QPR Report Twitter Feed

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

QPR Snippets: QPR Interest in Barnsley's Reuben Noble-Lazarus?...World Finances Impact on QPR?...Ex-QPR Lomas Managerial Interest

[A highly-unlikely QPR signing one would imagine, given that QPR's needs are the immediate present, rather than expensive "ones for the future."]

From The Sun, via Teamtalk
"Barnsley whizkid Reuben Noble-Lazarus is a target for Aston Villa and QPR." - Teamtalk

The Guardian/Richard William October 7 - "West Ham may soon not be the only club where bubbles burst" "The current indebtedness of England's leading football clubs ought to be filling everyone involved with profound unease...."

It's about a dozen years since I sat on the desk of a financial journalist and refused to move until he'd explained what hedge funds did and how short selling worked. So when spread betting caught on, the inherent danger was clear: if you're putting your money on someone losing, all sorts of opportunities for dirty tricks open up. And in the end, as we've seen on a much grander scale in the last couple of weeks, little good can come of betting on failure.

Sport doesn't always mimic the workings of the wider world, but sometimes the parallels can't be escaped. So yesterday I persuaded our economics editor to break off from discussing the plight of Tottenham Hotspur to tell me how and why the Chinese government came to own such a large proportion of the United States' national debt that they could, if they were feeling mischievous, wipe out that country's economy with a stroke of the pen. The point of this, since you ask, is that the current indebtedness of England's leading football clubs ought to be filling everyone involved with profound unease.

Reduced to its essentials, the answer was that the US made itself vulnerable by spending more on imports than it earned from exports, thanks to the erosion of its industrial base following the end of protectionism and the derestriction of capital controls. A similar self-indulgence can be seen in the English clubs' willingness - also in the wake of deregulation - to imperil their financial stability by paying transfer fees and running up wage bills amounting to an unhealthy percentage of their turnover, while also needing to spend money on upgrading their facilities.

In that state, the only recourse is to outside capital: foreigners buying treasury bonds in the case of the US economy, foreign ownership of the clubs in the case of the Premier League. So now virtually every club that is not already foreign-owned is dreaming of the arrival of billionaires from abroad, with Spurs, Newcastle United and Everton leading the queue.

But already the danger signs are turning from amber to red. The price of oil has fallen sharply in the current crisis, along with that of steel and other minerals; none is likely to recover soon. Football, a direct beneficiary of those industries' prosperity, will find that the investors of the Persian Gulf, China and Russia are no longer wandering around with open chequebooks.

Liverpool's American businessmen have put the plans for a new stadium on hold, and the American Insurance Group, whose initials adorn Manchester United's strip, have just become the beneficiaries of the largest government bailout ever awarded to a private company. West Ham United actually lost their shirt sponsor as a consequence of last month's collapse of the XL leisure company, in which the Icelandic businessman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, who owns a majority of the club's shares, had an interest. This week Iceland's banks have gone into meltdown, which may be much worse news for Upton Park than the team's failure to get a point from a home match against Bolton at the weekend.

"The swirling financial currents are even threatening to cause disruption in the Championship, supposedly a repository of the values of "real football". Until the sovereign wealth of Abu Dhabi descended upon Manchester City, the combined funds of Lakshmi Mittal, Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore enabled Queens Park Rangers to describe themselves as Britain's richest club. The value of Mittal's family holdings in steel, however, dropped from £33bn in June to £16bn this week. That still makes him as rich as Roman Abramovich, but possibly more inclined to watch the pennies for a while.

In the short term, football's only reliable source of major revenue is likely to be television. The networks need the audience the game delivers and will pay handsomely to secure the supply line. But if broadcasting rights brought in enough money to keep the clubs in the style to which they have become accustomed, the likes of Mike Ashley and Bill Kenwright would not be lifting their skirts to investors. At Reading, John Madejski failed to find a buyer last year and saw the club relegated.

Football, our economics editor concluded, is the one bubble that has yet to burst. It may be a while before the Rooneys and the Lampards need to downsize, but for the fans of those clubs who yearn to join the big four but have not quite managed it so far, the frustration is likely to get worse."
Guardian Blog

Also supposedly in the frame: Ian Holloway

Essex Echo/Rob Pritchard - Former Hammer Lomas wants Colchester job
FORMER West Ham United favourite Steve Lomas wants to be Colchester United’s next manager.
And the ex-Northern Ireland midfielder believes he can follow in the footsteps of Phil Parkinson and Geraint Williams and prove his worth with the U’s as a young, up-and-coming boss.
The 34-year-old has sent his CV to the U’s, in the hope of succeeding Williams in the hot-seat.
He is still waiting to hear whether he will be invited for interview, as chairman Robbie Cowling narrows down his search for a new man to lead the club.
Lomas told the Echo: “I would be very interested.
“Colchester is a great club and I’m looking to get into that side of things.
“I see it as a good starting position.
“Colchester United has a history of giving young managers a chance, like Phil Parkinson and Geraint Williams in the past.”...
“I was always up for a battle as a player and I would certainly be up for the challenge,” said Lomas, whose left his last club Gillingham in January.
“I always worked hard and gave 100 per cent and I would throw myself at it with a desire and a will to win.
“Being an international player doesn’t always mean you will be a good manager. But it does help when it comes to having football experience.
“And I think it helps that I’ve only just finished playing, because I’m very aware of the importance diet and fitness have in today’s game.”
Lomas said he is already familiar with several members of the current Colchester squad.He knows Johnnie Jackson and Mark Yeates and played with U’s captain Chris Coyne during his eight-and-a-half year spell with West Ham.
Lomas added: “Colchester have a great new ground and they definitely have a squad that is better than their current league position.” Essex Echo

Blog Archive