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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bhatia Speaks...Dowie if Not Warnock...Volz Trials...Bardsley Hopes

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From season ticket prices to why he isn't the new Chairman, from improving communication with the fans to dealing with poor attendances, QPR Holdings Ltd Vice Chairman Amit Bhatia has spoken exclusively to QPR PLAYER regarding the issues which are most important to YOU!

Amit on new Chairman Ishan Saksena...

"The biggest change since the restructuring is that Ishan is now the Chairman of QPR.

"I believe he has a set of instructions and a vision for how decisions are made and how the Club should be, as well as the stability and security that should come with running a Football Club."

About the new man in control...

"Ishan is somebody that I have known for a very long time, and who I have an awful amount of trust in.

"I believe that QPR needs someone who is full-time, aware to its needs and has 100 per cent commitment. It was the best decision therefore to appoint Ishan."

On taking the Club forward...

"Our vision as a family is to reintroduce stability into the Football Club. It's of great importance. An organisation cannot succeed if there's no stability at the top.

"By empowering the right people and by doing the right things we will achieve great success."

To hear much more from Amit, tune into QPR Player later today where you will find the first of our three-part exclusive interview with the QPR Vice Chairman.

Not registered to QPR Player? Click here to join for less than 10p a day! - QPR

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - There's hope for Rangers at last
24 February 2010
- FINALLY, Flavio Briatore gave QPR fans their best news in two and a half years - his statement of resignation.

Briatore probably didn't realise it, but he was spot on last Friday when he boasted that he felt 'proud to have helped save this historical club'.

His decision to relinquish the reins of power may well have resuscitated a club that he distorted into a 'project' and a 'brand', estranged from its loyal fanbase, and turned into a by-word for farce and ineptitude.

Ultimately, Briatore's chairmanship will go down in Rangers' history as a wasted opportunity - a period of false hope, atrocious PR and style over substance.

But that is now in the past. The future is in the hands of new majority shareholder Lakshmi Mittal, his son-in-law Amit Bhatia and chairman Ishan Saksena.

Bhatia, in particular, has given fans good reason to believe he shares their passion for Rangers - and, most importantly, will take their concerns into account.

It was Bhatia who took note of the supporters' anger last season, when Briatore planned to charge them a staggering £50 a time, and publicly shelved the proposal.

That is the key to this new regime at Loftus Road: will they learn from the mistakes of the old one?

Will they reopen regular channels of communication with the fans? Will they recruit people who understand football instead of trying to run that side of the business on the cheap?

Will they rebuild the coaching, scouting and administrative structures that were neglected under Briatore instead of expecting a 'sporting director' to deal with anything and everything?

Will they allow the team manager to do his job without interference and knit together a successful squad over the course of a few years, if that's what it takes?

Will they inject funds into the youth set-up - the lifeblood of the club - instead of squandering huge amounts of money on a never-ending stream of average journeymen and short-term loans?

And, most importantly, will they be ready to take advice and be open to alternative ideas instead of stubbornly relying on spin and propaganda to counter dissenting voices?

The recent history of QPR proves that, when everyone connected with the club - players, coaches, directors, supporters and yes, even the local media - pull together, they can achieve something special.

It's not too late to recapture that - but, for the moment, the first objective must be to get behind the new board, the manager and the team and help them win the fight against relegation.

Maybe it's premature to sing 'we've got our Rangers back' already. But, at last, QPR fans can feel cautiously optimistic that they will. Kilburn Times

Standard/Sami Mokbel - QPR will turn to Iain Dowie if bid for Neil Warnock fails
- Iain Dowie is on standby to make a remarkable return to Queens Park Rangers if there are any last-minute hitches in the club's pursuit of Neil Warnock.

Crystal Palace boss Warnock is understood to have been offered the job and is likely to move after his club's Championship fixture at Doncaster on Saturday, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal worth £625,000 a year.

But if Rangers decide that the £1million compensation required to land Warnock is too steep, they are likely to turn to former boss Dowie.

The 45-year-old took charge of Rangers in May 2008 but was sacked by former owner Flavio Briatore just five months later after frequent disputes about team selection issues.

It is believed Dowie is still being paid off by Rangers, meaning that bringing him back would cost them very little.

Should the move for Warnock collapse, Dowie would be offered a deal until the end of the season, with a bonus for keeping QPR in the Championship.

Whoever takes over at Rangers, the move is bad news for current caretaker boss Mick Harford.

The former Luton manager met with new QPR chairman Ishan Saksena yesterday afternoon but is now resigned to the fact that the clash at Middlesbrough on Saturday will be his last.

Harford was initially given the role until the end of the season after Paul Hart left QPR following a five-game spell in charge, but he has overseen a miserable run.

The 51-year-old said at the weekend he would consider being part of Warnock's coaching staff - but the Palace boss will bring in his own coaches should he get the job. Standard

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Bardsley wants to be new QPR boss
FORMER QPR star David Bardsley has told the Times he wants to return to Loftus Road as manager.

Bardsley has been happily settled with his family in Florida for the last six years, working as director of the Orlando FC youth academy - but says he would give it all up for the chance to manage his old club.

"This is a great place to live and work and only the QPR job could bring me back to England," admitted the 45-year-old. "If I got a chance to go back there, I'd be on my knees tomorrow.

"My wife and three children wouldn't be able to come with me because of their commitments in America, but I would seriously love to talk to QPR about working there.

"I have a huge tie to the club and the fans and I want to see QPR back where they belong. I've kept my eye on what's been going on there for a number of years and it's something I have a real passion for.

"When I played at QPR there were no big time Charlies, no messing around. How the manager wanted it was how it had to be and that went back to Don Howe's time, then Gerry Francis.

"You've got to have a nucleus of players who know what playing for that club is all about - and that's what has been missing for years. It kills me to see it, but I believe it's still possible to get back to those days."

Bardsley was the regular right-back in the Rangers side that consistently finished in the top half of the Premier League and made more than 250 appearances during nine years at Loftus Road.

He returned to his first club, Blackpool, to finish his playing career and, when the management opening that had been mooted did not materialise there, began working for the Ajax Academy programme in the USA.

Once that ended, the former England international established Orlando FC with the objective of helping both American and overseas youngsters progress to college and club level.

The club have been officially linked to QPR's youth set-up for the past four years and play in official Rangers colours at prestigious tournaments such as the Dallas Cup, run by ex-Rs boss Gordon Jago.

And Bardsley, who holds an extraordinary ability visa for football = an extremely rare accolade in the USA - refutes any suggestion that the content of his coaching CV might be insufficient to make him a genuine candidate as QPR boss.

"Some of the managers they've had recently at QPR had never worked in England before - and what about Roberto Mancini at Manchester City?" he added.

"It isn't about experience - a lot of people come in and get top level jobs and get the sack after six months. I've seen players and managers getting on and off the bandwagon and they've got no ties to any special club. "There's a misconception about what's required in the States. I've coached at a high standard for several years and, believe me, the passion, tempo and training that goes on here is at a different level. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/KILBURN TIMES - German ready to battle for QPR place

HARLESDEN teenager Antonio German accepts he has a fight on his hands to stay in the team - despite scoring on his full QPR debut.

With on-loan pair Marcus Bent and Tamas Priskin nursing injuries, the 18-year-old striker was handed his first start on Saturday and responded by netting the opening goal in Rangers' 2-1 win over Doncaster.

But German, who represented Brent Schools for two years while working his way through the Rs' youth set-up, admitted: "Getting in the team is not the hardest thing - it's staying in it.

"I'm just hoping I can do that and score a few more goals. The step up is a lot different from reserve football and I felt it towards the end on Saturday, but I put down a marker and I'm happy with that.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity from Mick [Harford], really. I've been working hard in training and he gave me a go - hopefully he's seen that I've taken the chance.

"My contract ends at the end of the season and hopefully I can get a new one. I like it at QPR - the training's good and the people are good too."

German, who attended St Gregory's Science College, Kenton, also played Harrow Youth League football for the Stonebridge-based St Andrew's Youth side.

After becoming a regular in Rangers' under-18 and reserve sides, the striker made his first senior appearance as a substitute at Southampton just under a year ago.

He also spent a month on loan with Aldershot Town earlier this season, but is full of praise for QPR youth team coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham for the role they have played in his development.

"I have to give them a lot of credit," German added. "They've helped me on my movement, position and touch and sometimes they stay out with me after training to work on my finishing.

"There are quite a few good young players coming through - Angelo Balanta, Romone Rose and Josh Parker - and it's nice to be given a chance. Kilburn Times

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