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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Briatore/QPR Managerial "Revelations"...Sousa Really Wants to Beat QPR...QPR vs Barnsley...Clarke Carlise Recalls His Drinking Problems

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- QPR REPORT Available on TWITTER!

- List of even-more-meddling Chairmen than Flavio Briatore (allegedly)

- [Kevin] Gallen Winds Back The Clock With Vintage Show

Telegraph/Oliver Brown - Flavio Briatore ordered a Queen's Park Rangers substitution from Kuala Lumpur
- QPR supporters could be forgiven for not remembering their derby match against Crystal Palace on April 4 this year.

- It was a turgid goalless draw and yet, unbeknown to those in the stands at Loftus Road, something extraordinary was happening as midfielder Lee Cook came on for the home side at half-time to replace Liam Miller.
- Telegraph Sport can disclose that the substitution was made on the direct orders of Flavio Briatore, the QPR chairman and co-owner, working 6,500 miles away at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur.
- Sources close to the west London club have confirmed that the disgraced former Renault team principal, unimpressed by the footage he had seen of Miller's first-half performance, contacted Paulo Sousa, the then team manager, to demand that the 28 year-old be replaced by Cook.
- It would be neither the first time nor the last that Briatore exercised such a remarkable degree of control over selection decisions at QPR.
- Gareth Ainsworth, a stalwart QPR player who has also spent two spells as caretaker manager, had an equally memorable brush with the Briatore treatment.
- Ainsworth was in charge for the club's fourth-round Carling Cup match at Manchester United on Nov 11, 2008, and, in sodden conditions, decided to leave his mobile phone in the dressing room, in his jacket pocket. After a 1-0 defeat he returned to find 72 missed calls from Briatore.
- As insights into Briatore's outlandish methods as a football club owner, these are instructive. The Italian continued to be investigated by the Football League, who were digesting the full details of his order to Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash at last year's Singapore Grand Prix, before deciding whether to apply their fit and proper persons test.
- It is far from certain that Briatore will be removed by the League as a QPR owner since he could not be banned from Formula One directly, having resigned from Renault before last week's FIA hearing in Paris, where a ban was merely recommended.
- Among the conditions of the League's test is that subjects must declare that they have not been banned by a sports governing body from involvement in the administration of that sport, and Briatore could claim that he has not.
- Instead the 59 year-old's extravagant presence remains acutely felt around Loftus Road, even at his time of personal turmoil. Since Nov 2007, when he took over QPR with the joint backing of Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial rights holder, and Lakshmi Mittal, the billionaire steel magnate, he has elevated the club's ambitions, reigniting the prospect of a swift return to the Premier League, and presided over some dramatic upheavals.
- Briatore is already on to his fifth manager, in Jim Magilton, while respected and long-serving club officials such as former secretary Sheila Marson have been sacked without so much as a word of explanation. Almost all decisions at QPR are coloured by Briatore's cult of personality, as Sousa, Magilton's predecessor and once a protégé of Jose Mourinho, discovered.
- Sousa was unveiled as manager in Nov 2008 amid great excitement, the photogenic young Portuguese finding himself acclaimed as the Championship's answer to Mourinho; the new 'special one'.
- But he rapidly decided that even though he was technically in charge of the team, he had precious little power. To his chagrin, Briatore would undermine his selections by conveying team line-ups of his own immediately before kick-off.
- Tensions came to a head when Crystal Palace came to Shepherd's Bush, for the match that brought the Miller substitution.
- Dexter Blackstock was at the time QPR's top scorer by some margin and yet it was announced that he would be loaned out to Nottingham Forest, one of the club's main division rivals.
- Sousa, stunned, admitted that the move had been made without his knowledge. It had instead been sanctioned by Briatore, understood to have been affronted by Blackstock's perceived lack of respect.
- Rowan Vine, Blackstock's strike partner, was asked what he thought of the switch. His response was well-documented: "There doesn't seem to be a lot of need to let your top goalscorer go for the last part of the season. It doesn't really make sense." Briatore's reaction, less so: Vine was fined two weeks' wages for speaking out of turn.
- Although Briatore has never been afraid to castigate the QPR players – accounts abound of his running commentaries from the directors' box, muttering oaths about the poor skills on show – he can also be surprisingly comradely.
- In Feb 2008 he stepped into the breach when Luigi De Canio, his first appointment as manager, had to return home to Italy due to a family bereavement. Briatore took over team-talk duties for the home game against Bristol City, telling the team: "You are professionals. We pay you. You know exactly what to do. I want you to go out there and do it. You win, for Gigi. OK, that's all."
- Briatore, who has developed a "love" for QPR, declared upon his arrival that it was mission to provide entertainment and the beautiful game. After De Canio's departure, preposterous rumours circulated that Briatore was poised to install a name as manager that QPR's fans could barely believe: Zinedine Zidane.
- What the fans got, ultimately, was Iain Dowie. With Dowie's unglamorous image and uninspired tactics running counter to his benefactor's template, it did not take long to realise that this was another marriage that could never work.
- "I liked Flavio as a person," said Dowie, fired after just five months in Oct 2008-- "I won 53 per cent of my matches at QPR, so I'm very proud of my record. It's just that Flavio's vision for the club was very different to the one that I had."
- That Briatore has noble ambitions for the club is not in doubt; the question today is whether he can return to bring those to fulfilment, now that he has been found guilty of the most ignoble episode to scandalise motorsport.
- Should the Football League keep him in place, it will require Briatore to do what he loathes most, namely to keep a low profile." Telegraph

- Couple of the number of previous "stories" claiming Briatore's deep involvement

- Briatore/Ecclestone Snippets

Sousa Sets His Sights On Victory Over QPR

September 27 2009 07:47 by Phil Sumbler/Planet Swans
Paulo Sousa is desperate to get one over his former employers next Saturday at the Liberty
Current meets old next Saturday for Paulo Sousa as he comes face to face with the side who dismissed him last April for 'divulging sensitive information"
And as he celebrated his first home league victory with the Swans against Sheffield United he almost immediately looked beyond Tuesday night at Doncaster and ahead to next Saturday and the chance to get one over on QPR
Sousa said "It's a game I really want to win.
I don't have any regrets from my time at QPR.
"I thought I did a great job there but it did not work out for me. I've already proved what I can do at this level.
"I had a good relationship with the players at QPR and I care about them but my job is to see us start winning games.
"My aim is to build Swansea up and move forward up the league." Planet Swans

Sunday People/Chris Davies - Tyke that! QPR on a high five
QPR 5 Barnsley 2
- Qpr celebrated their first home win of the season with a high five as they battered Barnsley.
- For a spell after the interval it was squeaky bum time at Loftus Road as the Tykes, trailing 3-0 at the break, pulled two goals back.
- But a mistake that will haunt Barnsley goalkeeper David Preece and an own-goal by Stephen Foster put Rangers back on track for three points.
- Once again QPR chairman Flavio Briatore, at the centre of the Renault Crashgate scandal, was absent.
- Rangers sped into an early lead when, in the seventh minute, Mikele Leigertwood took advantage of some generous Barnsley defending.
- Collecting Wayne Routledge's pass, Leigertwood ran 20 yards unchallenged by three Barnsley players and beat Preece with a low right foot shot from 20 yards.
- Then, in the 15th minute, Barnsley's offside trap failed as Ben Watson slipped the ball to Akos Buzsaky, whose angled drive took a slight deflection off Foster.
- Barnsley didn't learn from their mistakes and six minutes from halftime Simpson put Buzsaky clear to make it 3-0 with a magnificent shot from 30 yards which went over Preece's outstretched arms.
- The match seemed to be over as a true contest, but within 11 minutes of the restart Barnsley scored twice.
- In the 51st minute Rangers failed to pick up Foster as he headed in Iain Hume's free-kick. Five minutes later Damien Stewart brought down Adam Hammill and, though Radek Cerny saved Andy Gray's penalty, the Barnsley striker slammed home the rebound.
- Rangers looked a bag of nerves until Preece allowed Watson's scuffed shot in the 66th minute to slip from his grip, with the ball trickling agonisingly over the line.
- Barnsley's misery was completed in the 79th minute when unlucky defender Foster deflected Simpson's shot past Preece.
- Qpr: Cerny 7 - Leigertwood 7, Stewart 6, Gorkss 7, Borrowdale 7 - Routledge 7 (Faurlin, 69mins, 6), Watson 7, Rowlands 6, *BUZSAKY 8 - Vine 7 (Taarabt, 69 mins, 6), Simpson 7 (Pellicori, 79 mins).
- Barnsley: Preece 4 - Doyle 4, Foster 6, Shotton 5, Dickinson 4 - De Silva 6, *COLACE 8, Butterfield 5 (Bogdanovic, 60 mins, 6), Hammill 4 - Hume 6, Gray 6 (Campbell-Ryce, 76 mins). Referee: K. Evans 7. Sunday People

- Earlier Compilation of QPR vs Barnsley Match Reports and Managerial Comments

Mail / Rob Draper - Burnley star Clarke Carlisle: The day I knew I had to give up drinking
- The turning point for Clarke Carlisle came as he curled up in a corner seat of the team coach as QPR prepared to drive to their overnight stay before a match at Colchester.
- He was hoping no one would smell his breath and manager Ian Holloway would be unaware that he was still drunk from the night before.
- 'It was a Friday morning,' remembers Carlisle. 'I tried to hide on the bus, I didn't talk to anyone and I slumped myself in the corner, but it was blatantly obvious. I knew I'd get my comeuppance if Olly (Holloway) caught wind, which he did. I was half-expecting it, probably.'
- To the fans and staff at Burnley, where Carlisle is the defensive lynchpin in their impressive start in the Premier League, it all seems barely credible. 'He's super, isn't he,' says the receptionist at Turf Moor, expressing a view that each member of staff repeats.
- There is no more popular footballer at the club and yet, six years ago this month, Carlisle was undergoing rehabilitation at the Sporting Chance clinic set up by Tony Adams.
- Despite drinking heavily every night, Carlisle's career had progressed from Blackpool to QPR and on to England Under-21 status. He admits that often an evening out would begin with eight pints of lager before moving on to spirits. Incredibly, he would still be able to train the next day.
- 'It was only when it got to the point that it was virtually every day that it became noticeable,' he says. 'The more I found I could get away with, the more I allowed myself to do.'
- Just the one: Carlisle allowed himself a glass of champagne after Burnley's playoff win secured promotion to the Premier League at the end of last season
- Reaching a recognisable nadir enabled Carlisle to begin the slow climb back to the top. Next month he is 30 and for the first time in his career, which has also taken in Watford and Leeds, he is a regular Premier League defender, a status many who watched him as a teenager assumed he would achieve effortlessly.
He did play for Watford in the Premier League, but only after they had already been relegated, injury keeping him out for most of the season.
- 'This time it's been entirely different,' says Carlisle. 'We toiled all last season to earn the right to play the best teams in the nation and now we're revelling in it. No one can take a victory at home against Manchester United in the Premier League away from me. That's definitely something I will hold dear.'
- Happy on the pitch and settled off it - he is married to Gemma and they have a 22-month-old son, Marley, and Carlisle's 10-year-old daughter, Francesca, from a previous relationship - Carlisle attributes that fateful weekend in September 2003, when Holloway hauled him off the bus and sent him home, as the point at which his recovery began.
- 'The next day my eyes opened to what I was doing to myself and my career,' he says. 'It only takes a minor moment. I was having a pint and watching the results come in that Saturday afternoon and I thought, 'What are you doing, waiting to see the result of your team coming in on TV? You should be playing!' The next day I rang Olly and said, 'I don't know what's going on here, I need help'.'
- Tough assignment: Carlisle marshalls Tottenham's Jermain Defoe
A month of rehabilitation and subsequent counselling allowed him to identify issues in his life which drove him to alcohol. Now he is teetotal and in good company at Burnley. Manager Owen Coyle has never touched alcohol, despite growing up in an era when heavy drinking was almost compulsory at some football clubs.
- 'I only just found out that the gaffer is teetotal,' says Carlisle. 'We've talked about it and what he has seen drinking do to people. It's something he never wants to play with. You can have nothing but respect for that. The man must have had unbelievable drive when he was young, when you're very impressionable.'
- Carlisle is happy now to acknowledge that one of the ironies of his life was that during his period of alcoholism he was hailed as Britain's Brainiest Footballer after answering questions on human biology on a television show.
- 'Intelligence and common sense are two different things,' says Carlisle, who as a boy achieved 10 A-grades at GCSE at Balshaws School in Leyland, Lancashire. His parents, both practising Christians, instilled a strong work ethic in him and they remain an influence.
- 'When you're going through low times you feel very isolated, but when you come out the other side and look back, that's when you see where your help came from,' says Carlisle. 'At times it [Christianity] didn't feel like a source of strength but now I can see that it was.'
- He and his wife became regular churchgoers during their time at Watford and are searching for a church near their new home in Ripponden. He admits that his perspective on his professional and family life has changed.
- 'I came to a point last year where I said to Gemma, 'I'm sick of striving. Instead of looking at what everyone else has got, let's look at what we've got and enjoy it'.
'Now I'm just thoroughly enjoying what's happening and the success that has come with that has been phenomenal. Winning the play-off final was probably the biggest sporting occasion of my life.'
- He even allowed himself just one celebratory drink. 'I had a glass of champagne with everyone at the play-off final,' he says. 'Some alcoholics can't deal with a drop; others are bit more free with how they live their lives afterwards.
- 'The reasons behind that one drink were not the same as my reasons in the past. Before, I'd go out to get obliterated. That's not on the agenda any more.' Mail


- The Fourth Official for QPR-Barnsley Twittering before and after the game

- Year Flashback: Newspaper Story re a proposed QPR Name Change - and the Immediate QPR Statement Denying anything to the story.

- Ex-QPR John Delve Turns 56

- Using the term "Yids" in reference to Spurs or Spurs Players

- Flashback II: Antonio Giraudo in the QPR Director's Box

- Flashback: John Gregory talking about Gary Waddock staying...And Ensuing QPR staff changes

- England U-20 Lose

- Colin Todd Axed after Four Months

- League Cup (Carling Cup) Draw Made

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