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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"QPR Fans vs Gianni Paladini" #3...Paul Hart Profiled and Perspective on QPR Situation


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- Previews of Sheffield United Match

- What Owners Truly Think of Fans

- On This Day Flashback: Ugo Ukah Released by QPR (Again!)

- Briatore for Juventus?

- Ex-QPR Dean Parrett and Liam O'Brien

- Two Years Ago today: QPR Played...Sheffield United!

- Two Year Flashback: Announcment - Sebastian Rusculleda Not Joining QPR

- Pellicori to Mantova?"

- Ref for Blackpool vs QPR Game: Trevor Kettle

- Last Week to do Football Fan Survey

- Job Vacancy at Loftus Road: "Social Inclusion Manager"

- Ex-QPR Lyndon Duncan Turns 27

- The Glazers Making Money From Manchester United

- Moyes: Managers Should Interview Chairmen

- Football League Searching for a Chairman

Mirror - O'Leary and the Top 10 club v fans feuds
By Mirror Football in Mirror Football Blog


Never mind mortgaging the club to the hilt, cancelling plans for a new stadium, going behind the manager’s back to tap up potential new bosses, signing players over the manager’s head, failing to provide funds for any decent players and having an almighty falling out between yourselves; the Americans at Anfield have really done it this time.

Tom Hicks Jnr is today licking his wounds and googling where his nearest Job Centre is after he was forced to resign as director. His crime? Getting drawn into a row with a Liverpool supporter, and calling him a "f*** face".

A timely lesson that whatever else you do as player, owner, manager, official or chairman of a club, you cannot start bickering with your own fans. After all, they pay your wages.

As Hicks Jnr slopes off to pastures new, we remember 10 other club figures who have become embroiled in rows with their own supporters.

10) Roy Keane vs the Prawn Sandwich brigade
Keano was never afraid to have a go, whether it be at other players, his own team-mates, or even his international manager. And in 2000 it finally happened, and he turned on the fans themselves. After a dull atmosphere at Old Trafford for a Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev he said: "Sometimes you wonder, do they understand the game of football? We're 1-0 up, then there are one or two stray passes and they're getting on players' backs. It's just not on. At the end of the day they need to get behind the team. Away from home our fans are fantastic, I'd call them the hardcore fans. But at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch. I don't think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell 'football', never mind understand it."

9) Paul Scally vs the "Scumbags"
Former Gillingham chairman Paul Scally labelled fans of his club "scumbags" in 2008 - not unreasonably when you consider they had attacked his car after a defeat, while his three year-old daughter was inside. Gills fans responded in the only way football fans know how: by chanting: "Paul Scally's Scumbag Army!" at their next match. Scally now lives in Dubai.

8) Keith Haslam vs Stags fans
Mansfield Town fans were so keen to get rid of chairman Keith Haslam they rented a plane to fly over the local derby match with Notts County towing a banner declaring that the club was for sale and calling for Haslam to leave. When that failed to work, a group of fans barged into the boardroom and punched and kicked Haslam after another defeat in 2008. The Stags were relegated shortly after, and Haslam was bought out.

7) O'Leary vs "fickle fans"
Former Aston Villa boss David O'Leary was another manager who unwisely decided to take on the fans after his side was booed when trailing to League Two Wycombe in a Carling Cup tie in 2005. "There is a genuine bunch of fans and then there is a fickle mob who get on your back very quickly," he said. Villa fans responded with one of the best banners of the decade which read: "We're not fickle - we just don't like you". O'Leary was gone within the year.

6) Mike McDonald vs "fickle Blades"
O'Leary wasn't the first to call his own fans fickle. Prickly former Sheffield United chairman Mike McDonald vented his petulance at the Blades fans in 1999. "Sheffield fans are fickle," he said. "If just 10,000 turn up then players will have to be sold, but it won't be me selling the players, it will be the fans."

5) Rupert Lowe vs the "Lunatic Fringe"
The former Southampton chairman had a habit of rubbing people in football up the wrong way, not least his own fans. When Saints supporters were getting worried Lowe was about to sanction the return of Glenn Hoddle to the club in 2004, he said: "At the end of the day they support the club, they don't run it." Before adding for good measure: "The popular movement is usually wrong, the crowd is always wrong on the whole." His parting shot was: "Don't listen to the lunatic fringe." Hoddle was not reappointed and Lowe was eventually ousted last year.

4) Cloughie vs Forest fans
Never one to do things by havles, Brian Clough wasn't content with merely verbally abusing his own supporters, instead he set about physically punching them during a pitch invasion after a match against QPR at the City Ground. Stunned, the stewards simply let him get on with it as he stumbled around looking for his next victim.

3) QPR fans vs Gianni Paladini At times we all think we can do a better job than our club's board of directors, but few of us would resort to the tactics of a group of QPR fans in 2005 who burst into chairman Paladini's office at Loftus Road minutes before a match against Sheffield United and forced him to sign a piece of paper resigning from the board - at gunpoint.

2) Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall vs the Toon Army Having gotten extremely rich off the back of Newcastle United, former chairman Shepherd and director Douglas Hall were caught slagging off their own fans in a Spanish brothel. The pair mocked their fans for spending vast amounts on club merchandise, called Tyneside women "dogs" and finished by calling Geordie hero Alan Shearer "the Mary Poppins of football." They were forced to resign but were back on the board within months.

1) Gary Megson Vs Bolton fans They were on his back from the get-go at Bolton and he never did manage to win them over. It must have started to grate with him somewhat and eventually he cracked, calling his detractors "pathetic" and "astounding" before appearing to suggest that his team's fans were directly responsibly for opposition goals by urging players upfield and thus out of their defensive positions. He was sacked within weeks of coming out with that one. Mirror

Standard/Julian Bennetts - Pouring his Hart and soul into QPR
- Since Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone bought Queens Park Rangers in August 2007, the departure of another manager from Loftus Road has become as much a part of everyday life as death and taxes.
- Twenty-nine months, 125 matches, six permanent managers, four caretakers and a staggering 90 transfers (including loans) later, the club are still not among the play-off contenders in the Championship table.
- But mention those figures to the new man in the hotseat, Paul Hart, and he seems completely unfazed. Indeed, it would be interesting to see what does perturb Hart, who succeeded Jim Magilton last month.
- This, after all, is a man who was denied the highlight of his playing career when a corrupt referee ensured his Nottingham Forest side were knocked out by Anderlecht in the semi-finals of the 1984 UEFA Cup.
- His managerial career has been just as bumpy a ride — firstly taking over at Forest in 2001 with the club £25million in debt yet still taking them to the verge of promotion, before a tumultuous period at Portsmouth this season.
- Despite being sacked in November, with Pompey bottom of the Premier League, Hart emerged with great credit for the dignity he showed at a club that are £60m in the red, started the season with just 16 professionals and have continuous doubts as to when the players will be paid their wages.

- Maybe that is why he is able to look at the situation at Rangers with a good deal of perspective, insisting he can succeed where John Gregory, Luigi De Canio, Iain Dowie, Paulo Sousa and Magilton have failed.
- And even though his contract runs until only the end of the season, Hart is already planning long term.
- “I am well aware that this club has proved difficult for managers in the past and we all know that stability brings success,” said Hart at the club's snowbound Harlington training ground ahead of tonight's FA Cup third-round replay with Sheffield United. “I have seen a number of managers around the Football League dismissed rather harshly this season and it's time that QPR started to buck that trend
- “I don't see the challenge as succeeding where those other managers have failed at the club, I see the challenge as being to get this team as high up the table as possible.
- “Maybe I am seen as a firefighter in my managerial career, but after 40 years in the game I've realised that you can't take anything for granted.”

- That has certainly been the case at QPR under Briatore and Ecclestone, but Hart is relaxed about his relationship with the Formula One magnates, especially since Briatore's role at the club was consolidated last week as he successfully appealed against a lifetime ban from motorsport for his role in the Crashgate scandal.
- “The owners actually run a pretty tight ship — there won't be pots of money to spend in the January transfer window and nor would I expect there to be, although I will be looking to strengthen the squad,” added Hart. “But when millionaires and billionaires take over at a club, that raises expectations and I think that may have been quite harmful here.

“This club has been a Premier League side in the past and it can be again, there's no question about that.”

Hart is a relaxed interviewee, only becoming terse when asked if he was offered a job on the Tottenham coaching staff by Harry Redknapp last month — “It wouldn't be right to talk about that”, is all he's willing to say — yet he becomes most animated when talking about his managerial influences.
- And it is clear that no one had a bigger impact on him than Brian Clough, his boss at Forest between 1983 and 1985. Yet there is still a bitterness about the infamous UEFA Cup semi-final in 1984, when Hart scored what he thought was a last-minute winner only to see it ruled out by Spanish referee Emilio Guruceta Muro, who it later transpired had been paid a pre-match loan' of £27,000 by the Belgian side.
- “It was disgraceful,” said Hart. “I'd never seen Clough so quiet, he knew it was wrong and it destroyed him. We found out 12 years later that the referee had been bribed, but that never got us a medal did it? We would have played Tottenham in the final and you would have backed us to win that. What was it like to work under Clough? Frightening; scary; great. He was the greatest coach I ever had and he never went on the training pitch!
- “Two people had a massive effect on my career — Clough for teaching me simplicity and how to get people to do their jobs and Howard Wilkinson, at Sheffield Wednesday, for giving me the organisational skills and the platform to become a coach.

- “And as a manager I have to work in a certain way. If I am allowed to work in that way at Rangers, then we'll all be happy here. But if I can't, then it will be very difficult.”
- Hart knows what he wants. Having learnt from the best, Briatore and Ecclestone would be well advised to put their faith in a man who specialises in rescuing clubs on the slide. Standard

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