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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"The Madness of Flavio Briatore"

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- The Programme for the West Ham vs QPR Youth FA Cup Game, with QPR bios

Dave McIntyre - Quashie and Cotton:
- "Quashie will sign for QPR today on a contract til end of season. Coton as Harford's assistant should be confirmed soon too." David McIntyre Twitter
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- One Thousand Days

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times
Flavio doesn't get it... and never will

- TIMES are depressing enough for QPR fans as they stumble through the seemingly endless saga of chaos and farce that surrounds their club.
- But there can't have been many whose spirits were raised by Flavio Briatore's announcement, in a rare newspaper interview, that he has no intention of leaving Loftus Road.
- It was clear from the tone of the Daily Mirror story - a blatant example of shameless brown-nosing - that Briatore remains as aloof, out-of-touch and contemptuous of the ordinary supporter as ever.
- "Some fans, because they pay £20, want to criticise," said the Rangers co-owner - the implication being that they have no right to do so.
- The majority of fans fork out more than that at Loftus Road - and, let's not forget, if Briatore had got his way last season, ticket prices would have been even higher.

Briatore thinks Rangers fans should be eternally grateful to him for taking over the club in 2007 - although there were other parties who were keen to do so and would surely have made a better job of it.
- Instead of vague nonsense about 'boutique football', brands and projects, more responsible owners would have brought in people who understood football to run the most important aspect of the business.
- Managers, coaches and players come and go at an alarming rate and, after an initial surge away from the relegation zone two years ago, QPR have made NO progress on the field for precisely that reason.
- We all know neutrals who told you how they had a soft spot for QPR, how they liked the style of football and the atmosphere at Loftus Road.
- We don't hear those voices any more.
- Instead we recall the Chelsea and Fulham fans at school who used to chant 'QPR-ha-ha-ha-ha' - and, back then, we would have responded in kind.
- Now we can't help but reluctantly agree with the sentiment and wonder when Briatore might swagger off into the sunset - something we'd really be grateful for. Kilburn Times

Betfair Blog/Dan Fitch - Championship Betting: Who is the busiest man at QPR?
- Don't get too attached to your current parking space Mick.
We're only just into the new year and QPR have already sacked another manager. Dan 'The Betting Man' Fitch marvels at the madness of Flavio Briatore.

"After Hart was rather harshly given the sack at Portsmouth, I was pleased that he’d got another high profile job so quickly. However, as is the case with a sexually promiscuous girl in a slasher movie, I didn’t fancy his chances of survival."

One of the great pleasures in football used to be the way we could laugh at the manner in which wacky foreign clubs were run, safe in the knowledge that nothing similar would ever occur on our own sane shores.

One of the funniest teams to laugh at was Atletico Madrid, due to the sheer madness of their controversial president Jesus Gil.

This was a man who celebrated Atletico's double by riding around Madrid atop an elephant and who claimed on live radio, that he wished that the plane carrying the Atletico players would "crash and kill the team", following a particularly insipid away performance.

Most of all, Gil was notorious for sacking coaches. In his 17 years in charge, he managed to get through 39 different managers. It's fair to say that he wasn't a patient man.

The nearest that we had to a Gil-figure in England was 'Deadly' Doug Ellis, but now at last it seems that we finally have an owner of a football club, who is prepared to be equally rash in his decision making.

Step forward QPR chairman Flavio Briatore, who in two-and-a-half years, has managed to get through six different managers. At 2.4 managers per annum, Briatore comfortably beats Gil's statistic of 2.29 and if he continues to give managers as little time as he afforded Paul Hart, he will soon be in a league of his own.

After Hart was rather harshly given the sack at Portsmouth, I was pleased that he'd got another high profile job so quickly. However, as is the case with a sexually promiscuous girl in a slasher movie, I didn't fancy his chances of survival.

Even a cynic like myself couldn't have predicted just how quickly Hart would be given the boot. Briatore gave him five games (of which only two were lost) before Hart left QPR by 'mutual consent'.

Rumours abounded that Hart was pushed after falling out with Adel Taarabt. Quite why the opinions of an on-loan youngster who never passes, hold any weight, is somewhat puzzling.

The hardest job at Loftus Road isn't being the manager but the bloke who has to screw the nameplates onto the manager's office door.

The longest serving manager of Briatore's reign was Luigi De Canio, who managed to hold onto his job for 35 games. Briatore proved to be equally trigger happy with Iain Dowie and Paulo Sousa. Jim Magilton also didn't last long, but to be fair, may have survived longer if he hadn't head-butted one of the players.

Still, Stoke's Tony Pulis was also involved in something similar around the same time and he wasn't sacked. They know the value of what they've got up at the Britannia Stadium.

It all looked so promising when Briatore, along with Bernie Ecclestone, bought up QPR. When the billionaire Lakshmi Mittal also invested, the papers were awash with the news that QPR were the richest club in the world.

Rather than splash the cash on star players, the owners looked to develop the squad more gradually. It seemed like a sensible approach, but it's been somewhat undercut by their attitude to managers.

Now Mick Harford has been named as 'caretaker manager', though in a world where the 'permanent' manager' is sacked after five games, then labels don't tend to mean much.

If Harford is given the time, then it's possible that QPR could still win promotion. They're just four points away from sixth place and can be backed at 11.0 to go up and at 2.22 to make the play-offs.

Let's hope that Harford is given a chance and that the bloke who screws on the nameplates, has a slightly less hectic 2010. Betfair

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