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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Warnock on Joining QPR and Leaving Palace...Not If Briatore...Saksena Finances...Jordan Slams/Brady Empathizes...Lee Camp Talks

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- LEE CAMP Talks re His QPR Exit; why QPR didn't want him; and his low transfer fee

- The Latest QPR Accounts: Excerpts from the Accounts
- Last Year's QPR Accounts
- The QPR Accounts of 2000 (Chris Wright)

- The Two Ex-QPR Chairmen Sons: Andrew Ellis and David Bulstrode Trying to Buy (Glasgow) Rangers?
- QPR vs WBA - Stats, Previews and Flashbacks
- Ex-QPR Danny Cullip Retires from Injury

- Bristol City's Goalkeeper, Basso looking for a club
- Cardiff Fans Marching in Protest. Cardiff's Peter Ridsdale Not Happy!
- Nice article about "Little" Rochdale
- Birmingham Lose 20 Million Pounds

The Sun/Tony Little - I’d never have signed for Flav
- Neil says that he would have snubbed QPR if Flavio Briatore had still been at the club.
- Controversial Italian Briatore allegedly interfered with team selection and tactics as he hired and fired SIX managers in just under two-and-a-half years as chairman.
- But after he quit his post last month, new chairman Ishan Saksena convinced Warnock to leave Crystal Palace for west London.
- And Warnock claims it is his way or nothing after admitting he was convinced to move to Loftus Road by wife Sharon.
- He said: "There is no chance that I'd have come here if that (Briatore's influence) had still been going on.
- "But when I met Ishan and Amit (Bhatia, the vice-chairman), right from the word go I thought they were genuine people.
- "Yorkshire people have a feeling and my missus' gut instinct isn't normally wrong - she liked them right from the start.
- "I took to them and Sharon thought the same as me, which was important."
- Saksena is adamant he will not try to interfere as Warnock attempts to save the club from relegation.
- His new manager could hardly have a tougher start with high-flying West Brom visiting a QPR side who have won just one of their last 11 matches.
- And Saksena said: "Neil is an expert in football, and as such he will be in charge of the football side of the business.
- "I'll be in charge of the overall business, such as the financial side of things, but we'll work together to try to bring stability to the club and achieve our goals
The Sun

Independent - Neil Warnock: Leaving Palace was hard but in the last few weeks I was being slowly poisoned
- What I Learnt This Week
It has been a sad week, but also an exciting one, traumatic too.

Last Saturday I was managing Crystal Palace at Doncaster, today I'm managing Queen's Park Rangers against West Bromwich Albion. The new job is a challenge I'm really looking forward to, but it has been a wrench leaving Palace. That was underlined at Doncaster when the players did fantastically well to come back and get a point after a woeful first half. Where they got the energy from I'll never know. It was difficult leaving such a great set of lads.

It was just as hard leaving the fans and Simon Jordan, the chairman who brought me in. But in the end I felt I had no choice. The last few weeks have been very difficult. Since Simon had to surrender control it's been like being slowly poisoned.

For example, the day before we played Aston Villa in our FA Cup replay, Neil Danns rang me to say his agent had told him he was going to Swansea. Then he'd had a call from Shefki Kuqi, our former player, who's now at Swansea, saying how pleased he was Neil was joining them. Danns wanted to know if it was true. It was news to me so I rang the agent that the administrator was using. He informed me they were planning to loan Neil with a view to a permanent move but had not made a final decision. I told them there was no way we could afford to lose another player with the transfer embargo on us.

Then there was a situation where the cook and masseur, who are self-employed, and not on big wages, were not going to get paid the money they were owed. But, I was told, the agent who negotiated Victor Moses' transfer had been paid his fee in full. I argued the case for the cook and masseur and they were paid.

There are other things, which I cannot tell you at this time, but the legal advice provided by the League Managers' Association, who are very good for us managers in these situations, was that I had a decent case for constructive dismissal. On that basis I could have just walked out when QPR enquired, but I made it plain to the administrator I would only go if Palace were compensated satisfactorily. I think that is the only way you should leave a club. He seemed very confident the clubs would come to an agreement, so I suggested somebody to take over who I felt would do a good job, but he was informed they already had somebody in mind.

On Monday, the parties were still talking but I felt we needed a firm decision one way or the other, so I told them both that if an agreement was not reached by lunchtime I was going to stay put until the end of the season. An hour before the deadline, I was told I was free to talk to QPR. Palace received a substantial amount of compensation, far more than they were considering selling Neil Danns for.

Obviously Simon was disappointed at the timing but I think it might work out best for everyone. We had taken only one point from 12. Maybe Palace needed a change. I think with Dougie Freedman and John Pemberton coming in on Paul Hart's staff, with their Palace backgrounds, it might just be the shot in the arm the club needs.

I did see the quote from the administrator suggesting I had told him I didn't have the stomach for the fight. I can only imagine he thought that after I told him I could not guarantee the club staying up if I remained in the job, but that applies to any club in the bottom half. Only Rafael Benitez guarantees a finishing position. Of course, the administration took the wind out of our sails, we seemed to have one blow after another, but I don't think I could have worked any harder over my period at Selhurst Park, I don't think I've worked harder at any time in my career.

There was also the uncertainty over the future. Palace are for sale and, although the deadline keeps being extended, I could have ended up with an owner that didn't want me. Against that, QPR were offering me a three-and-a-half-year contract. I loved the club, but in the end I didn't think I could take the risk. If you asked 100 people what they would do in the situation, 99 of them would take the security of a contract.

2. I'd never dream of a Selhurst Park player raid

You can imagine my disappointment when I was told I would be barred if I came to the club on Wednesday morning to say goodbye to the players. I don't know what they thought I could have done. I do believe you should be able to say goodbye to a group of players who have given everything, and also the staff behind the scenes. I will have to save it until 10 April when QPR play there.

Obviously I've read about how many players I'm supposedly taking with me in the next few days, but I'd never dream of taking anybody this season while the battle at the bottom is on and I am surprised anybody would think I would, especially with the embargo Palace are under. It was the best club I have been at in terms of fan support, which was constant from day one.

To this day, I still cannot understand why Simon was forced into administration. It does not make sense to me. I am convinced he would have been able to do a deal with the transfer money he would have received in January and that would have got the hedge fund its money back. Instead, even though Victor Moses was sold in January, the fund won't be paid until the club is sold, and that may not be before the end of the season. So why not let us have a go at promotion, which would have solved everybody's financial problems?

3. I still get butterflies meeting a new squad

Last Tuesday I met the new major shareholder and the chairman at Rangers, and we soon reached agreement on the contract details. Speaking to them, it was clear to see the vision they had for the club and, I admit, it was nice to be wanted.

The first meeting with a new squad is always strange, even at my age, and with my experience, you have the butterflies. I said to them, "No doubt you are used to this, meeting the new manager..." It was obvious to me the players need to know who they are working with and it can only be better for them having stability. In fairness, to Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, I know they have been criticised for what has happened over the last few years, but let's not forget they saved the club when they came in. Flavio's a massive fan. I'm sure he'll enjoy watching the games now without so much responsibility.

I told the players I expect them to work hard, but I also expect them to smile a lot. I love the dressing-room atmosphere when players want to come to training and don't feel it is a chore. That banter is one thing I will miss when I pack it in. Then we set to work. I began with my usual "robust" first session. Anyone who's ever been at a club when I've taken over will know what that was like. I've not got long to assess them and it's a good way to judge character. I don't know if they were surprised. The skipper, Mikele Leigertwood, was with me at Sheffield United so he may have tipped a few off, I'm sure they've been bending his ear.

I know most of the players but I also looked at some videos and I've learnt a lot already, even if injuries and international duty meant I was not able to work with the full squad. Today's game is against a team who will be in the Premier League next season – and what a good example West Brom set for everyone on how to run a club financially well and still be able to compete. They will also help me assess what we've got in the locker. I do know some good players – Wayne Routledge, Heidar Helguson, Fitz Hall – have gone. Some people clearly expect me to start replacing them. I've been getting lots of calls from agents offering players. For some reason they never rang me in the last year at Palace. There's also been the family stuff to look at, new home, new schools, there's a lot of upheaval in a move even though both clubs are in the capital.

Being manager at Palace gave me a new lease of life and I'll be eternally grateful for the time I spent there. I think QPR is a similar club, with another atmospheric ground crammed into the streets. It can be quite hostile, and has been to me at times – I hope that's going to change.

4. I'll miss the gentle giant Keith Alexander

After all the upheaval of this week, you still have to keep things in perspective and remember the important things in life. The passing of Keith Alexander on Tuesday night after Macclesfield's game with Notts County was a bombshell to me. I spoke to Keith a few years ago about becoming my assistant. He thought seriously about it, but was then offered another job as a No 1. He was a big, gentle giant who always had a good word for people. I think I speak on behalf of every manager in the country in offering our condolences to his wife and family at this difficult time. Independent

Mirror - Simon Jordan: 'Warnock only went to QPR for the money'
Published 23:00 05/03/10 By Neil McLeman

Simon Jordan last night said he felt "let down" by Neil Warnock quitting Crystal Palace and claimed there was "no morality" in his former manager's decision.

Warnock was unveiled as the new QPR boss this week after cash-strapped Palace received nearly £600,000 in compensation. The Selhurst Park club went into administration in January and were docked ten points to leave them fighting relegation along with Rangers.

Warnock claimed he had left Palace because administrator Brendan Guilfoyle could not guarantee his future at the club.

But Jordan, the former owner who appointed Warnock in October 2007, has now broken his silence to claim his former friend only left for the money at Loftus Road.

"I feel let down," he said. "I feel that he has shown no loyalty. There is a lack of decency. He was a very dear friend and I looked after him for two-and-a-half years both professionally and personally.

"If you are close to a guy who has lost the club he has owned for ten years, his reputation is damaged and he has lost a shedload of money and he needs you to stay in there to help the club to survive, you would do it, wouldn't you?

"I am disappointed for myself, the club and the fans.

“There is not one iota of morality about Neil's decision. I feel foolish to be disappointed but I am an optimist and I always believe in the best in people. I don't feel that Neil had any moral justification for doing it. He had the security of his contract.

"There is one reason and one reason only that Neil Warnock went to QPR. It is nothing to do with the administrator.

"It is outrageous to say he was not given any assurances by the administrator.

"To claim he was forced out of the door is not true. Neil wanted to go."

Warnock told Jordan he was leaving Selhurst Park on Monday.

"He said he wanted security but when he signed for me, he only wanted two-and-a-half years more," Jordan continued. "Now he wants three years. I told him he had a football club that desperately needed him. And he had to do the right thing.

"Neil spent a fair amount of time wrestling with his conscious trying to find a way to tell me. And when he did tell me, he was not greeted with a barrage of abuse. I told him: 'I think you are wrong Neil and I think you owe me more than that. I don't think it has been done for the right reasons. At least if you are going to go, have the courage of your convictions and say I am going to QPR because they are offering me a three-year contract on a lot of money and I want the security. Tell the truth'.

"I said to Neil that I was silly because I still get disappointed. I told him: 'All you are to me is just another football manager who has let me down'." Mirror

Karen Brady Diary/The Sun -
"... HAD a long chat with Neil Warnock a few days ago. Maybe he's jumping out of the fire into the frying pan, joining manager-a-month club QPR from Crystal Palace, but I don't think so because there will be less interference from the boardroom now Flavio Briatore has gone. Briatore had more loose ends than a bowl of spaghetti.
Warnock's first responsibility has to be to his family and that means he needs to be paid. Poor Palace, though. They needed to lose his leadership like a sinking ship needs to lose the skipper. The Sun

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