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Friday, January 15, 2010

"Briatore Set to Quit QPR"

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Mirror/James Nursey - Flavio Briatore set to quit QPR - Exclusive
- Flavio Briatore is set to be the next high-profile departure from crisis-club QPR - sparking a possible takeover.
- Mirror Sport revealed yesterday manager Paul Hart, 56, had been forced out of Rangers after just 29 days in charge.
- Hart fell victim to player power at Loftus Road after clashing with Morrocan star Adel Taarabt as we revealed on Thursday.
- And now controversial Italian Briatore, chairman of QPR Holdings Limited, is close to leaving the club as well.
- Briatore, 49, bought into Rangers in 2007 with F1 pal Bernie Ecclestone - who were later joined as co-owners by multi-billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
- But Briatore is now planning to sell his stake to new outside investors as he moves to severe his links with QPR.
- Briatore has openly told colleagues at Loftus Road he will be leaving the club in the near future.
- The colourful Italian brought members of an American consortium to Rangers’ last home game in the FA Cup against Sheffield United.
- And Briatore’s decision to sell his stake in QPR could well precipitate an entire takeover of the club.
- Briatore’s plans to move on will be welcomed by some QPR fans after accusations of meddling in team selection.
- He has also been behind the astonishing hiring and firing of eight different managers since arriving at the club.
- Briatore’s reputation has been in tatters since leaving his F1 post as Renault team principal after allegations of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
- These were brought after Nelson Piquet Jr revealed he had been ordered to crash to help team-mate Fernando Alonso.
- Briatore was then banned by the FIA which sparked claims he might not be a ‘fit and proper person’ to run QPR.
- Briatore has remained at QPR but the doubts about his character have not ended despite having his FIA ban overturned by a legal challenge.
- His hands-on attitude at Rangers has certainly infuriated previous managers like Iain Dowie.
- But club insiders insist Hart’s successor Mick Harford will do a good job until the end of the season as he steps up from assistant.
- And there is a belief at Loftus Road they made a big mistake getting rid of Harford in October 2007 when he was last caretaker to bring in Luigi de Canio.
- Harford, in charge until the summer, knows promotion is wanted by the club’s ambitious hierarchy ahead of today’s trip to Blackpool.
- He said: “I am going to try and get the team back to winning ways and get us climbing the table.
- “The team have only won once in their last ten and that’s something we need to look at.
- “It’s a sad occasion with the manager leaving his post but that happens in football.
- “I have been given what I consider an opportunity to stake my claim for the job.
- “We are only four points away from the play-offs.
- “We’ve got two difficult away fixtures coming up against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest and that’s what we are preparing for" Mirror

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