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Thursday, October 16, 2008

"On This Day" - A Decade Since Gerry Francis Returned as Manager....Also Dave Sexton Appointed QPR Manager on this Date

Two of QPR's finest managers, Dave Sexton and Gerry Francis, were both appointed as QPR manager on this day!)
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One decade ago, October 16, 1998: Gerry Francis Returns as QPR's manager.
Gerry Francis returned after his Spurs managership, replacing Ray Harford (and acting manager Iain Dowie). And QPR fans thought the club would soon be back, despite its financial problems.
Francis' first game back, QPR lost 0-2 at Huddersfield: Miklosko, Barraclough Ready, Rose, Maddix Murray, Breaker, Barker, Peacock, Morrow, Sheron, Gallen - Subs: Slade, Scully, Rowland.

Independent/October 17, 1998 - Football: Francis reveals ambition on return to QPR
- GERRY FRANCIS has promised an end to "First Division mediocrity" after returning to Queen's Park Rangers for his second spell in charge.
- Francis, appointed both manager and director of football at Loftus Road, was in ebullient mood as he outlined his plans for the future. "Although I'm not setting any targets, I'm not here to keep this club in First Division mediocrity," he said. "QPR should be in the Premiership and in time that's where we intend to be."
- The west London club's chairman, Chris Wright, took the opportunity to apologise to the fans for "past mistakes", but claimed the club has now turned the corner with the appointment of Francis as Ray Harford's replacement. "I don't think this club has been very well run for several years," Wright said. "Before we came in it was run very badly and we've made lots of mistakes. But I have brought in Gerry Francis and he has blue-and-white- hooped blood. He lives and breathes QPR. He is an absolutely top-class manager."
- Francis, a QPR player, captain and manager over a period of 17 years, has signed a contract for the remainder of this season and for two more years. He added: "Over the past 11 months I've turned down flat 12 offers of work. If it hadn't been QPR who came in, I'd still be out of the game but I've got a soft spot for this club." ...Francis' tough start, page 29 - Independent

Telegraph/Christopher Davies - October 17, 1998 - Francis returns to direct QPR's fight for survival
- IT was like This Is Your Life at Loftus Road yesterday, with a video of Gerry Francis, complete with Seventies sideburns, during his playing days with Queens Park Rangers.
-What followed was a string of one-liners, confirmation that QPR are all but broke and that Vinnie Jones is moving out lock, stock and one terminating contract.
- Francis left Rangers four years ago after he felt his authority was undermined by moves to bring in Rodney Marsh as director of football.
- There will be no such problems this time as Francis returns to the club in that capacity. Introducing QPR's new manager, Francis said: "I know him well. He's a bit of a shady character. Me."
- Francis will be in charge of all aspects of football from the youth academy to managing the first team. Iain Dowie, who has been caretaker-manager, will continue as player-coach with Francis bringing in an assistant.
- Jones, player, coach and actor, will be on his way after turning down the chance to be considered as coach or assistant manager. Neither Francis nor chairman-owner Chris Wright seemed to know why Vinnie was unwilling to stay on - no doubt all will be revealed in a movie or, more likely, an exclusive tabloid interview.
- Francis was in fine form yesterday, relaxed and refreshed after spending most of the 11 months since leaving Tottenham "recharging my batteries and being with my wife and three children".
- Had he spoken to Spurs' chairman Alan Sugar? "Yes, today. He asked me to come back."
- Francis had, he said, turned down "flat" 12 offers to return to management. Then, in the wake of Ray Harford's departure, Wright rang Francis.
- The chairman did not have much of a sales patter. "Hey, Gerry. Do you fancy taking charge of this First Division club who are struggling against relegation, whose gates have halved since you were last manager [between 1991 and 1994] and with no money to spend?"
- That was the gist of it. Francis said: "I looked at the situation and thought about it for two weeks. At the end of a fortnight I was even more shocked. When I was manager of Bristol Rovers I lent the club money to buy a player. I'm not doing that here."
- So why did Francis take on "the biggest, most massive challenge of my career?" It was a toss-up between the heart and head and the heart won. Just.
- Francis tried not to make it sound corny but there was no alternative. "I have QPR in my veins. One way or the other I've been with the club for 17 years. That's a long time. I've always had a soft spot for Rangers.
- "It's a heck of a job to pull the club round to where it was when I left. It was a close decision whether I'd take the job or not. My priority is to get us away from near the bottom of the table and then sort out the club financially." That will be much easier said than done. Wright admitted that mistakes, which was putting it mildly, had been made in recent years.
- "The club haven't been well run for several years," he said. "Not before I came here or even since. I've learnt a lot and had I known two years ago what I know now history would have been different. But this doesn't make it any easier starting from where we are.
- "But I've brought in Gerry Francis and he has blue-and-white-hooped blood. He lives and breathes QPR. He's a top-class manager and the long-standing QPR connection is a bonus."
- Francis, who will become a shareholder in the plc, has signed a contract for three seasons. He is full of enthusiasm and is "particularly looking forward to negotiating the manager's salary".
- He will be at Huddersfield today only as an observer. "I hope the director of football signs my petrol docket, but he's a right so-and-so."
- Rangers barely have two pennies to rub together yet Wright, a Rangers fan since he could kick a ball, even spoke about a 40,000-capacity stadium to the west of Shepherds Bush "which would be full if we were in the Premiership".
- Dreams are for the future. A win and then a few more are what is required right now from a poor side.
- "Results don't lie," said Francis, who was the popular choice as manager but knows he will be judged only on what he does from next week. Telegraph

See also Francis Resigns and Francis reflects on his career. Also Francis/Wikipedia-- Dave Barton's Profile of Francis

Also On This Date: October 16, 1974 - Almost 35 years ago - Dave Sexton Appointed Manager of QPR
Dave Sexton appointed manager of QPR - replacing Gordon Jago (who took over at Millwall). "...Dave Sexton is appointed Q.P.R. manager and Gordon Jago takes over Millwall" Rothmans .
In QPR's first game under Sexton, QPR lose 1-0 ironically at home to Liverpool. QPR's team that day:
Parkes - Clement McClintock Webb Gillard - Rogers Beck Francis Thomas - Bowles Givens
- With the exception of the addition of Don Masson and Don Hollins, Dave Sexton inherited (and then coached to an even-higher level) Gordon Jago's team.

Two Players Made their QPR Playing Debuts on this date:

Terry Mancini October 16, 1971.
Mancini, signed by Gordon Jago for his promotion-chasing team from Orient, made his debut away to Sheffield Wednesday. QPR drew 0-0. QPR's team: Parkes - Clement Mancini Hazell Gillard - Hunt Venables Busby - Saul McCulloch Marsh - Sub Leach . Mancini Profile

And another making his debut on this date: Peter Eastoe October 16, 1976 - Siged the previous season. Eastoe made his debut coming on as sub away to Manchester City coming on for Don Givens. For more re Eastoe, see Wikipedia/Eastoe

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