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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mittal Interest in Buying QPR?...Football Snippets...Don Masson Q&A and on QPR

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The Times/Patrick Barclay - .....The test that must be fit and proper
- What is a fit and proper person? The question naturally arises in the light — or darkness — of Flavio Briatore’s stewardship of Queens Park Rangers and it is very difficult to answer because the words mean everything and nothing.
- To some people, “fit” means physically desirable. To others, it entails the ability to do 50 press-ups without perspiring. In my dictionary — and it is fit and proper for the purpose — one definition of “fit” is “proper”. As for “proper”, the first definition is “accurate”. So anyone good at sums and darts qualifies.
- The Leagues deserve sympathy over this. Of course they look gullible when Thaksin Shinawatra sails through or Briatore’s somewhat cavalier notion of sportsmanship is revealed. But, as Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, once exclaimed: “What are we supposed to do — apply a cut-of-your-jib test?”
- All they can do, in essence, is bar people with criminal records, which would exclude Adolf Hitler but also Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. No wonder they tend just to cross their fingers and hope for the best.
- The London-based oligarchs raise an interesting point. The Russian authorities yearn to collar Boris Berezovsky, who was once supposed to be interested in West Ham United, but give a clean bill of judicial health to the less politically active Roman Abramovich. Is this fair to Berezovsky? And should we take notice of alien systems anyway? ..." The Times

- Nice Price Cut Move by Sheffield Wednesday

- Stuart Houston's Son in Charity Raiser

- A Championship Team of the Week Includes Simpson

- Real Madrid's Debt Hits Almost 300 Million Pounds

- A Profile of and Interview with Tommy Docherty (now aged 81)

- Compilation of Cardiff vs QPR Match Reports and Managerial Comments

- Briatore Profiled/Analysed "The Rise and Fall...."

- A couple of devestating pieces re Briatore/Crashgate/Cheating

- Two goals for Helguson before going off injured

- "Chelsea: Muppets on a String"

- Flashack: Three Years ago Today- John Gregory replaces Gary Waddock as QPR Manager. Alan McDonald Departs

- David James: What the Premiership Cap on Squad size does Not Solve

Telegraph -Richard Eden - Lakshmi Mittal 'may buy out' Flavio Briatore from QPR after Formula One controversy
- An order issued to a racing driver to crash his car ended up costing Flavio Briatore, the Italian playboy, his role as manager of Renault's Formula One team. It may also spell the end of his business relationship with Lakshmi Mittal.

- The Indian billionaire was persuaded by Briatore to become an investor in Queens Park Rangers football club in 2007, but Mandrake hears that he is now reconsidering his ties with the flamboyant tycoon.
- "Lakshmi is extremely concerned about what has happened," says one of his associates. "He is keen to improve his image in this country and takes this matter very seriously. He is now considering whether the best way forward would be for him to buy Flavio out of QPR."
- .' Mittal's son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, is on the board of the west London Championship club.
- Briatore could potentially be extradited to Singapore to face criminal charges in the wake of his departure from Renault in connection with the race-fixing claims.
- There are also legal challenges open to Ferrari and their driver Felipe Massa, who missed out on last year's world drivers' crown by a single point; and to Renault itself, which may want to sue its former employees for allegedly bringing the company's name into disrepute Telegraph

Mail - Flavio Briatore may not dodge QPR exit if race-fixing plot details are divulged
- Flavio Briatore's reign as chairman of QPR could come to an abrupt end even though the World Motor Sport Council cannot ban him from Formula One tomorrow after his
- Waiting game: Briatore's QPR role is in doubt
resignation from Renault.
It followed revelations that his team ordered Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash his car at the Singapore Grand Prix.
- If the WMSC produce full disclosure of how the race-fixing plot came into being, and if that provides d***ing evidence against Briatore, his role as a fit and proper person to be a Football League director will be scrutinised at next month’s Football League board meeting.
- Briatore would have been automatically disqualified and required to sell his majority shareholding in the club had he been banned from Formula One.
- This would have been the likely outcome had he not pre-empted the decision by resigning. Mail

The Observer/Neil Clark - The 10: Wrong Sporting EndingsFrom Tom Watson at Turnberry 2009 to Holland in the 1974 World Cup, proof that some results just go the wrong way
- "...2 First Division, 1975-76
- The records say that the title was won by Liverpool, but the season belonged to QPR. The west Londoners played the league's most scintillating football, including a 5-1 demolition of champions Derby County at the Baseball Ground. QPR finished their fixtures ahead of Liverpool and for 10 days were champions elect. Liverpool needed to win their last game, away at Wolves, and when the home side went 1-0 ahead it seemed QPR would take their first league title. But three Liverpool goals in the last 15 minutes shattered their dream
. Observer

From The Sunday Times September 20, 2009 - Best & Worst: Don Masson

What was the best moment of your career?
- I loved playing for Scotland. My best moment came against Czechoslovakia, the European champions, in a World Cup qualifying game in 1977 when I was the man of the match. We beat them 3-1 at Hampden Park after they had beaten us 2-0 in Prague and I had one of those nights when everything went well. It was the best I played for Scotland.
- My other highlights were playing for Scotland in the 1978 World Cup and finishing runners-up with Queens Park Rangers in the First Division in 1976. I joined QPR from Notts County when the Londoners had a fantastic team. We were all internationals apart from David Webb. Everybody agrees we were unlucky not to win the championship that year, Liverpool pipping us in the final game.

What was the best thing about being a footballer in your era?
- Unlike now, most of the players would have played for nothing. I came from a little village in Scotland and all I wanted to do was play football. To play for Scotland was beyond my wildest dreams. I would give up all the money I have now and the lifestyle to go back and play football. I didn’t realise I was given a gift to be able to do that; you take if for granted at the time. When you look back you think, ‘Crikey, how lucky was I to do that’.

And the worst thing?
- There was a lot of hooligan trouble at the time and the worst thing was going out at night and getting hassled by supporters from other teams, mostly drunken ones. That was part and parcel of the game because we used to go into pubs and mix with the fans. We didn’t think we were anything special because we kicked a silly football about. Nowadays the players are cocooned away from the supporters

Who was the best manager you played under?
- Dave Sexton first and Jimmy Sirrel second. I owe everything to Jimmy for giving me a chance at Notts County; Dave for his knowledge and the way he got us to play the game at QPR. We were playing football based on the Dutch team. He would go over to Holland on the Sunday off his own bat to watch matches. He would pay out of his own pocket, absorb all the knowledge and put it into practice on the training pitch.

Who was the best opponent you played against?
- The most difficult, believe it or not, was Gerry Gow. He kicked me all over the place. He was at Bristol City, who were in the First Division, and used to man-mark me. I knew when we played them it was going to be a nightmare. He used to ignore the ball. He said, ‘I’ve been told to mark you and I’m going to kick you all day’. I dreaded playing against him. He made my life a misery.

What was the best advice you were given?
- When I was 15 or 16 and on the ground staff at Middlesbrough, Raich Carter was the manager. We had a practice match and he had Hush Puppies shoes on at the time. He stopped the game and got the ball. With his left foot, he smacked the ball about 50 yards to the right wing and said, ‘Look, that ball will never get tired. Make it do the work. Only beat people when you need to. Make the ball do the work’.

What was your worst moment?
- My penalty miss against Peru in the 1978 World Cup finals. We had such a good team at the time and had I scored I think we might have gone on to qualify for the next round. It was a nice height and the goalkeeper anticipated it, so fair play to him. It took me a long time to recover from it. If I had not done that, people would not have remembered me after all these years. At least I think they have forgiven me now.

What is the best thing about football today?
- I admire Arsenal. I love to watch the way they play.

- My wife, Brenda, and I run a bed-and-breakfast called The Grange at Elton on the Hill near Nottingham. We have a five-star rating. We came out here to retire but have been here nearly six years. We still meet lots of football people staying over. I love it. I am the gardener and the gofer around here. I just do what I am told to do, no hassle. I recently went to see Notts County play. They invited me along and I met Sven-Göran Eriksson. It is fantastic what is going on down there. I hope all goes well for them and they can get back in the Premier League where they belong. I have never been so happy. I am 63, the sun is shining and I am fit to tell the tale. What more do you want? I play tennis with the over-60s in Nottingham three times a week. I keep myself fit that way.
- ON TV TODAY Scotland invade Wembley, 1977 11pm ESPN Classic, Sky channel 429
Sunday Times

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