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Friday, October 02, 2009

Updated: Sousa on His QPR Axing: The Legal Case Continues...Ex-QPR Lopez Happy at Swansea

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- Already: Championship Club Offering 2010/11 Season Ticket Info

- Happy Birthday to Ex-QPR Don Shanks (57)

- Flashback: Rowan Vine Joins QPR

- Previews: Swansea vs QPR and also Next Match: Swansea Away

- Reading Report on their Finances

UPDATED/EXPANDED - - This is South Wales- Paulo targets grudge match
- PAULO Sousa has revealed he is taking Queens Park Rangers to court over his exit last season and admitted: "I really want to win this one."

Swansea City host Sousa's old club at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow on what promises to be an emotional day for the Portuguese.

And Sousa has taken a swipe at the Rangers hierarchy for going back on pledges when he was in charge — and insisted he was never given a proper chance at Loftus Road.

Sousa left QPR last April just five months after taking the reins.

A club statement at the time said Sousa's contract had been terminated because he had "divulged highly confidential and sensitive information" and that they had moved to "protect" their position.

But ahead of this weekend's reunion, Sousa said: "These things are in the courts. This is the way I can fight it.

"My case is still going on, but I don't know what stage it is at. This is what my lawyer is paid for.

"They made a statement on the website and sent me a letter saying why I was leaving.

"I don't agree with what they said. I don't know what it was about — they need to justify it, not me."

Sousa, who won seven and lost seven of his 26 games at the Rangers helm, looks back on the work he did in West London with pride.

"I'm happy with the job I did at QPR because I got recognition from my former players during and after my time there," he added.

"I worked for them first, to increase the quality of the players.

"And when I saw the players feeling happy because they felt they developed every day in my training sessions, one part of my job was done.

"Also I worked for the supporters. I got a lot of people telling me after I left that I had done good things at QPR.

"Five months is no time for a project.

"The first idea we had was a three-year plan, and we were going to make some important steps in the last January transfer window.

"We were going to buy some players for specific positions but it didn't happen, so we had to fight with the players we had.

"It wasn't a surprise when I left because people know what can happen at that club with the people who are at the front of it."

Sousa has launched what looks a thinly-veiled attack on Rangers chairman Flavio Briatore, currently under pressure following the Renault F1 scandal, by highlighting shareholder Lakshmi Mittal as the man to take them forward.

"The club have a great future solution in the Mittal family," he said.

"I think this is the best solution for them and I hope things come good for them, although not against us.

"For us it would be nice to get a result. We always want to win and three points this weekend would take us up the table.

"But it would give me a lot of satisfaction if we could win this game because it is QPR."

Swansea's chances of what would be a morale-boosting victory ahead of the international break are boosted by the return from suspension of Nathan Dyer and Jordi Lopez.

Leon Britton (toe), Andrea Orlandi and Cedric van der Gun (both quad) all face late fitness tests, while Darren Pratley is edging towards peak condition after a bout of mumps.

But there is a space to fill up front as Gorka Pintado serves a one-match ban.

Swansea have not lost in four games and, while they have won only one of those, Sosa is in upbeat mood.

"We are in a good way," he said. "Everyone inside the club has recognised the way I want to do things and we are starting to build our future."

Sousa's old side, who are unbeaten in their last six Championship games, have not lost a league game to Swansea since 1965." This is South Wales

Paulo Sousa fights on in legal battle with QPR
Oct 2 2009 by Blair Wood, Western Mail

- SWANSEA CITY boss Paulo Sousa has revealed he is still embroiled in a legal battle against former employers Queens Park Rangers following his controversial sacking six months ago.
- And, having initially played down Rangers’ visit to the Liberty Stadium, the Portuguese admitted he would get “a lot of satisfaction” from beating the west London outfit this weekend.
- Axed by QPR earlier this year, Sousa’s dismissal from Loftus Road after just 26 games in charge remains a talking point.
- The former Champions League winner has tried his best to remain tight-lipped, while the QPR players have not spoken to the media about his departure.
- The club itself released a statement at the time stating the 38-year-old had his contract terminated for “divulging highly confidential and sensitive information” without permission.
- Rangers’ hierarchy were reported to have taken exception to the fact Sousa told the media striker Dexter Blackstock’s loan move to Nottingham Forest was agreed without his knowledge.
- The Swans boss still insists he did nothing wrong, and revealed for the first time that the dispute is being taken through legal channels.
- “These things get dealt with in the courts,” he explained at the Swans’ open pre-match press conference ahead of the QPR game.
- “That’s the way I can fight it. My case against them has always been in the courts from the beginning and it is still there now. It is not public knowledge though.
- “They made a statement on the club website and sent me a letter saying why I was leaving. But I don’t agree with it.
- “It was about me divulging sensitive information. I don’t know what that is about.”
- Asked what stage proceedings were at now, he responded: “I don’t know.
- “My lawyer knows what I want and he is paid to take care of it.
- “I just concentrate on my work at Swansea. It’s not something I think about now.”
- As Swansea prepare to host QPR tomorrow, Sousa’s revelations will simply add more fuel to speculation surrounding his departure.
- And, while doing his best to remain coy, the Portuguese admitted there is still plenty more of the story to tell.
- While previously refusing to comment on his feelings towards Rangers owner Flavio Briatore, Sousa could not resist taking a veiled swipe at the Italian in the wake of his Formula One race fixing furore.
- Briatore now faces a Football League investigation to see whether his lifetime ban from F1, violates their “fit and proper person test”.
- The suggestion now is that fellow owner Lakshmi Mittal will buy the 59-year-old’s stake in the club.
- “What I know is good things have happened at the club and the Mittal family is the best solution for their future, in my view,” said Sousa.
- “I hope everything comes good for them. Not against us obviously but, after that, I hope they resolve their problems.

- “But they are not my problems anymore.”
- Referring to his own departure, he continued: “I was not surprised when I left the club so soon.
- “I don’t like to talk about these things. I have already said a lot and the truth will come out in time.
- “In Portugal we say it’s like getting oil from olives. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get the oil but it always comes out in the end.”
- Despite all the controversy surrounding his exit from QPR, Sousa initially said there was no extra incentive to beat tomorrow’s visitors, claiming: “I feel the same about this game as I do the others.”
- But, when pressed on the issue, the Swans boss conceded victory this weekend would mean more to him than just three points.
- That doesn’t mean the former Juventus star feels he has anything to prove against Rangers. In fact, having received plenty of praise from QPR fans and players alike for his time in charge, he is adamant the opposite is true.
- As hard as he tried to play it down, even Sousa had to admit revenge would be sweet should the Swans come out on top this weekend.
- “Of course it would be nice to get a result against them,” he said. “Not just because it is against QPR but because it is something we are looking for and something that can help us climb the table.
- “I want to win every game. But it would give me a lot of satisfaction to do it against them.”
- As for whether he has anything to prove against his former employers, Sousa added: “I am happy with what I did at Rangers because the recognition has come from my former players, both during and after my time there.
- “As a manager my first job is to increase the quality of my players and, when I see they are happy because they felt they were developing every day with my training sessions, part of my job is done.
- “The supporters also gave me a lot recognition after I left. A lot of people were saying good things about me and I was happy about that.” Western Mail

Thi is South Wales - Jordi: We are a lot better off at Swansea than QPR Friday, October 02, 2009
- DESPITE sampling their first tastes of English football at Queens Park Rangers, Jordi Lopez and Paulo Sousa are better off at Swansea City.
That's the view of Uefa Cup winner Lopez, who played under Sousa at Loftus Road last season before the Portuguese was sacked in April.
Lopez and Sousa face their former club for the first time since their London exit tomorrow, and the pair are eagerly awaiting the clash at the Liberty Stadium.
- Sousa, axed from his first managerial role amid a cloud of controversy, has raised the temperature in the build-up insisting victory over Rangers would mean more than against any club in the division.
And Lopez, too, admits he has been waiting for this game since the day he joined Swansea.
- "I had this game marked on the calendar," said Lopez with a wry smile. "I'm really looking forward to playing tomorrow.
"This is a special game for me because I played there last season.
"When you play against your old team you have an extra motivation and there is something special in your feelings.
"But it is about three points, and they are just as important as they were for the last game.
- "It is very important to win this game as much as any other.
"I actually had the opportunity to stay there. There were talks about my contract but the agreement was broken.
"But that meant I could come to Swansea, which was a better opportunity in football and for myself personally.
- "I worked with Paulo at QPR and it worked well. But when Paulo came here he spoke about the project he had in mind for Swansea and I liked it.
"Paulo is doing his job at Swansea now and that is what matters."
- While Sousa's feelings toward his former employers are understandably a little sour, Lopez insists he bears no grudges for the club.
But he believes they made a big mistake in letting Sousa go just a few months into his Rangers stint.
- "When I look back at my time there, I think there were many positives. QPR gave me the chance to play English football and I am thankful to them for that.
- "I had a good relationship with the players and supporters, but sometimes you finish your contract and you move to another team. That is what happened there — I don't have anything to prove to them.
"I think Paulo did a good job at QPR and did many good things, but circumstances at a club like QPR make it difficult.
"He was doing his job and for some reason he finished, but it is not Paulo's fault.
- "As a footballer you need to avoid all kind of distractions and pressures. You just try to play your game and do your work as well as you can.
- "You have to avoid outside distractions otherwise you take your focus off what you're doing on the pitch.
Lopez — who starred in Rangers's victory over Swansea at Loftus Road last season — will hope to be centre of attention tomorrow as he returns from suspension.
- The 28-year-old sat out Tuesday's draw at Doncaster after picking up two bookings in the victory over Sheffield United last weekend, and is expected to make an immediate return to his midfield role.
Having arrived in the summer in an attempt to help plug Swansea's injury- plagued midfield department, the former Real Madrid man has managed six starts in eight appearances at the Liberty this term.
- It has been a tricky introduction to Sousa's squad, with the likes of Leon Britton, Ferrie Bodde, Darren Pratley and Joe Allen all sidelined through injury for considerable parts of the campaign so far.
Defender Ashley Williams and youngster Jazz Richards both filled the void on Tuesday — underlining Swansea's cruel injury worries — but Lopez should get the nod against his former team- mates.
And he revealed he will be keeping any potential goal celebrations simple, unlike the recent varying examples of Emanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez.
"If I score I will be very happy and celebrate it with my team-mates and fans," chuckled Lopez, who is yet to find the net for Swansea.
"I don't like those kind of situations (performed by Adebayor and Tevez), so I will just be with my teammates if I score." This is South Wales

- The Sun Gets One Wrong and apologizes to Manchester City

- Flashback: Two Elderly QPR Stewarts Axed

- Flashback re Ex-QPR Chief Scout, Mel Johnson

- Portsmouth in Seemingly-Major Financial Crisis

- Scolari Set to Be Axed/Paid Off Again

- FA Condemns Reckless Club Owners

- "Flavio Should Crash Out of QPR" - LoftforWords' Clive Whittingham/Evening Standard Blog

Telegraph/Sandy Macaskill
- Flavio Briatore waits on Football League to decide his future at QPR
Reports suggesting that Flavio Briatore is planning to pre-empt the Football League's board meeting to decide his future in the game by selling his stake in Queens Park Rangers are wide of the mark, according to sources close to the club
- The Football League board will meet next week to discuss the implications of the Italian's ban from Formula One for cheating, and it is possible the board will decide that Briatore is no longer fit to be involved with QPR as an owner or a director.
- There is some speculation that Briatore is therefore considering withdrawing from football of his own accord, to avoid his name being dragged through the mud any further.
- FIA's Renault judgment reeks of realpolitik However, it is more likely that he will wait until the Football League board have made their position known. After all, it is still possible that Briatore might escape punishment.
- The Football League is understood to be paying particular attention to the fact that Briatore has not been directly banned from being signed to a F1 team. Instead, the FIA World Motor Sport Council would not grant a licence to that team if they employ him.
- If the board's decision is unfavourable to Briatore, and the Italian is forced to withdraw from the Championship club, it is possible that Amit Bhatia, QPR's vice-chairman, would step up his interest and buy out his Italian friend.
- Bhatia is the son-in-law of billionaire industrialist Lakshmi Mittal, the eighth-richest man in the world, but he is wealthy in his own right and has on a number of occasions stressed his dedication to the club." Telegraph

- Ian Winwood/Daily Mirror - How Queens Park Rangers and the Tiger Cubs restored my faith in football

- Turning Forty-one and still playing (and scoring) in the Football League: Paul Furlong

- - The continually-updated QPR Nostalgia Photos Compilation (Feel free to add to)

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