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Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Happened On This Day" - QPR's Most-Ambitious-Ever Signing Joined QPR..."Waddock Departed"...Three Ex-QPR Birthdays...QPR-ABC Loan Article Published

Thirty-six years ago today, QPR Sign Dave Thomas for a club and a then-Division Two Record Signing
- QPR had won four games in a row...QPR's absolutely brilliant midfielder, Martyn Busby had his leg shattered in a midweek game at Fulham (and so sadly never returned to his pre-injury future international level)...QPR's response: Gordon Jago and Jim Gregory signed Burnley's England U-23 midfielder/winger, Dave Thomas for a QPR and England transfer-shattering record: 165,000 pounds. A few months earlier, Thomas had been described as "the best young player in Europe." (Six months earlier, QPR had received 200,000 [pounds for Marsh and the English transfer record was not much higher.
- Thomas made his QPR debut at home to Sunderland, October 21. QPR won 3-2 (Bowles 2, Givens) QPR's team: Parkes, Clement, Hazell Evans Watson, Venables, Francis, Thomas, Bowles, Givens, Leach. Thomas struggled a bit before making the wing his own.
Obviously played a major, major role in QPR's (almost) Championship season. Played also 8 timrd for England. Jim Gregory bizarrely sold Thomas to Everton on the eve of the new season, hurting new manager Frank Sibley. - See Dave Thomas/QPR -- Dave Thomas/Wikipedia --- Dave Barton's Queens Park Rangers site memories of Thomas

Two Years Ago Today: Today: QPR "Part[ed] Company" With Gary Waddock
"Queens Park Rangers Football Club have parted company with Gary Waddock.
Waddock was named as manager on June 28 after a spell as caretaker manager following the departure of Ian Holloway. The former Rangers midfielder moved into a coaching role when John Gregory was then appointed at the end of last month. QPR would like to thank Gary and wish him every success in the future."

[Waddock's departure came less than a Month after then-Chairman Paladini had declared that Waddock would be staying and working with/under John Gregory (and that in fact the Gregory's appointment had been made in consultation with Waddock and that Gregory had spoken about Waddock learning by his side.

Danny Dichio Turns 35
Born October 19, 1974, Made 75 appearances for QPR, scoring 20 goals before joining Sampadoria. Given his debut in October 1994 by Gerry Francis. In QPR's Relegation season formed a strike partnership alongside Kevin Gallen. Now playing in the MLS (in Canada) - See Danny Dichio/Wikipedia

Mark Perry Turns 30
- October 19, 1978. - Defender, made his debut for QPR in 1996, immediately after Ray Wilkins left and scored. Early on, he was called into an England squad as a young player, learning. See Perry Stats

Also Matt Jackson - Turns 37.
Born October 19, 1971- Briefly on loan at QPR under Ray Wilkins immediately after our relegation in 1996.

Making his debut on this Day:
October 19, 1971: John O'Rourke: QPR's then almost record signing from Coventry.

Published Three Years Ago today: David Conn/The Guardian - October 19, 2005 - "The ABC of Boardroom Intrigue at Loftus Road"
It was one of a number of great articles by David Conn looking at club finances. This article looked at Antonio Caliendo's role at QPR; and at the mysterious ABC loan. It was never publicly and officially confirmed who was behind ABC loan - and there have always been debates about whether the loan - at such a high interest rate had been absolutely necessary.

[In August, 2008 QPR announced the ABC loan had finally been "Repaid in Full" (by the club, according to a QPR letter to shareholders taking a new, lower (8.5% loan from elsehwere - Amulya Property Limited)
] [See Also "Remembering The ABC Loan"]

David Conn, The Guardian - October 19, 2005 - "The ABC of boardroom intrigue at Loftus Road
- We know plenty more now about how Chelsea were airlifted from Ken Bates' debt mountain by the billionaire from nowhere, but for their near-neighbours, Queens Park Rangers, no such outrageous fortune has delivered them from turmoil. QPR were threatened with expulsion by the Football League in 2002, having been in administration for a year, and staggered out only by clutching a £10m loan from the mysterious Panama-registered ABC Corporation, which has burdened them ever since...
...QPR are still reaping the consequences of their version of living the dream, after they were taken over and floated on the stock market in 1996 by Chris Wright, the Chrysalis music entrepreneur. He invested £10m but, in April 2001, with QPR having lost £27m, Wright put QPR into administration. A month later they were relegated to the then Second Division.
- In May 2002, with the Football League insisting the club could not start the new season in administration, QPR accepted the £10m loan from the ABC Corporation, at 10%, £1m, annual interest, secured on Loftus Road. ABC's owners cannot be officially identified, but sources at QPR believe the man behind the company is Michael Hunt, the former Nissan UK director who in 1993 was sentenced to eight years in jail for his role in what was then Britain's largest tax fraud.
- In July 2003 a QPR fan and businessman, Bill Power, born and bred in Shepherd's Bush, bought some unissued shares and joined the board; QPR rallied and, with Ian Holloway their manager, won promotion to the Championship.
- Gianni Paladini told me that, like Caliendo, he was looking for a new challenge, and examined Port Vale and Derby - which also has a loan from the ABC Corporation, £15m - then eventually offered £670,000 for 10% of QPR. The club, facing another red tax bill, accepted the investment hungrily.
- This barely staunched the financial problems, however, so then, arranged by Caliendo, the two New York-registered vehicles, Barnaby and Wenlock, paid £1.7m for 29.9% of QPR, most of which went straight to the tax man....

Burns' Hoop nightmare
- When Lord Terry Burns was appointed last year to undertake the "structural review" of football's governing body, the FA, we were told he was a Queens Park Rangers fan; he was also a director of the club through its troubles, appointed by his old university friend, Chris Wright, in 1996, staying on the board until March 2001. QPR went into administration a month later and has still not recovered. Surprising, then, that Burns' mind-numbingly dull report, delivered in August, which focused on bureaucratic minutiae, seemed so uninformed by what might have been a formatively traumatic experience at QPR.
- "Football in general," he wrote, "continues to enjoy very good health in England." The next day at QPR's first match of the season against Sheffield United, Gianni Paladini was allegedly held up at gunpoint, an incident over which four men have been charged.
- Burns did not want to talk publicly this week about his time at QPR. As a non-executive director of the football club, it is understood he was largely "meeting and greeting" opposing clubs' directors on matchdays, but he was consulted on financial issues, the appointment of managers and major signings.
- Burns' structural review, however, deals only indirectly with clubs' financial management, and not at all with the financial gap between the Premier League and Football League, so damaging for clubs such as QPR. And his main answer to the FA's struggles to govern the game? Ah yes: appoint non-executive directors to the board.
The Guardian

-- [Discuss your memories of Dave Thomas' signing - or Dave Thomas' QPR career; your view of QPR's most-ambitious signing; or the entire ABC Loan "saga" at QPR Report Messageboard]

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