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Monday, March 23, 2009

Briatore Vague About Sousa's Fate

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["In Case You Missed it:" - Bernie Ecclestone Talking About Buying QPR, Football Finances and Going to Watch Chelsea....The photo in Sousa's Office.... From the blog of former QPR Chairman, Antonio Caliendo: "Pay Your Debts"

- Bloombergs/Alessandro Poggi - QPR Coach Sousa’s Fate Decided at End of Season, Briatore Says
- Paulo Sousa’s tenure at Queens Park Rangers may be in doubt after the soccer club’s co-owner Flavio Briatore said the coach’s fate will be decided at the end of the season.
- There was recent U.K. media speculation that Sousa, 38, might be replaced at the second-tier west London team after a run of nine games without a win. Two straight victories have eased the pressure, but his position still isn’t assured.
-“I don’t have a crystal ball, you never know what happens in life,” Briatore, who runs Formula One’s Renault team, said today in an interview. “It’s the results talking all the time. Let’s see at the end of the season: The end of the season is the right moment to see which kind of results have arrived, and if it’s possible to continue with Paulo or not.”
- Sousa, who joined in November, would be the fourth coach removed since Briatore and fellow Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone bought the team in September 2007. After wins against Swansea and Bristol City, QPR stands 11th in the Championship. The club is seven points adrift of a playoff place that might offer promotion to the Premier League, England’s top division.
- “We are beating the teams at the top, and losing to teams at the bottom,” Briatore said. “Maybe our players aren’t concentrating enough.”
- As a player, Sousa won Europe’s Champions League with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund as well as representing Portugal 51 times. He later assisted in coaching his national squad before taking his first club coaching role at QPR. John Gregory, Luigi De Canio and Iain Dowie have left the club under the new owners.
-Working ‘Well’
- Sousa’s task is to achieve promotion back to the top division, where QPR last played in 1996, and he recently said his intention is to build a platform for a promotion challenge next season.
- “We are working together in this moment quite well,” Briatore added.
- Briatore has said he aims to make the club a global brand, and ultimately wants to qualify for Europe’s Champions League.
- Sousa was among the so-called “golden generation” of Portuguese players such as Luis Figo and Rui Costa. His clubs also included Benfica and Inter Milan, and he represented Portugal in the 1996 and 2000 European championships.
- Ecclestone isn’t the only billionaire at QPR. Three months after he and Briatore bought the team, metals tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s family bought a stake.
- To contact the reporter on this story: Alessandro Poggi Bloomberg

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