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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Neil Warnock on QPR Players, Survival and Promotion...Gianni Paladini Staying On (and On)?...Cipriani London Enters Administration..Raheem Sterling

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- Meanwhile...Gianni Paladini till 2013?

- Warnock Quote..Raheem Sterling's Mother Speaks..Reserves Win..Sousa Nominated..England U-19 Debut For Ex-QPR Goalie, Liam O'Brien

- Ex-QPR Youth Goalie, Liam O'Brien Makes England U-19 Debut

- Ex-QPR Manager, Paulo Sousa Nominated (again) for Manager of the Month

- Amit Bhatia Lengthy Interview

- Two Year Flashback: Amit Bhatia Speaks

- Profiles of QPR's New Coaches Mick Jones and Keith Curle
- Year Flashback: Sousa Running Out Of Time?
- Three Year Flashback: Apology from Gianni Paladini - And Some of the strange Charges made at that time
- On This Day....Including AEK Athens at Loftus Road Video

- RIP: Macclesfield Manager Keith Alexander

Events Magazine/David Quainton - Cipriani London enters administration
- Cipriani London, the popular restaurant frequented by the event industry and the rich and famous, has gone into administration.
- The move comes after the venue is being forced to pay out a hefty fine following a trademark battle with the Orient-Express Hotel group. Administrator Ian Franses Associates has been brought in.
- The move will come as a blow to the Cipriani brand, which had moved into the corporate hospitality arena. In 2008 flamouyant former QPR chairman Flavio Briatore announced Cipriani would cater in its C and W12 members clubs.
- This morning a spokesperson for the club, which Briatore has now left, said the firm was still in place and worked on ‘some' hospitality events, although Azure Support Services is now also listed on the clubs website as a caterer.

- Cipriani London is still fighting the trademark ruling. EventsMagazine

Evening Standard/Simon Johnson - Neil Warnock is looking up, not down, as he moves in at QPR
- Neil Warnock today vowed he will not only keep Queens Park Rangers in the Championship this season but aims to have them in the Premier League next year.

Warnock has become QPR's fifth manager this term after a compensation deal was finally agreed with cash-strapped Crystal Palace.

He has swapped one relegation fight for another as Rangers sit just three points ahead of his former club in the table, who themselves are only out of the drop zone on goal difference.

The 61-year-old took his first training session with his new squad yesterday and saw enough quality to be convinced they will stay in the second tier of English football come May.

But Warnock is adamant that with the right signings in the summer, he can fulfil his ambition to manage in the top flight again having experienced just two years of it at Notts County and Sheffield United.

He said: “It is a big, big club and I am really excited about it. I want to manage in the Premier League sooner rather than later and my aim is to achieve that ambition before the end of my contract, irrespective of clubs who still have the parachute payments or any of the decent sides coming down.

“I am looking to be there next year. If I was in a normal situation I would usually say it would take two full seasons, but at my age I don't want it to take that long.

“I enjoyed meeting with the chairman Ishan Saksena and the vice-chairman Amit Bhatia. I believed in what they were talking about, what their views are and how they see the future for the club.”

Warnock's QPR reign begins with the visit of second-placed West Brom and in the following four games they face play-off hopefuls Sheffield United and Swansea and relegation rivals Plymouth and Reading.

“The first priority is to get enough points to stay up,” said Warnock. “I know it will be tight at the bottom end, we have some tough fixtures. Without question, the players have a lot of ability. I am hoping to put a bit of steel in certain positions and get a happy blend.

“The first day of training went well yesterday. It went as I expected, nice and bright. I had a good talk with all of the players and it is a case of getting to know them now. I told them that if we are to get out of this relegation battle then they need to show a lot of commitment and desire. But they shouldn't worry about the position in the table, they should just go out and enjoy the games, although we can't have a much tougher start than on Saturday.

“I hope to create the same team spirit as I did at Palace, but that didn't come overnight. You have to work on that over a long time, it took me nearly 12 months to do it there.”

His departure from Palace ended in acrimony after he fell out with administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who has run the club since it went into administration in January.

Guilfoyle issued a statement yesterday claiming he did everything to keep Warnock at Selhurst Park, but that his focus was no longer on securing the club's status in the Championship'.

Warnock has dismissed Guilfoyle's version of events and insists he still has regrets over the way his time at Palace was cut short.

He added: “I saw the statement put out and there is only so much I can say at the moment but I don't think the Palace fans are daft. When they see what I will say about it, they will realise what really happened.

“I'm having my first QPR press conference tomorrow so I will make one or two comments but Palace want to gag me from saying anything so I have to be careful.

“But I want to make it clear that Palace is the best club I have ever been at in terms of the supporters. I'm hoping to have the same thing at QPR.”

Warnock spent just under two-and-a-half-years at Palace and he has promised not to make a move for any of his former players on loan so that the club have a better chance of staying up.

“I don't want to do anything that will disrupt their challenge,” said Warnock, who will face his old side at Selhurst Park on 10 April.

“I want both clubs to stay up this season. It is my dream scenario. There are a good bunch of lads at Palace. I know them inside out. They definitely have enough mettle and commitment to stay up. I'm going to try and install the same qualities in the players I have now.”

Meanwhile, Paul Hart, Warnock's replacement at Palace, is optimistic he can keep them up in the same way he succeeded at Portsmouth in the Premier league 12 months ago.

“I get some comfort in seeing the names in the squad, experienced players and strong characters,” said Hart.

“It's very similar to Portsmouth last year, where there were strong characters who just needed a little shove.” Standard

The Times Blog -Ahead of The Game: Palace will keep squad together for relegation fight
You can set the agenda by sending in a question for one of our experts to answer. E-mail aotg@thetimes.co.uk

We asked: Paul Hart has said no Crystal Palace players will follow Neil Warnock to Queens Park Rangers this season. Do you believe this will be the case?

Gary Jacob, our transfer expert, responded: "Yes, an overbearing wage bill has never been the problem at Selhurst Park and it’s very unlikely that any players will leave Palace until they have successfully avoided relegation.

"Firstly, Warnock would only want the better players such as Nathaniel Clyne and Neil Danns, and that would impact on Palace’s ability to avoid relegation, which would reduce the value of a club in administration.

"Secondly, even if survival was not an issue, selling players would send the wrong message to fans and prospective buyers of the club. The latter would want to buy a club that has retained its best assets.

"Thirdly, players have to want to move. There were deals on the table for Clyne and Danns to leave in January. Clyne rejected a move because his agent has other irons in the fire. Southampton’s offer for Danns was too low for Palace, plus the player believes that he can find another Championship club this summer.

"The administrator at Palace faces the unenviable task of raising cash to repay Agilo, the hedge fund who lent £4.5 million to the club, while trying to protect the club’s value by helping them stay in the Championship. Jose Fonte and Victor Moses were sold for a combined £3 million fee in January to help fund the club until the end of the season as well as repaying some of the debt owed to Agilo.

"There is also an added angle to all of this. QPR paid compensation of up to £600,000 for Warnock and there may be additional sums payable for the two assistants that followed him to Loftus Road. Palace might hope to receive further compensation from several other backroom staff who will want to join Warnock. Some of these people will gamble that Palace’s next permanent manager will want his own staff and therefore they may be able to negotiate a pay-off from Selhurst Park. Warnock might take a similar view, or he may want these people quickly and Palace may receive a small sum.

"On Warnock’s departure, let’s be clear. He claims that he left Palace because they entered administration, but the facts say otherwise. Only one player, Fonte, was directly sold because of administration, although his loss has been significantly felt at the heart of Palace's defence. Moses was leaving anyway.

"Warnock complained that the team had been told to travel by coach to away matches to save money, but the administrator relented and they continued to travel by train. Palace are in a relegation fight, but only because of the ten-point penalty given to them for entering administration. QPR are in a similar position in the league table. Warnock earned £750,000-a-year at Palace, making him the highest paid manager in the division. His contract at QPR until 2011 is worth £1.2 million a season." The Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - QPR's Sterling effort to keep teenager
YOUTH team boss Steve Gallen says QPR did all they could in their unsuccessful attempt to keep teenage star Raheem Sterling at Loftus Road.

The 15-year-old attacking midfielder from Neasden, already a regular member of the England under-18 squad, signed for Liverpool this week in a £500,000 deal that could eventually net Rangers £1m.

The Rs had already rejected two bids from neighbours Fulham and Gallen believes the club did everything possible to persuade Sterling, a student at Copland Community College in Wembley, to stay.

"We put him in the reserves, Jim Magilton had him training with the first team when he was 14, and Gianni Paladini offered him the best contract I've ever seen for a young player," Gallen told the Times.

"That would have been a scholarship and then a professional contract. We made it clear all along that we didn't want Raheem to go - but we knew he wanted to and realised a deal had to be done.

"Agents were putting it around that Manchester City had made a bid for Raheem, but that wasn't true and Arsenal didn't make an official offer for him either.

"Fulham and Liverpool were the only clubs who made bids and at no stage was Raheem interested in going to Fulham. When Liverpool came in, though, he jumped at it.

"Of course it's disappointing, but you can't stop a 15-year-old boy who wants to leave. Getting half a million pounds for a lad who'd come on twice for the reserves isn't a bad deal.

"I like the boy and I wish him well. I think he's an outstanding prospect with an unbelievable amount of talent and he can go to Liverpool and be an excellent player."

Gallen refutes any hint of comparison with Dean Parrett, another product of Rangers' Centre of Excellence who was sold at the age of 15 when he joined Tottenham in a £1m deal three years ago.

Like Sterling, Parrett gained England recognition at a young age and has also appeared for Spurs in the UEFA Cup - and Gallen points to another recent youth team graduate as further proof that the system at QPR can succeed.

Striker Antonio German, 18, who recently scored on his full debut for the Rs' first team against Doncaster, agreed a two-year professional contract with the club last week.

"Antonio has shown you can make it into the first team and that makes it clear there is a route to the highest level for a schoolboy at our club," added Gallen.

"He is a very good prospect - he's got enthusiasm, strength, pace and he's good in the air. It was a great decision by Mick Harford to put him in the first team.

"The Dean Parrett situation was different because QPR wanted to sell him and received a massive offer.

"No-one can say that we aren't producing players - holding on to them, it's true, is another matter."

TEENAGE forward Josh Parker is keen to end his loan spell with AFC Wimbledon and return to Loftus Road.

Parker joined the Dons on a three-month deal at the end of January, but has started only once and was omitted from the substitutes' bench altogether in recent games.

Kilburn Times

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