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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reported QPR Managerial Replacements: Southgate, Ferguson, Coppell, Curbishley...Managers Supposedly Applying...Assessment of QPR Ownership & Financ


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Magilton and QPR: Just Scroll down or click here and scroll down for additional media stories/speculation re Magiltona and QPR

- Fulham Supposedly Bidding For Raheem Sterling

- In Praise/Defense of Jim Magilton "Don't Let Magilton Vanish From The Game"

- For some of the managers Available, click on League Managers Association (under the Big "Respect" click on Available Managers

- Another Takeover at Notts County?

INDEPENDENT/By Sam Wallace, Football Correspondent
Magilton denies headbutt on Buzsaky but faces sack
Assistants walk out on QPR in support of manager as clash with player escalates

The suspended Queen's Park Rangers manager Jim Magilton will tell the club's chairman Gianni Paladini that he did not butt Akos Buzsaky and that the two men instead went head-to-head – touching their foreheads – in a confrontation after the defeat at Watford on Monday night.

As the fallout from Magilton's row with his midfielder Buzsaky unfolded yesterday, sources at the club said that they believed the Rangers hierarchy were using the incident to sack Magilton, whose team have won only once in their last seven games. The Championship club were in disarray yesterday morning when Magilton's two assistants John Gorman and Keith Ryan refused to take training and walked out in support of the manager.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder was suspended after Buzsaky's Hungarian representatives visited Paladini on Tuesday and told him that his player was considering pressing assault charges against Magilton. A club source told The Independent: "He [Magilton] was passionate and aggressive but there was no physical contact. Afterwards the player [Buzsaky] ran out in a huff. He ran outside himself. It was nothing."

It is understood that Ryan helped separated the two men, not just the striker Patrick Agyemang, and that most players simply regarded it as the usual loss of temper that follows a bad defeat. Buzsaky was retrieved from the Watford kitman's room where he had gone to get warm and the team went back to London. Only the next day when a complaint was lodged did Magilton realise the severity of the implications for his own career.

It had been reported that Magilton butted Buzsaky when the player responded half-heartedly to a question during a post-match rant from the manager after the 3-1 defeat. This will be the crux of the case against Magilton who is adamant that he did not physically attack the 27-year-old winger.

The club announced yesterday that they would launch an "internal investigation" into Monday night's events although Magilton is now resigned to the fact that he has lost his job and will not be reinstated. The 40-year-old issued a robust statement through the League Managers' Association that signalled he would take the club to a tribunal, which could prove costly for Rangers if they cannot prove he attacked Buzsaky.

Magilton said: "While passions can run high in football, especially after a poor performance, I categorically deny any allegation of wrongdoing following Monday's fixture. I understand that the club has initiated an internal investigation, with which I will cooperate fully."

The mood among some at the club is that Paladini has been unhappy with Magilton after the 5-1 home defeat to Middlesbrough and the defeat to Watford have pushed Rangers off the pace in the Championship. Magilton is the fifth manager at the club since the takeover by a consortium including Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal two years ago. It would be fair to say that little patience has been extended to any of Magilton's predecessors.

Paladini has put the under-18s coach Steve Gallen and academy manager Marc Bircham, both former players, in charge of the team.

Should Magilton be dismissed he will be able to take the club to a tribunal, which will make the final decision on whether he is eligible for a pay-out. Buzsaky yesterday went to the extent of denying that he had put in a transfer request as a result of the incident..." Independent

Standard/James Olley and Tom Collomosse - Why QPR aren't in profit on the pitch
Off the pitch, Queens Park Rangers are starting to take on the feel of a Premier League team. On it, they are as unstable as the Titanic.

Their billionaire owners have invested most of their time and money in reshaping the club's infrastructure and renovating an ageing stadium.

The club's list of corporate backers is impressive. They signed a record three-year shirt-sponsorship deal for a Championship club with Gulf Air last summer that will earn Rangers £1million this season and £6m over the next two years should they be promoted.

Compare that to the £37,000 JD Sports paid to sponsor QPR five years ago and it becomes clear the west London team are now far more marketable.

They also sealed a £1m deal with Abbey last June as it agreed to become the club's official financial partner.

The two-year partnership with the Santander group company was designed to help Rangers expand their commercial and business interests.

Only last week bookmaker Stan James became the latest to back Rangers, signing a three-year deal to re-introduce betting booths to Loftus Road the proceeds of which have helped pay for the redevelopment of the members' areas of the ground and a new directors' box.

Commercial and marketing manager Ali Russell deserves praise since arriving from Scottish Premier League side Hearts in January last year.

And with QPR pushing up as high as fourth place in the table after they scored 12 goals in three consecutive wins in October, all appeared rosey.

And yet the club are starting to implode on the pitch again. One win from seven, out of the play-off places, manager Jim Magilton set to be sacked after clashing with Akos Buzsaky and there is the potentially far more serious date awaiting next month. Co-owner Flavio Briatore will then hear the result of his appeal against his life ban from motor sport for his part in Crashgate.

If the former Renault boss loses his challenge against the punishment he received for ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, he could be forced to leave Loftus Road under the Football League's 'fit and proper person test'.

Yet even if Briatore departs, Rangers are confident of retaining their financial muscle, as the club's vice-chairman Amit Bhatia is the son-in-law of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the world's eighth-richest man. Mittal, whose personal fortune was estimated at £10.8billion by the Sunday Times Rich List earlier this year, bought a 20 per cent shareholding in Rangers two years ago, and it would be a surprise to see him withdraw his interest while Bhatia is still on the board.

When Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone moved into Loftus Road in December 2007, Rangers were expected to reach the top flight within 18 months, but their spending power has not been matched by success on the pitch.

When Magilton's sacking is confirmed, he will be the third manager to be dismissed during Briatore's reign. Luigi De Canio became Briatore's first appointment in October 2007, just days before he took formal control of the club. The pair enjoyed a friendship prior to his stint at Loftus Road and his periods in charge at a variety of Italian clubs - Udinese, Napoli and Genoa to name three - were all synonymous with the brand of entertaining football Briatore craves.

His tenure ended in May 2008 when he quit having won one game more than he lost in 35 matches.

Rumours that he was homesick and suffered marital problems as a result of his family spending extended periods in Italy were supported by the fact he only returned to management in March. The reaction was to appoint a manager who understood the unique nature of Championship football and Iain Dowie's studious approach won many plaudits among the QPR board, but he lasted just 15 games as the relationship between manager and chairman broke down spectacularly.

The board baulked at the football his team played and Dowie took offence as Briatore took an increasingly influential hand in team selection with fellow Italians Samuel Di Carmine, Matteo Alberti and Colombian-born teenager Angelo Balanta returning to the side.

Paulo Sousa, who helped Juventus, Briatore's favourite team, to Champions League glory in 1996, was given his first managerial job last November but again interference from upstairs undermined his period in charge.

While Sousa insisted he was picking the team, Briatore and sporting director Gianni Paladini continued to negotiate deals bereft of any consultation with the manager.

Sousa was fired in April, after missing out on the play-offs, when he revealed Dexter Blackstock had moved to Nottingham Forest on loan without his knowledge.

Whoever follows Magilton now will have plenty of financial clout behind him, but if the position remains too unstable to succeed then QPR's promotion hopes will be sunk.
This is London

Standard - Darren Ferguson on QPR shortlist to take over from Jim Magilton
Tom Collomosse

Queens Park Rangers are set to renew their interest in Darren Ferguson following the suspension of manager Jim Magilton.

Ferguson - the son of Manchester United boss Sir Alex - was sounded out in the summer before Magilton got the job and he will be joined on the shortlist by Steve Coppell, Alan Curbishley and Gareth Southgate.

Ferguson was thought to have been interested in the Loftus Road post in the summer but chose to remain at Peterborough as he was not convinced he'd be given full control of the club's transfer policy.

But he is now out of work after being sacked by Posh and is likely to be attracted at the prospect of taking over a club who, for all their problems, are only three points off of a Championship play-off spot.

Magilton was suspended by the club following allegations that he head-butted Akos Buzsaky after the 3-1 defeat at Watford on Monday. He is expected to be sacked along with coaches John Gorman and Keith Ryan.

Gorman is believed to have asked the first-team squad whether they still supported Magilton at a training ground meeting yesterday and no one raised a hand.

Youth team coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham will take charge of the team for Monday's clash at West Brom and are likely to remain in control until the club conclude an investigation into Magilton's conduct at Watford.

It is understood that several first teamers had lost faith in Magilton's abrasive style of management. His rant after the second-half collapse at Vicarage Road came just 16 days after he had berated his players in similar fashion following the 2-0 defeat at Doncaster. Standard

Telegraph/Sandy Macaskill
Gareth Southgate the favourite as QPR seek replacement for manager Jim Magilton

Queens Park Rangers have begun the search for a new manager after suspending Jim Magilton, who is the focus of an internal inquiry after reports he was involved in a confrontation with midfielder Akos Buzsaky.

More than four candidates have already declared an interest in the manager’s job and contacted the club, with Gareth Southgate and Darren Ferguson the favourites for the job.

It looks likely that Magilton, who joined the club on a two-year contract in June, could be removed in acrimonious circumstances. He stressed his innocence in a statement via the League Managers’ Association, and said he would comply fully with any investigation, after which he hopes to return to managerial duty.

Magilton said: “While passions can run high in football, especially after a poor performance, I categorically deny any allegation of wrongdoing following Monday’s fixture.

“I understand that the club has initiated an internal investigation, with which I will co-operate fully. This is an unfortunate situation and I look forward to resuming my responsibilities shortly.”

However, The Daily Telegraph understands that QPR have begun taking soundings from other managers, with Southgate their No 1 target. Magilton’s assistants, John Gorman and Keith Ryan, have been replaced by youth team coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham, who will oversee the West Bromwich Albion fixture on Monday night.

According to sources, Magil-ton could face the axe. Defeat at the Hawthorns next week was an anticipated tipping point, although this latest upheaval, which comes after Buzsaky’s representatives met director of football Gianni Paladini to insist action be taken over Magilton’s alleged behaviour in the dressing room at Watford on Monday, has acted as a catalyst.

Should Magilton be dismissed, it would not be the first time the board had used improper behaviour as leverage to force a manager from the club. Magilton’s predecessor, Paulo Sousa, was sacked after revealing the club’s transfer policy to the media, but a run of poor results preceding it was a more likely source of malaise.

Amid the turmoil, Buzsaky missed training yesterday, probably for the best as Gorman held a heated meeting with players, but Buzsaky denied he had handed in a transfer request. “It is not true at all,” he said. “As professional footballers our sole aim is to focus on the upcoming matches.” Telegraph

The Times/Patrick Barclay, Analysis - December 10, 2009
Flavio Briatore left to cast his net wide after latest troubles

- Eleven years ago, one West Ham United player almost kicked another’s head off during a dispute in training and, because a television camera caught this particularly disturbing incident, the nation was shocked to hear that fights were far from unusual.

Now it seems that the managers are joining in — or so you would think, to judge from a couple of hair-raising stories that have come out of Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers over the past few days.

After Stoke had lost 2-0 away to Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, James Beattie, the players’ spokesman, was supposed to have become involved in a row with Tony Pulis over the squad’s Christmas outing that dramatically escalated. In truth, it seems like it was more handbags than hammer, and a minor altercation.

But a pattern appeared to be emerging when, within a couple of days, it was disclosed that QPR had suspended Jim Magilton over an allegation of head-butting one of his players, Akos Buzsaky, after the team’s 3-1 defeat in the Coca-Cola Championship against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Speculation proliferated. Had players really become so difficult to discipline? Were fines so ineffective that a rough form of corporal punishment had become the only answer?

It was something of a relief to discover that things were not quite as they seemed. But the true story proved just as much of a shocker. Magilton strongly denied doing anything more than assertively confronting Buszaky and his account was supported by both John Gorman, his highly respected assistant, and Keith Ryan, the reserve-team manager.

Gorman so strongly believed that an injustice had been done that yesterday he refused an offer from Flavio Briatore, the club's controversial co-owner, to take charge of the team, who, until successive defeats by Middlesbrough and Watford, had been in fine form.

Ryan was then asked to shoulder the responsibility that had been taken away from Magilton — and he, too, declined on a point of principle.

It looks as if Briatore will have to look outside if, having digested the results of the promised “internal investigation” of the incident, Magilton is not returned to his post. Already there is speculation about Steve Coppell and Alan Curbishley and, once again, perhaps, football is about to portray itself as a ruthless game, moving on and leaving Magilton with the task of clearing his name.

Even a head-butt might be less painful. The Times

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