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Monday, February 15, 2010

Mittal/Bhatia Reportedly to Buy QPR Shares from Briatore...QPR to Try for High-Cost Warnock...Iain Dowie as Managerial Backup

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Mirror/James Nursey - QPR to storm Palace for Warnock
- QPR are ready to pay £1.5million compensation to Crystal Palace for Neil Warnock as Lakshmi Mittal prepares to increase his stake in Rangers.
- Mick Harford will take charge of struggling Rangers tonight in their crunch Championship clash at home to Watford.
- But Rangers officials are already planning to replace Harford with Warnock next week after Palace's FA Cup replay at Aston Villa.
- The Crystal Palace boss, who was furious with the officials after Sunday's draw at Selhurt Park, is unhappy in south London after the club was placed in administration and docked 10 points.
- He was a prime contender for the Rangers job last summer but his huge wage demands saw the club opt for Jim Magilton instead.
- But the former Sheffield United boss admitted yesterday he could be on his way after the Villa replay. "It's an insecure time at the moment," he said. "The administrator said to me last week that new owners could come in within a fortnight and they might not want you.
- "So all I do now is plan for the next game. I'm planning to be here for the Reading game on Wednesday and the Cup replay.
- "If I said I was happy I'd be lying. I'm not very happy at all at the moment, I still don't understand why we were forced to go into administration.
- "The person is not going to get their money any quicker and yet we've been deducted 10 points.''
- Darren Ambrose, a goal scorer against Villa, said: "He has done such a good job here under the circumstances that clubs will be interested in him, and for Palace to get a result like we did against Aston Villa will mean even more teams will want him now.
- "People will probably talk about Carlo Ancelotti or Sir Alex Ferguson being manager of the year, but he is right up there with them."
- QPR are only one point above Palace in the Championship despite the Eagles' 10-point deduction. Last month Paul Hart became the 10th different manager to lose his job under Rangers' current regime.
- Now, controversial Loftus Road chairman Flavio Briatore has been offered a way out of the troubled club by co-owner Mittal, who is willing to buy his 30 per cent stake.
- And Mittal's son-in-law Amit Bhatia, Rangers' current vice-chairman, is on standby to take a greater role in the running of the club
- Any changes behind the scenes will almost certainly trigger the departure of Harford.
- But his future is in grave doubt anyway after five successive defeats and just one point from six games as caretaker.
- He is set to remain in charge for Rangers' next two home games this week with Doncaster due at the weekend.
- Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone bought QPR in August 2007 before Mittal took a 20 per cent stake in December 2007.
- Should Briatore go, Rangers could even bring back out-of-work Iain Dowie, who was axed in October 2008 after a bust-up with the club's Italian supremo. - Mirror

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