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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gorkss Signs for QPR...Blackpool Withdraw Their Complaint...Nardiello and Rehman Go to Blackpool- QPR and Blackpool Announcements

Somewhat of a shock move!
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Latvian international defender Kaspars Gorkss.
The 26 year-old has put pen to paper on a three year deal, after the R's agreed an undisclosed fee with Blackpool for his services.
Rangers beat off stiff competition from a host of Championship Clubs for the defender's signature, to the delight of First Team Coach Iain Dowie.
"Kaspars knows we intend to play good, attractive football, and he wants to be a part of it," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"We've signed an international defender who has a great physical presence, good pace and is comfortable on the ball. He's an ambitious lad who wants to take his game forward."
Dowie added: "He had a fantastic season last year with Blackpool and I consider him to be an excellent acquisition for now, and for the future.
"We've got very good value for money with this deal owing to a certain figure which was in his contract, so we are delighted with that.
"His presence adds great competition for places across the backline, and that's exactly what I am after."
Gorkss, who has 10 international caps to his name, expressed his delight at the move, commenting: "This is a very ambitious Club and, as a player, you always want to play for a Club with ambition.
"I believe we have a great chance of achieving a lot this coming season.
"I spoke with Iain Dowie and he is very excited about the new campaign. He wants to achieve a lot, and I think his energy, matched with the new ambition of QPR, is a great combination.
"My dream is to play in the Premiership and I believe I can do that with QPR - that's one of the main reasons why I came here." Official Site

Kaspars Gorkss officially joined Queens Park Rangers on Thursday evening, when he penned a three year deal with the Loftus Road club. As well as receiving a transfer fee that under League regulation 42.2 will remain undisclosed, the Seasdiers have also secured the services of Welsh international striker Daniel Nardiello who has signed a two year deal with an option for a third year and Pakistan international captain Zesh Rehman who has joined the club on loan until January, with Pool having first option on either extending the loan or signing the defender on a permanent basis. The agreement will also see Pool withdraw their complaint against QPR for the alleged illegal approach made to Kaspars Gorkss.
Gorkss arrived at Bloomfield on New Years Day in 2007 from Latvian champions Ventspils after Simon Grayson had spotted the Latvian international on a scouting mission to the former Soviet state. The 26-year-old made his debut five days later as a second half substitute in Pool's 4-2 FA Cup win over Aldershot seven days later he made his English Football League debut in a 2-1 over Port Vale at Bloomfield Road. He went on to make further 11 appearances during the Seasiders promotion season. Last season Gorkss established himself as a regular in the Pool back four making 44 League and Cup appearances. The big defender also weighed in with some crucial goals including a brace in the Carling Cup at Derby...
The final piece of the jigsaw sees Pakistan International captain Zesh Rehman join on loan for six months, Simon Grayson has the option to extend the loan until the end of the season or make the move permanent.
The 25-year-old is a product of the Fulham Youth Academy and has also represented England at Under 17 and Under 20 level.
Rehman made his Fulham debut in a 1-0 League Cup defeat at Wigan Athletic in September 2003 and was the centre of a lot of media attention from British Asian groups for being one of the first Asian players to play in the top division of English football.
A week after making his Fulham debut Rehman joined Brighton on loan for three months where he made 13 appearances and scoring twice.
The following season back at Craven Cottage Rehman made 17 Premiership starts, the following season he started the season for the Cottagers but after half a dozen games Zesh found himself in the reserves and ended the season at Norwich where he made five appearances.
Desperate for regular first team football the centre back who, has also played at right back and as a holding midfielder joined Queens Park Rangers, once again he started the season and made 27 appearances, but once again the season ended with a loan move this time back to Brighton where he made 8 appearances.
Last season Rehman made 17 starts and a further 4 as substitute but found himself back in the reserves following the arrival of free spending chairman Flavio Briatore.
Having travelled down from Scotland on Tuesday to discuss the move and watch Pool's game with St Mirren, Rehman made a whistle stop trip back to his London home on Wednesday and was back in the North West on Thursday to finalise the paperwork.

[Note: Blackpool spoke of "transfer fee that under League regulation 42.2 will remain undisclosed." Thanks to a kind boardposter: From Football League Regulations "42.2 All transfer fees shall be treated as private and confidential." Football League Regulations

Danny Nardiello has left Queens Park Rangers Football Club, after the striker's contract was terminated by mutual consent with immediate effect.
The 25 year-old joined the R's in June 2007 from Barnsley. He made a total of eight appearances during his time in W12.
Everyone at the Club would like to wish him every success in the future. QPR

R's defender Zesh Rehman has joined Blackpool on a six-month loan deal.
The 24 year-old, who joined the Hoops from Fulham for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2006, made 22 appearances in all competitions last season.
Rangers Assistant Manager, Tim Flowers, told www.qpr.co.uk: "Zesh has been first class since the first day of pre-season, but it's clear we've got an abundance of high quality centre-backs at the Club and he knows he's slightly behind in the pecking order at the moment. "It's important that he gets some games under his belt though and he'll get that opportunity at Blackpool.
"We wish him all the best for his six month spell, because he's a top lad and a first class professional who deserves to be playing football week in, week out."
The Pakistani international was rewarded for his work in the community at the end of last season, by scooping the Community Commitment award at the Club's annual Player of the Year showcase. QPR

Latvian-born defender Kaspars Gorkss began his professional career in his homeland with FK Auda, for whom he scored nine goals in 77 league appearances.
A three year stint at Swedish top-flight side Osters IF followed, before Assyriska Föreningen swooped for his services in 2005.
Gorkss went on to make 23 league starts in the Allsvenskan, prior to moving back to Latvia in 2006, where he signed for FK Ventspils.
The combative defender scored five goals for his new Club in their Championship winning season of 2006, and also featured against Newcastle United in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup.
Gorkss' reward for an impressive season arrived in the shape of a move to England with Blackpool, who he joined on the opening day of the 2007 January transfer window.
His form since arriving on these shores has been quite astounding, at both Club and international level.
Gorkss scored seven goals in all competitions for the Seasiders last season and opened his goalscoring account for Latvia against Denmark last October." QPR

Ben Watson Update...Paul Bruce, QPR Coach? ...Nardiello and Gorkss...Criticizing Gulf Air Sponsorship...Shimmin...ABC Analysis...

Ben Watson - "Birmingham Post - Meanwhile, Birmingham could lose out in the race to sign Ben Watson after Queens Park Rangers submitted an improved offer of around £2m for the Crystal Palace midfielder. Nottingham Forest are also considering bidding for a player who is one of the hottest properties in the Championship. Birmingham were last week unsuccessful with an offer of £1.5m." Birmingham Post

Meanwhile... Croydon Today - Warnock: Watson won't play
Eagles boss Neil Warnock has revealed that wantaway midfielder Ben Watson will not play for the club while his future remains in limbo.
The former England U21 international rejected a new Eagles deal earlier this summer, a contract that Warnock says would have made Watson the best paid player at the club.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with moves to QPR and Birmingham in recent weeks, with a fee of around £2 million believed to be good enough for Warnock to let the midfielder leave.
Watson has not featured in Palace's previous three pre-season friendlies - and speaking to the Advertiser, Warnock revealed that the red-headed midfielder's absence will continue. He said: “Ben won't play for the club while he remains in the current situation - he has rejected our offer of a contract and as far as I know wants to leave. But, to be honest, it's not something I worry about. This is Croydon

Somewhat strange (if true): Paul Bruce Back to QPR?
Hearts Advertiser "...The future of experienced midfielder Paul Bruce remains unclear. The former Dagenham & Redbridge man has not featured for City in pre-season and has been offered a coaching role at Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers. The 30-year-old scored seven league goals for City last term..." Herts Advertiser

St Albans Official Site:
"...Paul Bruce was again absent and at present his chances of appearing for City in the coming months are rated as no more than 50/50. The former City captain has been offered a position coaching the academy at Queens Park Rangers and is currently mulling over the proposition. Even if he should move to Loftus Road it is hoped that City could retain his registration and call upon his services when he is available and fit." St Albans

[- Dagenham/Paul Bruce Profile

Praise for Nardiello and Rehman
Blackpool Gazette - New boys are class acts, says Pool boss
Daniel Nardiello and Zesh Rehman will be huge additions to the Seasiders squad – that's the view of Simon Grayson.
The Seasiders chief believes he has signed two high quality players who can play a big part in ensuring Pool have a successful Championship campaign.
Grayson has spoken in more detail about the two new boys, who have arrived at Bloomfield Road as part of the deal which saw Kaspars Gorkss go in the opposite direction.
He reckons he can help Nardiello recapture the scoring form he displayed at Barnsley, where he netted 28 goals in 55 starts.
And he claims he is such a big fan of Rehman's that he was trying to sign him earlier in the summer, before QPR had even launched a bid for Gorkss.
"Zesh is someone who can play right back, centre back and in midfield and he's a player that we spoke about earlier in the summer, even before the Kaspars Gorkss situation came around," revealed Grayson. "His utility and versatility will be very useful for us.
"As for Danny he is hard working with an eye for goal and we like those kind of players. I want people who work hard for the team.
"It has always been the case that we needed some strikers and at this moment in time with two injured (Stephen McPhee and Steve Kabba) it highlights that.
"He had a frustrating period last year at QPR but the year before he got quite a lot of goals at Barnsley and hopefully we can help him recapture that sort of form and those fitness levels and he can get the goals that can earn us some points in the Championship."
Grayson added: "A big thing with both the players is that they were very keen to come here.
"They have impressed us with their attitude and I am delighted to get the pair of them."
Nardiello and Rehman will make their Pool debuts at Tranmere on Saturday in the final pre-season workout.Blackpool Gazette

Chutzpah! Gulf Daily News/Geoffrey Bew - "Downward flight'
BAHRAIN's national carrier Gulf Air is on a flight path to financial ruin, unless it completely overhauls its business strategy and management team, according to an MP. Parliament's financial and economic affairs committee head Abdulhaleem Murad based this on the airline's 2009-2013 financial plan, which was allegedly leaked to the media and shows it is set to lose BD131 million this year....Mr Murad also criticised Gulf Air's sponsorship of the English Championship football team Queens Park Rangers (QPR), which he described as pointless. "If it was a well-known and high-profile team we would have welcomed it but nobody knows them," he said. "Why not sponsor a team from Bahrain?..."
Gulf Daily News

4TheGameBuddies to decide on Shimmin
Wednesday 30 Jul 2008
St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson is still to decide whether to offer a permanent contract to former Arsenal trainee Dominic Shimmin who is currently on trial at Love Street.
An unnamed Spaniard is also on trial with the Buddies as MacPherson continues to look at ways of strengthening his squad.
MacPherson said: "We've had a chat with Shimmin and we've said we'd like to have another look at him.
"We'll give him some more time on the park before we make a final decision.
Get bang up to date with all the latest transfer rumours and tell us your own gossip right here... "It's the same with the Spanish lad that we had over in Italy."
Shimmin played four games for QPR after being released by Arsenal and ended last season with Crawley Town. 4theGame

Clive Whittingham/Loft for Words "This week - have QPR bid farewell to the ABC loan?" - on ABC Loan and pre-season and players Loft for Words

Parejo-QPR Loan Updates


Goal.com/Mark Hinton - QPR Swoop For Parejo
Wealthy and ambitious English Championship side Queens Park Rangers have achieved something of a coup by securing Real Madrid starlet Dani Parejo on a two-year loan deal.
One of Spain’s most highly-rated young prospects, Real Madrid’s Dani Parejo, has moved from the Bernabeu to Loftus Road on loan to join the Queens Park Rangers revolution.
The West London side, potentially the wealthiest in England, agreed a two-year loan deal with Madrid for Parejo, 19, who was also wanted by Arsenal - but on a permanent basis, and Real were not interested in selling the Spanish youth international.
Spanish clubs Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol and Osasuna also made offers to take Parejo on loan, but QPR clinched a deal after discussions between Real president Ramon Calderon (pictured0 and Rangers supremo Flavio Briattore.
Although Real are allowing Parejo to move to Loftus Road for two years, they reserve the option to recall him next summer.
"This is a big chance and I hope I can profit from this opportunity," said Parejo, who is currently Real's pre-season training camp in Austria but will travel to London this weekend with Madrid for the Emirates Cup before joining up with QPR.". Goal.com

Setanta/Laurent Picard - QPR to snap up Spaniard
Salgado coy on QPR offer

Real Madrid starlet Daniel Parejo is excited by the prospect of securing a loan move to Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
The 19-year-old is due to in London next weekend for the Emirates Cup, and the Spanish press claim he will stay in the capital to join QPR.
The Loftus Road outfit have big aims and the midfielder has even revealed they will try and keep him for a second year if they manage to secure promotion to the top flight.
“To me it’s an aim,” Parejo told AS. “My ambition is growing at Real Madrid and I think being out for a year and then returning to Real can be good to become a complete player.
“QPR want me for one more season if they get promoted to The Premier League but this would only be possible if Real Madrid don’t want me back.
“I’m hopeful it’s going to be fine for me.” Setanta

Sky Sports/Francisco Acedo - QPR seal Parejo coup Spanish starlet agrees two-year
Queens Park Rangers have pulled of a major coup after sealing a deal for Spanish starlet Dani Parejo.

Rangers have agreed a two-year loan deal with Real Madrid for Parejo, who is rated as one of the brightest prospects at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Arsenal also wanted the 19-year-old striker, but Real have never been interested in selling the Spanish youth international.
Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol and Osasuna all made offers to loan the player but QPR have now sealed a deal after talks between Real president Ramon Calderon and R's supremo Flavio Briattore.
Real are allowing Parejo to move to Loftus Road on an unusual two-year deal - although they will have an option to recall him next summer if they wish.
"This is a big chance and I hope I can profit from this opportunity," commented Parejo.
Parejo is currently in Austria at Real's pre-season training camp and he will travel to London this weekend with Madrid for the Emirates Cup, before he links up with QPR. Skysports

It's in Today's Sun!
"REAL MADRID whizkid Dani Parejo, 19, is joining QPR on loan". The Sun

And in the Spanish paper, Marca.com "JUGARÁ CEDIDO LAS DOS PRÓXIMAS TEMPORADAS EN EL QUEENS PARK RANGERS - Parejo ficha por el equipo de Briatore y Alejandro Agag"

Web Translation - Translation " Cedar play the next two seasons with Queens Park Rangers- Parejo portfolio by the team Briatore and Alejandro Agag

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Updated - QPR Ostensibly Chasing Real Madrid's Daniel Parejo

From anywhere else, might seem mere media hype; but this is from a serious source, even if it's seems totally beyond belief. Doesn't mean it will happen but does suggest something serious here [Back in early June, there were reports about a QPR interest in Parejo]

Laurent Picard/Sentant - QPR to snap up Spaniard

Real Madrid starlet Daniel Parejo will be loaned to Queens Park Rangers for a season, according to reports in Spain.
QPR are keen to build a side capable of promotion following the takeover by Flavio Briatore and co. and they have targeted a number of players.
Midfielder Parejo, 19, seen as one of the most promising talents of Real’s Academy, has caught the eye of the Loftus Road club who are believed to have won the race for his signature on a short-term deal.
Three top Spanish clubs, Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna and Getafe were all interested in securing the youngster’s services, but the domestic press claim Parejo is heading to London.
Bahia Internacional, the company that manages the player’s rights, held talks with QPR and are believed to have given the green light regarding a loan move. Setanta

Dave McIntyre - BBC 606 Rangers chase £8m Parejo signing
Flavio Briatore is hoping to use his connections to bring highly-rated Real Madrid youngster Daniel Parejo to QPR - on a permanent deal.
Rangers have forged close links with Real since the Briatore-led takeover and have looked at a number of players for a possible loan move.
Parejo, 21, has been their top target and has also been linked with Arsenal.
Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that the midfielder is on the way to west London on loan.
That would be a major coup for Rangers, but the club are in fact hoping to go one better and sign Parejo for around £8m.
Negotiations have been going on for some time and at one stage it seemed Rangers might even complete the signing today.
Now if the move happens it looks more like being later this week or, more likely, on Monday.
Real seem willing to do business. The main issue appears to be convincing Parejo to move to England.
The deal being discussed is very much a permanent one, although an initial loan deal - similar to the signing of Emmanual Ledesma from Genoa with the option of a £2.2m transfer next summer - is an option.
The club are also desperate to sign a left-winger before the season starts.
After failing to agree a fee for Lee Cook, Rangers are now interested in his Fulham team-mate Hameur Bouazza, while Middlesbrough’s Adam Johnson has been Iain Dowie’s first choice for the position and remains so.
Finally, Matt Connolly will this afternoon have a scan on the ankle he injured during the friendly at Falkirk.
I spoke to Matt briefly after the Kilmarnock game last night and he seemed optimistic that no significant ligament damage would be found. BBC

More Money Coming to QPR! Another Sponsor Announced – Chronotech....Snippets: Richard Langley Trialing...Flashback 7 Years - Crushing Chelsea

Queens Park Rangers Football Club are delighted to announce that leading producer and distributor of watches Chronotech will be QPR's Official Time Keeper next season.
Chronotech already boasts the ING Renault Formula One Team and Italian Serie A giants AC Milan among its current partners, and they have now joined forces with QPR, a Club which continues to grow as a team and as a brand.
The one-year deal, which both parties have the option to renew, is worth a six-figure sum and sees Chronotech join QPR's exclusive family of sponsors, alongside Gulf Air, Lotto and Santander.
QPR Holdings Chairman, Flavio Briatore, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have teamed up with another established, global brand such as Chronotech.
"They are world leaders in their industry, and renowned for their slick and modern approach to watch design.
"Their ethos on quality complements our desire to build an exciting and stylish future for this Football Club.
"It is another fantastic brand for QPR to be associated with, and I am very excited about what the future holds.
"This partnership once again underlines the intentions of the QPR Board to grow and develop this Football Club off the pitch as well as on it."
Chronotech, a brand exclusively distributed worldwide by Global Watch Industries, leader in the wrist watch market, turns ever more its attention to international markets.
This new sports partnership will allow Chronotech to increase its visibility and brand awareness in foreign markets.
Giovanni Fasciano, President of Global Watch Industries, said: "The partnership with ING Renault Formula One brought a lot of luck and has contributed to the success of Chronotech in Italy and the world.
"I have complete trust in Flavio Briatore, creator of the successes of ING Renault in Formula One.
"I am certain that his commitment to the football world will repay us sponsors with important results."
Chronotech is a brand of Global Watch Industries, the group that carries out directly the designs, the realisation, the marketing and distribution of a wide range of brand wrist watches sold under license such as GIVENCHY, GF FERRE', BLUMARINE, EXTE', BILLIONAIRE, SWEET YEARS, BACI & ABBRACCI and DIADORA.
Global Watch Industries is present within the wrist watch market on an international level in over 50 countries through key accounts and specialty stores." QPR

Richard Langley is trialing with Hereford and played for them last night against Southampton. There is some messageboard animosity towards Langley, but he did a lot for QPR and wish him well - especially given how bright the hopes for him were, when he first started.

Hereford Official Site:
"Team news ahead of tonight's clash against Championship side, Southampton...The Bulls name three new trialists in their starting XI. Jerry Ani, Richard Langley and Sam Oji....Richard Langley, ia a central midfielder who was released by Luton Town and rumoured to have had trials with MK Dons and Darlington. He has made 12 appearances for Jamaica, for who he qualifies to play for through his father..." Hereford Official Site. The two teams drew 0-0. Langley started and then was substituted. Report

Flashback Seven Years: QPR 3 Chelsea 1
And perhaps a reminder and an illustration how a great pre-season result doesn't really show how the team is going to do during the season.

July 2001 - QPR 3 Chelsea 1
The teams: QPR (4-4-2): Day; Forbes, Palmer, Ben Aska, Bruce; Bonnot (Cochrane, 51min), Perry, Peacock, Connolly (Walsh, 90); Thomson, Griffiths (Koejoe, 73).
Chelsea (3-4-3): De Goey (Bosnich, h-t); Gallas, Desailly (Bogarde, 66), Babayaro (Harley, h-t); Melchiot, Lampard, Morris (Jokanovic, h-t), Le Saux; Zola (Gudjohnsen, h-t), Hasselbaink (Forssell, 65), Gronkjaer (Stanic, h-t).

Guardian -Chris Taylor
Griffiths makes Chelsea pay the price as he moves from rags to riches

Chelsea's £25m summer spending spree may yet prove to be value for money, but it was Rangers' sole close-season purchase, a £40,000 buy from Hampton and Richmond, who stole the show as the millionaires from SW6 got a rude awakening in Shepherds Bush.
Leroy Griffiths made himself an instant hit with Rangers fans when he latched on to a through ball and, leaving the Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly trailing in his wake, lashed a fierce volley across Ed de Goey and into the far corner of the net. It was a moment of class from a young man who seemed totally unfazed by taking on one of the world's top defenders only a few weeks after turning out in the Rymans League.
"He's won the World Cup, been in the Champions League and that's where I want to be," said Griffiths. "You may be a World Cup winner but you're playing against someone totally different that you don't know anything about."
It was, as his manager Ian Holloway said, a wonderful goal from a player who has proved to be "a breath of fresh air". The victory will help boost confidence and blow away some of the gloom from last season's relegation to the Second Division, which has left continuing uncertainty over the cash-strapped club's future.
Pre-season games are a notoriously poor guide to the prospects for the coming campaign - witness Chelsea's Charity Shield victory over Manchester United last year - but there was little in this disjointed performance to suggest Claudio Ranieri's team would be capable of mounting a title challenge. In particular, Frank Lampard's anonymous display in midfield, where he was outshone by the Chelsea old boy Gavin Peacock, only served as a reminder that his predecessor as the Blues' costliest Englishman was Chris Sutton.
It had all looked so different early on. When Gronkjaer calmly netted in the 10th minute after Gianfranco Zola's defence-splitting pass had sprung the offside trap, it looked like the visitors would be able to take the game at a stroll on what was a swelteringly hot day. But with Chelsea making seven changes in the second half it was QPR who went ahead when Karl Connolly volleyed past Mark Bosnich. Shortly afterwards a slick passing move had the crowd chanting " ole " and ended with another good scoring chance.
Chelsea pushed forward in search of an equaliser with Eidur Gudjohnsen, the brightest of a lacklustre bunch, three times denied by the Hoops' goalkeeper Chris Day. He also made two fine saves from Mario Stanic, another second-half substitute, in a busy final 15 minutes.
Although Peacock's 88th-minute strike made for a slightly flattering scoreline, Chelsea could only envy the team spirit that Holloway has clearly instilled at Loftus Road.
Holloway knows that QPR still have a long way to go, although he might like to remind his charges that 25 years ago it was the QPR of Gerry Francis who were the high fliers, finishing second in the league, while Chelsea, newly relegated and massively in debt, were fielding a bargain-basement team led by a teenaged Ray Wilkins. It seemed appropriate, then, that the afternoon ended on a note of 70s nostalgia with a knot of fans scuffling in the centre circle after a pitch invasion.
QPR (4-4-2): Day; Forbes, Palmer, Ben Aska, Bruce; Bonnot (Cochrane, 51min), Perry, Peacock, Connolly (Walsh, 90); Thomson, Griffiths (Koejoe, 73).
Chelsea (3-4-3): De Goey (Bosnich, h-t); Gallas, Desailly (Bogarde, 66), Babayaro (Harley, h-t); Melchiot, Lampard, Morris (Jokanovic, h-t), Le Saux; Zola (Gudjohnsen, h-t), Hasselbaink (Forssell, 65), Gronkjaer (Stanic, h-t).
Referee : C Penton. Guardian

BBC - Rangers rock sluggish Chelsea QPR 3-1 Chelsea
Rangers deservedly got the better of their west London rivals as stunning strikes from Karl Connolly and Gavin Peacock capped an impressive fightback.
Chelsea hardly looked a £50m outfit as they laboured in the heat, but they did catch Rangers out with the opening goal on nine minutes.
Gianfranco Zola's defence-splitting pass to Jesper Gronkjaer on the left saw the Dane bear down on goal before curling the ball home for a fine opener.
The home side responded in style when an inch-perfect pass from Connolly was controlled first time by Leroy Griffiths, who rifled a left-foot shot across Ed de Goey and into the far corner.
Hasselbaink wasted a great chance for Chelsea
A complete miskick from Rangers goalkeeper Chris Day gifted Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink a chance, but the striker volleyed wide from only six yards.
Day made up for the error with a string of fine saves in the second-half, including point-blank stops from Mario Stanic twice and Eidur Gudjohnsen.
But Rangers finished the stronger and Connolly fired them in front when he hammered an unstoppable shot past a bemused Mark Bosnich from the edge of the box.
Then Peacock's marvellous finish after a one-two with Andy Thomson rounded off a great afternoon for Rangers. BBC QPR Report

From Blackpool: Confirmation of Gorkss to QPR - Nardiello and Rehman to Blackpool

As QPR announced late yesterday, the Gorkss "saga" - ongoing since late May or early June - may be just about over. Although until Blackpool and QPR announce the deals on their official sites...! Kaspars Gorkss is moving to QPR...Danny Nardiello and Zesh Rehman are moving to Blackpool (the Rehman deal is a six-month loan, with Blackpool option to sign permanently).

Rehman leaves almost exactly two years after he signed from Fulham. Rehman Signs from Fulham Nardiello for his part, joined QPR from Barnsley last summer: Nardiello Joins QPR

Blackpool Gazette - QPR Duo sign for Blackpool
QPR'S Daniel Nardiello and Zesh Rehman joined in their first Seasiders training session today – with Kaspars Gorkss move to London finally complete.
The longest running transfer saga of the summer was finally resolved late last night with QPR and Pool brokering a deal.
While Latvian international Gorkss ends his 18 month stay at Bloomfield Road for a big payday at Rangers, striker Nardiello and defender Rehman move North to the Fylde.
Nardiello has signed a two year deal with an option for a further 12 months.
Pakistan international Rehman has agreed to six month loan, though Pool have an option to make the switch permanent.
On top of that the Seasiders will receive a cash payment of more than £250,000.
It means Karl Oyston – quoted as saying he'd rather sell Gorkss to any club rather than QPR - has backed down.
However, it's understood that Pool are more than happy with the players and fee they have received – and there's no doubt Simon Grayson is just pleased to have the whole saga sorted.
"The deal is almost done and dusted and I am glad that it has all got sorted," said a relieved Simon Grayson.
"As part of the deal we will be getting a couple of players in Zesh Rehman and Daniel Nardiello and money on top of that and it's nice it's been resolved.
"We've got two players who we think will benefit the football club and we wish Kaspars well because he was a good servant for the football club.
"But you have to move on in football and I'm glad to have the two players on board that we've signed." Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Gazette/Steve Canavan - Pool lose but win in transfer market
SIMON Grayson watched his Blackpool team fail to win for the fifth pre-season friendly on the bounce - but he had good news afterwards.
Minutes after his players had trudged off the Bloomfield Road pitch following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of St Mirren, Grayson announced a double breakthrough in the transfer market.
Striker Daniel Nardiello and defender Zesh Rehman have signed from QPR, with Latvian defender Kaspars Gorkss finally going in the opposite direction. Pool also receive a big six-figure sum..." Blackpool Gazette

Dave McIntyre/Ealing Gazette - July 29 - Nardiello finalises exit

Danny is expected to complete his move from QPR to Blackpool today.
Nardiello arrived at Bloomfield Road to discuss personal this morning after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the Wales striker.
He is keen to move on after an unhappy spell in west London and recently agreed a settlement with Rangers over the remaining year of his Loftus Road contract.
Nardiello’s departure may ease relations between QPR and Blackpool following the row over Kaspars Gorkss’ proposed move to W12.
The Seasiders accused Rangers of an illegal approach for the Latvian defender, who has since been unable to resolve a contractual issue with Blackpool despite weeks of wrangling and a clause supposedly entitling him to move for £250,000.
Nardiello’s switch is likely to go through as a separate transfer, but it is effectively part of an exchange deal because it is hoped it may nudge Blackpool towards releasing Gorkss.
Rangers, who were hoping to finally field Gorkss in a friendly at Kilmarnock tonight, have also offered Blackpool the option of signing a number of their fringe players on loan.
Gorkss, 26, agreed personal terms with Rangers after the end of last season and has been training with the club this summer. Ealing Gazette

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Stomache-Churning, Sinking-Feeling of Deja Vu: Another QPR Loss!

QPR went down 1-0 although the Official Site is pretty positive about the game and Ian Dowie speaks about QPR having dominated. On the bright side, it was only a pre-season friendly and Gorkss set-to-be-signed came on as a sub! On the other hand, Kilmarnock had lost 0-3 to Wolves on Saturday and fans are not really assuaged by hearing club comments on how they dominated but failed to score (especially when the club has failed to sign a slew of available strikers). Incredibly there are already messageboard posters calling for Ian Dowie to be ousted - or at best, just given a very few games to prove himself.

Ian Dowie's Post Match Comments - QPR Official Site WE DOMINATED
Iain Dowie couldn't work out how his side lost at Kilmarnock tonight despite dominating proceedings and creating a number of great chances.
Following the 1-0 defeat, Dowie told www.qpr.co.uk: "I was quite pleased with the display today. We created plenty of opportunities, but one moment of madness in the first half cost us.
"We didn't pick up the runner into the box, and paid the price for that.
"I wanted greater creativity from the players, and I got it. We had 18 shots on goal in the first half alone, which is incredible - and four of those were one-on-ones!
"We dominated the game and should have won comfortably. On another day, Patrick Agyemang would have got three, Balanta would have got one and Gareth Ainsworth would have got a couple.
"The lads were excellent, they put in a lot of effort after a tough week and I was pleased with them.
"We gave a couple of lads a rest tonight, but I thought Angelo Balanta was terrific. He showed that he has great potential."
Another definite plus-point from the game was the debut of Kaspars Gorkss, who came on for the second half.
Blackpool granted his permission to play in the match ahead of a proposed move tomorrow, and Dowie added:
"It was great to have Kaspars out there. He is going to be a real asset for us, there's no question about that.
"Damion Stewart is suspended for the first game against Barnsley, due to his sending off at Norwich, so it's important that we have options at the back." QPR

QPR Official Site - KILMARNOCK 1-0 QPR
The R's left Kilmarnock wondering how on earth they lost this game after dominating play for nearly the entire match, but going down 1-0 to a Manuel Pascali header in the first half.
On a night when Kaspars Gorkss was named on the bench after being granted permission at the 11th hour to play by Blackpool ahead of a proposed move tomorrow - so late, in fact, that his name didn't even feature on the teamsheets which were released an hour before kick off - Iain Dowie's side produced a much-improve performance on their 2-0 loss at Falkirk on Saturday.
They created a series of excellent chances, with Patrick Agyemang, Angelo Balanta and Gareth Ainsworth all going close, but in the end they couldn't get past keeper Damien Rascle, who was in inspired form.
Radek Cerny was handed his debut by Dowie after successfully overcoming a slight hamstring injury, and the R's First Team Coach made four other changes, with Peter Ramage in for the injured Matt Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood replacing Martin Rowlands, Balanta in for Dexter Blackstock and Ainsworth starting at the expense of Hogan Ephraim.
In the opening minute, the hosts had a half chance at the far post but Danny Invincibile's shot from eight yards was well blocked by a committed Ainsworth.
In an explosive opening, Agyemang had a great chance to give the visitors the lead following a swift counter-attack two minutes later. Damien Delaney found Emmanuel Ledesma still inside his own half and he burst forward before picking out Agyemang with a slide-rule pass.
The former Preston man left the Kilmarnock defence for dead but his shot from ten yards was smothered by Killies keeper Rascle.
The pressure was relentless and moments later Rascle was on-hand to deny Balanta, who had broken away down the left side. From the resulting corner, Fitz Hall produced a stunning half-volley from the edge of the box, which was spectacularly tipped over by the home stopper.
With seven minutes gone, the R's could have been three up, and they continued to attack in search of the all-important opening.
On 15 minutes, Gavin Mahon picked out Ledesma on the left with a cleverly-disguised pass, but the latter's shot drifted wide of the far upright.
Dowie will certainly have been pleased with the start his side made following their lacklustre first-half showing at Falkirk four days earlier, and it was certainly appreciated by the 100 or so R's fans who made the long trip north.
It took 27 minutes for the hosts to test Cerny, a 25 yard drive from Craig Bryson, which was comfortably gathered by the R's custodian.
A minute later, the visitors created another terrific chance. After some good inter-play between Balanta and Ainsworth in the area, the R's winger found himself one-on-one with Rascle, but as he tried to catch the Kilmarnock keeper out with a toe-poke from close range, his shot was blocked.
Incredibly, after all that hard work, it was the hosts who took the lead on 32 minutes. Following a corner from the right by Mehdi Taouil, Manuel Pascali rose highest to head home from eight yards.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Dowie's men, who had dominated the match, but they refused to lie down and following a great run through the middle of the park by Fitz Hall, he played a lovely ball for Agyemang to race onto. Unfortunately his shot was cleared off the line by a back-tracking Kille defender.
On 44 minutes, Balanta's persistence forced an error in the home defence, and he was able to get a great shot away from 18 yards, but Rascle was proving tough to break down, and pulled off another excellent save, this time diving to his right.
Bang on half-time Ledesma saw his volley fly inches over. The R's went off at the break wondering how they weren't comfortably winning, never mind losing!
Gorkss was introduced to the fray for the second half, at the expense of Hall, and his composure on the ball and range of passing will certainly have impressed the watching R's faithful.
It was the hosts who created the first opportunity after the break, the pacy Conor Sammon breaking clear but seeing his fierce shot from 20 yards expertly pushed away by Cerny.
Gorkss nearly scored a debut goal moments later. Ledesma produced a brilliant delivery from a freekick on the left, but the Latvian international was unable to get a crucial touch as the ball flashed across the face of goal.
The next R's chance came on 76 minutes when a lovely ball from Ramage on the right was headed just wide by Angelo Balanta.
Amongst a series of substitutions, Ainsworth was replaced by Matteo Alberti to a chorus of boos from the home fans in the 78th minute, who took exception to his physical, no-nonsense style which has made him such a popular figure with the Rangers faithful.
In the closing stages Damien Delaney fired over and, despite their best efforts, the R's had to accept a very unjust scoreline as they went down 1-0 at Kilmarnock.
Kilmarnock: Rascle, Fowler, Morgan, Pascali (Hamill, 78), O'Leary, Ford, Invincibile, Fernandez, Sammon, Taouil (Skelton, 75), Bryson.
Subs: Harpur, Lilley, Wright, Murray, Gibson, Corrigan, Flannigan.
Goals: Pascali (32)
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Mahon (Walton, 76), Hall, (Gorkss, 46) Stewart, Ainsworth (Alberti, 78), Leigertwood (Bolder, 62), Agyemang, Balanta, Ledesma (Rose, 82). Subs: Camp.
Bookings: Delaney (43) Referee: Mr C Boyle
Attendance: 1,814 (QPR Fans: 134) QPR

Kilmarnock Official Site/Alan Cochrane- Kollie 1 QPR 0
Killie started this match well, knocking the ball about, and splitting up the QPR defence, but a long ball down the middle to centre forward Agyemang meant that Damien Rascle was called on early. He pulled off a good save, and had to pull off two more as the Londoners created a series of sweeping attacks during the first 10 minutes. Kilmarnock did try to get the ball down and knock it around, but Rangers were quicker to the ball and more incisive in their passing, and for all of the first quarter caused Killie a lot of problems.
Bryson and Taouil combined to release Fernandez down the left, and as the Spaniard shaped to cross, he saw Cerny off his line, and hit a long lob which shaved the cross-bar. With almost half an hour gone, Craig Bryson picked up a loose QPR clearance on the left and cut inside past three defenders, but his shot was too straight, while at the other end, Damien Rascle had a great save from Gareth Ainsworth when the winger hit a first time shot when the ball dropped fortuitously to him. It was Killie though who made the breakthrough after 31 minutes when Mehdi Taouil hit a free kick from the right and Manuel Pascali rose majestically to head home. It was only one of the good things that the on-loan Italian did during this game, whose every move had class stamped all over it.
Three minutes after the restart, Sammon had a chance to make a name for himself when he fastened on to a header over the top, but although he beat Hall for speed, his shot was beaten away by Cerny. Next up it was Trialist, a half-time substitute, who took a pass from Fowler, turned, and cracked in a shot from 20 yards which must have stung the keeper's fingers. On this showing, this lad, who is as quick as lightening, must interest Jim Jefferies enough to give him another game. Before the end Skelton had a good shot from distance held by the keeper, and despite a slew of substitutions, Killie kept their shape and gave the small crowd a good night's entertainment.
For the home side there were good performances right through the team, with Rascle staking a real claim for the keeper's jersey, both with his shot-stopping and his command of the box, and Ryan O'Leary showing again what a good young centre-back he is. On top of that, Pascali, Sammon (if a bit raw), Taouil and Trialist all promised well for the future. Roll on Saturday, when Coventry come to town...
- Kilmarnock

Also: Clive Whittingham/Loft For Words Match Report

Gorkss May Actually Be Joining QPR!

Defender Kaspars Gorkss has been given permission to play for QPR in this evening's friendly at Kilmarnock by Blackpool, ahead of a proposed move tomorrow.
The Latvian international, who has won ten caps for his country, was granted permission late on. He will be on the bench this evening. QPR Team Updated: QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Mahon, Hall, Stewart, Ainsworth, Leigertwood, Agyemang, Balanta, Ledesma. Subs: Camp, Bolder, Alberti, Rose, Walton, Gorkss QPR

Teams for Tonight's Kimarnock Friendly

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Mahon, Hall, Stewart, Ainsworth, Leigertwood, Agyemang, Balanta, Ledesma. Subs: Camp, Bolder, Alberti, Rose, Walton

QPR Official Site - TEAM NEWS
Radek Cerny makes his debut for the R's this evening at Kilmarnock, after successfully overcoming a slight hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, Peter Ramage comes in for the injured Matt Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood replaces Martin Rowlands, Angelo Balanta comes in for Dexter Blackstock and Gareth Ainsworth starts at the expense of Hogan Ephraim.
Kilmarnock: Rascle, Fowler, Morgan, Pascali, O'Leary, Ford, Invincibile, Fernandez, Sammon, Taouil, Bryson. Subs: Harpur, Lilley, Wright, Murray, Gibson, Corrigan, Skelton, Hamill, Flannigan.
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Mahon, Hall, Stewart, Ainsworth, Leigertwood, Agyemang, Balanta, Ledesma. Subs: Camp, Bolder, Alberti, Rose, Walton QPR

Kilmarmock Official Site - Live Commentary Kilmarnock v Queens Park Rangers
Click here to listen to Live Commentary of todays Friendly against QPR

Mahon and Blackstock Look Forward, Praise Dowie, Etc...Clive Allen Looks Back

This evening the R's travel to Kilmarnock for their final pre-season friendly in Scotland.
Following the 2-0 loss at Falkirk on Saturday afternoon, Iain Dowie's men are keen to avenge that with a victory tonight.
Gavin Mahon, who has featured prominently throughout the pre-season, told www.qpr.co.uk: "It would be nice to bounce back from that defeat with a win this evening.
"One of the main points of these friendlies is to come up against different types of systems, and learn to cope with them.
"Falkirk caused us a few problems at the weekend, and it is useful to have matches like that, because you learn from them."
Mahon, 31, has been impressed by the organisation Dowie has brought to the squad, and has noticed some similarities in his approach with Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd, who guided the Hornets to the Premiership in 2006.
"The gaffer is a hard task master, there's no doubt about that," added Mahon, who was Boothroyd's midfield general when the Vicarage Road outfit won promotion. "He is similar in his approach to Aidy; the footballs are out early and the sessions you do are all very tough, and everything is timed.
"It has been great for me. I have never in my career been as fit as I have been over the last couple of years at the start of a season, and Iain Dowie has continued that with his approach to pre-season.
"Often at clubs you do a lot of running for the first couple of weeks before any ball work, but the gaffer mixes that up well, right from the off.
"That's something I think he is brilliant at, mixing up the training and getting everyone super fit. And, this might sound crazy, but it has been enjoyable as well, because what we've been doing has been good fun, as well as hard work.
"The team spirit has really benefitted from his presence, too. You can have a good laugh with him, and he is quite laid back, which is great."
And the spirit in the camp will need to be strong if the players are to cope with the incredible expectancy which surrounds the Club since the involvement of Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal.
"That's going to be a big thing for us this season," said Mahon. "We've got to make sure we can handle that side of it because, with the financial backing the Club has now got, we are expected to do well.
"It's not going to be as easy as some people might think. A lot of Championship sides have really strengthened over the summer, so it will be tough.
"Having said that, we've got a very good squad here. I think the gaffer is keen to add a couple more faces, which we need, and if he can do that then we can do well this season.
"We'll be expected to win week in, week out, and that's exactly what we will be trying to do."
Looking beyond this evening's match at Rugby Park, Mahon is looking forward to Saturday's home game against Serie A outfit Chievo.
Dowie has made it clear that he will be starting what he feels is his strongest side against the Italians, and Mahon admitted: "Everyone will want to impress in that match.
"The gaffer wants us to play at a high tempo, and against Chievo it will be a good test, because I am sure they will work the ball well.
"It is going to be up to us to keep our shape. We've got to work hard for each other in every match we play, and I actually think it will be a great game against Chievo, I really do." QPR

Blackstock Icons - Feeling positive under the Dowie regime

Back at the start of the summer I met up with the England Under-21s for the game against Wales. I came on in the second half and got a decent run out. It's always hard to come from the bench into a game at that pace but I enjoyed it.

After the Wales game I went on holiday to Miami with a few of the lads, which was great. There were quite a few footballers out there from other clubs so there was a bit of banter too.

Now it's just a question of doing well for QPR to keep myself in the reckoning for the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers and the tournament itself.

We'd all be happy if the season started tomorrow!

We're back in pre-season training now. There's a new regime in charge at the club. Everything's going really well. The players are all positive and raring to go. We'd all be happy if the season started tomorrow! It's been hard work in training so far but it always is in pre-season. The new manager Iain Dowie is getting a real work ethic into us.

I've been really impressed with it all so far. The manager's very approachable. I think he will be very good at man-management over the season. We've had some new players come in over the summer and they've all been welcomed. It's a really close squad at QPR so I'm not surprised they've settled in so quickly.

The most recent arrivals have been Samuel Di Carmine from Fiorentina and Jorge Ledesma from Genoa. I've seen both of them in action. They've definitely got ability. It may take them a while to adapt, not because they're young, but because any player coming into this division needs time, regardless of how experienced he is. Blackstock Icons

Tottenham - Friends reunited

Clive Allen is looking forward to crossing swords with his friend and former team-mate Gary Waddock as our Spurs XI travel to Aldershot Town tonight (July 29).

We face last season's Conference champions as they prepare for life back in the Football League at the Recreation Ground for a 7.45pm kick-off.

Clive and Waddock played together at QPR in 1979-1980 and again between 1981-84 before Clive's move to Spurs in 1984.

Waddock went on to make over 200 appearances for Rangers between 1979-1987 and later managed the Hoops for a brief spell before taking over at Aldershot at the start of last season, guiding the Shots to a runaway Conference title and promotion.

"Gary was a fantastic player, a really good lad and I've kept in touch with him over the years," said Clive. "He's done an unbelievably good job at Aldershot, deserved to take them back into the league and I think they will do well next season.

"Few people gave them a chance last season in the Conference but they were runaway winners.

"I saw them a few times, the football they played was excellent and this is an ideal game for us. They are a good footballing side, attack-minded, play out from the back, the wide players are quick and deliver crosses and they are well organised. It will be a good test." Tottenham

Explaining The Gorkss and Nardiello Deals and Delay's Impact

David McIntyre - BBC 606 - Almost there, but Gorkss must still wait
29 July 2008

As I write this Danny Nardiello is discussing personal terms at Blackpool.
He arrived there this morning and no complications are expected, so it looks like his move will go through later today.
Nardiello’s departure is a separate transfer to the Kaspars Gorkss deal, but it is effectively an exchange because it is hoped it may nudge Blackpool towards releasing Gorkss.
Giving Blackpool the option of also signing one or two fringe players on loan should also speed up the process, especially as Gorkss has made it clear he does not want to play for them again.
From speaking to people, it seems many think the delay has been because of possible action by the authorities after Blackpool accused QPR of making an illegal approach.
In fact, Gorkss has been unable to resolve what is basically a contractual issue between himself and Blackpool despite weeks of wrangling and a clause supposedly entitling him to move for £250,000.
The possibility of the authorities getting involved wore off some time ago and in any case would be a separate issue
This farce is almost over but too late for Gorkss to have a meaningful pre-season – something anyone in the game will tell you is absolutely crucial for a player and the key to his entire season.
Rangers had hoped to squeeze the deal through in time to field Gorkss at Kilmarnock tonight, but he almost certainly will not now feature in the game.
That only leaves the Chievo match at the weekend – hardly adequate preparation for a player who is likely to be crucial for Rangers this season." BBC 606

QPR Report Profiled/Q&A (Part II)

From Vital Football/QPR: Another Fan/Site Interview: QPR Report (Sorry!)

- Part II of Vital Football/QPR "QPR Report Q&A - Part II"

- From Last Week: Vital Football/QPR "QPR Report Q&A - Part I

See other Vital Football/QPR Fan Site/Reporters Interviews

- Ben Kosky - Kilburn Times .

- Clive Whittingham - Loft For Words.

- Simon Skinner - QPRnet.com.

- Dave Barton - queensparkrangersfc.com.

- History Revealed With Dennis Signy

- Billy Rice Interview - Part I

- Billy Rice Interview - Part II

Kilmarnock Tonight...Coventry's Morrison and Cranie Hopes...Flashbacks: Sibley Resigns...Reported Transfer Embargo...Italy Trophy

QPR take on Kilmarnock tonight. Hopefully not too much pressure on QPR after Saturday's defeat for what is only a learning/pre-season friendly. (On Saturday, while QPR were losing to Falkirk, Kilmarnock were crashing 0-3 at home to Wolves. Clive Whittingham/LoftforWords Previews Kilmarnock-QPR game. Scottish Daily Record "Ex-Ger Porrini Backed Pascali For Killie "

Coventry Telegraph
"CHRIS COLEMAN is hoping Clinton Morrison makes a swift recovery from a recurring hip injury so he can get the striker signed up with the Sky Blues.
The City boss insists the 29-year-old striker is "desperate to sign" for the club and both parties are hopeful of agreeing terms once they get to the root of the problem and it is treated.
"He's got a problem with his hip which locks and then he gets deferred pain into his groin," explained Coleman who revealed he is also actively looking for a right sided midfielder to replace Michael Mifsud.
"Last year it stopped him training for a week and now he is going to see someone in London who we hope will speed it up for him because we basically want to sign him.
"He's a good player and he wants to come and with what is going on with Michael Mifsud we want it cleared up. Clinton is desperate to sign and it is just a question of timing now and making sure we find out exactly what's wrong with him, getting the diagnosis and hopefully when we have done that jump back on it and get it sorted out."
As for the manager's continuing bid to strengthen his squad, he admits he is an admirer of 21-year-old Portsmouth defender Martin Cranie, saying: "I like Martin who is a decent player. He went on loan to QPR last season and can play right-back or centre-back and we need some right sided players now we have lost Michael...The Cranie thing has cropped up because we didn't have a right-back...." Coventry Evening Telegraph

Flashback: Thirty Years ago today: Frank Sibley Resigns as QPR Manager
If any player epitomized QPR, it was Frank Sibley. QPR's youngest player to play in the first team at 15). Career ended at 23 by injury. Then was coach at QPR under various managers: Gordon Jago and Dave Sexton. He was QPR manager for just one season: Not an easy task to follow Dave Sexton - especially with an aging team; injury striking your (and England's) Captain; and another star player - Dave Thomas sold before your first game in charge. Then he was replaced by Alec Stock/Steve Burtenshaw. Sibley returned as coach under Venables. Then Alan Mullery. When Mullery was sacked, Sibley was Caretaker manager for the second half of the season. Sibley was coach under various subsequent QPR managers.
And now Sibley is not too well. As Sibley noted in a QPR Official Site profile/interview in March: "My last role was as a scout for Watford a couple of years ago. But I'm not very well now to be honest. I've got Parkinson's disease and you never know when it is going to hit you." (It would be nice if the club was doing something for him.)

- QPR Official Site Profile/Interview With Frank Sibley

QPR Net Interview with Frank Sibley- Sibley's Managerial Career

One Year Ago Today: July 29, 2007 - Sunday Mirror/Paul Smith QPR chief Paladini to sell up
Gianni Paladini's troubled reign as QPR owner is set to come to an end this week.
The former football agent has agreed a £5million takeover at Loftus Road - just as Rangers have been hit by Football League sanctions.
Paladini said last night: "I've agreed in principle to sell the club. I'm selling the vast majority of my shares but I will be retaining a position at the club. The deal has not been signed off yet but I expect it to go through next week."
League bosses have withheld central funds from the club and placed a transfer embargo on Rangers, who have announced several recent deals.
Rangers must re-pay the entire £500,000 loan they received from Oldham Athletic which breached League regulations. Paladini insists the outstanding £300,000 from this loan will be repaid this week.

A Year Ago: As fans complain about "not enough signings" or a bad pre-season result, interesting to look back at QPR Report's "Week in Review" from a Year ago. July 29, 2007 "Positive Signings...Concerns re Finances and New ABC Loan"

Flashback: Two Years: QPR's two match Italy Tour concluded with QPR defeating San Antonio Abate 4-0 and Gianni Paladini collecting the cup- Recalling The "Magic Floating Cup Photo!"

"Rangers signed off their pre-season tour with a 4-0 win over San Antonio Abate. A goal in the first half from Nick Ward was followed by second half strikes from Marc Nygaard, Shabazz Baidoo and Ray Jones to seal the win at the Angri FC stadium.....
San Antonio Abate: Spicuzza, Giorgio, Pisano, Rufini, Ruggiero, Del Sorbo, Bizzarri, Villa, Tortora, Capucceilli, Alfano
Rangers: Jones, Bignot, Milanese (Howell), Rose (Kanyuka), Fortune, Rowlands (Bailey), Ainsworth, Ward, Cook, Nygaard (R Jones), Czerkas (Baidoo). Complete Match Report

Monday, July 28, 2008

QPR Injury Update: Connolly, Cerny Vine, Di Carmine, Buzsaky and Ephraim

In Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Falkirk, Matt Connolly was stretchered off after rolling his ankle when he got his studs caught in the ground. Initially, it looked like quite a bad knock but thankfully the news from the Treatment Room this evening appears encouraging.
Speaking from the team base in Stirling, Head Physio Paul Hunter told www.qpr.co.uk: "We took him to a local hospital straight after the match for an X-ray, and that came back clear, which was good.
"When we return to Harlington on Wednesday we will scan him to see what level of ligament damage he has sustained.
"He's been responding well to treatment so I am encouraged by that, but it's too early to say for definite whether he will be fit and available for the first game of the season against Barnsley."
In other news, Radek Cerny has returned to full training, as he revealed yesterday to www.qpr.co.uk. Hunter added: "He's been training for the last few days with the team and the goalkeeping coaches, and has had no adverse reaction."
Meanwhile, striker Samuel Di Carmine picked up a groin injury in training prior to leaving for Scotland on Friday, and that led to him staying back in London.
"Unfortunately Samuel suffered an adductor injury and we decided it was best for him to stay back at our Harlington training ground and work with the physio there to do some strengthening work," Hunter said.
Lastly from Scotland, Hogan Ephraim has also been requiring the attentions of Hunter. "Hogan has got a mild form of shin splints so we gave him a period of rest today," the Head Physio revealed. "We'll see how he responds to that. He's actually had it for a little while now, so a reduction in his training should aid him."
Back in London, meanwhile, Akos Buzsaky (foot) and Rowan Vine (broken leg) are continuing to make good progress.
Hunter revealed: "Akos is doing well. He has started running and is now doing the last bit of his strengthening work.
"We expect him to be in a position to return to full training with the rest of the first team in the next two weeks.
"We have to bear in mind that he hasn't had any pre-season at all, so he will need a little bit of time to get up to speed with the rest of the lads. He'll be doing extra work in order to catch up.
"Rowan's got another check-up with the surgeon in a fortnight, and we're hoping he will effectively be given the all-clear from him. That means he will be joining in with some of the running that Akos will be doing in a couple of weeks' time..." QPR

Gorkss to QPR, Nardiello and Rehman to Blackpool - Reported But NOT Yet Officially Announced

But NOT yet officially announced by either club yet: One of the most long-drawn out transfers in QPR History!.

Mirror/James Nursey - QPR sign Blackpool's Kaspars Gorkss in players plus cash deal
QPR have signed Kaspars Gorkss from Blackpool after offering to send two players to their angry Championship rivals as a sweetener.
Blackpool reported Rangers to The FA in June after claiming they made an illegal approach for Latvian defender Gorkss.
But QPR have still signed Gorkss,26, after exploiting his bargain £250,000 buy-out clause and giving them striker Daniel Nardiello and defender Zesh Rehman.
Nardiello,25, is moving permanently to Bloomfield Road while former Fulham star Rehman, 24, is going on loan." Mirror

Reported slightly earlier today:

Sporting Life - Nardiello to seal switch - Blackpool to confirm transfer
Blackpool have agreed a deal for Welsh international Daniel Nardeillo, skysports.com understands.
The Tangerines have been chasing Nardiello for a number of weeks, but the transfer has been complicated by the fact that Queens Park Rangers were trying to sign Kaspars Gorkss.
While the Gorkss transfer rumbles on, Nardiello and Blackpool have agreed terms on the move.
Blackpool will pay an undisclosed fee for Nardiello, who will sign a two-year deal at Bloomfield Road.
Nardiello ends a 12-month stay at QPR which saw him make just eight appearances and he spent the latter part of the season on loan at Barnsley. Sporting Life

Cerny Set for QPR Debut ...Starting Goalie Not Yet Announced...Dowie on Saturday's Loss

Lee Camp makes it sound as if the #1 position is up for grabs. Radek Cerny makes it sound more like he's the #1 goalie.

David McIntyre/Ealing Gazette - New keeper ready for first Rangers' outing

Jul 28 2008
Radek Cerny is set to make his QPR debut in Tuesday night’s pre-season friendly at Kilmarnock .
The Czech goalkeeper, signed on a free transfer this summer following a spell at Tottenham, has been given all-clear after missing Rangers’ first three friendlies with a hamstring strain.
Mikele Leigertwood is also hoping to play against Killie after recovering from a slight Achilles problem.
Boss Ian Dowie confirmed: "Radek has trained fully and will play some part at Kilmarnock .
"I could maybe have put him on the bench at Falkirk but he’ll train again and then play, which is great.
"We’ve also got Mikele Leigertwood on the fringes of it which is also important for us."
Cerny’s recovery gives him the chance to stake a claim for a first-team spot ahead of Lee Camp.
Deciding on his first-choice keeper is one of the major decisions facing Dowie ahead of the game against Barnsley on the opening day of the season.
But Camp insists he is not fazed by the prospect of having to battle for his place following Cerny’s arrival.
"It’s part and parcel of the game," said Camp.
"The club wants to go to the Premier League and for it to move forward there is going to have to be competition for places.
"You have to add quality to the squad and make everyone accountable for their performances. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll work hard and see what comes.
"It’s something for the manager to decide and he’s not given an indication of who’ll play. All I can do is work hard and try my best in the games, which suits me fine."
Camp was powerless to stop Rangers suffering a 2-0 defeat in their friendly at Falkirk on Saturday.
Falkirk’s first was an own goal by Damion Stewart, who turned in a left-wing cross after Emmanual Ledesma had been caught out.
John Stewart volleyed in the Scottish side’s second goal before Rangers improved after the break.
Of greater concern for Rangers was an ankle injury suffered by defender Matt Connolly, who was taken off on a stretcher. His condition was due to be assessed on Monday.
"We had a mad two minutes," Dowie admitted.
"To lose someone in the box at a set-piece is poor and for the first goal, after some good passing by them it flashed into the net when on another day it would have gone somewhere else.
"After that though I thought as a defensive unit we played very well, particularly in the second half when we weren’t under too much pressure.
"I was pleased with the second half but Falkirk deserve a lot of credit, particularly for that 20-minute spell after they scored when they got a bit of wind in their sails and popped it around very well.
"We then came into it and had opportunities to get a goal but our final ball was poor, which was a disappointment for me. But I was pleased with our response.
"It was a good lesson to learn. Rather than me doing it it’s about solving things on the pitch, and the sad thing was that we didn’t solve it during the first half. In the second half we solved what was causing us a problem.
"You don’t get too excited about winning games in pre-season and you don’t get too disappointed about losing games either. The fitness is getting there and that’s the most important thing." Ealing Gazette

Also Official Site Cerny's Perspective - WE MUST START STRONG
As the R's continue their pre-season tour of Scotland, one man who is enjoying his time north of the border is Radek Cerny.
Brought in over the summer, the former Tottenham loanee has been enjoying the climate, which is ideal for training. "Many teams go to places like Italy or Spain, but the weather is very hot, and it makes training difficult," he said.
"It isn't as warm here in Scotland, so it is better for us when we are training ."
Cerny, who is looking forward to his 15th season as a professional, has now had the time to get to know his fellow team-mates, and he admits he's been impressed by their character and attitude.
"I know all the players now, and I think the squad here is very good," he told www.qpr.co.uk. "We have a lot of good individuals and they are all working very hard."
With expectancy high in W12, Cerny knows the team need to hit the ground running when the first match comes around against Barnsley on 9th August.
"It is important for us to start the season well," he added. "If we achieve that, then we need to push on and be consistent, but a strong beginning to the campaign is vital for us."
Cerny is yet to make his debut for the R's, owing to a hamstring injury he sustained in training two weeks ago. Thankfully, he has overcome that and is looking forward to his first chance to pull on the QPR shirt, which could arrive on Tuesday evening against Kilmarnock.
"I have returned to full training in the last couple of days, and thankfully I feel OK," he revealed. "Hopefully my injury problems are behind me now.
"I am so happy that I am back so quickly because initially I thought I might be sidelined for as much as six weeks."
Like his team-mates, Cerny has been impressed by the intensity and high-tempo of Iain Dowie's carefully structured pre-season training.
"The first couple of weeks were very intense," he said. "It isn't as intense here in Scotland, but it is nice to have a new environment and it has been a good few days' training so far."
Following the match against Killie, the R's will return to London on Wednesday, and prepare in earnest for the visit of Chievo to W12, for what is our final pre-season fixture.
"I am really looking forward to playing at Loftus Road," he admitted. "I have been speaking with some of the players, and they all tell me what a great ground it is to play at.
"I hope the supporters get behind me. At Tottenham they were very good, they took to me right away, and my aim is to try to achieve that with the QPR fans."
With one eye on the final pre-season fixture, Cerny acknowledges: "Chievo is an important match for us, as it is just seven days before the new season. It could be quite a competitive fixture."
And as Dowie makes his final tweaks to the squad, his keeper is clear on what the target should be for the R's. "Hopefully we will not only be around the top six, our first aim is to finish in the top two," he said
"That's what the players are after. If we miss out on that, then we certainly hope to finish in the play-off places

Meanwhile, the team trains in Scotland - Photos

Remembering De Canio and Language Issues

Dave McIntyre - BBC 606 Communication problems
by David M - BBC Sport (U1628513) 28 July 2008
I had my first conversation with Matteo Alberti on Saturday.
He thought I worked behind the scenes at Falkirk and asked me where the way out was, so I told him.
Still, it’s good to ‘touch base’ eh?
I was actually looking at a picture of Simon Stainrod at the time.
By that I don’t mean I carry around a picture of Stainrod, as much as I love the man. It was a photo proudly mounted on the wall inside the stadium at Falkirk because he was a popular player there too.
When I think of the relative dross that have made it onto the walls around the reception area at QPR lately, and yet I go to a ground in Scotland and find a picture of Simon Stainrod. Something’s not right there.
Anyway, I digress.
I’ve had mixed fortunes with Rangers’ foreign contingent in recent years. For starters it was a shame Gigi De Canio went when he did. We were getting on so well.
Hand gestures and pats on the back had progressed to “hello, how are you?” We’d even sometimes say “see you on Saturday” to each other.
Then, just when we were getting along famously, he left.
I thought we were mates.
In all seriousness, I didn’t know De Canio, partly because of the language barrier he found difficult to overcome during his time at Rangers.
That said, I respected him as a coach and liked him as a person albeit one I didn’t know well.
De Canio was usually able to get his point across to the media although some things were lost in translation. Not least when he seemed to describe Damion Stewart as a potentially world class defender
He was an absolute gentleman and tried very hard to accommodate me and other journalists in what were difficult circumstances. Both sides were finding the job that bit tougher because of the language difference and he was obviously aware of that.
Gigi was always obliging and willing to give his time when he could easily have withdrawn himself. He was also happy to mix with supporters, which he did right up to the day he left.
De Canio was usually able to get his point across to the media although some things were lost in translation. Not least when he seemed to describe Damion Stewart as a potentially world class defender.
But the bottom line was that Gigi’s stay never felt like it was likely to last and with the language issue and his limited knowledge of English football, it never seemed worth troubling the man because there wasn’t a lot he could say.
He did, though, have plenty to say when we met a few days before the final game of last season.
His English had improved noticeably and he was as upbeat as I’d seen him.
In my mind, I had come specifically to ask about Gigi’s future at Rangers – or lack of one.
I suggested he’d found it difficult in London and that the upcoming West Brom match could be his last.
I didn’t expect him to tell me he’d already packed his bags but even I, who takes nothing they’re told at face value, was taken aback by his response.
He looked shocked and bemused at the notion he would be going, greeting it with the type of expression I couldn’t place at the time but with hindsight I’d now liken to that of a continental defender who hacks down a forward and then looks bewildered when the yellow card comes out.
Gigi spoke about his squad, the future and his plans to watch more English players to build up his knowledge. He spoke particularly passionately about his relationship with Gianni Paladini. We all know what happened next.
Communication problems can also creep in with players.
I’m not one of these journos who likes to be pally with players. There are a few reasons for this but the main one is that I just don’t think it’s right.
The exception was Gino Padula, for the simple reason that when he first started playing for QPR his English wasn’t good enough to understand my explanation for not wanting to be friends with a player. It was real Basil and Manuel stuff back then.
I’m glad, because Gino’s a good bloke. He misses England and QPR despite moving to lovely places in France and more recently the USA.
I thought I might make a similar exception when Rangers signed Akos Buzsaky.
Akos was a player I admired before he joined. In fact I thought he was the best player in the Championship and could go on to be a genuine star at QPR if the club progressed and was able to hang onto him.
Imagine my excitement when the man I’d long thought would make a great number 10 for QPR was signed.
Now as much as I like to keep a distance, I thought why not make a little exception here. What the hell.
Like Gino early on, poor old Akos would need to settle. English is his second language and London is very different to both Hungary and Plymouth.
I’d help him out. We’d be mates. The modern-day Bowles and Don Shanks (I was a decent right-back in my time).
And after Akos had emulated Bowles’ achievements - only this time actually winning the title - I’d help to write his autobiography, with a chapter on how I’d helped him settle in those crucial early days.
Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that Akos speaks better English than I do and our paths have barely crossed.
By the way, Don Shanks did not write Stan Bowles’ autobiography. In case I gave that impression.
On a more serious note, it looks like Danny Nardiello’s move to Blackpool will be completed today or tomorrow.
One or two more QPR players may also go there on loan, which should pave the way for Kaspars Gorkss to finally play for Rangers
Whether that’s at Kilmarnock tomorrow night or not, I don’t know. Cheers. BBC606

David McIntyre - Concern for Connolly

by David M - BBC Sport (U1628513) 26 July 2008
An ankle injury suffered by Matt Connolly at Falkirk is of more concern to Rangers than the 2-0 defeat.
Iain Dowie is trying to stay hopeful ahead of the results of Connolly’s scan, but I got the impression the injury is a worry.
Connolly left the pitch on a stretcher and will almost certainly miss Tuesday’s game at Kilmarnock.
And if he is found to have suffered ligament damage, he could be out for much longer.
That would be an untimely blow for Connolly, who faces stiff competition for a place this season – especially since the arrival of Peter Ramage – and looked in good form against Northampton on Wednesday night.
As for the performance, Rangers were defensively very poor in the first half and conceded two goals in as many minutes.
The first was an own goal by Damion Stewart, who turned in a left-wing cross after Emmanual Ledesma had been caught out. Then John Stewart volleyed in Falkirk’s second.
Rangers came into it a bit more late in the first half. Damien Delaney shot wide and Ledesma cut inside and curled one over.
In the second half, Dexter Blackstock was denied by a last-ditch tackle after some good link-up play and Martin Rowlands fired just wide from 25 yards.
While Rangers face an anxious wait for new on Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood and Radek Cerny are on the mend following their injuries.
Cerny has recovered from a hamstring strain and will start at Kilmarnock and Leigertwood looks likely to play too after shaking off an Achilles problem.
I’d be interested in your views on Rangers’ pre-season so far and how you things are shaping up. BBC606

Blackpool and QPR Both Want Gorkss Transfer Concluded

Blackpool Gazette - Gorkss: Get a move on, say Pool

Grayson was today hoping to bring the Kaspars Gorkss saga to an end.
Gorkss is training with QPR and is keen to complete his move to London.
But a dispute between Pool and their Championship rivals has held up the transfer.
It's now more than six weeks since the Londoners first made their approach for the 25-year-old.
Last week Iain Dowie spoke about his eagerness to get the whole mess sorted out, and Grayson agrees.
"Iain Dowie is keen to get it sorted and I agree with him," said the Seasiders boss.
"I think it's just gone on for too long now and it's best for Blackpool, QPR and Kaspars that everything gets sorted and resolved.
"Hopefully within the next 24 hours or so things might be resolved, which will be a bonus for everyone."
When the Gorkss move is completed it should mean a new face at Bloomfield Road.
Striker Daniel Nardiello will be part of the Gorkss deal and one or two other Rangers players may also be involved.
The Seasiders will also receive a fee of £250,000, money Grayson is planning to use to make fresh bids for other players – such as Martin Devaney from Barnsley.
The Tykes rejected Pool's initial £150,000 offer but would probably be swayed if they came back in with a bid in excess of £200,000. Blackpool Gazette

The full article contains 236 words and appears in n/a newspaper.

Snippets: Q&A With Dennis Signy On The Old QPR of Stock and Gregory...Ex-QPR Goalie, Chris Day Birthday...Bosnich Update

Nice Vital Football/QPR Interview with journalist and football man, Dennis Signy - "Dennis has had a long and illustrious history in football working for QPR, Brentford and Barnet, as well as working for the media covering the latter two clubs. Here he discusses the Alec Stock era in great detail, Rangers move to White City and back again, and the impact Chairman Jim Gregory had on the club...Signy Q&A

Ex-QPR Goalie, Chris Day, Turns 33
Born July 28, 1975.Joined QPR six years ago on a free Transfer from Watford as Ian Holloway started rebuilding the team after their relegation to the (old) Division Three. Played 87 games for QPR including the Playoff Final defeat in Cardiff. A year after our return to the First Division, Day joined Oldham on a free. Now with Millwall.
Ray Wilkins originally tried to sign Day when he was an England-U-21 goalie at Spurs (at the same time that Wilkins signed Steve Slade) Soccerbase

Flashback One Year: QPR's Team One Year Ago against Wycombe:
QPR played a pre-season friendly at Wycombe, July 28, 2007 (winning 1-0). QPR's team: Lee Camp (Jake Cole 65), Michael Mancienne, Dominic Shimmin (Sam Timoska 56), Damion Stewart, John Curtis (Zesh Rehman 79), Danny Nardiello (Stefan Moore 56), Adam Bolder, Simon Walton (Stefan Bailey 86), Martin Rowlands, Dexter Blackstock (Marc Nygaard 79), Ray Jones(Ben Sahar 56). - Match Reports

Mark Bosnich Update
Mark Bosnich, who trained with QPR for several months last year, made his full return to football in Australia, keeping a clean sheet and saving a penalty ( even as the Sun has a sad snippet Mark Bosnich Goes Bankrupt )

Herald Sun- July 28, 2008 - Mark Bosnich stars in game that may save his Career
FORMER cocaine addict Mark Bosnich made a fairytale soccer comeback yesterday in his first competitive match for seven years.
The one-time Socceroos, Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa goalkeeper made four great saves and kept a clean sheet for Central Coast Mariners.
The on-trial outing could finally see him resurrect a top-flight career he destroyed.
After the 3-0 pre-season cup victory against Sydney FC in Gosford, a smiling Bosnich said: "One swallow doesn't make a summer -- there's still a long way to go. If today went another way I'd still say the same thing."
Infamously dismissed from his $60,000-a-week contract at Chelsea in 2001 after testing positive for cocaine, Bosnich quit the game.
His life then descended into public pantomime as Britain's newspapers tracked his drug-addled and stormy relationship with supermodel Sophie Anderton, also an addict.
But those dark days looked long behind him yesterday as he showed the form that made him one of the most respected keepers in the game and an Australian hero in the 1990s.
He said at the post-match press-conference: "Experience has taught me not to get too out of control but it was a really good start."
Sydney coach John Kosmina didn't think the Mariners were three goals better, but admitted Bosnich was "the difference between the teams".
Desperate to get his life back on track, Bosnich - who last year did months of fitness training with London club Queens Park Rangers - admitted he was very nervous.
But when he made his first spectacular save - turning a rocket shot over the bar with one hand - the 36-year-old grew in confidence. He also saved a penalty.
Bosnich said: "It was a pleasure to play and I am really thankful to everybody. I'd like to thank people like (radio king) Alan Jones, who has been in my thoughts and prayers (due to a cancer operation). He's been a fantastic help and I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him.
"It was a very important step for me today. There's still three weeks to go before the start of the season."
Bosnich got his chance with the Mariners as regular keeper Danny Vukovic is about to serve a suspension.
He said: "If Danny can play the first two games that will give me extra weeks to get into super-fit condition.
"I am just trying to be a little bit humble -- balanced -- for once. It felt really good."
Yet to make a decision on whether to give Bosnich a contract, Mariners manager Lawrie McKinna said: "It's not one game -- it's the full package, it's how he goes at training too. But he's feeling great about himself and we're feeling great for him.
"Mark had a lot to lose today. He could have had a nightmare and everybody would have said 'you're too old'. But he's played well. And as he says, he can take another step forward next week." Herald Sun

Remembering The ABC Loan

Assuming all works out as has been reported on the boards, QPR - and QPR fans - will finally say goodbye to six years of the "mysterious" ABC Loan which was "sucking" from the club more than a million pounds a year merely in interest payments and which had/has an end-of-July repayment date.

According to posters, QPR shareholders have received a mailing seeking their approval for the ABC Loan to be paid off and the loan transferred to Amulya Property Limited, which is supposedly connected to Flavio Briatore and Amit Bhatia (beyond that, nothing has been posted about Amulya Property). The Amulya loan will reportedly be at 8.5%. It is for two years, and Loftus Road is collateral. (As the posters note, they have till August 20 to approve. The ABC loan requires to be paid on or before 31st July 2008.)
Although there are still some obvious questions about the new loan and how it's going to be paid off in two years, this will at least close one saga and reduce the annual payment by several hundred thousand pounds a year.

For year after year, club officials, board members and fans outlike all spoke harshly about the ABC loan almost since day #1 since the club left administration and announced the ABC loan back in May 2002. As former Chairman Bill Power phrased it in an interview last year "In my opinion [the ABC Loan] nearly killed us. I don’t like the phrase but, it has been like a cancer slowly draining us for years and thank god we now have a cure....it nearly killed us off." (WeAreTheRangersBoysQ&ABillPower)

Besides the various posts on the boards over the years, there have been innumerable items about ABC at the QPR1st site and also at Boardroom Blues. Also see this blog; or just google QPR and ABC.

Among the past "compilations re the ABC Loan"

- September 3, 2006 - "Refocusing on QPR's "Mysterious" ABC Loan"

- April 18, 2007 Almost Five Years Since QPR's ABC Loan, Exit Administration and Takeover Efforts Ended

May 6 2007 - QPR Statement re Blitz Loan, ABC Refinancing and Returning Loan

- QPR Report October 27, 2006 QPR's ABC Loan: What's Known #1

- QPR's Ongoing 10% per-annum ABC Loan & QPR's Efforts to Deal with it

Since last year's takeover, there were a few official comments re the ABC loan

September 2007 - Outgoing QPR Chairman Paladini interviewed by WeAreTheRangersBoys
"Q) Has the ABC loan been paid?
A: "All been paid, the club, the ground belongs to them. All responsibilities lies with them now. Its easier for them to go to their banks and get their own guarantees. We don't have to worry. The club belongs to Flavio and Bernie now.

September 25, 2007 - QPR's Former Director and continuing Legal Advisor Nick De Marco (Interview "WeAreTheRangersBoys) "...It is my understanding the new board plan a substantial commitment to the club. If the ABC loan has not already been paid when you publish this interview, I can assure you they have a professional firm of solicitors who will be dealing with this issue and it is definitely in the process of being replaced." Interview

November 18, 2007 QPR1st - EGM report November 18, 2007 The ABC Loan
Questions were raised regarding the ABC loan, how this is being dealt with and whether ABC have the right to purchase Loftus Road Stadium next summer. Regarding the potential sale of Loftus Road Stadium to ABC, Mr Agag stated he could say "categorically this is not going to happen". He said that they were still working on how they were going to deal with this issue, but that Loftus Road Stadium would stay in the company.
The club's finances will be taken forward through various different avenues including the new shareholders investment, sponsorship and future commercial and revenue streams.
In the first period there will be substantial financial investment injected but there are plans afoot for the medium and long term in which the Board and owners feel the company and club can be profitable

December 17, 2007 - Fans Consultative Committee Meeting Minutes
On Thursday 13th December, representatives from QPR 1st's Management
3e - What is the position with the Clubs' debts? Has the ABC loan been paid off?
Alejandro Agag said the following:
- that "the club debts are gone" and have been cleared, but the ABC loan still exists.
- the Board are currently still deciding on how to tackle the ABC loan.
- a decision on how to tackle it will be made within 2-3 months.
- that decision will be either getting a bank to pay back at a normal rate or to pay it off themselves.
- they will make their choice by 1st July which is when they have to sort this out by.
- the new Board and the Club are carrying out further investigations into how the ABC loan was set up and whether there is an evidence of malpractice...
- Nick De Marco reported that the Board had instructed there to be a serious investigation into the background to the ABC loan and sale of the training ground to discover if there had been any financial impropriety. " QPR1st

February 11, 2008 QPR's Financial Situation Under its New Owners: Bernie Ecclestone's Perspective- The Times/Alex Wade -
"...But if high noon at Loftus Road seemed, at times, in danger of becoming a weekly event, QPR emerged from administration in 2002 thanks to a £10 million loan from the ABC Corporation. The benevolence of the Panama-registered company came at a price – a cool £1 million in annual interest – and, until the Formula One duo turned up, seemed set to dog any attempt to escape the lower reaches of the second tier.
Yet even as Ecclestone and Co took the reins there were murmurs of disquiet. One newspaper made much of the fact that, some two months into the new regime, the ABC loan had yet to be discharged. Ecclestone is happy to set the record straight.
“We will pay the debt when we can – at the end of June this year,” he says. “That’s when the loan matures, so that’s when we can pay it back.” ” The Times

May 2008 - At the QPR AGM from May 2008 - From QPR1st
ABC Loan Alejandro Agag said -
- that the ABC loan has not yet been paid.
- that talks are continuing with a number of parties to refinance the loan before the
July 31st deadline.
- the Club are still looking for the best situation and solution.
- that the difficulty with banks is they will not give a loan to any football club.
- that the Board will pay out of their own pocket if nothing suitable is found.
-that the Club will not lose ownership of it's ground. QPR1st


David Conn, The Independent, April 9, 2005 - FOOTBALL: From ABC to QPR, the tangled tale of how football gambled

Michael Hunt, the former managing director of Nissan UK, who was sentenced to eight years for his role in the largest tax fraud ever perpetrated in Britain, is, according to sources, the man behind the ABC Corporation, a Panama-registered company which has lent pounds 10m and pounds 15m to Queen's Park Rangers and Derby County respectively, and has mortgages on both Loftus Road and Pride Park.

Hunt was convicted in 1993 of conspiring to cheat the Inland Revenue, after Southwark Crown Court heard that for nine years Hunt, along with the company's chairman Octav Botnar and another director, had orchestrated a 'truly massive' tax fraud, by using bogus invoices and a sham shipping agent to siphon pounds 149.2m from the company and launder it through offshore companies, depriving the Inland Revenue of pounds 56.3m tax and pounds 36m interest.

Botnar stayed in Switzerland and refused to come back to face trial, although he later agreed a settlement with the Inland Revenue. Hunt, however, who was said by the prosecution to have made pounds 30m personally from the frauds, and another former Nissan UK director, Frank Shannon, were convicted for their parts in the scam. Hunt appealed, but his conviction and sentence were upheld in May 1994.

QPR, who had long been in administration following their financial collapse under Chris Wright's ownership, borrowed pounds 10m from the ABC Corporation in May 2002, at an interest rate of 10 per cent, pounds 1m a year, a huge amount for the once-chirpy club to pay. Companies registered in Panama, a tax haven, do not have to disclose their shareholders or directors, but in March 2003 rumours began to circulate on QPR fans' messageboards that Hunt was behind ABC.

After ABC provided the money, a 'consultant legal adviser,' Philip Englefield, became a director of QPR to represent ABC's interests on the club's board. The club's supporters' trust, QPR 1st , then discovered that in 1991 Englefield had been struck off the roll of solicitors by the Law Society for improperly taking nearly pounds 900,000 from his firm's clients' bank account.

QPR asked him to stand down, which he did, although he continued to act as ABC's contact, a role the club said he discharged professionally. Englefield, it turns out, had also been convicted of theft and fraud offences for taking pounds 4.7m from his firm's client account, and been sentenced in March 1993 to seven years in prison, reduced to six on appeal. A year later, he wrote to The Sunday Times, praising the fish and chip supper, 'the gastronomic highlight of the week' " served up on Fridays in his prison.

In October 2003, Derby County, relegated after six seasons in the Premier League and, under their former owner Lionel Pickering, sagging beneath pounds 31m debts, were suddenly put into receivership. The club and their ground were sold to a newly formed company, Sharmine Limited, and new directors were unveiled: Jeremy Keith, a 'business doctor' specialising in financially failing businesses, who had briefly been involved at Portsmouth FC before they went into administration in 1998; Steven Harding, an advertising executive, and a perhaps unlikely figure as the new chairman of Derby: John Sleightholme, a barrister and the deputy coroner for North Yorkshire.

At the time the directors said they would not reveal who owned the club, a stance they have maintained ever since. A month later, it emerged that the pounds 15m finance for their takeover had come from the same ABC Corporation, registered in Panama City.

Sleightholme had been previously involved in a venture with a former Scottish players' agent, Murdo MacKay, who, a few months later, joined Derby as the club's director of football. MacKay's own business career is somewhat chequered; he was a Fifa-registered players' agent for what he described as 11 'unblemished' years, but one of his companies, Inside Soccer Recruitment, which had a high- profile launch in 2001 and was backed by the former Rangers and England centre-back Terry Butcher among others, went bust just 18 months later, owing a large tax bill and leaving creditors, including a furious Butcher, unpaid.

From 1993 to 1996, MacKay was made personally bankrupt after the failure of another recruitment agency, MMK Associates, when 19 creditors, ranging from the Inland Revenue to a furniture loan company, were left owed pounds 157,659. MacKay has, however, said he has put that behind him and is applying his knowledge of football to reviving Derby's fortunes.

Last month, Sharmine Limited, which owns Derby, finally revealed who its owners are, but that only opened into a new layer of opaque anonymity in yet more tax havens: two of its shareholders are registered as companies in Belize, the other in the British Virgin Islands.

Sources close to the deals, however, confirmed to me this week that Michael Hunt is the ultimate source of the ABC cash. He is understood to operate a family trust registered in Switzerland, whose size, the sources said, runs into 'nine figures'. A lawyer in Basle, Dr Hans Georg Hinderling, has represented ABC Corporation in their dealings with QPR.

QPR's current board, chaired by lifelong Rangers fan Bill Power, who took the club over last year, has since been scathing about the ABC loan it inherited: 'It is scandalous,' Power told me, 'that we've been saddled with this debt, from a Panama corporation of all places, at such an outrageous interest rate.'

David Davies, the chief executive at the time the deal was done, who is now working for London Wasps Rugby Club, maintained however that QPR had no alternatives at the time: 'Looking back, yes I am uncomfortable about the loan we had to take out, but no banks would lend to us. It was a matter of keeping the club in business.'

At Derby, ABC replaced one load of debt, owed to Lombard and the Co-op Bank, with the money now owed to them. The club's directors have told the Supporters' Trust, Ramstrust, that the debts have increased another pounds 4m since they took over, to pounds 35m. Ted McMinn, the former Rams' winger who now commentates for BBC Radio Derby, has been a sceptic from the start: 'We know very little about these people, or why they took over,' he told me. 'They appear to have put no money in themselves, and the debt isn't getting smaller.'

In a meeting with Ramstrust last December, Jeremy Keith said of Michael Hunt's rumoured involvement with ABC: 'We can't categorically say who is involved,' although Michael Hunt's name was not on any documentation and was not an officer of the organisation. This week John Sleightholme said they had had no dealings with Hunt

The ABC of boardroom intrigue at Loftus Road - David Conn The Guardian - Wednesday October 19, 2005

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.

Loftus Road and Pride Park mortgaged to Panamanian company - David Conn - Independent, 8 November 2003

Derby follow Queen's Park Rangers in restructuring debt via faceless ABC Corporation represented by struck-off solicitor

The identity of the so-called "mystery backer" that loaned £15m to take Derby County from the Co-Op Bank's receivers a fortnight ago can now be revealed; and what could possibly reassure Derby fans more than to know their club is in debt and has mortgaged its celebrated new stadium to a faceless company registered in Panama?

Quite why the newly appointed board at Derby, led by the new chairman, John Sleightholme, a barrister and the deputy coroner of South Yorkshire, felt compelled to withhold this news when he took over at the end of last month, is unclear. Mortgages have to be registered at Companies House, and so, a few days later, a document duly appeared on the public record which succinctly stated that: "All that freehold property known as Derby County Stadium Pride Park", is mortgaged to ABC Corporation, of Calle Aquilino de la Guardia no 8, Panama City, the Republic of Panama.

This, of course, only gets anyone so far, which is one of the whole points of registering companies in Panama. The Panamanian Consulate in London proudly advertises on its website that a principal advantage for people registering "offshore corporations" in the country is that the Republic operates "the most secure confidentiality laws to be found anywhere." Companies must name officers, but these are usually lawyers working for the owners, whose identity does not have to be disclosed, and the companies do not have to file accounts or regular financial information.

The other main advantage is that a company registered in Panama which does not actually operate in the country - like ABC Corporation and most of the 350,000 other companies registered there - pay no tax except a token annual administration fee. The consulate particularly stresses the advantages for banking: "The income derived is exempt from Panamanian taxes, which is a very attractive feature."

The limited information available from the public registry in Panama City states that ABC Corporation was formed in October 1984. The address at Calle Aquilino de la Guardia is that of a law firm. Its first officers, a president, secretary and treasurer, were three Swiss lawyers, Peter Lenz, Marcel Muff and Hans Hinderling, who is a registered footballers' agent. Then in 1992 following a meeting at Hinderling's offices in Basle, the officers of the
company were changed to lawyers in another offshore tax haven, the Bahamas: Richard Lightbourne, Hartis Pinder and Lourey Smith, of the firm McKinney Bancroft and Hughes in Nassau. But that's it. The identity of the owner, or the source of the money, is hidden.

Derby themselves refused to elaborate this week, consistent with Sleightholme's statement when he took over with his fellow new directors, Steven Harding and Jeremy Keith - the prime mover of the takeover - that they would keep the source of the £15m loan confidential. A club spokesman said the loan had been "passed" by the Football Association and League, but this does not mean that the source has been disclosed or vetted in any way. The FA has no system yet for vetting football club directors - the long-promised "fit and proper person test" - let alone to examine the ever more far-flung sources of finance to which many clubs are turning as ordinary banks pull out of the game with their fingers singed.

The League did pass ABC Corporation's loan, but under a different rule, the one which prohibits one person or company having an interest in two clubs - as it turns out, the Panamanian nameplate is also on a sizeable loan outstanding at another club, Queen's Park Rangers, and ABC have a mortgage on their cosy old ground at Loftus Road.

At QPR, a few details have seeped out since ABC Corporation of Panama City loaned £10m last year, with which the club paid off outstanding debts, mainly to the majority shareholder, Chris Wright, and came out of administration. The interest rate was confirmed by QPR's chairman, Ross Jones, a banker, early this year, as 10 per cent annually; £1m for the near-bust West London club to find, and a nice, tax-free earner for whoever is behind ABC. The club deals with a representative of the lender in London, Philip Englefield, who under his full name of Philip Anthony Devereux Englefield is currently registered as a director of several property companies which are based in Knightsbridge.

In May 2002, as ABC's representative, Englefield was made a director of QPR, but then QPR 1st, the supporters' trust whose members have grown desperately concerned about the club's plight, discovered that in 1991 Englefield had been struck off the roll of solicitors by the Law Society. He had, the Law Society found, while a partner in a firm of solicitors in London W1, between July 1988 and June 1990, taken nearly £900,000 from the firm's clients' bank account, in 91 separate withdrawals, for payyments "of a personal nature".

At his hearing, Englefield admitted the offences, but argued in mitigation that he had been "foolish and desperate, and had not formed any intention to commit fraud." The Law Society described the hole in the firm's bank account as "of a very great magnitude", said the payments "were not made in error" and that "extraordinarily large sums of money were involved." They struck him off as a solicitor and ordered him to pay the costs of the hearing and the inquiry.

Shortly after the Trust presented the club with their discovery, on 12 July 2002, Englefield resigned from the QPR board. He is, however, still the man, registered as a legal advisor to various companies, with whom QPR deal to make their regular monthly payments of £83,333. David Davies, QPR's chief executive, confirmed that the club deals with Englefield, and said the relationship with him and ABC was similar to "any other mortgage company", and that their dealings so far had been cordial:

"We made the difficult decision to borrow the £10m or die last year because there was no other solution offering itself to enable us to come out of administration. ABC have been fair with us and they have not been predatory."

As at Derby, QPR have never disclosed who is behind ABC; Davies has said it is a Swiss trust. There were some rumours earlier this year that the ultimate lender of the money was Michael Hunt, the former managing director of Nissan UK, who in June 1993 was jailed for eight years for his part - allegedly with Octav Botnar, the company's chairman - in siphoning off £149.2m from Nissan UK and cheating the Inland Revenue out of £56.3m, Britain's largest-ever tax fraud. Witnesses to the fraud were called from Panama and Bermuda, and the money, according to the prosecution, was laundered through Swiss bank accounts.

In March this year Justin Pieris, QPR 1st chairman, wrote to Davies asking him to clarify whether the rumours that Hunt was the lender were true. Davies had previously officially denied rumours that Fulham's owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, was the lender, however this time he did not confirm or deny it, but replied that he was bound by confidentiality. Davies pointed out that in order to exit administration the club and its administrator, Ray Hocking of BDO Stoy Hayward, had had to satisfy the court that the loan came from "legitimate sources, not illegal activities, and that they had done so".

"The most important element," Davies wrote, "is ensuring the loan repayments are met, not what the background of an individual may be. The speculation over who may or may not have been involved in the affairs of Nissan(UK) contribute little to meeting those obligations."

That, indeed, is a crucial point. At both QPR and Derby, the loans have merely replaced one hefty creditor with one from Panama, leaving the clubs in the same debt and not increasing their earnings. It is believed to be costing QPR significantly more in interest, and the club is desperate for cash - Davies has budgeted for a loss around £2.5m this season and said QPR will not make it to the end of the season if no new investor comes in. If the worst happens - and Davies said all QPR's directors have to contemplate the club might go bust - the Loftus Road ground, a nice potential development site in Shepherd's Bush, will be repossessed by a Panamanian Corporation, represented here by a struck-off solicitor involved in property investment.

At Pride Park, a symbol of the game's new dawn in 1997 when football was coming home and QPR were floating on the Stock Market, Derby would not confirm the interest the stricken club will be paying on its new £15m loan to Panama, or any other details. No doubt, as at QPR, a few odd specks will come out in the wash.
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