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Monday, March 31, 2008

Ipswich Claim Photos Proves Goal Against QPR

Ipswich Official Site IT WAS A GOAL

Photo 1 and Photo 2

It was over the line and it was handball.

Our pictures taken from the cameras around Portman Road clearly show that Shumi'sclose range effort in Saturday's goalless draw against QPR was handled by Matthew Connolly.

The Rangers' defender was also at least a foot behind the line when he made contact with the ball but referee Paul Armstrong waved away Blues' appeals for a goal - and a penalty.

Town skipper Jason De Vos was close to the incident and has no doubts it was a 'goal', telling Ipswich World:"It cost us two points.

"The ball was over the line, a good foot over the line. If we had video technology in the game, it would have shown that.

connolly over the line
Connolly is clearly over the line

"We've already lost two points at Burnley when we had a legitimate goal from Pablo ruled out when he was clearly onside and behind the ball.

"Those four points could prove very costly at the end of the season.

"I don't know why we won't bring video into football. It will make refereeing easier and that can only be good for the game.

"I spoke to the referee and linesman about the ball that was over the line and the linesman said he couldn't see it. So why don't we use the technology to help these guys out." Official Site

QPR Fan Violence Charged

Not something QPR want to be associated with.

Ipswich Evening Star Terrified Town fans attacked
31 March 2008

Paul Sankey indicates the window that was smashed by vandals at the Manningtree station buffet

A BAYING mob of away football fans descended on a bar full of Ipswich Town supporters and embarked on a frenzied attack, which up to 50 people were caught up in.

A gang of about 15 Queen's Park Rangers fans smashed bottles, threw bar stools and punched customers in one of the worst scenes of football violence in recent months.

The incident was the third of its kind in the last two months where trouble has been caused following matches, prompting fears the dark days of football hooliganism have returned.

Witnesses reported seeing the away fans, who were on their way back to London from Saturday's goalless match at Portman Road, get off the train as it pulled into Manningtree station at about 6pm. They then burst their way into Manningtree Station Buffet and began shouting “we are QPR” while throwing bottles and punching ITFC fans, including one pensioner.

More than half of the home fans in the café bar on the platform at Manningtree station were children as young as eight, who were left petrified by the random assault in which three home fans were injured. One person was taken to Colchester General Hospital.

The incident ended when the fans ran back to the train however the National Express service was halted by police and kept at the station for about 15 minutes.

Four men, aged 44, 47, 48 and 50, were arrested by Essex police for offences ranging from affray to actual bodily harm and public order offences. They were taken to Clacton police station where they were interviewed by British Transport Police officers.

A spokeswoman for Essex police said: “We were called about 6.15pm to the Buffet to reports of a fight with Ipswich and QPR fans. There were 50 of them in total. BTP are now dealing with the incident.”

Paul Sankey, 52, who has owned the Station Buffet for the last eight years, described the incident as “scary” and said his 21-year-old daughter Charlotte, the only staff member working at the time, was very shaken up.

Mr Sankey was called as the violence erupted and he arrived just as the fans were running back to the train.

He said: “I locked the door and stood by it to stop anyone from coming in. Charlotte had taken the children up towards the back so they were kept out the way.

“We get a lot of fathers bringing their children in here before and after games. There were a lot of women and children in here at the time. They were petrified and some of the children were crying.

“I think the fans knew what they were doing because they all got off at a door right opposite us. We do have a lot of Ipswich fans come in here on match days when they are waiting for their trains, but they are usually families.

“Charlotte was just shouting at them to get out. She was shaken up afterwards. It was scary enough for a man let alone a young girl or children.”

Staff at the station called police and officers from Essex police and British Transport Police quickly arrived at the scene.

Two windows were smashed, and with the amount of glass and bottles broken as well as a bar stool, Mr Sankey believes the damage will come to about £300.

A spokesman for the BTP said: “The British Transport Police aren't out to spoil the fun but members of the travelling public, including law-abiding football fans, have the right to travel in safety on match days without fear of being abused or assaulted by a few rogue elements.”

British Transport Police today said the investigation was ongoing.

Were you one of those injured at the café or did you witness the event? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

Messages from both home and away fans were posted on the ITFC supporters website Those Were The Days

Jimmy Luff wrote: “After the game about a dozen guys came in chucking bottles and glasses. A couple of Ipswich fans were cut and taken to hospital. Lots of kids in there crying. Back to the dark ages. QPR fans must be well proud.”

A fan, using the website name CoulsdonR, said: “Another QPR fella here. There is always gonna be a bad element but the majority of us are civilised, decent supporters. Never had a problem with Ipswich.”

AldersbrookBlue: “I have lots of QPR mates and it's a civilised club with decent fans, on the whole. Sadly, all London clubs will always have a few fans who feel that they can come out of the smoke to a provincial town and think they can lord it. And I say that as a London-based Town fan who has just arrived home from a drive down the A12.”

hertsblue: “Was on that train with my two kids - cant say I was very impressed. I did hear that the "fight" was pre-planned - don't know if it was or that was just talk. Got off at Liverpool Street and there were police everywhere and QPR fans singing their hearts out - sounding a bit aggressive if you ask me. I think we will take the car next time.”

Saturday's trouble follows a number of football-related arrests involving Ipswich matches

On Saturday, March 15, BTP officers were called in after train company National Express East Anglia reported a disturbance involving Charlton fans on the 5.30pm train from Norwich to Liverpool Street.

Staff on board the train called police and the train was held at Chelmsford station where officers had been waiting.

Stephen Rowlinson, 37, of Burrage Road, Plumstead, London, has been charged with criminal damage. He is due to appear in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, April 23.

Trevor Green, of Blickling Close, Ipswich, appeared in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to affray and admitted attacking rival fan Geoffrey Bonsor following a defeat against Watford on February 9.

Green, 28, is now facing a possible prison sentence and a ban from football matches when he appears in court next month.

Another Blues fan Robert Reed, 30, of Malvern Close, Ipswich, was banned from going to football matches for the next three years after admitting threatening an opposition supporter after the same game. Ipswich Evening Star

Sussex and Essex Online/Russell Claydon - Four arrested after rail station fracas

FOUR football fans were arrested after trouble broke out at Manningtree Railway Station last night, police said.

The men were arrested following a disturbance at the train station around 6.30pm.

Essex Police officers arrested the men, aged 44, 47, 48 and 50, for offences ranging from affray to actual bodily harm and public order offences.

They were taken to Clacton Police Station, where they are currently being interviewed by British Transport Police officers.

It is thought they were QPR fans travelling back from the match against Ipswich Town

QPR-Ipswich Reports....Camp: Connolly Admits Ball Hit Hand

Telegraph - Huw Turbervill Ipswich draw little comfort but make point
Ipswich felt aggrieved with referee Paul Armstrong after they were denied a goal and a batch of penalty appeals.
Alan Lee appeared to be shoved in the back by Michael Mancienne just before half-time, and the striker claimed he was pushed again by Matthew Connolly on the hour.
By far the most contentious incident, however, was when Velice Sumulikoski's close-range effort was cleared by Connolly. Ipswich were adamant that the ball had crossed the line and the QPR player had handled.
A point keeps the hosts' play-off hopes alive, though, while the visitors' hopes seem to have ended.
"We didn't have any luck in terms of the decisions," said Ipswich captain Jason De Vos.
"We should have had a penalty in the first half and we scored a legitimate goal in the second. The video shows that, but unfortunately the referee and his assistants don't have the benefit of that during a match so we have to lick our wounds and be happy with the point.
"There's a lot in the press about the abuse of referees. The referee isn't going to change his mind because you're screaming at him. But he's there to do a job and I think video technology would make his job easier."
QPR goalkeeper Lee Camp said: "Matthew admits it hit his hand but said it was ball to hand. It's one for television to sort out and it just shows how a tough a job the referees have Telegraph

Daily Mail/BRIAN SCOVELL - No spot luck for Ipswich
England need a captain like Jason de Vos, the Canadian centre half. Six minutes from the end of a lively game that could have ended 5-3, the Ipswich skipper hauled away his younger colleagues from referee Paul Armstrong.
They claimed that the ball was over the line when it struck Mark Connolly's arm and the unruly scene was repeated at the final whistle before De Vos stepped in again. "I was like a policeman," he said.
"I've seen the video and there was no argument about it. But the referee and his assistant didn't have a good view of it and you have to accept their word. There's no point abusing the referee. He's not going to change his mind. The captain should be the only person to speak to the referee but in a calm way."
Fabio Capello, meanwhile, should study the PR technique of QPR boss Luigi De Canio. Both use interpreters but De Canio comes up with jokes, including one about the disallowed goal. "The ball hit the player's arm and possibly we were a bit lucky the referee missed it," he said. "But my keeper assured me that if it had been given, he would have saved it!" Daily Mail

The Times - Ipswich Town 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Ipswich’s play-offs hopes were dented by Lee Camp, the Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper. The home team had the better chances and Jim Magilton, the manager, rued points dropped after his team had two penalty claims turned down.
Alan Lee claimed that he was pushed by Michael Mancienne, the QPR defender, and in the 85th minute players surrounded Paul Armstrong, the referee, after Velice Sumulikoski’s close-range header was blocked on the goal-line by Matthew Connolly. Magilton said: “Schumi [Sumulikoski], Jason [de Vos] and Alan Lee have said the ball was behind the line and that the lad used his hand. I’m not here to be critical of referees. I love them.”
Luigi De Canio, the QPR first-team coach, said: “This is a really important and valuable point.” The Times

East Anglican Daily Times/Derek Davis - Missed chances and poor decisions costly
THE Championship's version of musical chairs is getting to the mouth-watering stge.
With a potential £30m plus to be unwrapped, rather than a bar of chocolate, each step towards the final place in the coveted top six gets more breathtakingly exciting as epitomised in this edge-of seat thriller.
While Ipswich will consider these two points dropped, the goalless draw virtually ends QPR's hopes of being in the game when there are just four seats left for the elusive last hot-spot to join the two that automatically go to play with the big boys.
So tight is the scramble for the play-off places, that three teams had their bums on the sixth-placed seat in a four-hour spell on Saturday.
Town briefly took over from Plymouth before Wolves' last-gasp win at Charlton in the evening saw them leap-frog into the coveted space, at least for a week.
Victory over Colchester at Layer Road on Saturday could see Town force their way back into the play-off places while relegating their Essex neighbours, not a nice thought but as the late, great, Alan Ball used to say “football is a beautiful game but a horrible business”.
The beautiful game was in evidence as Ipswich and QPR went at each other hammer and tongs in an open and expansive game filled with chances and incident.
The only thing missing was goals and all the money the combined billionaire owners of these two clubs have, could not buy one of those.
Ipswich had three claims for a penalty, two of which looked nailed on.
The first was when Michael Mancienne cleared pushed Alan Lee in the back as he went up for a ball.
Referee Paul Armstrong later explained to the players that, in his opinion, it was merely a coming together of the two but in the opinion of this reporter, it was a definite foul.
It is also this reporter's opinion that Gavin Williams should have buried the chance that immediately fell to him but he missed the target completely.
With Pablo Counago suspended and Jon Walters and Shefki Kuqi not fit, Magilton chose to go with Danny Haynes up front with Lee and brought in Williams on the right flank.
Williams, who has struggled with injury for most of the season and is in contract dispute, has played just once this calendar year, in the FA Cup loss with Portsmouth, and it showed.
He was unable to do himself justice and never produced the way we know he can.
He failed to combine effectively with full debut-making Danny Simpson, the on-loan Manchester United right back, who showed quality in defence and attack.
Even switching wings did not help much and Alan Quinn offered only glimpses of his ability, not least when he forced the outstanding Lee Camp into a terrific save from a free kick.
Williams had been replaced by Gary Roberts by the time the most contentious decision was reached, as was Quinn who had gone off six minutes from time for Jordan Rhodes, a decision the crowd indicated should have been made much earlier.
Rhodes was instantly involved as he flicked on an Owen Garvan corner which came back off the inside of the far post.
Velice Sumulikoski nudged it in from close range but it was scooped out by a Matthew Connolly arm, when he looked well over the line.
The officials claimed to have not been able to see the incident through the melee which is fair enough and yet another classic case where technology would help them make an informed, correct decision.
Lee's other claim for a penalty was when he went down under a Connolly challenge but that was less clear cut.
A goal, or two, would have been fitting for the game which both sides made entertaining with their open, attacking style.
Ipswich had the better chances and always looked the most likely to score from the moment a superb through ball by De Vos sent Haynes scampering away.
He left Fitz Hall with twisted blood as he turned him inside out before cracking a shot against a post.
De Vos, who had a three goals in six games record against QPR, almost extended that when he got on the end of a Quinn cross but Camp made a superb reaction save to beat it away.
Camp, a former team-mate of Stephen Bywater at Derby, was the busiest of the pair and denied Garvan and Haynes.
It can only be hoped by Town that those missed opportunities, and the Berkshire official's decisions, don't come back to haunt them when the music finally stops on May. East Anglican Daily Times

EAST Anglican Daily Times/Derek Davis - Blues boss bemoans bad luck and misses
JIM Magilton bemoaned two dropped points after Ipswich Town missing a host of chances and three penalty decisions went against them in their 0-0 draw at home to QPR.
The Blues were also adamant that the ball had crossed the line before it was knocked back out by a Matthew Connolly hand.
Town hit the woodwork twice, once from Danny Haynes the other from an Owen Garvan corner and QPR keeper Lee Camp, a former team-mate at Derby with Town keeper Stephen Bywater made two top class saves to deny the Blues.
Magilton said: “On any other day we get penalties. It looks a stonewaller to Shumi but also Shumi should put ball and man in the net.
“Also Gavin Williams should score when the ball lands to him after the push on Alan Lee.
“Danny has hit a post and their keeper has made two world class saves.”
Although highly entertaining, and a clean sheet for Town, Magilton could not help feeling they had lost out.
He said: “It was end to end, a bit too much for my liking but when the midfields vacate midfield as much as teams did today that is what happens.
“Credit to QPR they came to give us a game and did that.

“It is still a point but really I feel it is two dropped and we don't know if it will cost us at the end of the season. It is where we finish that is important.”
QPR boss Luigi De Canio admitted his side were fortunate and said: “It is difficult to judge if the ball went over the line because it was in the air. We were lucky with the hand ball because the referee did not see it but I'm assured if a penalty had been given Lee (Camp) would have saved it.”
In a highly entertaining first half encounter Hogan Ephraim came closest for Rangers with a free kick that went inches wide.
Town had the edge throughout, although Alan Lee on his 100th appearance for the Blues missed a couple a chances, Williams was also guilty while Camp made a reaction save to deny skipper Jason de Vos at a corner.
Camp also made a super save to push away a well-taken Alan Quinn free kick. EADT

Also earlier Reports and comments on QPR-Ispwich draw

Sunday, March 30, 2008

QPR vs Ipswich - Additional Reports and Comments

Sunday People 30 March 2008
Ipswich 0-0 QPR By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton refused to point an accusing finger at ref Paul Armstrong after seeing his side drop two valuable points.

But it's a fair bet that if the Tractor Boys do manage to win promotion, the Berkshire whistler won't be on the guest list for the celebration party.

Magilton, who is already on an FA charge and facing a touchline ban, said: "I'm not allowed to talk about referees for the next 10 years!" A point from this stalemate actually lifted Ipswich into the top six but Magilton's men were adamant they should have bagged all three.

Macedonian international Velice Sumulikoski was convinced he had broken the deadlock five minutes from the end.

Owen Garvan's corner came off the head of Rangers defender Michael Mancienne and on to the far post.

Sumulikoski stabbed the ball goalwards and was sure it had crossed the line before Matthew Connolly's lastditch block.

To add to the home side's misery, it looked as if Connolly used a hand to scoop the ball out, making it three strong penalty claims rejected by the referee.

Magilton added: "On any other day we get penalties - of course we do - but we have also missed chances.

"It's still a point but we expect to win our home games, so it's two points dropped."
IPSWICH: Bywater 6 - Simpson 5, Bruce 5, De Vos 6, Sito 6 - Williams 5 (Roberts, 78mins), Garvan 6, Sumulikoski 5, Quinn 6 (Rhodes, 84mins) - Lee 6, *HAYNES 7.

QPR: *CAMP 7 - Mancienne 6, Hall 5, Stewart 6, Connolly 5 - Vine 5 (Lee, 65mins, 6), Leigertwood 6 (Rowlands, 57mins, 6), Mahon 6, Ephraim 6 (Balanta, 90mins) - Blackstock 5, Agyemang 6. Ref: P Armstrong 5.. Sunday People

Ex-QPR's Joe Gallen Coaching and Playing Career Profiled

[And meanwhile former manager Garry Waddock's Aldershot are headed back to the Football League: 17 points run away leaders after their win yesterday (with ex-QPRs Bull and Donnelly playing). Speaking a couple of days ago about promotion- BBC

South London Press/Toby Porter - Joe Selecta

MILLWALL coach Joe Gallen, like Arsene Wenger,started coaching at the age of 26.

And already, 10 years later, he has been assistant boss at QPR, where he coached at every level of the club.

He's almost replicated that at Millwall now, after just five months at The Den, having coached the youth team and the reserves.

Gallen has now stepped into the gap created by the departure of Colin West and is acting as assistant to Kenny Jackett until a permanent appointment is made.

He already has an enviable CV, with a job as assistant manager at Exeter City from earlier this season to add to his name. That's not surprising, since he's always wanted to coach.

Hammersmith-born Gallen was the eldest of three footballing brothers - Kevin has played more than 500 games and scored 120 goals during a 16-year career at QPR, Huddersfield, and now MK Dons.

Steven was at QPR and Doncaster Rovers. "Dad was always playing football with us in the park," said Joe. "I played for Middlesex and Inner London, and that's when things started happening."

He joined Watford before he turned 10, and was a professional there for two years, and later joined Exeter, then managed by World Cup legend Alan Ball. Even then, Gallen was paying close attention to the boss's methods.

"I was already watching him and thinking 'I'll be doing what you're doing one day,' but I don't really know why I was thinking about it so early in my career," said Gallen. "Maybe I should have started coaching even earlier."

He also played for the Republic of Ireland U21s with Mark Kennedy and Mark Kinsella against Germany, who had the likes of Markus Babbel and Christian Ziege in their lineup.

Then-Eire boss Jack Charlton was another manager to watch closely. "He took training and we all paid attention," said Gallen. "His presence was a big thing for us at the time."

Gallen's most successful season was in the Shrewsbury Town team that won the old Third Division in 1994, scoring twice in 15 appearances. Already by then, though, he was being plagued by a back injury that would end his career five years later.

"In the end it just became too difficult to get on the pitch," said Gallen. "I had been scoring lots of goals at youth level, then suddenly, I could not play any more.

"I never stopped having phonecalls from people who wanted me to play.

"But then a doctor at Harley Street said to me: 'I haven't got a magic wand. Why don't you join the Stock Exchange?' It wasn't the answer I needed. By the end, there was no point in fighting the inevitable."

But then QPR head of youth development, the late Chris Gieler, offered him the job of coaching the U9s, at the age of 26. "I jumped at it," said Gallen. "Without realising it, he had given me a direction in life."

Within two years, his badges were done. Last season, after the departure of Ian Holloway, Gary Waddock was appointed caretaker and asked Gallen to be his assistant. Their first game in charge was a 1-0 win over Millwall at Loftus Road.

One of his players at the time was younger brother Kevin. "I hardly spoke to him then, even though we are really close - I didn't want the other players to think I was trying to get him in the team," said Joe. "I would try to treat him like any player. We kept it professional - but we would talk on the phone later about what we really thought.

"I'm not jealous of Kevin at all. I have travelled hundreds of miles to see him play. And if I give him feedback, he seems to listen."

Gallen decided to go back into youth coaching after Waddock departed.

"I didn't think it was right to make the jump up," said the Irishman.

Millwall approached him to be youth coach last summer, but he turned it down to be assistant at Exeter to manager Paul Tisdale and director of football Steve Perryman. But he couldn't rent out his London home, and when Millwall asked again, he accepted the offer, and enjoyed his few months training the youngsters again, working with Jackett again after they had both been in the staff at Rangers.

"The step up from the reserves to the first team is always the toughest for players," said Gallen. "We need more Ali Fuseinis. At the moment, Charlton and Palace are doing better at finding talent. But things will turn around."

Now he is an important figure in first-team decision-making, he can play some part in setting out the future vision for the Lions.

"A winning mentality is key," he said. "We have a really young team. The average age against Luton was 22.

"We have looked really exciting away from home. We have pace and energy and individual ability and can take players on.

"We want a team that gets the ball down and plays it forward quickly.

"The manager has been brave in choosing this route and emphasising passing and technique.

"That is exciting for the future. We've played with a bit of anxiety against teams with little to lose like Luton. But we can all see how promising it looks - and after the wins at Swansea and Yeovil, we know it's there." South London Press

Also: South London Press - Success touched by tragedy

JOE Gallen's leadership at youth level has been a big factor in QPR's recent success.

He brought 15 centre of excellence graduates into the first team, and coached two England internationals.

They also won their youth league. In Dean Parrett, his set-up also produced one of the most promising midfielders of his generation, signed by Spurs for £2million last season.

"We were skint every year but we were the envy of many academies," said Gallen.

"I am glad now the club has new owners, that there's some money there at last."

But Gallen also had to cope with a season of trauma - the death of two scholars, which saw four of his youth products being questioned over a tragic accident.

In June 2005, QPR youngster Kiyan Prince, 15, was been stabbed to death outside his school.

And when a Vietnamese student died under a train at Earls Court station in December 2006, youth player Harry Smart was also badly hurt.

Smart, 17, was reported to have been play-fighting on a team-mate's shoulders when he fell during the rush-hour on November 23, taking Tu Quang Hoang Vu, 25, who later died, with him. Smart's friends were questioned over the death.

Ray Jones, 18, had already played 37 times for the first team and scored six goals when he died in a car crash in August 2007. Gallen said: "It was a very difficult time because I was close to all those players and their families." South London Press

QPR's Championship Finishes Over the Past Decade: QPR Set to Better Last Season

With five games remaining, QPR now have 53 points from 41 games. (8 points above a relegation spot). Current Table. This is the same number of points QPR finished with last season (when they took 7 points from their last 5 games in a season which began with Waddock and ended with Gregory). After 41 games last season, QPR had 46 points.

In the season before, 2005-2006 (the season Holloway started in charge; and Waddock finished in charge) QPR ended the season with 50 points.
And in QPR's first season back in the Championship, QPR got 62 points (a total QPR are unlikely to achieve this year, but hopefully will come close to) - and next season, G-d willing will surge past well before Easter! In their more than a decade since their Premiership relegation (three seasons of which, of course, were spent in an even lower division)QPR have yet to get more than 66 points in this Division.

Previous Seasons Finishes in this Division: [In 2000/2001, QPR's relegation season, QPR went down with 40 points. The season before, 1999-2000, under Gerry Francis, the team had gotten 66 points 1998/1999, saw Francis replace Ray Harford and stay up with 47 points. The season before that, 1997/1998 - a decade ago, in a season which saw Houston start and Harford finish, QPR again just stayed up with 49 points. Finally, QPR's first season after relegation (Wilkins starting; Houston finishing) 1996-1997, QPR finished with 66 points.

Also:- Bottom Three Championship places Over Past Decade

Saturday, March 29, 2008

QPR Ipswich Draw: Reports and Comments...QPR Equal Last Season's Points Total (With Five Games Remaining)

QPR and Ipswich drew 0-0. QPR moved up to 53 points with 5 games remaining (7 points out of a playoff spot; 8 away from a relegation spot). League Table Note: QPR have now equalled their points total from last season.

QPR Official Site - SATISFIED

Luigi De Canio was full of praise for his players, after seeing his much-changed side hold home-specialists Ipswich Town to a draw at Portman Road.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, the R's gaffer said: "I think we were really good value for the point.
"Both teams played really well and fought with their hearts and it's a shame there were no goals to show for both side's efforts.
"Ipswich are one of the best teams in the division and it's a valuable and very important point for us."
De Canio added: "We were without out top-scorer in Akos Buzsaky and our captain Martin Rowlands was only fit enough to play from the bench, so it's a great point for us.
"I can take a great amount of satisfaction from the afternoon. It shows how much we have progressed. We're getting consistency in our results and that is very good."
De Canio was honest enough to admit Rangers were 'quite fortunate' not to concede a late penalty when Matthew Connolly appeared to handle the ball on the line, commenting: "It is difficult to judge if the ball went over the line, as it was in the air.
"Possible we were lucky that the referee did not see the handball, but even so, Lee Camp assures me he would have saved it anyway!" QPR

Ipswich Official Site JIM: NO MOANS
Town boss Jim Magilton refused to blame the officials despite Town having a 'goal' turned away and two strong penalty appeals turned down in the goalless draw with QPR.
Referee Paul Armstrong waved away claims for a spot-kick after Alan Lee was twice bundled over in the box and then turned down appeals from Blues that Velice Sumulikoski's close range effort had been cleared from behind the line by the hand of a Rangers' defender.
"I'm not going to moan about the officials," Jim told Ipswich World after the game.
I did not have a great view of the incident at the end but my first thoughts were that Shumi should have smashed the ball back into the net.
"That said he was adamant, as were the other lads, that the ball was over the line and then hit the lad's arm.
"We also had two stonewall penalty appeals but we're not going to cry about it.
"We had the better chances and their 'keeper has made two world class saves but it was two teams going all out to win.
"It was surprising that the score was goalless at the break. There was one occasion when each side had two chances in the space of two minutes. It was end to end and too open for my liking but for anyone watching, it was a great advert for Championship football." Ipswich

Ipswich boss Jim Magilton rued "two points dropped" following his team's goalless draw with QPR in the Coca-Cola Championship.
The play-off chasing Suffolk side were foiled by a series of saves from visiting goalkeeper Lee Camp.
The Blues also had two penalty claims turned down in either half of the Portman Road clash.
In the first half, Town striker Alan Lee claimed he was pushed by Rangers defender Michael Mancienne as he challenged for a Danny Haynes cross.
And in the 85th minute, Town players surrounded referee Paul Armstrong after Velice Sumulikoski's close-range header was blocked on the goal-line by Matthew Connolly, claiming that the ball had crossed the line and Connolly had handled it.
Magilton said: "I haven't seen it but Schumi (Sumulikoski), Jason (de Vos) and Alan Lee have said it was behind the line and that the lad has used his hand to scoop it out.
"The lads are adamant."
He added: "In any other game, we get penalties, of course we do. In all fairness, I think Schumi should put ball and man in the net. Obviously, it's a stone-waller from his point of view."
Magilton refused to criticise the referee and said midfielder Gavin Williams had missed a great chance as the ball dropped following Lee's penalty appeal.
"Gavin Williams should score from Alan Lee's push," said the Northern Irishman.
"I'm not here to be critical of referees. I love them."
Magilton said he was disappointed with the result: "We are at home. We expect to win home games. For me, it's two points dropped."
He added: "I think it was a good advert for Championship football.
"The keeper has made two world-class saves for them. It's a case of missed chances.
"Credit to QPR, they came and gave us a game and will probably go away happier than we are.
"Whether that is going to cost us, we will have to wait and see."
Rangers' Italian boss Luigi de Canio said: "This is a really important and valuable point we've achieved today against a team that's possibly the best team we've faced this year in the Championship."
Asked whether he thought Connolly had handled the ball on the goal-line, he said: "It's difficult to judge if the ball crossed the line as the ball was in the air.
"As for the handball, possibly we were a bit fortunate the referee missed it. I have been assured that if the referee had seen it and given a penalty Lee (Camp) would have saved it."
He added: "I think it was a good game for both teams. It was just a shame really there were no goals.
"We were missing three or four very important players and people have stepped up and done very well." Sporting Life

In a fixture between two of the Championship's great entertainers, Ipswich and QPR fought out an entertaining stalemate at Portman Road.

Danny Haynes hit the post for the Tractor Boys in the first-half, while Hogan Ephraim blasted wide with the goal at his mercy, as the R's more than matched Jim Magilton's men in every department.

Rangers upped the tempo after the break and in the end, were good value for their point.

Luigi De Canio made three changes to the starting XI following last weekend's 3-3 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With injury ruling out Akos Buzsaky (foot) and Martin Rowlands (neck), and Damien Delaney serving the first game of his two-match suspension, the Italian recalled stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon, midfielder Ephraim and no-nonsense centre-half Damion Stewart.

Ipswich were minus the services of hit-man Pablo Counago (suspended), which meant Haynes partnered Alan Lee in attack for the hosts.

After a tight opening to the game, it was Rangers who created the first notable opportunity. Michael Mancienne picked the ball up just short of halfway and made good ground, before dragging a 25-yard effort wide.

Play soon switched to the other end, and after Haynes got the better of Fitz Hall, the post came to Rangers' rescue, as his right-footed effort cannoned back of Lee Camp's left upright.

After a corner from the right by Alan Quinn, Jason De Vos rose tallest to power a header on target, but Camp stood firm to punch the ball to safety.

Rangers broke at pace and when Rowan Vine's cross-shot was only half cleared, Ephraim was quickest to the loose ball, only to inexplicably fire wide with the goal at his mercy.

Buoyed by their reprieve, Ipswich raced straight up the other end and Stewart came to the R's rescue, sliding in to thwart Haynes as the striker let fly from an acute angle.

Haynes was a constant threat, and when he was given time and pace to turn on the edge of the six-yard box, Camp dived low to his right to ensure it remained goalless.

As the clock ticked towards the halfway point of the first period, Ephraim curled a teasing 25-yard free-kick just wide of Stephen Bywater's right hand post.

Just before first half stoppage-time, Quinn squandered a great opportunity to put the Tractor Boys in front.

After vocal home appeals for a push by Hall on Lee on the edge of the six-yard box, the ball broke to the left midfielder, who blasted wide from close range.

As the rain lashed down at Portman Road, the second half started off in similar fashion to the first, with both sides enjoying an equal share of the possession.

R's Manager De Canio then made his first change of the afternoon, as Rowlands - who had been suffering all week with a neck injury - replaced Mikele Leigertwood in the 57th minute.

The midfield maestro was in the groove immediately, linking up well with Vine, whose deft near post cross was headed into the side netting by Patrick Agyemang.

Rangers continued to press and after good link-up play with Agyemang, Rowlands fired a tame shot into the hands of the grateful Bywater.

Moments later, Agyemang's sublime solo run from deep inside his own half ended with his shot deflecting wide for a corner.

Ipswich produced their best effort of the half in the 75th minute, as livewire Quinn curled a direct free-kick on target, but Camp was on hand to palm away.

There was controversy five minutes from time, when Matthew Connolly appeared to handle a goal-bound shot, but the decision was not forthcoming, to the disgust of every outfield Ipswich player, who surrounded referee Mr. Armstrong to vent their frustrations.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Williams (Roberts 77), Lee, Castro, Haynes, Simpson, Quinn, Sumulikoski.
Subs: Colgan, Wright, Trotter, Rhodes.
Bookings: Simpson 34

QPR: Camp, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim (Balanta 92), Vine (Lee 65), Hall, Leigertwood (Rowlands 57).
Subs: Barker, Pickens.
Bookings: Mancienne 46
Referee: Mr P Armstrong
Attendance: 24,517 QPR

Sporting Life Match Report - Match Report

Ipswich Official Site Match Report

Minute-by-Minute - Gamblog

Teams-QPR: Camp, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim, Vine, Hall, Leigertwood.
Subs: Barker, Rowlands, Pickens, Lee, Balanta.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Williams, Lee, Castro, Haynes, Simpson, Quinn, Sumulikoski.
Subs: Colgan, Wright, Roberts, Trotter, Rhodes. QPR

Teams - QPR vs Ipswich

QPR: Camp, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim, Vine, Hall, Leigertwood.
Subs: Barker, Rowlands, Pickens, Lee, Balanta.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Williams, Lee, Castro, Haynes, Simpson, Quinn, Sumulikoski.
Subs: Colgan, Wright, Roberts, Trotter, Rhodes. QPR

Ex-QPRs: Padula Will Have to Wait.... LeRoy Griffths

Gino Padula who signed for Columbus Crew, this week, now has to wait for a visa (which means he won't get to play in the home opener against another former QPR player, Toronto's Danny Dichio)

MLS: "Gino Padula: After trying out for the team on the trip to England, Padula was signed to a contract just before the start of the season, and should take over the starting left back when he gets his visa. His playing experience includes seven years in England, a year in Spain, time in his native Argentina and most recently France. But until Padula's paperwork is done, anything goes -- with Stefani Miglioranzi, Andy Iro and Ezra Hendrickson all candidates to play. " MLS

"... • In the week leading to the opener, the Crew finalized the acquisition of Gino Padula, last with Montpellier FC in France's Ligue 2. The native of Argentina spent seven years in England (Walsall, Wigan, Queens' Park Rangers, Nottingham Forest), also playing in Spain with Xerez and River Plate and Huracan in his homeland.
• "He is a very good passing outside back," coach Sigi Schmid said. "He is very good with the ball, very calm on the ball and he doesn't panic. He'll get forward, but he picks and chooses the times to get forward a little more than (most)." Schmid was unsure when Padula would receive his work permit and join the team. "At this stage in his career, I think he's looking to settle in. Hopefully, he'll be our left back for a number of years."
• Padula will fit into a back line that includes a significant change from a year ago, where Marcos Gonzalez returned to his native Chile. In his place in central defense to start the season will be Danny O'Rourke, who played 27 games a season ago - all in a central midfield role." . MLS

Gillingham Official Site - Leroy: "Every game is a cup final."
Gillingham striker Leroy Griffiths is looking forward to the remaining seven games.

Griffiths scored the consolation goal for the Gills at Port Vale, and came close to equalising with a karate kick-style snapshot, and the striker hopes to have more shots on goal in the coming games: "The boss told me to stay between the posts, as at times I don't stay between them enough, and if the ball falls to you, you will get a goal. Luckily enough for me, from a corner, everyone missed it and the ball came to me and boom; perfect timing.

"It seems to be that I only score left foot volleys. At the moment, it is working for me so I'll keep working on them. I want to score a few goals off the deck and maybe take a couple around the goalie if I get a chance.

"That karate kick shot was going top bins. I thought to myself the ball is coming down so go for it. Normally, they work as I've scored two at home, one of which was disallowed even though I was miles onside and timed my run to perfection! I'm about scoring goals. Get into the position in the box and when they fall for me, I will take them."

The Gills take on Carlisle United at the KRBS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday and Griffiths admits the mood in the camp is good ahead of a tough game: "Every game in this league is a tough game. We need to get ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start from scratch. Hopefully we'll have a couple of experienced players back for Saturday like Andrew Crofts and Danny Cullip and they will help us with more passion and heart. The young lads that have come in, they have done well in the last couple of games.

"The mood is tremendous. Some players have let the Manager down in certain aspects but the rest of the team are digging in there together. We have got players like Adam Miller playing on an injury. I think playing on a hernia is phenomenal and he is doing the best that he can. Some people might be on his back but you have to understand that the amount of running he does for this team. Stay with us because we can stay up. We have got enough ability and quality in the squad and we just need to have that belief and stay focused.

"It is an old cliché but every game is a cup final. You always want to do better than your last game. With the staff at the club, they can help us stay up. We have got great facilities here and it is time for us to stand up and be counted when we cross that white line. The people here can help us all week long but when the game starts, it is down to us. If we continue to stick together as a team, we can do anything."

Griffiths has been used as more of a supersub in recent weeks and he explains why he can have such an impact coming off the bench: "My recent form has been a bit up and down. One minute I am flying and the next, I have got a little niggle. Now I am back flying, I want to keep that consistency. If I feel something now, I'll just talk to the Manager and he was kind to let me pull out of last Thursday's session with a hamstring injury so I didn't start on Saturday. I was on the bench and he put me on in both games over Easter.

"I am fresh and hungry when I come off the bench. I haven't been running around for over an hour and dogging opposition players. If you see me in a game, I am doing lots of dogging and tracking back. When I come off the bench, the opposition players are tired and I have loads of fuel to run at them. You don't want me running at you at 100 miles per hour if you've just played for sixty minutes! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a great supersub for Manchester United so if I can have a record like his here at Gillingham, I won't argue with anyone. If it helps get me a new contract for next season, I will be very happy with that."

Griffiths has had a rollercoaster of a season and he explains that now he is playing for Mark Stimson again, he hopes to earn a new contract for nest season: "I started off the season unattached to a club, as I had just left Fisher Athletic, so I didn't have a pre-season. I went to Havant & Waterlooville but the Manager and I didn't get on. He was shouting at me and I am not a person to take abuse. Looking at the size of me, if you were smart, you wouldn't start shouting abuse at me! I didn't want to be drawn into it because it could've tarnished my reputation. If I wanted to get into Management at the end of my career, and I've had rows with Managers, that could go against me. They did owe me money but I thought money doesn't make me so money won't break me. I thought forget it and went down a couple of divisions to get some games under my belt.

"After I left Havant & Waterlooville, I went to Corinthian Casuals. I scored a couple of goals for them but can you picture me in their chocolate and pink kit with navy blue shorts and socks? I know Brian Adamson, the Manager of Corinthian Casuals, as he coached me before and he asked me to go down there and play a few games for them to help keep my fitness up and get me back up the football pyramid.

"I then got offers from Eastleigh and Lewes Manager Steve King. He knew me from before so I went there. I went to Lewes, played a couple of games and the next minute I got a phone call. Luckily enough, the boss saw I was playing and scoring goals so he gave me the opportunity to come to Gillingham. I said I would be over the moon to come down here and luckily enough, I am still here. I owe a lot to the boss and Scott for brining me here after a tough season to play in the amount of games I have and to meet the people I have met. I would rather play for Mark Stimson than any other Manager.

"I don't want to go anywhere. I love it at this club. The fans are awesome and I love them. I enjoy coming in here every day and the staff are brilliant. I've made so many new friends here with the players, the staff and the fans. There are no big time Charlies here and everyone is level-headed. You can go to certain clubs and there will be players who think they are bigger than what they are but everyone is normal here. There is a lot of respect here and I like that. I haven't had any qualms with anyone apart from a couple of tackles flying in on the training ground!

"I feel at home here, I love the club and I like the stadium. The Chairman here is one of only a couple of Chairmen that I have got on with, the other was the Chairman at Fisher Athletic. I've worked with Mark Stimson before and he is a great guy. Scott Barrett and Paul Smith, the physio, are top blokes. Everyone here is good to me and I am good back to them. As I feel comfortable here, it is helping me out on the pitch. I can relax now as I was a bit nervous when I came here. That happens when you go to a new club because you are not sure who is who. Now I am settled here, I would love to be here for another season or two."

Griffiths has been wearing bright orange boots in recent games and he revealed why he wears such rascal footwear: "I am a flamboyant man as everyone knows. I love colours and they make you stand out. If you want to stand out, you have to have something about you. My character and dress sense says it all. I thought I will be the brave one and I'll go buy the orange Nike Mercurial boots. Everyone has got the blue and black ones so I went for the orange ones. They've got red ones too so I'll be getting a pair of them next. Hopefully they will get a few goals as I love scoring and winning. We have to keep winning to get up that table. There are a few tough games coming up against teams up the top and down the bottom, but with the players we have got, we can get the points we need to stay up." Gillingham

Ainsworth - We Could Have Been a Contender..."We're safe more or less. With 52 points it would be shocking to go down..."

Ealing Gazette/Yann Tear - Paying for poor start
GARETH Ainsworth is convinced promotion would have been clinched this year if Rangers had played all season as they are now.
The Rs threw away two points at Wolves on Saturday by conceding an injury time goal and the away form is still unpredictable.
But the QPR winger says the quality of the play and the progress made since December when the club were bottom of the Championship leaves him in no doubt.
"Without a doubt we'd be up there if we'd started the season the way we are finishing it," Ainsworth told the Gazette.
"It's tough to think of the first nine or 10 games of the season and where we could have been. We could easily have been challenging for those automatic promotion places.

"The only difference between teams now is the start made by some of the others. They picked up points and we failed to pick up points.
"But it's fantastic to have the backing we've got now. The money troubles are well behind us and now it's all about football troubles, which is how it should be."
Ainsworth was at Loftus Road this week to witness the announcement of a new fiveyear £20m deal with Italian sportswear form Lotto.
And Ainsworth, who aims to be involved with the club in a coaching capacity next year as well as on the playing side in the final year of his contract, is excited at the latest sign of Rangers' robust financial health.
"It's amazing the rollercoaster we've been through in the five or six years I've been at the club," he said.
"It's really a pinch-yourself day today.
"It fills me with pride and will hopefully fill every QPR player with pride. We are not just a Premier League club being taken over, we're doing things from a grass-roots Championship level and we're going to try and work our way up.
"We're not going to chuck money away on stupid signings and hopefully we can work on a greater structure and have a great youth system that sees us challenge in the Premier League in a few years.
"I've been asked to help out on the coaching side. That's come quite naturally as I already help out with motivation in the dressing room and instructions on the pitch and I want to keep involved in some capacity."
The bigger picture will help Ainsworth get over the slight disappointment of a lost opportunity to claim a fifth away win of the season.
"It's déjà vu with a lot of games away from home, especially with the last minute goal we conceded," he said.
"It's something we're working on and we'll probably get right next year.
"At least we've got the rest of the season now to work on it. We're safe more or less. With 52 points it would be shocking to go down.
"Maybe we need to improve on fitness a little bit, but we've had promotion form at home and if we can slightly tweak the away form, I don't think we will be too far away."
Ainsworth added: "At least we are entertaining and some of the quality of the goals are different class.
"They haven't been lucky ricochets or anything like that, they've actually been well worked goals with a variety of long shots, close range passes and crosses.
"We've got the full lot and it's looking really good.
"We've got another big test this week at Ipswich, who are really on a roll and have the best home record in the division.
"They're sneaking up there without anyone really noticing but they were a Premier League side not so long ago and they've definitely got the credentials to be there."
Ealing Gazette

Club Captain Gareth Ainsworth has encouraged his R's team-mates to end the season on a high.
Rangers visit top-six candidates Ipswich Town in the Championship on Saturday afternoon knowing only victory will keep their own feint play-off dreams alive.
And Ainsworth believes a positive finish to the season will pay huge dividends when the new campaign kicks off in August.
"It's essential that we finish the season on the front foot, so we head into the new campaign on a high," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"It's funny really - every Saturday afternoon, the lads are saying 'what if we'd won there, what if we'd held on in that one.'
"It's such a tight division and any sort of positive run of results can do your league position the power of good, but the target remains to take each game as it comes.
"Our aim is to get three more points on the board at Ipswich on Saturday and we'll see where that takes. QPR

"Lotto cash will generate success on and off pitch"..."The Inspire project will benefit most from the new deal..."

Football League's League Leader - Lotto cash will generate success on and off pitch

QPR’s Community team have hit a Lotto-style jackpot thanks to the club’s new sponsorship deal.
The Hoops have secured a £20m kit contract from the Italian sportswear firm over the next five years.
Part of the agreement will ensure a substantial investment is made towards Rangers’ Community Scheme.
The club will now have state of-the-art Lotto equipment for the projects they run throughout west London.
Lotto Sport Italia president Andrea Tomat made the announcement at Loftus Road alongside QPR Holdings Limited chairman Flavio Briatore and vice-chairman Amit Bhatia.
Community Manager Andy Evans said: “This is very exciting. It will give us the
opportunity to further enhance our scheme and benefit children in our area.
“Funding has been difficult for us in the past, but it is fantastic to have improved facilities and equipment thanks to the new Lotto sponsorship package.
“Our aim at QPR is to reach out to people and help them to a better way of life. This investment certainly helps.”
The Inspire project will benefit most from the new deal. The club have been encouraging school children to improve their academic work by offering the Inspire incentive of free match tickets.
Kids get coaching before lessons begin, and gain a point for every maths, English and science lesson they attend. Top scorers will be welcomed on to the pitch at Loftus Road before the Charlton game in April. They will also receive free Lotto gear.
Evans added: “There has been a great increase in attendances since we introduced the Inspire project and the children are more enthusiastic about school than ever before.”
Briatore and Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone have raised the profile of QPR since they became jointowners last November.
[Photo: LOT OF FUN: QPR owner Briatore with Lotto’s Andrea Tomat (left) and Amit Bhatia ] Football League League Leader

Ealing Gazette/Yann Tear - We won't destroy things that make Rs special

THE NEW owners of QPR have pledged to safeguard the identity of the club - even though they want to transform it into a club of Premier League standing.

Fans will be eager for reassurances that the potentially exciting times ahead for their club and the understandable ambitions of the men who saved the club from debt, do not mean a gradual erosion of everything they value about life at Loftus Road.

That includes the club's name, location and even the famous blue and white hooped shirts - all aspects of the club which are non-negotiable in the eyes of even the most casual of supporters.

Both Flavio Briatore and Amit Bhatia - respectively chairman and vice-chairman of QPR Holdings - claim supporters had nothing to fear.

"The most important thing for us is that we maintain what is quintessentially QPR," said Bhatia on the day the club announced an unprecedented five-year kit sponsorship deal worth £20m with sportswear manufacturers Lotto Sport Italia.

"We want to keep the club's identity intact and the fans have nothing at all to be worried about. They should be excited like we are.

"I most definitely hope the Rangers of the future is one the fans would recognise."

Bhatia, the son-in-law of billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose almost limitless resources led to Rangers being dubbed 'the richest club in the world' added: "What attracted us to

QPR is everything about it's identity and I don't see any benefit in trying to change it. There's a history behind this club and why damage that?

"When the stadium becomes a concern, we will address it but it's really not a concern now. We love the area, I love the stadium.

"We don't want to move and if we have to move in the future, we'd want it to be in the vicinity." [25a0] Cont page 63

Briatore said: "We want to stay in this area. This is very important. For respect to the fans. We want to be 15 minutes from London. This is the big plus of QPR.

"We don't know where the club is going yet. We are just trying to go step by step. Our goal now is just to stay in the Championship. I'm sure next year we will try to improve.

"We want to consolidate the club and create a good base in the sports side and in the marketing and commercial side."

Briatore this week gave more insight into his vision for Rangers and why he opted for a club in a lower rather than top division.

"Everybody asks me 'Why did you buy QPR?' I say it's because you want to start from the bottom and create a new club," he said.

"This is much more more exciting. This is a good adventure, starting at the bottom to build up a good football club."

"QPR was a good deal," he added, saying he was a fan of English football because it was "not an excuse to fight" as it often is in his native Italy and was enjoyed by children and families.

"It's a club in the centre of London. The location of the stadium is the best location.

"QPR have a nice story behind them and it's a club with a lot of potential.

"We are a bunch of friends together who want to do something in football and we want to start from this kind of division."

Briatore refused to be drawn on type of player he wants at the club or have their eyes on and agreed with Bhatia's assessment that: "We're very happy with what we have now."

"Gigi has done a fantastic job in the last three months," the Italian said. "The club is alive. We play good football and the fans love it. We play some of the best football in this league and this is recognised by everybody."

Sport is complicated, with luck involved, Briatore said.

"Nothing is guaranteed, but we will try to do the best as possible.

"We will not throw away money. We are talking about QPR, we're not talking about Chelsea. It's completely wrong to compare the clubs. We want to do it our way.

"Whenever somebody arrives in a new business, people think this is the new blood to suck, but there is nothing to suck here."

Rangers' deal with Lotto looks like it may be followed by shirt deals and other sponsorship tie-ups. Kingfisher - the Indian lager brand - is one expected soon, although Briatore denies it for now.

The cash will help lay the foundations for promotion next season and may even be used to re-establish a youth academy.

The club lost its set-up a few years ago and it would cost at least £1m to set up the facilities and coaching staff for such a project. But talks are apparently in progress.

"The aim is to bring this club back to the heights of the past and even beyond that," said Lotto president Andrea Tomat.

"It's an important investment for our company, but we know the plans for the club are to go to the highest possible levels and I believe the strengths of the people involved will certainly provide that." Ealing Gazette

Friday, March 28, 2008

QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini - Wolves Supposedly Will Not Issue Formal Complaint Against Him

Mail/This is London - Wolves will take no action over Paladini
Wolves have decided not to lodge a formal complaint with the Football League after QPR's Gianni Paladini was involved in a bizarre clash with Mick McCarthy following their draw last week.
The QPR chairman was involved in a fierce exchange with the bemused Molineux boss after Andy Keogh's late goal salvaged a point for the hosts.
Paladini was incensed at the amount of time being added on for injuries and raced down to the dressing-room area at the final whistle where he confronted the Yorkshireman.
A Wolves source said: 'There's no suggestion of us complaining to anyone.'
Paladini claimed he was pushed away by McCarthy, who later apologised because he did not recognise him. Mail

Ex-QPR Goalkeeper, Ray Drinkwater Dies



RAY DRINKWATER - It is with great sadness that the Club has learned of the death of former player, Ray Drinkwater. He was 76.
Ray joined QPR in 1957, following a short time with Portsmouth.
The talented goalkeeper made more than 200 appearances for the R's during a six-year stay, before going on to finish his career with Southern League team Bath City.
He died on Tuesday, following a brief illness.
The thoughts of the Club are with his wife Brenda, family and friends at this difficult time. QPR

Football and cricket star Drinkwater dies, aged 76
A FORMER Guildford City footballer who went on to play for Queens Park Rangers has died at the age of 76.
Ray Drinkwater was spotted as a goalkeeper playing for local side Northway, his family having moved south from Jarrow in Northumberland.
Drinkwater made his Southern League debut for City against Chelmsford in 1951, and played 109 times in all before he was bought by Portsmouth for £2,000.
He only made eight appearances for the Fratton Park club, then playing in the old Football League first division.
His switch to QPR came in 1958 and he stayed for five years, making 214 appearances at the start of Alec Stock’s highly successful reign. The club were in Division Three then, on the verge of some golden years.
Drinkwater - born in May 1931 - finished his playing days with a switch to Southern League side Bath City, as a favour for Malcolm Allison as he took his early steps in management.
He was also a dashing all-rounder for Ripley Cricket Club over two decades.
Teammate and friend Guy Pullen remembered: “Ray was a brilliant slip catcher, a good first-change bowler and hit the ball incredibly hard. He won a Flora Doris Cup game for us in the dark at Farncombe and kept putting Arthur Balchin in to the houses across the road.”
Drinkwater leaves behind his wife Brenda plus a son and daughter.
You can leave a tribute to Ray Drinkwater by clicking here. Surrey Advertiser

Brief Wikipedia/Drinkwater

Former QPR Youth Coach, Joe Gallen's QPR Accomplishments (and QPR Tragedies)

South London Press- Success touched by tragedy

JOE Gallen's leadership at youth level has been a big factor in QPR's recent success.

He brought 15 centre of excellence graduates into the first team, and coached two England internationals.

They also won their youth league. In Dean Parrett, his set-up also produced one of the most promising midfielders of his generation, signed by Spurs for £2million last season.

"We were skint every year but we were the envy of many academies," said Gallen.

"I am glad now the club has new owners, that there's some money there at last."

But Gallen also had to cope with a season of trauma - the death of two scholars, which saw four of his youth products being questioned over a tragic accident.

In June 2005, QPR youngster Kiyan Prince, 15, was been stabbed to death outside his school.

And when a Vietnamese student died under a train at Earls Court station in December 2006, youth player Harry Smart was also badly hurt.

Smart, 17, was reported to have been play-fighting on a team-mate's shoulders when he fell during the rush-hour on November 23, taking Tu Quang Hoang Vu, 25, who later died, with him. Smart's friends were questioned over the death.

Ray Jones, 18, had already played 37 times for the first team and scored six goals when he died in a car crash in August 2007. Gallen said: "It was a very difficult time because I was close to all those players and their families."
South London Press

QPR's Directors and Formula 1: Briatore and Agag Supposedly Rule Out Succeeding Ecclestone

In the non-QPR arena....

Ecclestone denies Briatore to succeed him
Bernie Ecclestone has played down speculation that he has lined up Flavio Briatore as his preferred successor as F1 chief executive.
The 77-year-old is close friends with Italian Briatore, who entered formula one team management in the late 80s and is still boss of the Renault outfit.
Ecclestone and Briatore, 57, also recently went into business, with ownership of the London football club Queens Park Rangers. But Briton Ecclestone, albeit with no intention of retiring, doubts that one man will be able to replace him.
"And I don't think he is even interested in this job; he has different priorities than me," Bernie, referring to Briatore, told FHM magazine in Spain.
Also in the interview, Ecclestone branded F1's current world champion Kimi Räikkönen as "completely the opposite" of 2008 challenger Lewis Hamilton....
Source: GMM - MSN News

Another Ecclestone ally says no to supremo job
Another potential successor to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has counted himself out of the running for the job.
Shortly after Flavio Briatore denied the possibility of replacing 77-year-old Ecclestone when he decides to step down, another of the Briton's closest friends and business partners also played down speculation that he might run formula one in the future.
Alejandro Agag co-owns a GP2 team, is involved in Ecclestone and Briatore's Queens Park Rangers foray, and controls the television rights to formula one in Spain.
But he told Spanish radio Cadena SER: "I see no possibility of replacing Ecclestone, and nor would I fit his shoes.
"I see him as a genius. He turned a group of friends into a true global spectacle that occurs every two weeks," Agag praised.
Some observers and experts, however, insist that Agag, 37, would make a good successor for Ecclestone, also pointing to his experience in the world of politics.
He says Briatore advised him to buy the Spanish TV rights, before 'Alonso-mania' kicked off.
"Nobody wanted them, but Flavio had a blind faith in Fernando and assured me that F1 is going to work in Spain," Agag explains.
He even plays down the media tale about the discord between Briatore and McLaren boss Ron Dennis, recalling a dinner at the recent Malaysian grand prix that was attended by both team chiefs.
Agag says the pair share a "cordial hatred".
Source: GMM - MSN

QPR Stats: Discipline, Attendance, Players Used - in 2007/2008 Compared to Other Championship Clubs

A general comparison of QPR this season and last - QPR 2007/06 vs 2007/08

In 2007/08 QPR's Disciplinary record Compared to other Championship Clubs (QPR rank near the worst with 74 Yellow and 4 Red, Thus Far) - Disciplinary Record - by club

Individual Players With Worst Disciplinary Record in Championship (QPR's Mikele Leigertwood and Martin Rowlands make the list) - "Baddest" Players

[QPR's disciplinary record last year was far worse: 105 Yellows; 3 Reds) - QPR Disciplinary Record in 2006/07

Players used QPR, with 37 players used, are second only to Leicester in number of players used this season. Players Used per club

(Last season QPR used 35 players) QPR Players Used in 2006/07

Club Attendances: QPR Rank in the bottom Third in Attendance, with an average of just over 13,500 - Club Attendance

[With obviously three games remaining, QPR's attendance is still UP from last season, when it averaged just over 12,900. 2006/07 attendance]

Leading Scorers - Leading Scorers

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dominic Shimmin Leaves Crawley...Ex-QPR Tommy Cunningham Resigns From Harlow

Dominic Shimmin had only been at Crawley a couple of months. [See February "Dominic Shimmin Joins Crawley" and Shimmin's QPR Background

Crawley Official Site - Crawley Town Football Club announces the departures of Dominic Shimmin and Kevin James from the club.
Both players have agreed their releases from the club and leave the Broadfield Stadium with immediate affect.
Shimmin endured a frustrating period since joining the club from Queens Park Rangers at the start of February. Injuries restricted the defender to just two starts for the club.
James joined the club during the January transfer window from league rivals Woking. He scored on his full debut against his former club, making in total 13 appearances for the club, scoring twice.
All connected with Crawley Town Football Club would like to thank both players for their efforts and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. Crawley

Crawley Observer - James and Shimmin leave Reds
DEFENDER Dominic Shimmin and midfielder Kevin James have left Crawley Town with immediate effect.
James signed from Woking in January making 13 appearances for the club and scoring two goals.
No reason has been given to his departure.
It was a frustrating period for defender Dominic Shimmin who started just two games due to injuries after joining from QPR in February.
See reaction to this on the website tomorrow morning. Crawley Observer

Bishop Stortford Citizen - Drectors pay tribute to Cunningham
DIRECTORS at Harlow Town Football Club have paid tribute to Tommy Cunningham, who took the decision to resign as the club's Director of Football last week.
Cunningham, who joined the Hawks in July 2003 as first team manager, came to the decision for personal reasons, and will now concentrate on his sports management work.
Vice-Chairman Simon Morgan said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed that Tommy has come to this decision, but he believes that this is the right thing to do at this time.
"Tommy's help and support has been invaluable to the club, and we wish him every success in the future.
"I'm pleased that he will still be there to speak to if we need any more advice or help in the months to come."
Cunningham took charge of his first game at Harlow on August 16, 2003 at home to Waltham Forest in division one east of the Southern League.
The former Chelsea and QPR defender moved upstairs to director level at the club in November 2006, when he passed on the first team manager's reigns to Ryan Kirby.
It has been through Cunningham's connections that Harlow have been able to lay their hands on several talented young prospects in the game, including the recent work experience signings from Southend United and Leyton Orient.
During his tenure as Director of Football, Cunningham saw the Hawks gain propmotion to the Ryman Premeir Division for the first time in 23 years.
His resignation takes immediate effect, with Ryan Kirby now tasked with overseeing all footballing matters.
Other administrative tasks previously carried out by Cunningham have been undertaken by Morgan.
"It is important to realise that Tommy's decision will not have a detrimental effect on the playing staff at the club," Morgan pointed out.
"We are more than happy with the direction Tommy has taken Harlow Town in, and we will look to build on this in the future." Bishops Stortford Citizen

"Going Down:" Championship Relegation Places/Points Over Past Decade

Championship Relegation: Past Seasons Points Total For Three Relegated Teams, over Past Decade-
[For Championship, "Division One" as it used to be called; and of course Division Two is what is really is!]

2007-2008: [QPR currently have 52 points from 40 games. (QPR ended last season with 53 points from 46 games).]
Current Table:
Southampton 40 46
Coventry 39 45
Leicester 40 44
Sheff Wed 38 44
Scunthorpe 40 38
Colchester 40 33 Current Championship Table


Queens Park Rangers 46 14 11 21 54 68 53
Leicester City 46 13 14 19 49 64 53
Barnsley 46 15 5 26 53 85 50
Hull City 46 13 10 23 51 67 49
Southend United 46 10 12 24 47 80 42
Luton Town 46 10 10 26 53 81 40
Leeds United 46 13 7 26 46 72 36

Queens Park Rangers 46 12 14 20 50 65 50
Crewe Alexandra 46 9 15 22 57 86 42
Millwall 46 8 16 22 35 62 40
Brighton & Hove Albion 46 7 17 22 39 71 38

Crewe Alexandra 46 12 14 20 66 86 50
Gillingham 46 12 14 20 45 66 50
Nottingham Forest 46 9 17 20 42 66 44
Rotherham United 46 5 14 27 35 69 29

Gillingham 46 14 9 23 48 67 51
Walsall 46 13 12 21 45 65 51
Bradford City 46 10 6 30 38 69 36
Wimbledon 46 8 5 33 41 89 29

Stoke City 46 12 14 20 45 69 50
Sheffield Wednesday 46 10 16 20 56 73 46
Brighton & Hove Albion 46 11 12 23 49 67 45
Grimsby Town 46 9 12 25 48 85 39

Sheffield Wednesday 46 12 14 20 49 71 50
Rotherham United 46 10 19 17 52 66 49
Crewe Alexandra 46 12 13 21 47 76 49
Barnsley 46 11 15 20 59 86 48
Stockport County 46 6 8 32 42

Crystal Palace 46 12 13 21 57 70 49
Huddersfield Town 46 11 15 20 48 57 48
Queens Park Rangers 46 7 19 20 45 75 40
Tranmere Rovers 46 9 11 26 46 77 38

West Bromwich Albion 46 10 19 17 43 60 49
Walsall 46 11 13 22 52 77 46
Port Vale 46 7 15 24 48 69 36
Swindon Town 46 8 12 26 38 77 36

Portsmouth 46 11 14 21 57 73 47
Queens Park Rangers 46 12 11 23 52 61 47
Port Vale 46 13 8 25 45 75 47
Bury 46 10 17 19 35 60 47
Oxford United 46 10 14 22 48 71 44
Bristol City 46 9 15 22 57 80 42

Queens Park Rangers 46 10 19 17 51 63 49
Manchester City 46 12 12 22 56 57 48
Stoke City 46 11 13 22 44 74 46
Reading 46 11 9 26 39 78 42

Bradford City 46 12 12 22 47 72 48
Grimsby Town 46 11 13 22 60 81 46
Oldham Athletic 46 10 13 23 51 66 43
Southend United 46 8 15 23 42 86 39

Final Tables

Lotto Sports Website

For anyone interested: The Lotto Sports website

The QPR/Lotto Sports Shirt Announcement posted is the same as the statement on the Official QPR Site.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Snippets: Mancienne on His Future...Hogan on Returning...Ainsworth on Results and on Referees and Dissent

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Mancienne Talking About Promotion, Wolves Games and His Future
"....The right-back, who has been on loan from Chelsea all season, confirmed once again that no decision has yet been taken on whether he might make a permanent move to Loftus Road in the summer.
He said: "I haven't heard anything at the moment, I just get on with my own game and try and do as well as I can." Kilburn Times

Gareth Ainsworth/Kilburn Times - on Wolves Game, Ipswich Game, and Dissent
"....He also pointed out that the referee had a different angle. There's no doubt that referees are an integral part of the game and they can make or break a season.
Referees have been a bit of a talking point over the last week or so and I have to say I don't like referees who seem to enjoy the limelight and become minor celebrities.
Fifteen years ago, most people would probably have struggled to name many refs at all - now there are 10 or 15 who are very well-known and that's not really what the game's about.
But I also think there's no excuse for a player getting booked for dissent. That's a sign of weakness, not passion.
In nearly 20 years playing football I've never seen a referee change his mind - even if he knows he's wrong, he's not going to admit he made a mistake.
So you have to keep it in mind that you might be up against a 12th man and sometimes the decisions go against you, which should make you more determined to work even harder
.... Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Hogan hopes for swift return
Kilburn Times

Ex-QPR Coach Joe Gallen Continues Upwards

Next step: League Manager!

South London Press/Toby Porter - Former youth team coach steps into assistant's post

MILLWALL'S new assistant boss is Joe Gallen.

The former QPR youth coach has stepped into the job just five months after joining the Lions in the same role.

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett, who worked with Gallen at Loftus Road, has also revealed veteran defender Richard Shaw is to fill Gallen's previous job of reserve-team boss.

Jackett said: "Joe is a very good coach on the field and has a good way with the players."

Gallen stepped up from youth-team coach to reserve coach in December.

The brother of former QPR striker Kevin won seven caps with the Republic of Ireland's U21 team while a player at Shamrock Rovers.

Gallen's appointment follows just a week after Colin West was told he would not be Jackett's assistant next season.

A meeting later this week will decide if West stays at The Den in another role or leaves.

Gallen played at Watford as a young striker and at Exeter and Shrewsbury but retired at the age of 25 when a persistent back problem, which had been operated on, started causing pain in his hamstring.

He was involved in coaching at every level at Loftus Road from U9 to the first team and has a sports science degree from Elephant & Castle's South Bank University.

He was assistant boss at Exeter City under Paul Tisdale until Jackett asked him to come to The Den in November.

Gallen, 35, said: "This club's potential is huge because of the size of its fan base.

"We are looking forward to producing a team which those fans enjoy watching and which can eventually push for promotion. I hope I bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the role -and I am not shy of speaking my mind.

"My task will be to mentor some of our young players - which involves stressing their strengths to them, as much as working on their weaknesses."

Jackett said of Shaw's role: "Richard will, where necessary, still be training with the squad and also playing if we need him...." South London

QPRs Playing for England Yesterday: Mancienne, Sinclair and Parrett

At England U-21 level, QPR's season-long loan from Chelsea, Michael Mancienne played the entire game against Poland.

QPR's former loan from Chelsea, Scott Sinclair apparently played well as the England U-19s defeated Russia 3-1. "Chelsea winger Scott Sinclair and Reading's James Henry were in particularly dazzling form as the Russians were completely outclassed throughout....Sinclair terrorising the Russian defence on numerous occasions...- FA Report

Dean Parett who left for Spurs just over a year ago, played for England U-17s as they drew 1-1 against France in Tel Aviv. FA Report

[And tonight, ex-QPR youth (briefly), Rio Ferdinand captains England!

Briatore on QPR's New Wealth and Plans - Compilation of Various News Accounts

Almost every news report of the event adds a little additional snippet of information about what said or what is planned.

The Times/Kaveh Solhekol

QPR billionaires will not jump through hoops for agents in bid for success Flavio Briatore did not become a billionaire by throwing his money away and the co-owner of Queens Park Rangers has warned agents that he will not be taken for a ride as he tries to transform the fortunes of the Coca-Cola Championship club.

Speaking at the launch of QPR’s new £20 million, five-year kit deal with Lotto, the Italian manufacturer, Briatore, who is also the managing director of the Renault Formula One team, dismissed rumours that the West London side wanted to sign superstar players such as Luis Figo, the Inter Milan winger and former Portugal captain. “Figo is a fantasy,” Briatore said. “There are lots of rumours in English football - it is even worse than Formula One.”

Briatore bought QPR last November with Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, two of the richest men in the UK, and the billionaires want to reach the promised land of the Barclays Premier League without lining the pockets of agents.

“Everybody thinks that new people have come in and they can suck our blood, but we have no blood,” Briatore said. “There is nothing to suck here. There is no blood in my body. Just because the shareholders are wealthy, it does not mean that the club is wealthy.”

QPR were in the relegation zone when Briatore and Co arrived at Loftus Road, but they have climbed the table steadily since the appointment of Luigi De Canio and the Italian first-team coach will be given about £10 million to spend on new players in the summer. “We have wish list of who we want, but we won’t be discussing it in public. If I tell you who we want to buy, the price will become ten times bigger,” Briatore said. “We don’t want fantasy players, we need players who will work hard and players who share the same motivations as the shareholders of the club.” Despite being a friend of Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea, Briatore will not be following the Russian’s lead in the transfer market. Prudence is the watchword at Shepherds Bush. “It is completely wrong to compare QPR with Chelsea,” Briatore said. “Chelsea are Chelsea and QPR are QPR. We will not be throwing our money away.”

Briatore wants his club to be playing in the Champions League in five years and to do so the Italian has accepted that the club will need to move away from their home in West London. Several sites in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham are being considered. “At the moment we are facing a problem with the stadium, but we have to change things little by little,” Briatore said. “If you want to build a tower, you have to build it on strong foundations. You cannot build a tower on sand.”

The future of QPR appears to be a lot brighter than Briatore’s Formula One team. Renault have been off the pace in this season’s opening two grands prix and Fernando Alonso, the former world champion from Spain, said yesterday that he may leave the team and join Ferrari next season. “Sport is not easy, it is very complicated,” Briatore said. “It is about the people you put together, it is about luck. You need a lot ingredients to be successful. We will just try to do our best.” The Times

The Guardian/Mike McGrath - QPR sign £20m sponsorship deal

Queens Park Rangers have landed a £20m kit sponsorship deal with the Italian sportswear firm Lotto to add to their new wealth but Flavio Briatore insists the club will not be held to ransom despite their war chest. Briatore believes the five-year deal will help to build a foundation for success in the future although the co-owner is also wary of radical changes.
Should there be a need for a bigger stadium, Briatore wants the club to stay in west London. In the short term, the Championship club are looking for the right transfer targets rather than high-profile signings.
We are not going to throw away money at all," Briatore said. "We [will] try to put the club together in the right way and what we have done now is a demonstration of that. We are not the new blood of football. QPR is QPR, Chelsea are Chelsea - we will do it our way.
"If we say which players we want, the price is 10 times bigger. When somebody arrives in the business people say that it is new blood to suck. There is nothing to suck here. We don't have blood."

Briatore, who runs the Renault grand prix team, owns QPR with the formula one rights owner, Bernie Ecclestone, and the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. Their investment has seen the club linked with a host of players. "We have a wish list," said Amit Bhatia, QPR Holdings' vice-chairman.

Ecclestone considered nearby Chelsea before Roman Abramovich took over but Briatore did not want to make comparisons between the clubs. Abramovich brought almost instant success to Stamford Bridge but Briatore says he is merely looking to build foundations.

"We want to consolidate the club and create a base," he said. "This year our goal is to stay in the Championship. We need to do it step by step. We want to build up a club. You want to start from the bottom and create a new club, this is exciting. It's a new adventure. It is a club in the middle of London, probably the best location in the city. The club has a story behind it and a lot of potential, as we've seen already." Guardian

FINANCIAL TIMES - Lotto Sport Italia deal makes QPR continental
By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent

Queen Park Rangers' unlikely connections with international wealth and glamour continued apace with the announcement that Lotto Sport Italia would become kit supplier of the mid-table Football League Championship team in a deal worth £20m ($40m).

The once high-flying west London side attracted attention in November when it was taken over by Flavio Briatore, owner of the Renault F1 team, and Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One Management's chief executive.

After clearing a £13m debt, they added to the club's new-found lustre by attracting investment from Lakshmi Mittal, the billionaire steel magnate, and have now persuaded one of Italy's biggest sports clothing retailers to join the party.

Lotto Sport Italia will provide new kits and training gear and develop fashionable QPR-branded shoes and clothes. The value of the deal, over five years, is dependent on QPR gaining promotion to the Premier League.

Amit Bhatia, vice-charman and Mr Mittal's son-in-law, said the QPR board hoped this would be the first of several deals and that it would attract attention from other corporations.

"We are dedicated to try and make this team a success," Mr Bhatia said. "We have a really solid base of young players."

The vice-chairman sought to disabuse QPR supporters of the assumption that the club's high-profile and wealthy owners would throw money at the team in an attempt to catapult it back into the elite of English football.

"The reality is the opposite. The idea is to be very prudent, not to throw money at the club but to spend wisely," he said. "The shareholders are successful people and they became successful by spending wisely and prudently."

Mr Bhatia added that their aims were neither to lose money running the club nor to profit extensively from it.

"You have to have a nice balance," Mr Bhatia explained.

"Everybody involved loves their football and is a fan first. But do we think QPR has potential? Absolutely." Financial Times

The TELEGRAPH/Mike McGrath - Queens Park Rangers' £20 million deal

Queens Park Rangers have announced a £20 million deal with kit manufacturers Lotto Sport to add to their new wealth - but co-owner Flavio Briatore said the club would not be held to ransom in the transfer market.

Briatore said the five-year deal is part of building a foundation for success in the future, and added that, should there be a need for a bigger stadium, he wanted the club to stay in the same area of west London. In the short term, the club are looking for the right transfer targets rather than high-profile signings.

advertisement"We are not going to throw away money at all," he said. "We are trying to put the club together in the right way and what we have done now is a demonstration of that. We are not the new blood of football. QPR are QPR, Chelsea are Chelsea - we will do it our way."

Briatore owns QPR with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal - with the new investment leading to the club being linked with a host of players.

"This year our goal is to stay in the Championship. You need to do it step by step. You want to start from the bottom and create a new club, this is exciting. It's a new adventure." Telegraph

This is London/Daily Mail - What a Lotto QPR have got as they cook up a tasty dish

Such is the showbiz buzz around Queens Park Rangers these days that the mere sight of co-owner Flavio Briatore jetting into London from the Malaysian Grand Prix can generate its own micro-climate of rumours.

He arrived in a blizzard, and the word was that the new owners were thinking of changing the club's name to West London Rangers, wanted to build a new stadium, design a new badge and abandon the traditional blue and white hoops.

Playboy: Briatore and vice-chairman Amit Bhatia

Briatore swept into Loftus Road looking every inch the international playboy: suntanned, luxuriantly coiffured, wearing blue-lensed spectacles and a cashmere scarf tucked inside his upturned collar.

He was here to announce a new £20million, five-year kit deal not with Versace but with Italian firm Lotto. There will not be a Roman chariot embroidered into the sleeve and, to the disappointment of sports photographers, it was not about to be super-modelled by Naomi Campbell.

Lotto insist the hoops will remain. In fact, to the relief of those Rangers supporters convinced this is all too good to be true and there simply has to be a catch, there were no terrifying rebranding schemes in the air.

'A new name?' laughed Briatore, shaking his head. 'Maybe we should call it Oxford,' he added, laughing again at his own joke, which no one else could work out.

Renault's F1 team leader Briatore and the sport's overlord Bernie Ecclestone completed their joint takeover of QPR in November, before quickly selling 20 per cent of the shares to Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the world's fifth richest man. Between them the trio could dwarf Roman Abramovich's estimated £500m investment in Chelsea without losing much sleep but, yesterday, Briatore was in no mood for fantasy.

'Do not be confused,' said the Italian. 'Although the shareholders are wealthy the club is in a completely different situation, we won't be throwing away money. It is completely wrong to compare QPR to Chelsea. We are doing the thing our way.

'We won't sit here and talk about the players we want to buy because we want to make sure the price is not 10 times bigger. When somebody arrives in a new business, everybody says: “Oh my God, this is the new guy, the new blood to suck”. There's nothing to suck here.'

This is unlikely to extinguish the excitement around Shepherds Bush. The new owners instantly wiped out £13m of debt and bought well in the January transfer window to help new manager Luigi De Canio haul the club up the Championship table.

'When we arrived QPR were not much,' said Briatore. 'We were starting from the beginning. Our first goal was to make sure we weren't relegated. When we took over the club that did not look so easy but the players and Gigi have done a fantastic job.

'The club is alive. QPR is safe. Without us there would be no QPR any more. This is the biggest difference between us being here and not being here. We are 50 per cent safe in mid-table and we are playing good football, some of the best in this league, and the fans love it.

'Everybody asks why we bought QPR. We are a bunch of friends together who want to do something in football and this is the right approach. We wanted to start from the bottom and create a new club. This way it is more exciting.'

The type of glamour-puss friends Briatore and Ecclestone keep will ensure that as many cameras are trained on the directors' box inside Loftus Road as they are on the pitch for the rest of the season.

Then all the attention will be on how Rangers, relegated from the Barclays Premier League in 1996, will behave in the summer transfer market as they equip themselves for an assault on promotion.

'Before I came here I didn't know QPR existed,' said Briatore, who thought he was buying a barbecue restaurant when the business proposition was first put to him by Ecclestone. 'But I was in Kuala Lumpur and three or four people stopped me to talk about QPR. Everybody is talking about QPR.' This is London

Fearless Flavio Briatore yesterday unveiled a new £20million sponsorship deal for QPR then insisted: "I won't get ripped off like Roman Abramovich".

The F1 team owner, who has taken over at Loftus Road with billionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, refused to say which players the club are targeting to turn them into superpowers. But he said QPR will challenge for the Championship title next season and play in the Premier League the season after that.

"It's between us and our sporting director the players that we are thinking of," said Briatore. "Otherwise when I try to buy players the price becomes 10 times bigger.

"You only have to look at what has happened with Chelsea. We are working to ensure that if we go up we will stay up and not come straight back down."

Since Abramovich took over at Stamford Bridge in 2003, Chelsea have splashed out £17m on Damien Duff then were forced to take a £12m loss on him when he moved to Newcastle for £5m in 2006.

Other players on which they have had to take huge losses include £16.8m striker Hernan Crespo, who left for Inter Milan on a free transfer, and £15m forward Adrian Mutu, who was sacked after failing a drugs test.

But Briatore, who signed a five-year shirt deal with Lotto yesterday, said: "We will not throw any money away. Even though we are wealthy there is no blood to suck. QPR is QPR, Chelsea is Chelsea.

"Next year we will try to improve our position, but right now we want to consolidate the club and provide a good base.

"I chose QPR because the location of the stadium is the best. Its also a club with a lot of potential.

"A few years ago Bernie tried to buy Chelsea and Abramovich paid more for it. So we want to create our own club. It's very exciting. Now we want to build up from the bottom." Mirror

See Also:
- Detailed Reports of Briatore's Comments and Plans
- Also: Other Reports on Sponsorship, Finances and Plans

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