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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mittal's Amit Bhatia Prepared to Replace Briatore at QPR

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- Goodbye to Coca Cola

- England Youth Getting Crushed

- Note: WBA vs QPR on Live TV. Game Date Changed from December 12 to December 14.

- Tonight: Newcastle vs QPR

-London Informer/Paul Warburton - Banker ready to replace Briatore as chairman
Sep 30 2009
- AMIT BHATIA has told friends he's willing to become QPR chairman if Flavio Briatore is forced to quit.
- But the club is also worried a bidding war could erupt over the 30 per cent shareholding the Italian might be forced to sell if the Football League bans him under its 'fit and proper person' code.
- Briatore was banned for life by the FIA last week in his other role as Renault team boss following the events of 'Crashgate'.
- The League is awaiting reports from the FIA and is due to thrash over the findings next Thursday - but Rangers are already clearing the decks for an upheaval at the top.
- What could turn out to be his last live match for the man who brought millions to the club two years ago is ironically the 2-1 win over cash-strapped Accrington Stanley in front of just 5,000 fans on August 25.
- Briatore is unwilling to face the wrath of supporters at games until his fate is known - and Bhatia is standing by to take over.
- The 30-year-old son-in-law of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal was brought in as vice-chairman as part of a 20 per cent investment by the family and is understood to be willing to take over Briatore's 30 per cent, should it be needed.
- An insider said: "Under company rules, the shares have to be offered publicly - and that might allow someone else to show an interest.
- "But for once in the club's recent history, it won't be left financially high and dry if Briatore decides to leave. It appears Amit Bhatia is more than willing to take over."

- Meanwhile, Gareth Ainsworth reckons he will be 'amazed' if former boss Paulo Sousa doesn't see Saturday's clash with Swansea as something special.
- Sousa moved to the Liberty Stadium in the summer after being relieved of his job in April that saw the QPR stalwart take the reins for the second time in the season.
- Sousa has refused to admit the match is anything but 'just another fixture'.
- However, the man he left behind wonders if the Portuguese has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.
- Ainsworth said: "I don't want to speak for Paulo, but I know when I've been back to the likes of Preston, where I had history, it's special.
- "At Deepdale, in our last game of last season, I was out to prove I had come of age as a manager.
- "It would be someone really odd who didn't see these sort of games the same way - and Paulo never came across as odd to me." Ealing Gazette

London Informer - Buzsaky out to impress former boss
-AKOS BUZSAKY admits he's relishing the opportunity to show former QPR coach Paulo Sousa what he's missing when Rangers travel to Swansea on Saturday, writes Liam Osborne.
- Buzsaky never got to play during the Portuguese coach's four-and-a-half month spell at Loftus Road due to a season-ending injury suffered just before he arrived.
- And he's on a mission this weekend to show what he can do.
- He said: "Unfortunately, I didn't play under him, but I could see he was a very good manager.
- "I played in Portugal and obviously he is very famous over there. He was a great player and what he learnt during his career, he tried to give to the players."

Buzsaky, who scored his first goals in nearly a year during Rangers' 5-2 win over Barnsley last Saturday, hopes he can continue his recent good form.
- He said: "I am enjoying myself at the moment because I have won my place back in the team.
- "However, we have a very strong squad, so I cannot afford to relax otherwise I will be out of the team. I want to stay in the team and keep doing well because this club should be in the play-offs - that's what we're aiming for. It's going to be a special game, but it's also going to be hard." Ealing Gazette

London Informer -Sousa says he did well at QPR
- GARETH VINCENT from the South Wales Evening Post gives his lowdown on this weekend's game- What's the score going to be and why?
- I would go for a low-scoring draw.
- Rangers look to be going well, but Swansea have home advantage.
- Swansea under Paulo Sousa have not scored many goals, but, in fairness they have not conceded that many either. My money is on 1-1.
- Who's the danger man to QPR?
- Swansea have struggled to replace two of last season's big stars, Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez, who both followed Roberto Martinez to Wigan.
- They also have a string of injury problems at the moment. Of those definitely available for the weekend, winger Nathan Dyer has been their most consistent attacking player so far this season.
- Are recent results reflective of Swansea's form?
- Swansea's players, and Sousa, would argue they have not collected as many points as they have deserved so far.
- They have played well in a number of games, passing the ball around well, but chances have been wasted too often.
- Are there any players with scores to settle?
- Just a manager, I think, although he insists it's "just another game".
- Sousa says he did a good job at QPR and that he is proud of what he achieved there.
- Apart from that, he has been reluctant to talk about his time at Loftus Road.
- Who is Swansea's hard man?
- Ferrie Bodde is the closest thing Swansea have to a midfield enforcer, but the gifted Dutchman has just been ruled out for the season having only just returned from 10 months out.
- That is huge blow to the club.
- Where are the best pubs/chip shops near the game that will serve Rangers fans? There is a big chippy called Rossi's just across the road from the ground that you can't miss. There are also a couple of pubs nearby.
- Missing injured/suspended?

As things stand, defenders Fede Bessone and Albert Serran are out.
Midfielders Ferrie Bodde, Joe Allen, Darren Pratley, Kris O'Leary, Andrea Orlandi and Cedric van der Gun are striker Guillem Bauza are also all out injured.
Probable line-up?
De Vries; Rangel, Monk (capt), Williams, Tate; Dyer, Lopez, Britton, Gower, Butler; Pintado. Ealing Gazette

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- Flavio Briatore, banned from Formula One over the 'crashgate' affair, now faces questions over his role as co-owner of England's Queens Park Rangers Football Club, sponsored by Bahrain's national carrier, Gulf Air.
- The Football League has requested details of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), motorsport's governing body, decision to ban the former team boss of Renault over his part in conspiring to fix the result of last year's Singapore Grand Prix.
- Spokesman Nick Jones told GulfWeekly: "The Football League is aware of the situation and is currently investigating further."
- The league requires every club owner to pass a 'fit and proper person' test and one of its rules says nobody can own a football club if they are banned from a sport's governing body.
- The Football League chairman, Lord Mawhinney, has written to the FIA to request further details of its decision, another Football League spokesman added. "Thereafter, the League will consider its position on the matter."
- Briatore is part-owner at Loftus Road with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.
- The sponsorship deal was controversially struck with Gulf Air's former CEO Bjorn Naf after a brief encounter with Briatore at the 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix sparked off talks which led to the new sporting alliance between the kingdom, Gulf Air and Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
- Gulf Air has kept quiet about the current controversy in the same manner it would not reveal specific financial aspects of the sponsorship deal although details were banded about the London press
- One newspaper's headline screamed: Rangers in £7m sponsorship deal. It reported that the contract was believed to be worth £1 million a season (BD598,700) and the overall value could rise to £7 million (BD4.2 million) depending on the club gaining promotion and staying in the Premier League.
- The club has visited the kingdom once to stage coaching sessions with local children. A proposed match against the national side was cancelled.
- It wasn't long before members of Bahrain's Parliament, critical of the way Mr Naf was running the loss-making national carrier, questioned the sponsorship deal suggesting that most people in Bahrain had never heard of the Championship side.
- And, Mr Naf's fate took the same turn as many who attempted to manager QPR under Briatore. Jim Magilton is currently the seventh manager since he took over and Royal Jordanian Airline's former boss Samer Majali is now in the Gulf Air hot seat.
- The flamboyant Italian is also chairman of the holding company that owns the club and a director on the board. He missed his side's 5-2 victory against Barnsley on Saturday which took QPR up to eighth place in the second tier of English football.
- Briatore quit Renault ahead of last Monday's FIA hearing into Renault's ordering of Nelson Piquet junior to crash in Singapore to orchestrate a win for his teammate Fernando Alonso.
- The FIA also handed a ban - suspended until the end of the 2011 season - to Renault.
- Briatore has denied all the accusations against him over the affair, saying they were 'outrageous lies'.
- A senior source at QPR said: "We haven't released any sort of statement and won't be at this stage. We are making no comment at all and have nothing to say."- Briatore was indefinitely banned from Formula One which was desperate to put the damaging Renault race-fixing scandal behind it at the weekend, but it was not easy with the sport returning to the scene of the incident in Singapore.
- By a quirk of fate, the 14th race of the season took place in the city-state just days after Renault was slapped with a suspended two-year ban by the International Automobile Federation.
- It was here at Formula One's inaugural night race last year that team principal Briatore and chief engineer Pat Symonds allegedly ordered Nelson Piquet junior to deliberately crash to help Alonso win.
- Both Briatore and Symonds have been thrown out of the sport and Piquet's reputation is in ruins, but Alonso was cleared of any wrongdoing. Last year, Alonso began in 15th position, but after the Spaniard made an early pit stop to refuel, Piquet crashed into a wall, prompting the deployment of the safety car.
- As Alonso's rivals then gradually disappeared into the pits to refuel, he catapulted himself into the lead and went on to win his first race in a year. Gulf Weekly

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