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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dowie's Sacking - Further (Amazing) Press Reports and Analysis

Mirror/James Nursey - QPR boss sacked after Briatore chose his team
- QPR tycoon Flavio Briatore yesterday sacked boss Iain Dowie after a huge row over the Italian dictating team selection.
- Joint owner Briatore and Dowie have endured a rocky relationship since the former Crystal Palace boss replaced Luigi De Canio in May.
-The final straw came as Briatore handed Dowie a list of 11 players and told him it was the QPR team for their game at Reading.
-The side included Briatore’s fellow Italians Samuel Di Carmine and Matteo Alberti as well as Colombian-born kid Angelo Balanta. On-loan Spaniard Daniel Parejo was also named, while key players like six-goal English striker Dexter Blackstock were omitted.

- Dowie refused to accept Briatore’s demands and told the F1 Renault team chief to sack him.
- Veteran midfielder Gareth Ainsworth is in temporary charge, while Terry Venables and ex-Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini are being touted as successors to Dowie.Mirror

The Guardian/David Hytner - Dowie sacked as Briatore flexes his muscles in QPR boardroom
Flavio Briatore reasserted his authority in the Queens Park Rangers boardroom yesterday by sacking Iain Dowie as manager. There has been turmoil behind the scenes at the Championship club, where the chairman, Briatore, clashed with the vice-chairman, Amit Bhatia, after the latter released a personally signed statement pledging to reduce ticket prices at Loftus Road.
- Briatore telephoned Gianni Paladini to accuse the club's sporting director of undermining him and promised he would be sacked. Paladini, though, was spared at a meeting on Thursday attended by all the major powers and Briatore instead turned the knife on Dowie.

- The Italian has been unhappy with Dowie, who took over in May, for some weeks and suspected the manager had criticised him behind his back for a lack of support in the transfer market. Briatore helped to bring a clutch of players to the club, including Daniel Parejo, who is on loan from Real Madrid and on a huge contract by Championship standards. But Parejo and Emmanuel Ledesma, who joined on loan from Genoa, have not been in the starting line-up in recent games and Damiano Tommasi, the Italian midfielder, has yet to make a first-team appearance.
- Briatore is understood to have suggested yesterday that Dowie ought to start certain players in today's game at Reading. A disagreement ensued and the club statement announcing the termination of Dowie's contract with "immediate effect" swiftly followed. Gareth Ainsworth, the veteran midfielder, will take caretaker charge against Reading but he will not be the long-term appointment. The club have sounded out Terry Venables and Steve Cotterill and the board are undecided whether to go for a British or foreign coach. Early suggestions that Roberto Mancini, the former Internazionale manager, will come in are wide of the mark. Tommasi, having already been brought in, is a possibility and so is Alan Curbishley, the former West Ham manager.
-Briatore... who is supported on the QPR board by Bernie Ecclestone and Bhatia, the son-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal, whose family owns 20% of the club, now have a truce, but the possibility remains that the Mittals will try to buy out Briatore and Ecclestone.
QPR have won one of their past six league matches and currently lie ninth in the table. The Guardian

The Sun/Paul Jiggins Beautiful dream is turning ugly -
They had a beautiful dream — to turn unfashionable QPR into the Premier League’s must-have accessory.
- But yesterday the beautiful people turned the beautiful game ugly as Iain Dowie was sacked as manager after less than six months in charge.
You see, a real, genuine, dyed-in-the-wool football man at Loftus Road is soooooooo last season, daaarlin’.
These days in W12 it is all about image.
And clearly Dowie’s mug did not fit among all the make-up, mascara and man-bags that can be found. It could be argued his sacking has made him football’s first fashion victim.
- But he is unlikely to be the last fatality in that corner of West London where Trevor Francis tracksuits from a mush in Shepherd’s Bush are no longer considered the height of style.
- For if you scratch away at all the expensive cosmetics, phoney air kisses and promises to lunch next week, you will uncover a football club on the brink of imploding under the expectation and egos arising from its new-found wealth.
- Put simply, QPR are a club at war. Yesterday, Dowie became its first casualty — but there will be more.
- What makes this battle so bloody is that it is being waged by some of the world’s richest men behind the decaying facade of Loftus Road. Well, they say you need money to fight a war. And this conflict has billions.
- Wars also usually feature ruthless leadership and this one’s no different.
Co-owner and chairman Briatore is the millionaire Formula One playboy who came to Rangers’ rescue when he bought them for £14million in December — with a little help from his pitlane pal Bernie Ecclestone.
But his desire to run the club in the same hands-on fashion as he manages his Renault F1 team is turning Loftus Road into the pits. He has already upset the Hoops’ long-suffering fans.
And now his apparent determination to have total control over everything he touches has led to Dowie’s exit.
An insider claims the manager went because he showed he could no longer stand being told what team he should pick by Briatore, the club’s majority shareholder.
- It appears the Italian has failed to grasp football clubs cannot be run like F1 teams. Managers like Dowie won’t tolerate being urged to pick a team seconds before the players are due out on the pitch.
- Our source said he is determined to put his stamp on the club while the supporters pray he will sell out to fellow shareholder Lakshmi Mittal.
- Briatore persuaded the London-based Indian steel billionaire — the world’s fourth wealthiest man — to invest a fraction of his £45billion fortune in a 20 per cent stake of QPR.
- Mittal and his family are bankrolling the club as debts pile up. The likeable Indian tycoon — represented on the board by his son-in-law Amit Bhatia — understands football, accepts coaches pick the team and fans should be looked after for their loyalty.
- But Briatore’s long-term plan seems to centre around attracting wealthy West Londoners to a small niche stadium with excellent hospitality. “Boutique football,” Briatore calls it.
- He has apparently treated supporters with the same contempt he has shown Dowie by hiking ticket prices and ordering season-ticket holders out of seats they have sat in for years in order to make more space for his corporate guests and celebrity chums, such as Campbell and Beckwith.
- Briatore, 58, has said: “The first thing to remember is that without us there was no QPR. I don’t want everybody telling me what I need to be doing.
“People believe the club is owned by the fans but it’s only a few who put their money down. For the rest of the people it’s easy to criticise when they maybe spend £20.”
If only it was £20 to see Rangers these days. As part of a new banding scheme Briatore introduced seven games into this season, the cost of a ticket in Loftus Road’s ‘Platinum’ area for last month’s visit of Derby was FIFTY QUID.
He also tried to charge Rams fans the same amount for a seat in the shoddy School End behind the goal.
-In a victory for football, the League ordered Rangers to charge visiting fans the £30 that had been agreed before the start of the season.
- Now QPR will have to find more cash to fund Dowie’s successor.
- Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson, Millwall’s Kenny Jackett and former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini have been linked with the post.
Last night, a QPR spokesman said: “We’re in no position to comment.The Sun

The Times/Tom Dart - Mancini in QPR radar after Dowie axed
Iain Dowie was sacked after just 15 games in charge at Lotfus Road

-The strange-looking partnership between Iain Dowie and the multimillionaire owners seeking to turn Queens Park Rangers into a glamorous club came to a swift end yesterday as the manager was sacked after only 15 matches in charge. It is hard to predict his successor, given that Zin├ędine Zidane was being considered for the role before it was offered to Dowie. Roberto Mancini and Roberto Donadoni, the Italians, may enter the frame, as well as Terry Venables, Sam Allardyce and Kenny Jackett, the Millwall manager.

Dowie took charge in May and led QPR to eight wins and three draws and a tie against Manchester United in the Carling Cup next month, but they have won only one of their past six Coca-Cola Championship games and are ninth in the table. They drew 0-0 with Swansea City, who played for more than an hour without a recognised goalkeeper, on Tuesday.

Despite a pre-season pledge that they would be patient, the members of the board are believed to have become concerned by the club’s recent downward turn in the league.

Dowie’s was a surprise appointment but the board decided that his track record as a talented motivator at Championship level made him the right man to lead a promotion bid. The 43-year-old, a former player at Loftus Road, became hot property after managing Crystal Palace to promotion in 2004, but his reputation has been dented by recent brief and unsuccessful roles. He suffered a financial hit last year when he lost a High Court case brought by Palace over the circumstances of his move to Charlton Athletic, a club he left in November 2006 after only 12 league games. He moved on to Coventry City, where he lasted almost a year, leaving in February with the club just outside the relegation zone. The Times

INDEPENDENT - QPR set sights on Vialli and Mancini as Dowie is dismissed for poor run

Queen's Park Rangers are looking for their fifth manager in 12 months after Iain Dowie's brief reign came to a surprise end yesterday. Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Mancini and the former Rangers manager Terry Venables are among the early names linked with the role after the chairman Flavio Briatore sacked Dowie just 12 games into the Coca-Cola Championship season. Dowie, who was only appointed in May, took charge of just 15 games in all competitions – the same number as his spell at Charlton Athletic two years ago. QPR are ninth in the Championship and in the last 16 of the Carling Cup, where they face Manchester United at Old Trafford as reward for knocking out Aston Villa in the third round. However, they have won just one of their past six games, and were held to a goalless draw at Swansea City on Tuesday despite the opposition playing for more than an hour with defender Alan Tate in goal. Dowie was also reported to have clashed with Briatore over the club's transfer policy, with the likes of Damiano Tommasi, the 34-year-old Independent

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