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Monday, April 13, 2009

"Flavio Briatore is turning Queens Park Rangers job into mission Impossible"

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Martin Samuels Daily Mail - Flavio Briatore is turning Queens Park Rangers job into mission Impossible
- When Steve McClaren left Manchester United he had a choice of jobs and asked Sir Alex Ferguson for advice.
- Don't pick a club, Ferguson told him, pick a chairman. McClaren went to Middlesbrough to work with the dependable Steve Gibson.
- The biggest laugh of the week, therefore, concerns the rumours emanating from Queens Park Rangers that chairman Flavio Briatore wishes his seventh victim (sorry, manager) to be Sir Alex's talented son, Darren.
- If Ferguson senior was so protective of a humble assistant in McClaren, why would he let a cherished family member fall into the clutches of this idiot?
Briatore's brief yet chaotic time at Loftus Road has made Rupert Lowe's spells at Southampton look like masterpieces of consistent vision.
Briatore has employed six managers, including caretakers, in little more than 18 months, and the most recent one, Paulo Sousa, lasted 26 games.
- Even the unemployed should beware Briatore. Paul Ince is in the frame, but while he might be keen to work in football again, he is not that desperate, surely?
- The same goes for Dennis Wise. Having just left a nuthouse at Newcastle United, this career move would qualify him for a straitjacket more than a tracksuit.
- Many in football claim Wise was doing a creditable job at Newcastle's academy before being overtaken by events. Why would he check into another asylum?
You must be joking? Even Dennis Wise would be mad to join another madhouse after leaving Newcastle
- If even half the stories circulating about Briatore's stewardship at QPR are true then any credible manager would run a mile. It has been suggested Briatore has phoned in from Malaysia to insist on half-time substitutions and summoned a manager from the field where he was warming up the players to tell him what the starting XI should be.
- So many sources paint a similar picture that it is hard to believe they are all fantasists, even if Briatore denies picking the team.
His protests, however, are increasingly hollow.
- 'If the results are good, nobody puts their nose in,' he says. 'I have an opinion on things because we have invested a lot of money.'
That is the point, though. Briatore and friends have not invested a lot of money. Not by the standards of modern football, not compared to, say, Roman Abramovich or even Mike Ashley, not compared to what is about to happen at Manchester City.
- Briatore has helped clear the debts and provided adequate investment for ordinary Championship players; which is why QPR remain an ordinary Championship team.
- The total commitment of Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone to QPR is estimated in the region of £20million, although some of Briatore's share has already been palmed off to Lakshmi Mittal, said to be the fifth richest man in the world.
- Indeed, there are some very wealthy citizens at QPR; not that you would know it from anything bar the boardroom egos.
- And one imagines Darren's dad knows exactly how to deal with them
- With Briatore in charge, that should have qualified him for some form of long-service carriage clock.
- His predecessor, Iain Dowie, took charge of 15 games, John Gregory and Mick Harford got five games each, while Luigi De Canio made it to 35 games, almost a whole season, before he got the bullet. This is the equivalent of five or six seasons at another club because one match at QPR equates, much like dog years, to seven with a rational man in charge.
- The conceit of Briatore is such that leaks from QPR now put promising young managers in the frame for the vacancy, as if anyone of substance would chance his career working for the regime at Loftus Road.
- What could Darren Ferguson gain from association with Briatore, apart from a pay-off?
- He would be better off seeing the job through at Peterborough United, biding his time for the opportunity to work at a bigger club with a sensible owner. Daily Mail

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