory in the Copa de Ibiza, and impressed the manager Ian Holloway enough to be given a contract. 'Every day in training I give my all to improve, and Ian Holloway seems to like that,' Ukah said.

SkySports Olly wants assurances
By Alex Dunn - Created on 14 Sep 2005

Queens Park Rangers boss Ian Holloway is to seek assurances from the club's hierarchy before putting pen-to-paper on a new five-year deal....
The popular chief is unhappy that some of the players brought into the club in the summer were not those hand picked by himself..."In the summer there were three players (believed to be Mauro Milanese, Ugo Ukah and Marc Nygaard) signed who I don't know much about - and that can't be right. "I will back my judgement (of players) all day long, and I don't need people telling me what to do.... Sky

November/ 2005 QPR Board Q&A with Paladini
Q: What is the truth behind the stories that you signed players over the head of Holloway?
A:My background is an agent and I know many players. We couldn't afford many players in England so we looked abroad. I brought over Milanese, Nygaard and Ukah. Ian Holloway was able to look at them before they were signed. Q&A

Dave's Queens Park Rangers Site- 32. Ugo Ukah
"... The deal came about after Ukah's previous club Reggina ran into financial problems in Italy. Ukah was ironically sharing a room with Dan Shittu on a Nigerian tour of London when he got the call from Gianni Paladini to join QPR on trial, which he gratefully accepted. Paladini had become aware of the 21 year old after he impressed in an under 21 tournament in Italy and Rangers beat off competition from several Italian clubs including Parma to get their man..."
- Dave's Queens Park Rangers

Also: QPR Report November 2006 "The Puzzling Return to QPR of Ugo Ukah"Ugo Ukah Past

Ex-QPR FA Cup Final Replay Sub Celebrates Birthday

Sharing a birthday with former QPR Chairman, Bill Power: Former QPR Winger, Steve Burke Turns 47 - Born September 29, 1960.
Burke joined QPR in September 1979, signed by Tommy Docherty from Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest for 150,000 pounds, (before he made his League debut).
In his first season, Burke was a regular in the QPR team. But once Docherty left, under Venables and his successors, Burke made few appearances and went out on loan a couple of times. Burke was hower QPR's (one) substitute in the FA Cup Final replay "travesty" against Spurs and came on.
In September 1986, Burke joined Doncaster on a free transfer. Burke's Playing Career

Former QPR Chairman Celebrates


Former QPR Chairman Bill Power ("BP") Turns 54: Born September 29, 1953.
Power a life long QPR supporter, joined the QPR Board in 2003. In the summer of 2004, Power became Chairman when Blackburn, Jones and Davies left the club. A year later, in August 2005, Power was replaced in a "boardroom coup" by current QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini. Still remains "involved with/extremely committed to" QPR!

BBC - July 9, 2003 - Cash boost for QPR
Queens Park Rangers fan Bill Power has joined the Loftus Road board after pumping £200,000 into the club.
Power becomes the third supporter to be offered a directorship after injecting cash into QPR, following Harold Winton and Kevin McGrath.
"It's a dream come true to join the board and I'm really pleased," Power told BBC Sport.
"I'm from White City and have supported Rangers all my life. To be able to help QPR in this way means a lot to me.
"I haven't been part of any of the bids to take over the club and I don't have any agenda other than wanting to help the club as best I can."

BBC - June 24, 2004
QPR chief stands down - Nick Blackburn has resigned as Queens Park Rangers chairman.
His future has been in doubt since the recent resignation of chief executive David Davies.
Blackburn was former Rangers owner Chris Wright's deputy before taking over as chairman when Wright quit the club in 2001.
Davies, Blackburn and company chairman Ross Jones are leaving as part of a shake-up at Loftus Road following disagreements at board level.
.....QPR director Bill Power will replace Blackburn, with fellow director Kevin McGrath appointed acting plc chairman.
Justin Pieris of the QPR supporters' trust, QPR 1st, welcomed news of Blackburn's departure.... BBC

Profile of Bill Power from about three years ago:

Irish Abroad Power behind QPR - By Ian McCullough

It has often been said, usually in dreamy tones, by many a football supporter, that they would give money to the club they love and support when they win the lottery.

London Irishman Bill Power is someone who has fulfilled the first part of that dream although the money he has invested in Queens Park Rangers is his very own hard-earned cash and not the type made by buying a lucky dip ticket from the local supermarket.

While London football is now dominated by the nouveau-riche Chelsea courtesy of the billions of Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich and the charismatic, free-flowing on their day, but enigmatic Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, there was a time when QPR were the talk of the capital.

At a time when Irish emigration to London was rife during the late 1960s and through to the ’70s, many settled in west London areas such as Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensal Rise and Greenford and the team whose ground sits just off the Uxbridge Road became the focal point for a many of the new settlers in the capital and their offspring.

Power, the son of Wexford parents and an Irish passport holder, was one of the many who were hooked by players such as Rodney Marsh, Les Allen and Mark Lazarus lighting up the pitch that the youngster could see from his bedroom window overlooking Loftus Road from the White City Estate adjacent to the ground.

Forty years on and with memories of Marsh, Stan Bowles, Don Givens, Gerry Francis, Les Ferdinand et al, just that, Power stepped in to help out the club that had been such a huge part of his life.

Less than 10 years after finishing as top London club in the Premiership, Rangers were on the brink of going out of business as they slipped into the third tier of English football for the first time in 40 years.

Years of fecklessness both on and off the pitch had taken the club into administration and the only way it was able to get itself out of the parlous situation was by taking out an ill-advised £10million loan with a little-known Panamanian company ABC Loans.

The repayments were costing the club £1m-a-year in interest alone and after failure to reach the old First Division after a play-off final defeat by Cardiff, the club spent the whole of last season on the verge of slipping back into administration despite an average gate of 16,000 and record season-ticket sales.

Various parties had expressed an interest in putting money into the club, but to no fruition. The reluctance of former chairman Chris Wright to sell his shares to interested parties despite having declared he was no longer interested in the club proved a stumbling block and QPR needed investment ASAP.

Step forward Power, a season-ticket holder of over 20 years and an electrician who made his money by setting up [a] Datasat, a Satellite communication company.

Among their clients are governmental departments from numerous countries, including Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Buckinghamshire-based company are now among the world leaders in their field.

“It was a complete stroke of luck that I got into the business,” he admitted. “I was working as an electrician and I had just moved into a new house and a new family moved in next door and Phil Emmel, who is now my business partner, asked me if I could have a look at some circuit plans for a job he was about to embark on.

“He then asked me to help him out on a few jobs abroad and shortly after we set up the business and were very fortunate just getting in at the right time and we have done well to get where are, thanks to some hard work.”

While business was booming for Bill, the team he followed was not. A family called the Wintons had bought two players for the cash-strapped club so Bill made a phone call to QPR’s former chief executive to offer some further help and ask about the possibility of purchasing another player.

He explained: “Apart from my family, QPR have been the biggest part of my life and something I have dedicated a great deal of my time and support to.

“So I picked up the phone and couldn’t believe it when I was put straight through to chief executive David Davies.

“I made an initial investment of £200,000 which was accepted and was invited to sit in on a couple of board meetings, but I realised shortly after that there were a few things that didn’t make sense.

“There were some steps being taken that were costing us more money than was being brought in, like planning to install a whole new computer network with new equipment for staff, and bringing in even more personnel to an already oversized staff.”

In addition to Power an Italian former football agent Gianni Paladini had also become a shareholder along with another London Irishman Kevin McGrath — a senior partner in an asset management company in the City.

With the club losing money hand over fist, a number of changes had to be made with the first being at the top where senior staff were ousted followed by a number of redundancies.

“Basically I had put my money into the club which was gratefully received but I was being ignored and decisions were being made without my knowledge,” said Bill.

With the new board in place, Power was asked to become chairman of the club.

“It was a great honour to be asked to be chairman and something myself and my family are very proud of but not something I ever envisaged or was aspiring for when I made that phone call last year.”

So with the club’s long-term future looking far rosier than 12 months ago after a tax bill was paid off in the summer and investment being made in players and money available to manager Ian Holloway to spend, optimism is high in W12 after a respectable return to the Coca-Cola Championship.

“I am very confident that we will be back in the Premiership within three years. We have a very long way to go at the moment but we are making the right progress,” he said.

“The loan is still a major millstone around our necks and we looking to get a plan agreed to re-structure the payments as at the minute and hopefully that will be resolved.

“We are also very close to securing a site for a new training ground. This will not come out of club funds and will be a gift to the club and a sign of our intentions.

“Myself, Kevin and Gianni are not in the Abramovich mould, none of us have money to chuck away, but we all believe in what we are doing and, hopefully, that will see us back where we feel we belong.” Irish Abroard

Previewing QPR Vs WBA

UPDATED 11:00 am

WBA's Squad Profiles and Player Statistics and WBA Results

Daily Mail - Sunday September 30

West Brom (3) v QPR (23)
Leon Barnett will return at the heart of the West Brom defence while manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful left-back Paul Robinson recovers from an ankle knock. Fellow defenders Neil Clement (knee) and Bostjan Cesar (back) remain sidelined.
QPR midfielder Mikele Leigertwood is suspended but midfielder Gareth Ainsworth is likely to be fit after ankle trouble. Captain Adam Bolder and striker Daniel Nardiello, both of whom picked up knocks in the game, should also be ready but Marc Nygaard (calf) and Michael Mancienne (back) are doubtful, while long-term injury victims Simon Walton (broken leg) and Pat Kanyuka (thigh) are still some way from a return.
Last season: QPR 1 West Brom 2, West Brom 3 QPR 3
Last five league matches: West Brom L W W D W; QPR L L D L D
Top scorers: Kevin Phillips & Ishmael Miller (West Brom) 4; Dexter Blackstock, Mikele Leigertwood, Damion Stewart, Stefan Moore & Martin Rowlands (QPR) 1,
Match odds: H 4-9 A 11-2 D 13-5
Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex) Mail

The Times - Sunday West Brom v QPR 1.15pm Neil Clement and Bostjan Cesar are again ruled out by West Brom because of injuries, but Paul Robinson is expected to recover from an ankle strain. Mikele Leigertwood is suspended, but QPR expect Adam Bolder, Daniel Nardiello and Gareth Ainsworth to shake off injuries. There are doubts, though, over Marc Nygaard and Michael Mancienne. The Times

Chris Kamara - Sky Sports - Testing times
We're six weeks into the new season, and Queens Park Rangers are the only team in England still without a win.
It's been a tough start to the campaign for different reasons - and the arrival of Flavio Briatore and co. on the horizon has only increased speculation about John Gregory's position.
I had a good chat with the Rangers manager last weekend when I was down there to cover their game against Watford, and he was as relaxed as I've seen him in years. But he's no fool.
Gregs says he has assurances from the board that they are happy with what he's doing - and they played well against the Championship leaders - but he knows if they go to West Brom on Sunday and lose the speculation will only grow.
He'll also have seen Gianluca Vialli sitting in the stands at Loftus Road - a proper manager who's looking to get back into the game. Vialli is also Italian, like the new owners, and it's worth seeing things from their point of view.
Football is a results business, and if Gregs is getting results week-in and week-out, then I'm sure they won't have a problem with him.
But if he isn't, then they might start to think: 'we've put a lot of money into this club, we'll bring in our own man who can raise the profile of this football club and enhance our investment.'
West Brom v QPR Live on Sky Sports 1pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 1
Having said that, John and Mick Harford still firmly believe they are so close to turning things around, and it's hard to put your finger on just why they have started so badly. After the way they finished last season, with four wins from their last seven games, I expected them to start well.
Perhaps their strikers are partly to blame - I have to say I was disappointed with Dexter Blackstock's performance against Watford, and the team only has four goals from six games.
Maybe, too, they are missing Lee Cook more than I thought they would. Fulham's offer for the winger was just too good to turn down and they did a bit in the market with the proceeds, but it just hasn't happened for the new boys yet.
Then there's the Ray Jones tragedy. It's difficult to overstate what a loss that was - as a footballer often you spend more time with your team-mates than your family, and losing Ray was like losing one of their own.
He was also a hugely talented kid, but I know Gregs and he would never ever put the team's form down to the loss of Ray.
What is certain is that they need a win, and West Brom is not the ideal place to go when you are struggling. Despite the Carling Cup defeat to Cardiff, The Hawthorns has become a bit of a fortress for Tony Mowbray's side.
Fortress or not, though, failure to win could leave John Gregory in trouble. SkySports

WBA Official Site Boss: Don't underestimate QPR

TONY Mowbray has urged his players not to underestimate a QPR side looking to lose the unwanted tag of being the only team in all four English divisions to have not won a game yet this season.
The two clubs meet at The Hawthorns on Sunday (ko 1.15pm) with Rangers currently lying second from bottom in the Championship on three points but fresh from a draw against league leaders Watford at the weekend.
And the Baggies boss insists his third-placed men will have to be on their mettle if they are to preserve their perfect home league record against John Gregory's outfit.
"QPR are starting to turn the corner a little bit," said Mowbray.
"They got a 1-1 draw with Watford, who are top of the league at the moment.
"They also recently got a very respectable 1-1 draw at Leicester, who had a new manager in charge.
"They're fighting tooth and nail to get that first win and get up and running so we'll have to be very wary of them.
"You've got to work very hard and we need to go out there on Sunday and be competitive.
"They will be dangerous but we've got to hope our qualities will allow us to impose our style on the game and put them on the back foot.
"They will be hard to beat and will have some threats up front."
Sunday's Hawthorns clash will be quickly followed by the visit of Stoke three days later (ko 7.45pm) but Mowbray has warned his troops to take it one game at a time.
"We're all looking forward to Sunday," Mowbray added.
"All the players are desperate to put things right after Tuesday's cup defeat.
"We're going okay in the league at the moment and it's important we keep pushing on.
"We've got a great opportunity with two home games coming up.
"The plan is to get the right result in the first one and then we'll think about Wednesday night." WBA

The R's lock horns with the Baggies in front of the live Sky Sports cameras for a lunchtime kick-off in the Midlands on Sunday.
After two impressive draws on the road so far this season, John Gregory's men will be champing at the bit to notch up their first away win of the campaign, but it won't come easy against the buoyant Baggies.
Tony Mowbray's men currently occupy third spot in the Championship table, with 13 points from their opening seven league fixtures.
Their impressive start is due in part to the fantastic goalscoring prowess of evergreen front-man Kevin Phillips, but it's his team-mate, loanee Ishmael Miller, who is creating the real headlines at The Hawthorns.
Miller, who is on loan at West Brom from Manchester City, has made a devastating impact since his arrival - and it appears Phillips is already a huge fan.
"Ishmael's got plenty of potential and I think he's already shown he's got everything to his game," said Phillips after the recent 4-0 rout of Ipswich Town, in which Miller bagged the opening goal.
"The one thing he needs to work on is his fitness, and he knows that. That will come the more he plays, but I think with his goal he showed strength, pace and to cap it off, the finish was fantastic. He scored a similar goal on his debut against Preston. I'm sure he could go all the way."
Following hot on the heels of that victory against the Tractor Boys, Albion came within a matter of seconds of beating fellow front-runners Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Bradley Orr struck late on to rescue a point for Gary Johnson's side, but the Baggies were soon back to winning ways, with a 3-2 victory in a five goal thriller against newly-promoted Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
.... Yet despite that victory, West Brom bowed out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday evening, succumbing to a heavy 4-2 defeat at home to Cardiff City. . QPR

Friday, September 28, 2007

QPR Snippets: Marking Two Years of Chairman Paladini....QPR Birthday...Ben Sahar on Returning to Chelsea and Avram Grant

Chairman Gianni Paladini Completes His Second Year as Officially QPR Chairman
Today, September 28, marks the second year anniversary since Gianni Paladini officially became Chairman of Queens Park Rangers Football Club. (Subsequently, Antonio Caliendo became Chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd.) The official assumption of the Chairmanship came just over a month after the August 24th Board meeting which saw then-Chairman Bill Power voted out of the Chairmanship

QPR OFFICIAL SITE - 28 September 2005 Statement GIANNI PALADINI
Gianni Paladini has been appointed Chairman of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and QPR Holdings Ltd.
Interim Chairman Gualtiero Trucco has stepped down and the Board of Directors have unanimously chosen Paladini to take on the role on a full-time basis.
The changes were agreed at a Loftus Road Board Meeting on Wednesday afternoon and Paladini is delighted by the honour of this 'challenging but exciting' role.
"The Monaco investors have recommended that I be appointed Chairman and I am deeply honoured that the Directors have allowed me this opportunity.
"I hope now that after a period of instability we can all look forward to the brightest of futures at Loftus Road.
"We have a wonderful manager, an exciting and improving squad and a real opportunity to push for a place in the play-offs and even the Premiership.
"I believe these are wonderful times to be a QPR supporter and I just want to play whatever part I can in bringing both success and stability to this Club.
"I fully appreciate that supporters will have been a little bewildered by recent events and I wish that so much of what has happened could have happened differently.
"But I believe we now have the right people in place, both on the pitch and behind the scenes, to take this club forward.
"I would like to thank every single fan for their continued, passionate support for QPR and I would also like to pay tribute to all the staff here.
"Life hasn't been particularly easy for them recently either but every single one continues to work as hard as ever for the benefit of this club.
"It has never been clearer to me that, both in the stands and behind the scenes, this is a wonderful place full of very special people." QPR

[Also: Alex Wade, The Times, September 30, 2005 - Profile of/Interview with Paladini, a couple of days after Paladini's official appointment as Chairman. Alex Wade, The Time, "Chairman sees himself as agent for QPR revival"

Nine Years Ago Today, Ray Harford resigned as QPR Manager

The Independent - September 29,1998 - by Alan Nixon - Harford resigns as QPR manager
Ray Harford yesterday resigned as manager of troubled Queen's Park Rangers and brought his unhappy reign to an end within in a year.
Harford left after thinking over his future at the weekend following a humbling 4-1 defeat at Oxford United.
Coach at Blackburn Rovers when they won the title, Harford has had considerable problems at Rangers where he feels that he has been denied transfer funds. The signing of Vinnie Jones was made over his head and lately the fans have turned against the manager and his struggling team. A compensation figure has yet to be agreed, but rather than wait to haggle Harford has decided to leave.
Harford's chance of being given an escape route to Newcastle United disappeared when Kenny Dalglish was sacked a month ago.
Harford, who left West Bromwich Albion in the middle of last season to join the QPR, has achieved only one victory with the Loftus Road side in nine games this season. The club, second from bottom in the First Division, have appointed Iain Dowie, the Northern Ireland international striker, as caretaker manager. A statement from the club said: "Ray felt at this difficult time it was in the club's best interests he should step down." The Independent

[Ian Dowie - rather than Vinnie Jones - took over as caretaker manager. Two weeks later, Gerry Francis was appointed QPR manager. Ray Harford went on to coach elsewhere, before sadly, dying, only in his later fifties, in August, 2003. See also Ray Harford Profile/Wikipedia

Stefan Moore Turns 24: Born September 28, 1983.
Forward signed from Aston Villa at the beginning of last season. Spent some time last season on loan at Port Vale. Career See Also Wikipedia/Stefan Moore

BEN SAHAR's PERSPECTIVE - Jewish Chronicle on Chelsea's Appointment of Avram Grant
"....Chelsea’s Israeli teenage striker Ben Sahar, on loan at QPR, told JC Sport: “Avram’s appointment is great for Israeli football. He is managing one of the biggest clubs in the world and I wish him all the best. I return to the club in two months and want to get in on merit, not because I know him. I want to play for Chelsea whoever the manager is.” Jewish Chronicle

Ian Holloway on Gerry Francis as Manager...Playing for QPR...and Managing

Independent - Ian Holloway: 'Humans fascinate me. We're attention-seekers'
Brian Viner Interviews: Plymouth's manager remains ambitious to guide a team into the top flight, but has known enough family heartache to recognise that football is not quite a matter of life and death

Holloway says that the influence of Gerry Francis brought the best out of him as a player... The Plymouth Argyle manager, Ian Holloway, likes to talk about Sir Alex Ferguson. Holloway's Manchester United counterpart crops up several times, in different contexts, during our conversation.

On the subject of his professional ambition, for example, Holloway says, in his broad Bristolian accent: "I'm 44 now, and I'm targeting 50 as the age to retire. My dad died at 59, never got to retirement age, and thought he was a failure because we lived in a council house. What do I want from life? I want to make sure I've educated the kids the best I can. I want to spend time with my wife, a wonderful person having an awful time at the moment; her mum's dying in front of her eyes. I don't want it to say on my headstone, 'I wish I'd spent more time at home'. I admire and respect Fergie, and I've read his book. He says his sons got to the age of 16 and he hadn't really been there for them, but then he thinks, 'Ah well, I'm the manager of Manchester United'. Well, I think, 'You've missed out, my old friend'."

Whether Fergie will in turn read Holloway's autobiography, Ollie, is doubtful, but if not he will miss out there too, for it is a compelling chronicle of life's challenges: his wife Kim has battled cancer, diagnosed while they were still courting ("what's it like dating a baldy bird?" was the sensitive enquiry from one of his Wimbledon team-mates during Kim's chemotherapy), and of their four children, a boy and three girls, all three daughters were born profoundly deaf.

These challenges have improved him as a football man, he believes, and indeed Argyle have had a solid start to the Championship season, which on the day I meet him has doubtless contributed to the queue snaking out of the door at Waterstone's bookshop in Plymouth city centre. Holloway is due to sign copies of Ollie from 12.30 to 2pm, and then sit down with me, but by 3pm the punters are still queuing into the street, thanks not least to his insistence on writing a short essay in every book, and his willingness to chat and pose for photographs.

He is proud of being a "people person", and considers these skills paramount, in football as in life. "Man-management issues are far more important than team selection will ever be," he says. "You can do your coaching badges, get all the qualifications, but you need certain human values to be a good manager. Human beings fascinate me. We're all attention-seekers in one way or another. I've got two people [his twin daughters Chloe and Eve] from the same egg but totally different. The good one who used to be good sees the bad one being good so she starts to be bad. I see that with my players, too. I'd love to do a psychology course."

Holloway's insight into the human condition gained a depth he could have done without in the summer of 2006, three weeks after he joined Argyle. On a pre-season tour to Austria, on the coach back to the hotel with most of the team cock-a-hoop following a narrow 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid, he encouraged a singing competition between the players. Most of them joined in enthusiastically, but one of the younger players seemed detached.

"I could see he was a bit wary of me, this young fella. My wife had cancer, you see, and every time she coughed or sneezed there'd be this worry behind her eyes. I know when people have something going on behind their eyes, and I could sense it with this lad."

At the hotel, one of his senior players poked fun at the same lad, suggesting that he should sing a solo, and doing an impression of what it might sound like. The other players started laughing. That's when the lad stood up, grabbed hold of a water jug, and smashed it over the head of the man he considered his prime tormentor.

The incident received negligible media attention, even though the victim could easily have been killed. "He had to have his ear sewn back on, and it just missed the vein. An inch either side and he would be gone. Of course, what it's done to him mentally, who knows? He's a bull of a man, but because he flinched, he feels like a coward." The scene remains all too vivid in Holloway's mind. "I heard this terrible scrape, which was the lad pushing his chair back violently. Then he stood up, wrapped his hand round the jug, walked over and smash! Afterwards he sat there shaking, tears rolling down his face. The other players were in a state of shock. The younger ones were crying. Terrified, they were."

He has included an account of the episode in his book, without naming the players involved. He asks me not to do so, either, and later I get a fretful phone call from his publishers, saying that Holloway is worried I will hang the entire interview on that one incident. I assure him that I won't. Nonetheless, it's a heck of a story. "I couldn't not write about it," says Holloway, in the Waterstone's stock room. "Seeing what one human being can do to another..." He tails off, fleetingly lost for words, which for him is a rare turn of events. I ask what happened to the assailant. "I told him I wouldn't sack him, that he had a problem and I wanted to get him fixed first. But he wouldn't admit he had a problem. Eventually he went to another club on a free transfer. It was easily the most awkward thing I've ever had to deal with as a manager."

Does he, changing the subject, consider himself a better manager than he was a player? "I hope so. I hope I get a chance to manage at the highest level, because I got there as a player [with Queen's Park Rangers, in a career that took him from Bristol Rovers back to Bristol Rovers, via Wimbledon, Brentford, Bristol Rovers again and QPR] even though I had limitations. I was a fetcher-and-carrier, but it was not until I met Gerry Francis that I learnt how to use what I was best at, my athleticism and work rate, and at Rovers I used to watch Match of The Day every Saturday night with a lot of anger, because I felt I could do all that [First Division] stuff. Then Gerry left Rovers for QPR and came in for me, which was like a dream come true. He said, 'I don't know if you're good enough to play but you're an infectious little git, I want you to rub off on them in training'."

Holloway did play for QPR, never more memorably than at Old Trafford on New Year's Day 1992. It was the first time he'd played against Manchester United, and it was live on television. "I couldn't get off the toilet beforehand," he recalls. "Gerry was giving his team talk and I was going, 'It's OK, Gerry, I can hear you!'" Astoundingly, QPR won 4-1. "That," Holloway says, "was as good as it gets".

Francis, he believes, represents a loss to the English game. "He had children very late, he'd earned enough, but he would've, could've, achieved so much as a manager. He had those human values. As Rovers manager he'd rung me up [in 1987] when I was at Brentford and said, 'Why don't you come back?' I said, 'With the greatest respect, I think that would be a backward move'. He said, 'Well, I saw you today and you were crap. I can make you play better. And not only that, but your father's not very well. If you come back to Bristol you might have some extra time with him.' You could always tell Gerry cared."

But he was uncompromising, too. Later, at QPR, Francis gave him the job of man-marking Peter Beardsley in a match against Liverpool. "Gerry said, 'He scored two for England last week, but if he scores today I'll nail you'. That was me back in the toilet again, shaking. But I went out and got man of the match. We all have to conquer our fears. And by then my family life had made me a better player. I'd been so intense. I'd go to bed at 8.30pm on a Friday and play the next day's game in my mind over and over again. Then we had a son, then the twins, and one or other of them was awake every hour through the night. I played my best football after that because I didn't have time to worry about the game.

"It was the deafness that changed everything, having to learn another language to teach our children. That incident in Austria, I wouldn't have been able to handle it before. I would have been too judgemental. The deafness made me a more rounded person, and taught me to be a better communicator."

His communication skills are celebrated in a small book called The Tao of Ian Holloway. "Every dog has its day and today is woof day," he said after guiding QPR to promotion in 2004, following a win at Sheffield Wednesday. It is easy to see why as a manager he has won the hearts of so many fans, first at Rovers, then at QPR, and now at Plymouth, where in celebration of the club's first away win of his tenure – 3-2 at Sunderland last August – he offered to buy a drink for each of the 700 loyalists who made the trip.

Leafing through The Tao of Ian Holloway – "we're on the crest of a slump" is another classic – it occurs to me that the Premier League, with Jose Mourinho departed, could do with Holloway's homilies. He would love that, he says. "Obviously, I've got to be realistic. I don't expect to be poached by Liverpool. But I would love to take a team into the Premiership, and it guts me that I didn't do it at Bristol Rovers, where I was too green, or at QPR, where the opportunity was taken away from me [after he fell out with the board]. That's what I'm aiming for here."

Does it satisfy him to look down on QPR, struggling at the foot of the Championship? "No, because unless it's after 46 games, it doesn't matter. And we have some rebuilding to do here, which isn't easy, because the game's gone crazy. I've never known such a change from one season to the next in terms of prices, although I've never really had money, I've never been able to buy someone else's best player without going three divisions down and polishing a lad up. I've never been able to get a shiny jewel out of someone's shop, but I've had a few taken from me, and I'm getting fed up with that."

At the same time, and hard as his competitive heart thumps, he insists that he wants to work to live, not live to work. And his daughters are there as a reproach when he gets the balance wrong. "They sign away and I don't have a clue what they're saying. I used to be on a level with them, but I'm off doing other things all the time, and now they sign so fast that I haven't got a clue. My youngest is at home now, and when I get home tonight she probably won't even bother to speak to me, because her mum's away. Sometimes they sign through mum to stupid, thick dad."

Holloway smiles, safe in the knowledge that he is anything but.

'Ollie: The Autobiography of Ian Holloway' (Green Umbrella Publishing, £16.99)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ex-Juventus Antonio Giraudo at Loftus Road

Daily Mail - Juv got a new fan at QPR
Disgraced football official Antonio Giraudo was spotted alongside Queens Park Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini in the directors' box during the 1-1 draw with Watford.
The former Juventus chief executive has been a regular visitor to Loftus Road this season and was at one stage linked with Flavio Briatore's takeover consortium. He was not, however, named on Briatore's list of new directors due to take control after his £14million deal is finalised.
Giraudo is serving a five-year ban from football in Italy following the Serie A match-fixing scandal.
Last year, he told prosecutors: "All kinds of things go on in football. People give Rolexes to referees, people fix the accounts. What I'm saying is that this is an environment in which you have to protect yourself." Daily Mail

Recent Past stories posted on QPR Report which mentioned Antonio Giraudo re QPR

The Guardian August 25, 2007 Briatore says he and his secret friends are one of many suitors of QPR - Richard Williams
"...Flavio Briatore, the flamboyant boss of the Renault formula one team, spoke yesterday for the first time about his plan to take over Queen's Park Rangers, and admitted that has seen the club's Loftus Road stadium only from the air, en route by helicopter from his Chelsea home to his team's Oxfordshire headquarters.
"We are talking but nothing formal has been done....
Last week the board of QPR Holdings Ltd resigned en bloc in order to make way for new investors, who will need to put around £25m into a club which avoided going into administration six years ago only thanks to a loan of £10m from a company registered in Panama. QPR's debts are currently said to stand at around twice that figure.
Briatore refused to identify the "friends" involved. Bernie Ecclestone, with whom he enjoys a close relationship in formula one but who has previously been linked with a bid to buy Arsenal, yesterday declined to confirm that he was among those behind the QPR offer. Neither, according to Briatore, do they include Antonio Giraudo, the disgraced former chief executive of Juventus, who is now believed to live in London. Briatore said that he had met Gianni Paladini, the club's chairman, only once...." Guardian

Friday, August 24, 2007 - Daily Mail - Sports Agenda: Briatore and his racy QPR suitors
The 'bunch of friends' with whom Formula One boss Flavio Briatore is exploring the possibilities of buying Championship club Queens Park Rangers should be of some concern to the Football League.
Briatore, who confirmed his currently informal interest in QPR yesterday before the Turkish Grand Prix, has some controversial associates involved with him in the project.
These include former Juventus chief executive Antonio Giraudo, banned from football in Italy for five years following the match-fixing scandal with the recommendation from Italian football's governing body that it should be a lifetime penalty.
Other members of the Briatore consortium are father and son team of Arrigo and Giuseppe Cipriani, who own a chain of restaurants in Europe and the US, including the London Mayfair flagship in which Briatore is an investor.
Briatore and his racy QPR suitors
The two restaurateurs pleaded guilty last month in Manhattan Supreme Court to evading 10 million dollars of New York taxes after submitting fraudulent tax returns in 2003 and 2004.
Briatore compared his passive investment in the Ciprianis' London restaurant to what would be his behind-the-scenes style at QPR.
He said: 'I occasionally go there to eat, but I don't go in the kitchen to cook the food. And with QPR, I will occasionally go to a match. Nothing more.'
A Football League spokesman said: 'Any new directors will have to comply with our fit-andproper person regulations.' Mail

Sunday, August 12, 2007 - Channel 4 - Ex-Juve chief Giraudo to run QPR?
Former ‘Triade’ Juventus director Antonio Giraudo could join Flavio Briatore in his bid to buy out Queen's Park Rangers.
It has been widely reported that the managing director of Renault’s Formula 1 team and millionaire businessman Briatore is interested in taking over the Championship club.
There are now additional rumours in Italy that the man to help him run the West London side is ex-Juventus chief Giraudo.
A member of the notorious ‘Triade’ of directors along with Luciano Moggi and Roberto Bettega, the general manager left the Bianconeri in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal.
Of the three Bettega was the only one to still work for Juve until recently, when his contract as a consultant was not renewed.
It was claimed that this decision was made by Marco Tardelli, who wanted a clean break with the pre-Calciopoli administration.
Giraudo has kept his silence over the scandal that saw Juventus demoted to Serie B amid allegations of pressurising referees and authority figures.
He went to London to work in real estate and it is rumoured he could be tempted back into the football world by Briatore’s ambitious plans for QPR.
Current President Gianni Paladini is playing down the reports of an offer, but the club has debts of £21m, more than £7m of which is owed to club directors and HM Revenue & Customs. Channel 4

Also story in the Italian paper (in Italian), La Gazetta Dello Sport

"Football Aid 2008" Seeks Support

[Note: This is not in any form an "endorsement" of the organization, Football Aid. This is in response to a request from Football Aid to post information about their organization and their forthcoming events. Further information about the organization and the causes it supports can be found reading their website.]

Football Aid 2008
"We're a UK based organisation that raises funds for Charity by allowing football fans all over the country to play at their club's grounds. We're supported by the FA, FA Premier League and the Football League and we've raised over £1,000,000 for a wide variety of charitable causes since we were founded in 2001. Queens Park Rangers and it's fans have shown fantastic support for us in recent years and we've been privileged to have Gary Waddock and Alan McDonald supporting our events in the past..."

Football Aid is back with a bang – revealing a fresh new look for a stellar new season!

A veritable treasure trove of treats awaits you with Football Aid ‘08. Our new, all singing, all dancing www.footballaid.com is now live, bringing you news, reviews, entertainment and much, much more – plenty to while away those dull office hours…!

Positions in our 2008 games are now available to buy and thanks to our spanking new site, easier to secure than ever before. With the ability to purchase fully online, your dream position is now only a few clicks away…

Purchasing a Position

Option 1: Buy Now – Selected positions are available to buy instantly at a fixed price.

Option 2: Sponsored to Play– Pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your position and receive a Football Aid Sponsorship Pack packed full of ideas to help you fundraise your way to your Field of Dreams.

For full information on buying a position, visit the Buying Guide on the www.footballaid.com website.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call us on 0131 220 5999 or email info@footballaid.com

Kind Regards,

The Football Aid Team
Barbara Davidson Sales and Website Co-ordinator Football Aid
T: 0131 220 5999
E: barbara.davidson@footballaid.com
A: 6a Randolph Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7TE

Per QPR/Football Aid

Chairman Gianni Paladini shocked fans by coming along to the Football Aid game at Loftus Road in 2006, cheering from the sidelines alongside the then management team of Gary Waddock and Alan McDonald. While both teams did themselves proud, there were no new signings announced for the Superhoops the next day but maybe next year...

Live the Dream

Legends and Managers are still to be confirmed for this event., names will be displayed in the information box on the right hand side of the screen when confirmed.


A limited number of tickets will be made available for players' friends and family and we ask for a £5.00 donation per ticket. To order your tickets please follow the instructions in your "allocation" e-mail or use the order form in your Player's Pack. The number of tickets available for this game will be displayed in the Ticket Allocation section below. Please note that the number of spectators allowed to attend on the day is decided by the club and access to the ground will not be permitted without a ticket.


Wherever possible, official match photographs and a match day DVD will be made available to be purchased on the day of the game. Players will receive a Final Details e-mail to confirm these details in the weeks leading up to your game. Examples of photos and DVD footage can be found in our Gallery page.


If you would like to ask us any questions about this Club, please use the Contact Us form to get in touch. Games usually take place at the end of the season in the months of April - June, dates will be posted on this page as we get them confirmed by the Club.

This is a male only event.


Pay a non-refundable £100 deposit, then pay the balance before 13th Dec '07 to fully secure the position. Available from Sep - Dec '07 for the same price as a Buy Now.

Positions are available in our online auction from Jan - Mar '08.
Football Aid - QPR

Vialli Says Not Interested in Replacing Gregory at QPR

The Times - Gianluca Vialli adamant that he has no designs on the hotseat at QPR
Gianluca Vialli says he is not in the running for the manager’s job at Queens Park Rangers. The former Chelsea manager issued a statement last night in an attempt to put an end to media speculation linking him to the West London club, who were recently bought by a consortium headed by Flavio Briatore, Vialli’s friend, and Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One impresarios, for a sum in the region of £14 million.
Vialli was at Loftus Road on Saturday to watch QPR’s 1-1 draw with Watford, one of his former clubs, prompting some to suggest that he could replace John Gregory, the underpressure QPR manager. But Vialli quashed those suggestions last night.
“I was there because Flavio [Briatore] has been a friend of mine for more than ten years and he invited me along as his guest,” he said. “But I want to make it very clear that I have not been offered the job, nor am I seeking the job.
“It’s not my style to put myself forward for jobs by showing up at the games of other managers who might be having a difficult time. In fact, I don’t like it, I think it is disrespectful to the manager in charge. This is especially true with an experienced colleague and friend like John Gregory. But I did enjoy the experience of going and watching QPR play and I plan on doing it again as Flavio’s guest, but nothing more.”
Vialli, who is a pundit with Sky Italia, the Italian broadcaster, lives in West London and over the past few years he has been a frequent visitor to Stamford Bridge, where he has season tickets.
The former Italy striker was one of four out-of-work managers reportedly spotted in the directors’ box at Loftus Road on Saturday. The others were Dave Bassett, Gerry Francis and Martin Allen.
Gregory, the former Aston Villa and Derby County manager, was appointed manager of QPR on September 20, 2006. The side comfortably avoided relegation last season, despite a woeful financial situation that, at one point, prevented him from getting the photocopier in his office fixed when it broke down and on more than one occasion forced him to pay some expenses out of his own pocket.
This year, however, the side find themselves second from bottom in the Coca-Cola Championship, where they are without a win after six games.
“I’ve been given no guarantees about my future,” Gregory told The Times last week after meeting the club’s new owners. “I was just told to carry on doing my job and to prepare the team as best I can.”
QPR play away to highflying West Bromwich Albion on Sunday..."” The Times

See also: QPR Report - Perspective of Vialli's Time at Watford

On another item re Bosnich training with QPR: FOXSPORTS.com.au - 'The Whistleblower' - September 27, 2007 "Bozza, Gianluca, Tribula, Barney" -
Bozza, Gianluca, Tribula, Barney

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