QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, April 30, 2011

QPR Win Championship: Reports and Warnock "Finest" Comments...Betting Firms ARE Paying Out on QPR's Championship Win


- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- VIDEO: QPR and Warnock Celebrating

QPR 45 40 88
Norwich 44 24 80
Cardiff 44 25 79
Swansea 45 23 77
Reading 45 25 74
Nott'm F 45 16 72
Leeds 45 10 69
Full Table

- AUDIO OF WARNOCK'S COMMENTS (Final Few Seconds sounds just a little vague about his QPR Future)

Racing Post/Ian Wilkerson - Firms pay out on QPR despite investigation By Ian Wilkerson
- HILLS, Bet365 and Skybet have decided to pay out on QPR winning the Championship even though Neil Warnock’s side may face a points deduction this week.
- Rangers took an unassailable lead at the top of the second tier with a 2-0 victory at Watford yesterday but face an FA investigation this week into a possible breach of the Football League’s ruled over the third-party ownership of players.
- The player at the centre of the controversy is Alejandro Faurlin and the FA is set to hear QPR’s case on Tuesday with a verdict set to be delivered on Friday.
- Boylesports and Blue Square will decide on Friday what action to take but Hills have seen enough..." Racing Post

- Neil Warnock saw his QPR side clinch the npower Championship title - and dubbed it his 'finest moment' in football management.
- In a match of very few clear-cut chances, a stalemate beckoned with Watford before goals from Adel Taarabt and Tommy Smith ensured the Championship trophy will now head to Loftus Road.
- Moments after the final whistle, an emotional Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "I'm elated. It's a wonderful feeling to finish as Champions. We've deserved it.
- "We've had such a turnaround in 13 months and I'm so proud of my players.
- "I told them at half-time that we're 45 minutes away from remembering something for the rest of our lives.
- "I thought it epitomised our whole season today.
- "We lost Paddy Kenny in the warm-up, Fitz Hall went off injured and Clint Hill's ankle was in pieces so he couldn't make it.
- "But other lads came in and you saw how much of a group we were today.
- "We've been a great group and have got some character - the bread and butter players and then we've got some quality as well.
- "We've been magnificent. That's 25 clean sheets. It takes some beating.
- "We came under a bit of pressure in the second half but instead of being negative, we decided to leave Adel Taarabt on.
- "It's always a difficult game at Watford. But we were superb. We had to hang on in there but then took the opportunities to win the match."
- Warnock added: "It's been a fantastic season for me. I've never enjoyed myself as much in my life.
- "It's my finest moment. There's no comparison with the other promotions that I've won in my managerial career.
- "I thought I'd be retired by now. Instead, I've got the best team that I've ever had and I've loved it.

- "I've always wanted to manage a team that can go anywhere and win. That's why I've always envied people like Sir Alex Ferguson.
- "The fans and everyone behind the scenes at the Club have been fantastic.
- "Everyone has been really supportive and it's nice to repay that by getting them to where they want to be.
- "Times like this don't happen very often in football and you have to savour every minute." QPR

- Queens Park Rangers today (Saturday) sealed their return to the top-flight of English football.
- A 2-0 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road clinched promotion to the Premier League for Neil Warnock's men - and with it, the npower Championship title.
- After a 15-year absence, the R's will now take their place in the top tier, alongside the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as local rivals Chelsea and Fulham.
- On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Club wishes to thank you all for your FAN-tastic support this season.
- Come on you R's! QPR

QPR clinched the npower Championship title thanks to a 2-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Rangers skipper Adel Taarabt - the division's Player of the Year - saved his finest moment of the campaign for the R's penultimate fixture of the season.

With the clock showing 77 minutes, the Magical Moroccan deftly converted Tommy Smith's centre to send the R's fans into raptures.

The R's added a second in added time, as Smith turned from provider to scorer to drive at the Hornets defence and rifle a low effort into the bottom left-hand corner of the net for his 100th career goal.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Neil Warnock's men just shaded things, with stand-in keeper Radek Cerny forced into only one meaningful stop throughout the 90 minutes.

Warnock made two changes to his Rangers team for the short trip to face the Golden Boys in a 4-2-3-1 formation - both enforced due to injury.

Clint Hill missed out owing to an ankle injury picked up in training and was replaced by Matt Connolly.

Meanwhile, Paddy Kenny was injured during the warm-up (shoulder), meaning Cerny came into the starting XI just half an hour before the big kick-off to replace the R's number one.

Former Watford fans' favourites Smith and Heidar Helguson both also featured for QPR and were given a healthy reception by the home faithful.

Cerny was in goal for QPR, with Bradley Orr, Fitz Hall, Kaspars Gorkss and Connolly making-up the back four.

Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlin were in defensive midfield, behind attacking trio Wayne Routledge, Taarabt and Smith.

Helguson led the Rangers line up front.

Intent on registering a positive result that would seal promotion to the Premier League, the R's started sprightly and almost edged in front inside the first minute.

Neat interplay between Taarabt and Smith eventually saw the former hang a teasing cross from the left to the back post for Helguson, who - albeit on the stretch - could direct an effort with his chest into the side-netting.

Rangers were asking questions of the Hornets early on.

Connolly did remarkably well to reach Faurlin's pass out wide on the left and, when the R's defender looped a high centre from the by-line into the direction of Helguson, the Icelandic front-man out-jumped his marker before forcing a smart save from Scott Loach.

Play then switched to the other end, where Troy Deeney drove at the QPR defence before unleashing a powerful effort that shot just past the left-hand upright.

Moments later, Martin Taylor's measured pass found Lloyd Doyley out wide on the left, who beat his marker before opting to shoot - rather than square the ball back to a whole host of waiting recipients - as the ball sailed over the crossbar.

But the R's were soon back on the attack and, after Taarabt's low free-kick from 30-yards out was spilled by Loach, Adrian Mariappa reacted fastest to knock the ball out of play for a corner.

Rangers then missed arguably their best chance of the half to take the lead.

Smith combined with Taarabt down the left, before the Moroccan ace used his silky skills to beat his marker and square the ball back for the onrushing Faurlin, who could only blaze a shot over the bar from 12-yards out.

The Hornets missed a fine opportunity of their own to find the net before half-time.

Deeney out-muscled Connolly on the right and, when the Watford striker found Championship top scorer Graham at the near post, he got in front of his marker before nodding an effort just inches wide of the target.

Faurlin forced Loach into a stunning one-handed save five minutes after the break.

Taarabt picked out the unmarked Argentinean midfield man from a corner on the edge of the box, before Faurlin's subsequent effort was magnificently tipped over the bar by the Hornets keeper.

At the other end, Don Cowie's quick corner deflected into the path of Deeney, whose half-volley was cleared off the line by a forest of R's bodies.

Chances were few and far between in the second period, though - if anything - Watford were the better side after the interval.

However, regardless of that fact, the R's always kept their shape and were rewarded when Taarabt all-but claimed the title for Rangers in the 77th minute.

Smith - playing against his former Club - found space on the left and, when his pull-back found Taarabt, the R's skipper coolly slotted the ball past Loach for his 19th goal of the season.

There was even time for Rangers to notch a second, as Smith drove at the Hornets defence before drilling a low effort into the bottom left-hand corner.

Watford: Loach, Hodson, Eustace, Taylor (Bennett 54), Mariappa, Cowie, Deeney, Graham, Buckley (Murray 78), Doyley, Sordell (Whichelow 73).

Subs: Gilmartin, Mingoia, Drinkwater, Assombalonga.

QPR: Cerny, Orr, Derry, Hall (Shittu 23), Taarabt (Ramage 90), Helguson, Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge (Buzsaky 75), Connolly, Smith.

Subs: Agyemang, Hulse, Vaagan Moen, Ephraim.

Goals: Taarabt (77), Smith (90)

Referee: Mr N Swarbrick

Attendance: 15,538 (2171)

VISITORS Queens Park Rangers eventually came on top this afternoon (Saturday) as the Hornets were beaten by two second-half strikes at Vicarage Road.

It was a tense affair and certainly a close one until Adel Taarabt opened the scoring after 77 minutes.

After press reports over the forthcoming FA enquiry concerning Rangers, the visitors looked nervy during the early exchanges.

Both sides had chances before half-time but the R's late strikes clinched it as firstly Taarabt netted before former Hornet Smith before the game beyond doubt.

The Hornets made two changes for the visitors of the promotion chasers with Will Buckley and Marvin Sordell coming into the starting XI.

Scott Loach started in goal for the hosts, with the usual back four of Lee Hodson, Adrian Mariappa, Martin Taylor and Lloyd Doyley.

Skipper John Eustace and Don Cowie were joined by Will Buckley in midfield, while Danny Graham and Troy Deeney were assisted by Marvin Sordell in attack.

QPR had made just the one change for the game with Clint Hill missing out and Matt Connolly coming into the team, although boss Neil Warnock was forced into a further change when regular stopper Paddy Kenny picked up an injury during the warm-up.

Radek Cerny therefore started in goal with Petter Vaagan Moen joining the other subs on the bench.

Warnock included ex-Watford boys Heidar Helguson and Tommy Smith, while Dan Shittu was on the bench.

It was another glorious day in Hertfordshire for the final home clash of the season - the crowd warmly receiving the news that Danny Graham had collected the Player of the Season award prior to kick-off.

It was an open start to the affair with chances at both ends. Ex-Hornet Smith crossed for Helguson at the far post, but he couldn't steer his effort towards goal.

Helguson also got on the end of Connolly's cross after four minutes and Loach was forced to turn the ball behind for a corner kick.

At the other end Deeney looked lively early on and drilled wide after eight minutes.

Doyley thought he had struck gold again in the 13 minute, again against Rangers, after he burst free down the left flank and cut inside heading for goal. The full-back's eventual effort narrowly went wide - much to the disappointment of the Vicarage Road crowd.

QPR won a free-kick after 20 minutes and Taarabt tried his luck - Loach spilled the initial effort and it was put behind for a corner, but he firmly grasped the following corner kick deep into the six-yard box.

A minute later and Faurlin blasted over Loach's bar after Taarbat's square ball.

Watford created an excellent chance after 27 minutes when Deeney put in a great ball from the right and Graham peeled away from his marker - unfortunately for the 'Orns he planted his header the wrong side of Cerny's post.

Hall had been forced off after 22 minutes and was replaced by Shittu in the heart of the R's defence.

The big defender gave the ball away with nine minutes of the half remaining and Sordell was quick to finish but lucky for the ex-Charlton centre-half the flag had already been raised on Sordell.

Rangers reacted almost immediately and Orr had put the ball in the back of the net after Taarabt's ball over, but once again the player was deemed offside.

Faurlin made a great challenge on Sordell as he burst into the box with the ball - putting the ball behind for a corner kick, just as the striker looked set to shoot at goal.

From the resulting corner Taylor headed at goal at Cerny had it covered and easily collected the ball.

It had been an open half with chances for both sides - but despite opportunities at both ends, the score remained goalless at the interval.

Loach was the first keeper called into action at the start of the second half as he made a great reaction save from Faurlin's great effort after Taarabt's corner kick.

Deeney's close-range shot on 58 minutes was blocked by the Hoops in the box after Buckley's flick-on from Cowie's corner kick.

Taylor was forced off for the 'Orns on 55 minutes and replaced by Dale Bennett - while Sordell also looked like he had picked up an injury after 73 minutes when the striker hobbled off, he place was taken by Whichelow came on.

The pace on the game had certainly dipped with fewer chances for both sides, however the game exploded to life when the visitors took the lead after 77 minutes.

Former Golden Boy Smith wriggled free down the left flank and crossed for Taarabt and he planted a strike past Loach to put the R's 1-0 up.

Malky immediately replied by sending on first-year scholar Sean Murray for Buckley with 12 minutes left.

With three minutes left Loach dived to his left to deny sub Akos Buzsaky's free-kick from 25 yards out.

In time added on Helguson blasted over after Rangers broke away - then in time added on Smith drove the ball past Loach from outside the box and the R's confirmed the three points.

HORNETS: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor, (Bennett 55) Doyley; Cowie, Eustace, Buckley (Murray 78); Deeney, Graham, Sordell (Whichelow 73). Subs not used: Gilmartin (gk), Mingoia, Drinkwater, Assombalonga.

RANGERS: Cerny; Connolly, Hall (Shittu 22), Taarabt, Orr; Faurlin, Derry, Routledge (Buzsaky 85), Taarabt (Ramage 90+5), Smith; Helguson. Subs not used: Agyemang, Hulse, Ephraim, Vaagan Moen.

GOALS: WATFORD; none. QPR; Taarabt (77).; Smith (90+3).

ATTENDANCE: 15538 (2,171 R's).

REFEREE: N Swarbrick.

- PHOTOS (from Gianluca Di Marzio -Via Wally West)

UPDATE: Kenny Injured in Warm Up: Cerny Plays - Today's TEAMS: Watford vs QPR: Hill (Not Hall) Out...Ramage on Bench

Update: Kenny injured in warm up...Cerny starts...Moen Joins the bench...

Watford: Loach, Hodson, Eustace, Taylor, Mariappa, Cowie, Deeney, Deeney, Graham, Buckley, Doyley, Sordell.
Subs: Gilmartin, Bennett, Mingoia, Whichelow, Murray, Drinkwater, Assombalonga

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Derry, Hall, Taarabt, Helguson, Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge, Connolly, Smith.
Subs: Cerny, Buzsaky, Agyemang, Hulse, Ramage, Ephraim, Shittu.

Pre-Watford: Bernie Ecclestone Talking About QPR, Briatore, Warnock's Future...QPR/FA....Warnock's Football Views



- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Five Year Flashback: QPR Finish One off Relegation Spot...14 Players Released or Listed

- Football League: Stay OFF The Field

- Chris Charles Weekly Blog (With Usual QPR portion)

- Rushden & Diamonds Deducted Five Points

- West Ham at Risk of Football Oblivion

- French Racial Quotas Investigated

- QPR Report: A Watford Perspective

Daily Mail
Ecclestone: 'I won't be watching if my QPR team clinch promotion at Watford'

By Jonathan McEvoy 30th April 2011

Bernie Ecclestone will not be found celebrating with his Queens Park Rangers players if they win promotion to the Barclays Premier League today. 'I don't go into the dressing room,' says the Formula One billionaire and QPR owner. 'They can walk out of the showers and then I feel I've got an inferiority complex.'

In fact, will he even go to the game at Watford? 'No. I only go when we are playing locally.' For a man who has travelled to races in Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur in the past month, Vicarage Road is logically a journey too far.

'I wouldn't go to Watford to see the World Cup final,' he adds from his offices opposite London's Hyde Park, a Playboy montage on one side of the room, a world business award presented by Mikhail Gorbachev on the other.

'When I do go to football, I leave at halftime. By then you can see which way it's going. And they close the roads and all that business. I don't want to be delayed for an hour afterwards. I don't stay to have a drink with other directors. I've got nothing to say to them. I don't know what they are talking about.

'Actually if you ask me to name five of our team, I couldn't. There is that guy who scores goals for us - (Adel) Taarabt. (Wayne) Routledge I've heard of. They're all bloody nice guys, but I don't mix with them so I don't know them well.

'The important thing is that they all know what they've got to do.'

What they must do today is draw to be certain of winning QPR's promotion to the Premier League for the first time since relegation under Ray Wilkins 15 years ago. Victory would secure the Championship title.

'Bloody nice guys': Ecclestone speaks highly of the QPR squad, despite not knowing most of their names

Both those accomplishments come with a caveat: they are subject to next week's independent inquiry into seven FA charges brought against the west London club and its chairman Gianni Paladini.

The controversy concerns the third-party ownership of an Argentine midfielder of whom Ecclestone may never have heard, Alejandro Faurlin, who happens to be one of the team's leading performers. The verdict is expected on Friday, a day before their final fixture, at home to Leeds. 'I honestly don't know what will happen,' says Ecclestone.

If found guilty, QPR may be docked points and denied promotion or made to fight for it through the play-offs. But the club, who deny the charges, are told by their lawyers that they have a strong case. The focus for now is on finally settling their fate on the pitch after three draws in the past three matches delayed their celebrations at the end of a Championship season they have dominated.

What, then, of a possible future in the Premier League? Will Ecclestone, who owns 62 per cent of the club, stick around or sell? Will he invest big bucks in star signings? Will he remain loyal to Neil Warnock, the 10th manager since he and the now absent Flavio Briatore, the Italian who once ran Renault's Formula One team, took over in 2007?

On ownership, Ecclestone explains: 'I bought out Flavio last December. He has an option to buy the shares back if he wants them. We will have to wait and see. If we go up then I will speak to Flavio and ask if it's his intention to come back. If so, fine. If not, I will get stuck in and get done all the things I want to get done. I will be taking direct interest in how the place is run - apart from the sporting side - 100 per cent. More than I have so far.

'If Flavio says, "Yes, I'll take the option up", I will say, "You better get on and do it now". 'I've no idea whether he wants to come back. Or if he'd come back with a partner. He's living in Monaco but I think he'd probably move here if he takes his shares back and be hands-on. He used to fire managers if they didn't win every game, but I think he's got over it now.'

Another route is for Ecclestone and Briatore to sell to an outsider. A group of American and Asian businessmen have been linked to the club, but Ecclestone says: 'I haven't been dealing with anyone. It would take more than £100million for me to do that.' That from the man who bought into the club for £14m. 'If I stay I will do whatever is necessary to succeed,' he adds. 'If we go into the Premier League, it would be nice to think we could get into the top four. If we don't get promotion, it would be the aim to win the Championship next year.

Back seat: Ecclestone bought out Flavio Briatore's shares in December
'What it will take I don't know. I don't think we need to spend mad money. I don't think Roman (Abramovich) needed to at Chelsea. I don't think any of them needed to. We would do it in a sensible way. Spend what I think is needed.

'There are a lot of people who get involved in football for different reasons from me. They are there for the profile it gives them. To say, "I signed David Beckham". To get a bit of ink. I am trying to stay out of the newspapers.' He laughs.

'I don't need to be with billionaires, you know.' It was a genuine comment from the 80-year-old son of a Suffolk trawlerman who has garnered £2.5billion from his principal occupation, Formula One, and has long enjoyed open access to palaces around the world.

So what of Warnock, who, despite having Ecclestone and Indian steel magnate and fellow billionaire Lakshmi Mittal owning 95 per cent of QPR, has worked wonders without any financial indulgence. In 14 months since taking charge, he has often fielded teams that cost only £2m. Faurlin, at £3.5m, is the club's most expensive player.

Track record: Ecclestone with Lewis Hamilton

Amazingly, those close to the club talk of fears that Warnock - whose c.v. includes taking Notts County in 1991 and Sheffield United in 2006 to the top echelon - might be moved aside for a fancy dan manager from the Continent. The notion, however, will not be entertained on Ecclestone's watch.

'Neil seems all right, doesn't he?' he says. 'I call him occasionally. It's not like talking to Max Mosley or Ron Dennis about Formula One. I know what I'm talking about there. This is a different sport.

'But will he stay? Yes. I'm happy with him. He's done a great job and he's experienced. We don't want to bring in anyone from abroad.'

When Briatore first suggested that they buy QPR, Ecclestone thought he meant KFC. Now he is watching more football, filling in the gaps in his knowledge.

Jumping through Hoops: Ecclestone wants Neil Warnock (right) to remain as manager

We meet the day after Real Madrid and Barcelona's spiteful Champions League match. He brings up the name of Lionel Messi, scorer of two goals that night, one of them pure magic.

'Mr Messi,' he says. 'If they said he was available at a bargain price, I wouldn't take him. You don't need one star. You need a good team. That's what Neil's got. He gets them working well together.

'I am a Chelsea fan and sometimes I joined Roman in his box. Now I look at our mob and think we could give Chelsea a game - and I'd want us to win.'

The distance from Ecclestone's desk to Stamford Bridge is about a mile and a half. It's nowhere near Watford. Next season, he might even make it there to watch. Daily Mail


Posted on: Fri 29 Apr 2011
- The Club are aware of the story printed by The Sun newspaper today (Friday 29th April 2011), but will not make any further statement as both the Club and The Football Association agreed to make no comment on this matter until after the hearing." QPR

UPDATED CLUB STATEMENT Posted on: Fri 29 Apr 2011
QPR's lawyers have written to the FA requesting they instigate an investigation into the alleged source of the article in today's The Sun newspaper (Friday 29th April 2011) and that they issue an immediate statement confirming that the alleged FA source in the article does not represent the views of the FA and that the FA's policy is not to make public comment on the charges or evidence until after the hearing.

The Club shall not be making any further comment on the charges until after the hearing.

FA - FA Statement: QPR
Friday, 29 April, 2011
The FA clarifies that no comment has been made regarding charges against QPR.
The FA wishes to make clear it dissociates itself from an article concerning QPR's forthcoming disciplinary hearing published in today's Sun newspaper.
Any alleged FA source is not speaking on behalf of The FA, and The FA’s policy remains not to comment on the charges, evidence or potential range of sanctions before the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.‬‪ FA

Independent - Neil Warnock: Like Jose, I thought referees conspired against me, now I see they are only human

What I Learnt This Week

Saturday, 30 April 2011

I think anybody watching the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in midweek must have appreciated how good the conduct of players in the Premier League is. What with all the diving, card-waving and harassing of the officials, I'm not sure any referee could have controlled that match.

To say I was disappointed when Pepe was sent off is an understatement. I think his challenge would have been, in normal circumstances and a normal game, a yellow card at most. But the Barcelona players had made it an objective to surround the ref on every occasion and you could almost smell the fear of the linesman he went to speak to. For me, that took away the fantastic finishes of Messi. The second goal in particular reminded me of those clips of George Best dribbling past everyone trying to trip him or chop him to stop him scoring.

I didn't see Mourinho's press conference but from what I read I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the book thrown at him. Managers often talk about decisions going in favour of the big teams, but to say all the sendings-off are because the referee has been got at is a nonsense, you have to accept they are human beings and they do get influenced by the atmosphere.

When I was in the Premier League at Sheffield United, I thought there was a vendetta against me and the club with certain referees, but having watched those refs over the years since I realise that was rubbish. Without a doubt the big teams seem to get decisions going their way against the smaller sides, but I accept that's partly because the bigger teams have 70 per cent of the game in those matches so inevitably they will have more penalty appeals and suchlike. Referees are only human, they'll make mistakes, and since most of the decisions are ruling on fouls against big teams there's more chances of a mistake being in those teams' favour.

One thing that caught my eye on the night was the performance of Emmanuel Adebayor. Obviously his long hair used to stop him running around, because now he's had it cut he's everywhere. I feel it was embarrassing the way he played in his last two years at Arsenal, it showed a lack of respect for what Arsène Wenger had done for him. Then having showed contempt to his old club with his goal celebration at Manchester City he didn't really perform for them. Now he's suddenly putting effort in. I don't suppose it is in any way related to the fact he is playing for a contract, or am I just being cynical?

2. Young officials still have a bit to learn about this game

While on the subject of referees I was disappointed last weekend in a couple of our younger lads, Mike Jones and Michael Oliver. Mike Jones was at the Reebok when Tamir Cohen scored Bolton's late winner and celebrated by taking his shirt off to reveal a picture of his recently deceased father Avi on it. I don't think anyone would have marked Mike down for ignoring the rule, on this one occasion, about giving players a yellow card for taking their shirt off. A little bit of understanding would have made Mike Jones into a far better ref than booking him.

I know some people, like Mike Riley, who's the head of referees, would have done it by the book, but I think most people will feel that was unnecessary.

The same with Michael Oliver sending Mark Hughes to the stand at Molineux on witnessing – or being told by the fourth official – that Mark tried to kick a water bottle three times. If he'd just gone over to Mark and said, "look, you're obviously frustrated but I don't want to have to ask you to go to the stands, so please refrain", he'd have gained far more respect. The best referees, the ones who get to the top, are the ones who realise that the laws are not black and white.

3. Promotion is in sight even without my contact lenses

I'm aware there have been a few claims made about the possible outcome of the hearing next week into charges that there were irregularities in Ale Faurlin's contract, but I've been advised not to talk about the issue until the verdict is delivered. It is all in the hands of the club's lawyers and I've full confidence in them.

Me and the players are concentrating on things we can affect, which is on the pitch. It was disappointing on Monday not to get the win we needed to make sure of promotion but we are still in a wonderful position, two games left, and a point to get.
We're not taking anything for granted because we are playing the two teams that have given us our biggest drubbings this year. How we got away with losing 3-1 at home to Watford I don't know and Leeds were well worthy of their 2-0 victory up there, so we are well aware how difficult it will be.

It was a strange situation on Monday with the fans celebrating on the pitch, then hearing that Norwich had scored a late winner so we weren't up after all. There was no such drama for the players and staff though. We knew Norwich and Cardiff were winning at half-time and just assumed they had picked up all three points. I was so busy having a few choice words with my defence at the goal we conceded I never gave the scores a moment's thought. It was only later I heard what happened.

There was a funny incident before the game. Twenty minutes from kick-off, with the lads about to come in from their warm-up, I was in the dressing room getting my thoughts ready when my phone went. I thought it must be someone important to ring me at this time. I answered and a guy said: "Mr Warnock? It's Specsavers here. Your contact lenses have arrived, will you be picking them up?"

4. Don't discount Chelsea for the league title just yet

Like Red Rum coming up on the rails, Chelsea may yet be timing their run-in nicely. I don't suppose anyone really gives them a chance but they are back to their best. Why? It is not rocket science. With Florent Malouda, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou playing as a front three there is more space for the midfield, the whole team suddenly looks more comfortable and better balanced. I guess they probably have too much to do, but would you bet against them beating Manchester United at Old Trafford? And United could lose at Arsenal this weekend – incredibly for a team that looks as if they will win the league they have won only five times away from home. It's not all over yet.

If Chelsea did come through to win, can you imagine how frustrated Wenger will be at all the points his team have dropped – seven in the last three games alone? They had a great chance this season.

5. Good to see the Spireites in the ascendancy

It's great to see my first club, Chesterfield, gain promotion. The new stadium has given everyone a lift at the club. Congratulations also to striker Jack Lester, he's a Sheffield lad like me and I signed him for the Blades eight years ago. He's one of the nicest lads I've ever worked with and it's good to see a player at 35 still enjoying his football so much.

6. I loved the royal wedding but where was my invite?

We usually train in the mornings, but yesterday we trained in the afternoon. I told the lads it was so I could watch the royal wedding. It's actually because we are travelling afterwards but they believed me because they know I've always been a royalist. I think the wedding was great. We certainly do ceremonial events with a bit of style, there were no half measures. I'm just disappointed my invite was lost in the post. I'm sure the Queen would have invited me, we got on so well the last time we met.

I watched it at home with the family. We all enjoyed it, even Will though he fidgeted a bit. The place to have been though was our village in Cornwall. I was down there after Monday's game and they were all gearing up for a royal wedding street party. They were closing down the main road and flags were everywhere.

7. Marrakesh tragedy had extra poignancy for me

A shudder went down my spine when I watched the news on Thursday. Only a few weeks ago Sharon and I sat in the very cafe in Marrakesh that was bombed killing 15 people. It really makes you appreciate how fragile life can be, you just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. My deepest sympathies go to everyone who has been affected.



Neil Warnock's QPR face an FA probe into player eligibility next week but could win promotion today
Saturday April 30,2011
By Daily Express reporter Have your say(0)
NEIL WARNOCK’S QPR face an FA probe into player eligibility next week but could win promotion today.

QPR are in pole position to return to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years, just how big a moment will that be for the club?

It has been a long haul but it has been a massive turnaround considering that I have only been here for just over a year. Everybody’s intentions are to try to get back into the Premier League. It’s the best league in the world and we are trying to get there as quickly as possible.

You managed in the top flight before with Sheffield United. Do you think you have some unfinished business?

Yeah, obviously you look back and are disappointed if it doesn’t work out. The circumstances at Sheffield United weren’t very good at the time, so I was disappointed. But it drove me to try to get another club up so I can finish my career on a high.

Neil Warnock's QPR face an FA probe into player eligibility next week but could win promotion today

What lessons have you learnt from that season you had with Sheffield United?

It’s experience all the way along the line really as you never know it all. Even Sir Alex Ferguson will be learning at this time of his career. I have changed a lot myself since that time and I don’t want to just go up for one year. It’s a matter of looking at the mistakes you made and rectifying them. It’s all about how good your players are; if you are good enough you will stay up.

The club are known for having rich owners. How do you go about managing expectations for a perceived huge budget?


It is a perceived huge budget. If you look at our team that played last week they were worth under £3 million, which is not a lot at all. Some clubs in the Championship have spent that on one player. It is a bit of a myth about my owners. We are very thrifty and look after the money. I am sure the owners will support whatever it needs to sustain QPR in the Premier League, hopefully when that happens.

So you do have hopes that you will be able to invest significantly if you do go up?

Every club knows that you need to invest. You can’t go up now and stick with what you’ve got. Blackpool are the exception, although they were in the bottom three recently. You need your 25 players. One thing I did learn is that the Premier League is a very cruel league. In the space of a week you could lose three centre-halves and your squad might not be big enough to cope. If you go up through the play-offs you have only three weeks to prepare and it’s a nightmare. So we want to get up automatically this year to give us a few extra weeks.

There is already a lot of quality in the squad with players such as Akos Buzsaky, Jamie Mackie and the mercurial Adel Taarabt. How do you manage talent like that?

We haven’t got enough time to talk about Adel Taarabt. It would probably take about a year. It’s a challenge but I have enjoyed it. He is our talisman and it is very difficult for a 21-year-old to play 46 games when he doesn’t get protection from certain referees. He has had a great season, but we really do look to him. We have other good players like Wayne Routledge, Jamie Mackie, who unfortunately is injured until next season, Tommy Smith, Hogan Ephraim, Akos Buzsaky and Alejandro Faurlin. You have to say it has been a good team performance this year.

You are very well known for being open and direct and expressing your views. How important is it for managers to be allowed to speak their minds?

You have to be a little bit cute now otherwise it will cost you a fortune. Even I have had to change. I have found the Premier League easier to handle than leagues lower down, because you have so many cameras on every game and you can look at every decision within three minutes at the end of the game before you are out there facing the press.

You are also a qualified referee. What measures do you think could be taken to make the Respect campaign work?

Referees have got to referee. I saw Martin Atkinson referee Tottenham v Arsenal and he didn’t do everything by the book. Some younger referees would have got marked down for certain things that he did, but he was outstanding and that’s why he has been chosen to ref the FA Cup final. Referees have to be allowed a little bit more leeway to handle men and not be bound by a black or white situation, which a lot of referees find themselves in. I don’t think they can do much more on the respect front. We can’t condone what Wayne Rooney did [swore to the television camera] – even my little boy was watching that day – but at the same time I swear, so I can’t say anything, can I?

Visit the Dugout at www.yahoo.co.uk/dugout for new interviews every week with England’s top football managers.


TALKSPORT/Anton Stanley

Exclusive – Warnock: Stories about points deduction have left the players gutted

QPR manager Neil Warnock has hit out at reports in today’s press that his side are to face a points deduction for Alejandro Faurlín’s alleged third-party ownership.
The Loftus Road boss woke up to stories reporting that the club might face serious sanctions should they be found guilty of breaching strict Football League rules.
And Warnock has slammed the speculation surrounding the decision, due to be made next Friday.
“It’s diabolical,” he fumed: “The players were bloody gutted today, we’ve got a big game tomorrow against Watford, and I don’t need the hassle [of these stories].
“Let’s see what happens next week and see what kind of stories they do, I think it’s absolute garbage in the press, people are speculating at the moment.
“Fortunately I think everybody from behind the scenes realises that we need to let the people who look after it get on with it, that’s how we’re dealing with it.
“It doesn’t help me at all though with the game tomorrow. All I’m worried about is getting a result at a difficult place. Watford beat us 3-1 at our place and it could have been 6-1.
“I do, we didn’t need that today. Already the lads were talking about it when I got in today and it’s not nice.”
Warnock admitted though that the player in question, Alejandro Faurlín, is faring well despite the current furore surrounding his transfer.
“He’s an absolute jewel of a lad, the QPR boss added: “He hasn’t got a problem at all and none of the other lads have either, it’s just disappointing today to come in and face that.” Talksport

- Dave McIntyre: Sponsor Tiger Feet Walk to Watford

- Tiger Feet Sponsored Walk to Watford

- Marking Seven Years Since Gianni Paladini Bought Into QPR - "Paladini buys stake in QPR"..."Rangers are lifted as Italian pumps millions into club."

- Long-time QPR Club Secretary, Ron Phillips (having solved the "Missing Apostrophe" Question:"How Queen's Park Rangers became Queens Park Rangers").... offers further memories re his time at QPR

- Playoff Dates Information! (Hopefully Non-QPR!)

- Reminder: Neil Roberts' Wish for Runners: Two June Runs

Friday, April 29, 2011

QPR Report Update: Claim QPR Will be Found Guilty With Big Points Deduction...Another Paper: Likely "Just" a Fine

- On This Day, Thirty-Nine Years Ago: Stan Bowles Graced Loftus Road playing for Carlisle! A few months later, he was a QPR Man!

- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

Posted on: Fri 29 Apr 2011
- The Club are aware of the story printed by The Sun newspaper today (Friday 29th April 2011), but will not make any further statement as both the Club and The Football Association agreed to make no comment on this matter until after the hearing." QPR

- QPR Report: A Watford Perspective

- Jim Magilton Writes About Being a Manager

- FA Congratulates Prince William

- Dave McIntyre: Sponsor Tiger Feet Walk to Watford

- Tiger Feet Sponsored Walk to Watford

- Paul Hart Exits Swindon

- Five Years Ago: Season Concludes for Gary Waddock's QPR

- Year Flashback: Saksena Talks re QPR

- Marking Seven Years Since Gianni Paladini Bought Into QPR - "Paladini buys stake in QPR"..."Rangers are lifted as Italian pumps millions into club."

THE SUN/Shaun Custis - Guilty

QPR'S automatic promotion into the Premier League is set to be blocked by the FA.

SunSport understands the runaway Championship leaders are likely to face a big points deduction - possibly up to 15 - if they are found guilty of breaking strict third-party ownership rules over the signing of Alejandro Faurlin.

The evidence against the West London club is said to be damning and they could now end up in the play-offs.

The only winners would be Cardiff and Norwich who could then go up automatically.

The hearing into the signing of the Argentine midfielder two years ago begins next Tuesday and a verdict will be delivered three days later.

A four-man panel will comprise an independent QC, two from the FA's disciplinary panel and a football expert who will be either a former player or boss.

In theory, they should begin with a blank sheet of paper but many at the FA are openly discussing the case and reckon QPR - five points clear at the top of the table - are in big trouble. Those who have seen the evidence say Rangers are defending the indefensible.

An FA source said: "There's no question QPR have broken the rules. They know it as well. The only debate is what to do about it.

"If they aren't found guilty you might as well scrap the rules about third-party owners."

Some within the corridors of power believe QPR should be hit hard because they were well aware they were acting outside the regulations.

When West Ham were punished over the Carlos Tevez affair they were actually found guilty of failure to disclose information - not of breaking third-party ownership rules because such legislation did not exist.

Since then the FA have made third-party ownership illegal so the argument is QPR were worse offenders because they were well aware they were committing an offence.

If Neil Warnock's side are found guilty they will have seven days to appeal.

However, if QPR take legal action or other clubs decide to seek legal avenues because of points they lost when Faurlin played against them, the whole issue could drag on throughout the summer.

The nightmare scenario could even be that the Championship promotion play-offs do not take place at all until the issue is resolved. The Sun

PAUL WARBURTON/FULHAM CHRONICLE - Lifting the Championship trophy will put pressure on FA - Warnock
- NEIL Warnock wants the Championship trophy ready and waiting at Watford tomorrow (Saturday) because if QPR finally claim it – the manager reckons it puts even more pressure on the FA to let them off a possible points deduction.
- Warnock’s logic is that if Hoops get their hands on the silverware, there is an awful lot of egg on official faces if an independent tribunal recommends to take it back off them next week.
- Rangers are charged with seven breaches of rules concerning the transfer of midfielder Ali Faurlin that could lead to a points fine.
- On Tuesday, the club will present their side of the story with the verdict expected before the final game of the season at home to Leeds on Saturday week.
- Warnock explained: "I don’t have any control on when we get the trophy – that’s up to the League. But should we beat Watford, I’ll take it now.
- "It might mean there’s even more pressure on the commission to deal with the matter sensibly, although I’ve said all along I’m not bothered by the hearing." Fulham Chronicle


DAILY MAIL writes "...But Sportsmail believes that the club is still likely to get off with a fine."

MAIL - Pile the pressure on the FA to act sensibly by winning title, roars QPR boss Warnock By Sportsmail Reporter

Neil Warnock wants his QPR side to pressurise the FA into swerving a points deduction by winning the title on Saturday.

Rangers are charged with seven breaches of rules concerning the transfer of midfielder Ali Faurlin and will present their side of the story on Tuesday.
A decision will be reached before the final weekend of the season but Warnock wants his side to be presented with trophy if and when they earn it.

Gather round: Neil Warnock (second left) talks to his players during their match against Hull
He said: 'I don’t have any control on when we get the trophy – that’s up to the League. But should we beat Watford, I’ll take it now.
'It might mean there’s even more pressure on the commission to deal with the matter sensibly, although I’ve said all along I’m not bothered by the hearing.'
Warnock's comments come amid reports that the evidence against the West London club is damning and that the FA could dock them 15 points - sending them into the play-offs.
An FA source told The Sun: 'There's no question QPR have broken the rules. They know it as well. The only debate is what to do about it.
'If they aren't found guilty you might as well scrap the rules about third-party owners'

But Sportsmail believes that the club is still likely to get off with a fine.
In the dock: QPR are under investigation for the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin (second right)
A four-man panel will comprise an independent QC, two from the FA's disciplinary panel and a football expert who will be either a former player or boss.

When West Ham were punished over their signing of Carlos Tevez, they were found guilty of failure to disclose information - not of breaking third-party ownership rules because such legislation did not exist.

Since then the FA have made third-party ownership illegal and so the argument is QPR were worse offenders because they were well aware they were committing an offence.

If Neil Warnock's side are found guilty they will have seven days to appeal.

The nightmare scenario is that the Championship promotion play-offs could be postponed until a the case is dealt with.

False dawn: QPR fans invade the pitch before being informed their side haven't yet won the title
Meanwhile, Warnock has said his side are the best team he has ever managed.
The champions-elect are limping over the line somewhat, having drawn their last three games, but can seal both promotion and the title by winning at Watford in the penultimate round of npower Championship games.
And Warnock, who took hometown club Sheffield United into the top flight back in 2006, is already looking forward to seeing how his current charges get on in the Barclays Premier League.
'I think this is the best team I've ever had. I think we've got more players that can win games than (I did at) Sheffield,' he told Yahoo!'s 'The Dugout'.
'I've never had a midfield player like Ali Faurlin, then there's all the youngsters you've got to wait and see like Jamie Mackie. Even Wayne Routledge has got something to prove in the Premier League.
'Paddy Kenny I believe is the best keeper in the country, but I'm probably biased, so I'm looking forward to seeing him at the top level.' MAIL

THE INDEPENDENT - Terence Blacker: Going up, going up, going up

One Saturday morning, almost exactly 15 years ago, my son and I took a coach ride from west London to Birmingham. The in-coach entertainment was the comedy film Dumb and Dumber, but the mood on the bus was not festive. We were football fans, about to experience the gut-wrenching misery of relegation.

Our team, Queen's Park Rangers, had been part of the great, extravagant party that is the top football league in England over the years of my son's childhood. We had enjoyed some heady moments: an unlikely victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, a hilarious 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea. Today, though, would not be one of them. That afternoon we were beaten by Aston Villa, and were finally and definitively down. As we trooped miserably back to the coach, I noticed some surprisingly sympathetic glances from the home fans.

Here is a shocking truth rarely articulated in the press: football can represent the best as well as the worst in human nature. The media may feed on tales of Premiership love-rats, referee-bulliers, graceless managers, yobbish fans, strikers who say rude words into a camera after scoring a goal, but, away from the headlines and usually at a more local level, it is a sport which not only gives pleasure to millions but now and then can set an example of decent behaviour.

Maybe these are the kind of gloopily positive feelings only entertained by a fan when his team is doing well. After 15 years in the outer darkness of the lower leagues, 14 of which included moments of humiliation and embarrassment, QPR are, barring another bizarre plot twist in the soap opera of the club's recent history, about to return to the big time.

Like the fans of other medium-sized family clubs, QPR supporters are used to being patronised and mocked. There are bigger, flasher, more glorious clubs, and I envy their fans not one bit. For them, victory is the norm – something for which their clubs have paid millions. For us, it is a treat. To be reaching the end of a season having dominated our division since the kick-off last August is a sort of miracle.

There is the pleasure; what of the decent behaviour? In every team, there are stories, mini-myths, in the making. Those of QPR over the past season have had an unusual number of happy endings. A little over a year ago, the club was the laughing-stock of professional football. Managers were hired and fired with manic frequency. There was a flamboyant, out-of-control chairman. One manager was said to have head-butted a player. The police were called to the boardroom when someone was reported to have drawn a gun. A faint whiff of dodginess attended some the club's financial dealings.

Within months, that all changed. A veteran English manager, with a reputation for dourness and dull, effective football, was hired and transformed the club. A young Moroccan called Taarabt, utterly brilliant but too moody for the larger clubs to handle, became the undisputed star of the league, having been cleverly managed and made captain of the team. A goalkeeper whose career seemed to be in tatters after he had failed a dope test was brought into the team and performed astonishingly. Ageing, workmanlike footballers began to play out of their skins.

The manager, Neil Warnock, has behaved like a man who had been reminded, at the end of his career, that sport should above all be fun. He has encouraged flair – not seen it as a dangerous, suspiciously foreign indulgence.

Because nothing is ever straightforward at QPR, a convincing lead in the league could still count for naught if an inquiry, held by the Football Association next week into alleged irregularities surrounding a transfer in 2009, results in a deduction of points.

It would be a mind-boggling reversal, to lose a prize won so decently in such a mysterious, shady manner, but then QPR fans are used to that" The Independent

- Flashback: Sean Connery and "The Showbiz XI at Loftus Road"

- Long-time QPR Club Secretary, Ron Phillips (having solved the "Missing Apostrophe" Question:"How Queen's Park Rangers became Queens Park Rangers").... offers further memories re his time at QPR

- Playoff Dates Information! (Hopefully Non-QPR!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

QPR Report Update: The Watford Perspective...Championship Form...Marking Seven Years Since Gianni Paladini Bought Into QPR


- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Marking Seven Years Since Gianni Paladini Bought Into QPR - "Paladini buys stake in QPR"..."Rangers are lifted as Italian pumps millions into club."

- Marking Thirty-Two Years Since Clive Allen's Debut Hatrick for QPR

- Flashback: Sean Connery and "The Showbiz XI at Loftus Road"

- Long-time QPR Club Secretary, Ron Phillips (having solved the "Missing Apostrophe" Question:"How Queen's Park Rangers became Queens Park Rangers").... offers further memories re his time at QPR

- Tiger Feet Sponsored Walk to Watford

- Playoff Dates Information! (Hopefully Non-QPR!)

- Ostensible Liverpool Interest in Taarabt


This week, Matt from the Watford Blog, BHaPPY (and formerly with the fabulous and sadly no-longer-updated Watford fan site, Blind, Stupid and Desperate (BSaD) has very kindly agreed to answer some questions about Watford on and off the field.


I should just like to preface this Q&A with by saying how much I really liked the old Watford fan site, Blind, Stupid and Desperate (BSaD)(which can still be read, although no longer updated) When in recent years QPR were signing all those Watford players (such as Chris Day, Steve Palmer, Lee Cook and a slew of others, as well as of course, Kenny Jackett) BDaD was the site I went to read insightful and positive assessments of them in their Watford days. And I enourage QPR fans to look at the new Watford blog, BHaPPY .

OK, on to the questions! ....Starting simply: How long have you supported Watford?

I think I started following results in 1979, with lots of encouragement from my Dad. My first game was vs Burnley, May 1980.

How long have you been involved with this Watford website? How did you get to be involved? Want to talk a little about BSaD and BHaPPY. What happend to BSaD. What was the thinking behind the new site?

Ian Grant started BSaD up in 1994. He was working for a fledgling web development company that got its staff to knock together a site about something that interested them, to develop their skills. That’s where Blind, Stupid and Desperate came from.

I’d been reading the site regularly, but was working abroad in 1997 when Ian advertised on our email list for someone to write match previews. It beat going home to a hotel room and watching telly… I kept that up for nine years, and ended up co-editing the site.

But it all got too much really. The site grew and grew and became increasingly unwieldy and difficult to manage, despite plenty of support. Ian was now working for himself, I became a Dad… we drew a line really. It had become unsustainable, and we closed BSaD down in 2006.

BHaPPY kicked off immediately, and is much more conducive to a civilised lifestyle. Critics would say “half-arsed”, and its certainly less comprehensive… but we’re both still sane and neither of us is single, which I’m not sure would have been the case had BSaD continued as was…

How do you get on with the other Watford fan sites: Are there any serious inter-board conflicts (as there certainly are between certain QPR boards!)?

I think Ian and I are both descending into old fartdom and don’t have much direct contact with other boards. I would imagine that the prevailing attitudes to BSaD and BHaPPY range from indifference to fondness. And ridicule, but that’s mostly to do with fruit and veg, which you’ll have to dig around on the blog for. From the Rookery End is a very fine website/podcast. They’re nice, intelligent people so we’ll give them a plug.

Who is (or are) Watford biggest Rival (or Rivals)? I presume it's Luton? Anyone else?

Undoubtedly Luton, despite their recent descent to a historically unparalleled distance. Games against them are nasty, not comparable to anything else at Vicarage Road. Fans of a certain age (i.e. older than me…) still talk about you lot, and obviously it’s pretty local, no further than Luton as the crow flies. Brentford and Wycombe both seem to get pretty excited about us, but that’s not particularly reciprocated.

Are you happy with Malky Mackay as manager and how things have been this season? - Obvious Answer, I imagine! How has he managed to change things around?

Hell yes. Mackay’s achievement hasn’t been so much turning things around… we’d finished a respectable enough thirteenth under Brendan Rodgers the season before he took over. The achievement has been in building a side in the face of what has felt like an (at least) annual exodus of our experienced players. His first summer – our second “selling” summer - saw us lose seven senior players including, in the last week of August, Tommy Smith, Jobi McAnuff and Mike Williamson.

Last summer we said goodbye to four more, including captain Jay DeMerit. In that time we’ve only brought in the imperious Martin Taylor who would qualify as “experienced”… otherwise we’ve pursued a fruitful looking policy of buying players, when we do buy players, who will appreciate in value. Staying up would have been an achievement this season… instead we’ve been exciting, utterly likeable and occasionally irresistible as, um, I’m sure you remember. Having so many kids in the side obviously helps win hearts and minds… our youth system has rarely been as prolific and we’ve needed it; often our bench has boasted six of our kids plus the reserve keeper, whilst half of what is probably the current first choice eleven came through the youth system. I’ll take mid-table with both hands in that context. In Malky we trust…

What do you think of the current - and previous- Owners? WHY are they involved? WHO ARE THEY?! What do you expect? Could they realistically have done more to boost your chances? What about this takeover...I've been reading the Watford Observer perspective. What are your hopes, fears and Expectations?

Well there’s a whole bundle of questions. As regards the new club board… who knows, frankly. In the absence of much evidence thus far I’m trying hard to reserve judgment on the new guys, but there’s been no meaningful communication, no indication of motivation and no explanation of source of finance from a chief backer who was bankrupt only a few years ago. So… it’s difficult not to be anxious.

The previous major shareholders were a mixed bunch who didn’t, um, see eye to eye. Graham Simpson and Jimmy Russo both spent time as chairman; Lord Ashcroft was a major shareholder. The last eighteen months has seen a non-executive board running the club with the very capable CEO Julian Winter working alongside figurehead and chairman, the unimpeachable Graham Taylor. It’s a long time since the running of the club has felt so stable, so professional and so trustable. If the new guys keep that up they’ll have made a decent start.

How do you think Watford treats its fans? Appreciates them? Listens to them? Screws them?

See above. I think football is too expensive, but that’s an industry-wide problem not specific or even particularly evident at Watford. Communication from and with the people who have been running the club has been excellent. We could do with some candour from the new guys, hopefully that will come.

Who are you Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players? Danny Graham is someone we almost signed on loan several years back.

We have a very fine spine… Graham has scored plenty, but more than that he pulls the forward line together. Last season, when his goalscoring came in fits and bursts, he was still well worth his place in the side during fallow periods simply by virtue of the space he created, and the foil he supplied for Tom Cleverley and Henri Lansbury breaking from midfield. A terrific striker, who may make his last home appearance for us on Saturday. You may notice a few vests in the home stands in his honour.

John Eustace is the leader in midfield. Every inch the team captain, he’s added a few goals to an already ample repertoire this season. At the back, Martin Taylor is vital to us in both penalty areas; this has probably been his longest spell as a first choice, having been more of a backup at Blackburn and Birmingham and he looks every inch the part. If there’s a criticism, ironically given the notoriety of the Eduardo incident, it’s that he’s not nasty enough. Other senior players - Don Cowie, Adrian Mariappa, Lloyd Doyley – have more than pulled their weight.

And then there’s the kids. Nineteen youth products have been named in squads this season; many are established members of the squad, several will clearly go on to better things, and there’s a good few being excitedly muttered about without quite being ready yet for good measure.

Overrated? Don’t know really. Harsh to single anyone out in a season where we’ve exceeded expectations so comprehensively

Who would you say was the greatest Watford player that you yourself personally saw? (You can name more than one if it's that close!) (Of course Tony Currie was released by QPR as a youngster. And Paul Furlong at the end of his career became a QPR hero)

Currie was before my time; there’s only really one candidate. I’ve been privileged to watch Watford during, historically, our most successful period… I started in 1980 and we’ve been out of the top two divisions for two years since. We’d been in the top two divisions for three years previously, so I reckon I’ve got lucky. Nobody touches John Barnes. I seem to remember that you tried to pinch him, too. Unlucky…

Prediction for season promotion/relegation places - And how would that compare with pre-season prediction? In your heart of hearts, what were you expecting pre-season for Watford

I don’t think the relegation places take much prescience at this stage. QPR’s promotion seems assured bar any dramatic events off the pitch. I would guess Norwich for second, and would like Reading, assistant-managed by Watford legend Nigel Gibbs, to go up in the play-offs, they’ve got a decent shout.

My pre-season predictions are still on line here and some have proven grotesquely inaccurate. Middlesbrough to walk it stands out; I also had Norwich doing well though, as well as Burnley, Hull and Reading, with QPR “chasing the play-offs at worst”, which covers at least half the division. That’s experienced predicting, that is. I had Palace, Pompey, Preston and Scunny struggling… as well as ourselves. I’m not normally a misery guts either.

What is your view and the general Watford view of QPR (If we even feature in your consciousness, which I imagine we do, at least over the past few years) or of Neil Warnock?

As I’ve mentioned, there’s an element of the support that certainly regards QPR as second only to Luton, although I don’t think that’s the general feeling. We’ve had quite a harvest off you in recent years, particularly at home (although you’re not as fondly thought of in that regard as our good friends at Ipswich… ten wins and three draws in the last thirteen meetings…). Those of us old enough still chortle at the memory of Terry Venables complaining about the Vicarage Road “slope” in 1981…

Colin… we had some feisty encounters with him years ago, but then so did everyone. I remember games against his Oldham and Bury sides being quite, um, excited. Five years ago we chased down his Sheffield United side, murdering them 4-1 at Bramall Lane in the process before following them up through the play-offs. Since then… my perception is that he’s mellowing with age, and certainly the antagonism doesn’t seem to be there. He’s quite good fun now, although I’m sure he’d be a pain in the backside to oppose every week. And, given your recent managerial appointments, he was a particularly inspired and surprising pick. You’ve made more vaunted signings, but he’s always been one to drag a menagerie around with him and bringing Derry, a cartoon character, and Clint Hill, who once featured in a legendary scrap at Vicarage Road with Tranmere, with him from Palace gave you the bit of nasty you might have been lacking.

What are your past Encounter Memories - Best Memory/Worst Memory of Past Watford-QPR- Encounters? Who is your favourite QPR Player over the years? (And your least favourite)? I guess our greatest rivalry period was in the early-1980s. when we were managed by Terry Venables and you were managed by Graham Taylor.

The best memory first, ‘cos that’s easy. QPR fans won’t remember Jim Magilton’s last game in charge fondly, but for Watford Lloyd Doyley’s first ever goal was something else. These sort of things are numbingly tedious unless they’re your team… but what the hell, you asked the question. 269 games without a goal, the rumour was he hadn’t scored at any level, not even in training. When the goal came… it was one of those celebrations where you finally stand up six rows and any number of seats away from where you started. I had a frozen shoulder, so some of my screams in that unrestrained bundle weren’t screams of excitement. Only some of them though.

I also enjoyed Ashley Young’s goal at the end of the season in 2006. A draw at Loftus Road in 2001 banging a nail into our promotion hopes not so good, I seem to remember blaming Andy D’Urso but can’t remember why. Neil Cox bashing two headers in at the start of that season was better. Gary Bannister netting a hat-trick at Vicarage Road in one of Steve Sherwood’s last games. But perhaps the least favourite memory actually came in a pre-season friendly, also in 2001. The Vialli-inspired clearout had started. Chris Day and Alex Bonnot were in hoops; nice blokes, decent enough players. But seeing Kenny Jackett, out of the club after more than twenty years, and the magnificent Steve Palmer on the wrong side of the fence was just wrong. That sick feeling lasted pretty much the rest of that season.

So many players played for both teams, especially in the past few years: Paul Furlong, Chris Day, Lee Cook, Danny Shittu, Paul Furlong Steve Palmer - Great, great signing...Kenny Jackett as coach...
There’s been loads hasn’t there. Steve Palmer, Heidar, Tommy Smith, Gavin Mahon would all feature strongly in discussions of Watford heroes of the last fifteen years or so. So too Furlong, going back a bit further – he was completely brilliant for his two years with us, and was our record sale for a long time – maybe even until Ashley Young? And Richard Johnson. You never saw the best of him, but what a player until he did his ligaments in 2000. An extraordinary midfielder. And boy could he shoot. Just look at this goal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk9N7IOizCA). Just to be clear, that’s off the keeper’s head, off the bar and in. Ridiculous. Jackett more than qualifies as a Watford legend too, although his playing days were a bit further away. He could hit a ball too, if not quite as hard as Johnno.

Shittu did well enough, but for me – nice bloke, physically peerless of course, but just bad at defending, which was exposed in the Prem where being big and quick enough wasn’t enough to get him out of trouble.

Are you looking forward to playing QPR?
Not sure I am, really. Never good to see another mob celebrating on your pitch, least of all when at least two of your number will be wearing the wrong coloured shirt (see above). Of course, putting the kybosh on it would be lots of fun – nothing personal, it would be fun to kybosh anybody given that we’re safely mid table. Not sure that will happen though… we’re looking a bit leggy…

Don’t do them. Won’t be dull, though.

Where, realistically, do you think Watford will be in five years time?

As long as we’re still playing football, I’ll be happy. Looking at our youth set up, the next few years could be rather fun.

Do you have any advice for QPR fans, in the event that we do go up? (Spend more/spend less; keep the manager; change the manager, etc) ? I remember when you went up (and down) a few years ago, Taylor was speaking about low spending so could set roots/foundations for years to come. But that didn't quite work out, I guess.

QPR are likely to have more capital than we had. Both of our promotions, in 1999 and 2006, were unexpected and via the play-offs with sides that had been expected to struggle in the tier below. You’re in a very difficult position then… do you stick, and run the risk of being labelled unambitious, particularly by your own fans, or do you twist and run the risk of ending up where Bradford are? Taylor in particular did well enough, much as we were well relegated. In both seasons we suffered badly with injuries – Marlon King’s injury scuppered us in 2006/07, but every bugger got injured in 1999/2000. Taylor DID leave us healthy… we just blew it all on Vialli.

I dunno. If it was us, I’d want us to use the money to sort out the infrastructure rather than gambling on Damien Francis. There’s stuff at Vicarage Road that badly needs doing, in case you’ve not noticed, and should have been done in 2006.

In the summer of 1999 I met a Charlton fan; they’d just gone down as we went up, and were to bounce back for a sustained spell in the top flight under Curbishley, passing us as we went back down. He described the season they’d had as the most joyless he’d endured… expensive tickets to watch his team effortlessly bashed about, often by reserve teams in front of patronising crowds who often turn up in expectation and certainly weren’t particularly excited by the prospect of little Charlton (or Watford). I couldn’t relate to that at the time, I could a year later. Aspects of it can be really crap, and one has to be careful what one wishes for from our position now. Gallows humour comes in handy in those situations.

I would be inclined to stick with Warnock, but your guys seem to fancy a trophy club and a trophy manager. I hope for you’re sake I’m wrong. Having money to spend (I assume?) won’t do you any harm at all, obviously.

What one or two questions do you wish I had asked you (and how would you have responded?!)

I think I’ve probably gone on long enough…. J. I know… Watford in red shorts or black shorts? Red. Obviously. Tips for new visitors to the Vic? Go to the loo in the pub. Your end’s facilities are… a bit pokey.

Many many thanks to Matt from the Watford Blog, BHaPPY (and formerly with the fabulous and sadly no-longer-updated Watford fan site, Blind, Stupid and Desperate (BSaD). Best of luck (after Saturday!)

Pos Name P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Cardiff City 6 5 1 0 15 4 11 16
2 Norwich City 6 4 1 1 18 9 9 13
3 Millwall 6 4 1 1 11 5 6 13
4 Reading 6 4 1 1 13 8 5 13
5 Coventry City 6 3 2 1 11 6 5 11
6 Middlesbrough 6 3 2 1 13 11 2 11
7 Burnley 6 3 1 2 10 11 -1 10
8 Ipswich Town 6 3 1 2 10 14 -4 10
9 QPR 6 2 3 1 8 7 1 9
10 Nottm Forest 6 3 0 3 13 14 -1 9
11 Swansea City 6 2 2 2 10 6 4 8
12 Leicester City 6 2 2 2 15 12 3 8
13 Hull City 6 2 2 2 9 9 0 8
14 Crystal Palace 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
15 Sc**thorpe 6 2 1 3 8 13 -5 7
16 Sheffield Utd 6 2 0 4 8 14 -6 6
17 Leeds United 6 1 2 3 9 9 0 5
18 Barnsley 6 1 2 3 8 9 -1 5
19 Watford 6 1 2 3 8 12 -4 5
20 Preston 6 1 2 3 6 10 -4 5
21 Derby County 6 1 2 3 9 14 -5 5
22 Bristol City 6 1 1 4 7 11 -4 4
23 Doncaster 6 0 3 3 5 10 -5 3
24 Portsmouth 6 0 3 3 2 10 -8 3

Football League

- League Groundsmen Awards

- Oxford United Join Port Vale in Coming to North America this Summer

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

QPR Report Wednesday Snippets: Flashback: Sean Connery at Loftus Road...Taarabt Makes Championship Team of the Week

- 1967 Flashback: Alec Stock Writes about the 1967/68 Pre-Season Trip to Spain!(Photos/Text:Courtesy "Bushman")
- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Adel Taarabt Makes Championship Team of the Week

- On This Day Flashbacks: Fifteen Years Ago, QPR's Last Home Game in the Premiership...Year Flashback: Clint Hill Joining QPR

- Several Stories re Bernie Ecclestone Being Prepared to Sell QPR. And the Purchase option for Flavio Briatore

- Not yet Announced by the Club: But Miller has returned to WBA and Vine has returned to QPR.

- Non-League Mertham Deducted a point for fielding unregistered player

- Playoff Dates Information! (Hopefully Non-QPR!)

- Ex-QPR Simon Walton Claims the Winner/Fitting in at Plymouth

- Flashback: QPR Interest in (now Norwich hero) Simeon Jackson

- Sports Minister Slams Running of English Football

- League Groundsmen Awards

- Oxford United Join Port Vale in Coming to North America this Summer

(Photo thanks to Bushman)

Long-time QPR Club Secretary, Ron Phillips (having solved the "Missing Apostrophe" Question: "How Queen's Park Rangers became Queens Park Rangers").... offers further memories re his time at QPR

Standard - Neil Warnock will have to spend big when QPR join the elite - Julian Bennetts
26 Apr 2011

Thousands of Queens Park Rangers fans flooded the pitch after the 1-1 draw with Hull blissfully unaware that their promotion party was about to be ruined.

Simeon Jackson's 96th-minute winner for Norwich against Derby means QPR still need a point to be guaranteed of a return to the Premier League after an absence of 15 years.

Even if Rangers fail to get that point against Watford or Leeds, the fact their goal difference is 13 better than third-placed Cardiff means it shouldn't be too long before the fans can re-start the party.

The problem, though, is that yesterday's game encapsulated the fact that Neil Warnock has built a team to thrive in the Championship, yet one that would surely be relegated in the top flight. An overhaul is needed.

That is not to denigrate the current group of players but they are a unit designed to seal the seventh promotion of Warnock's career, something they are almost certain to do. The club are confident they will not be docked points for their controversial signing of Alejandro Faurlin although the Football Association will not announce their decision until the day before the Leeds match.

And despite seven of yesterday's starting XI having Premier League experience, only one - goalkeeper Paddy Kenny - could be argued to have shown his best form in the top flight. The remainder of this side are the waifs and strays, the players that haven't quite cut it with Tottenham or Aston Villa, say, but are too good for the Championship.

Indeed, out of the current team, the case could be put that only three - Kenny, Adel Taarabt and Faurlin - are likely to adapt relatively seamlessly to the top flight.

So it will be comforting to Warnock that Lakshmi Mittal - the world's fifth-richest man - told Standard Sport last week that he would invest in the squad this summer were they to go up.

Indeed, as Mittal and Flavio Briatore, the Formula One magnate who started QPR on their road to the Premier League nearly four years ago, acknowledged the crowd from the directors' box, it was easy to think that promotion is long overdue for Rangers.

This club have, after all, been punching below their weight since the sudden influx of cash in August 2007. The interference from above, specifically from Briatore, hardly helped, and it is no coincidence that the situation has improved since the Italian took a step back at the same time as Warnock was appointed last March.

In the 30 months before that Rangers had seven permanent managers, four caretakers and had made more than 90 transfers. Warnock has since been allowed to do as he sees fit, but the real test of the former Sheffield United manager comes now. In short, now that he has money to spend, there can be no excuses if Warnock fails to keep QPR up next season.

When Sheffield United were promoted, Warnock spent £11.5million on players such as Claude Davis, Ahmed Fathi and Luton Shelton. Better quality purchases are now required, and the upcoming season could define both Warnock's career and the big-money QPR experiment. Ultimately, the squad are likely to be barely recognisable from the one that played yesterday.

And after their poor second-half display, that is understandable.

Wayne Routledge - a man who Rangers are likely to sign despite his record of one goal in 99 Premier League games for six clubs - opened the scoring after just eight minutes, racing on to Taarabt's through-ball and firing smartly past Matt Duke.

Yet the hosts retreated as the second-half wore on, and they were punished when substitute David Amoo raced on to a loose ball and fired smartly past Kenny. It was a poor goal to give away, and an indication of how much has to be done before next season.

Rangers will go up but a lot needs to be done if they are going to stay up. Standard

- Tiger Feet Sponsored Walk to Watford

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Longtime QPR Club Secretary Ron Phillips Recalls Les Ferdinand's Non-Transfer and Chairman Jim Gregory

(Photo Thanks to "Bushman")
- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Long-time QPR Club Secretary, Ron Phillips having solved the "Missing Apostrophe" Question: "How Queen's Park Rangers became Queens Park Rangers" offers further memories re his time at QPR

From Imperium
Another anecdote from Ron Phillips, as follows :

AS Secretary of Queens Park Rangers Club during the turbulent years of 1966 - 1989, it fell to me to save the Club from going out of existence on three separate occasions. One of these incidents is better kept permanently secret; one will provide an interesting story
in due course - although now is not the best time to relate this; but I can see no reason why the third occasion should be kept hidden.

In 1987, the very talented Les Ferdinand joined the Club. His skills may not have been totally appreciated because only a year later, it was agreed that he would be loaned to the Turkish Club, Besots, for 12 months.

On the day he was due to fly out to Turkey, the Club Chairman, Jim Gregory was at a health farm, and the manager was away with the team. I was therefore given the job of getting Les to sign the loan forms, and sending him of to Heathrow.

Les arrived at my office in the morning, and immediately informed me he had no intention of going to Turkey. I was surprised, and asked him why ? He said he was certain Rangers would turn the loan into a permanent transfer and he wanted to spend his playing career in England.

I gulped and went off to phone Jim Gregory that Les refused to go to Turkey. Mr .Gregory gave me a short order. "Get him on that plane." I went back to Les and found him adamant about staying at QPR. Time was running out - the plane was leaving in a few hours. What to do ? Eventually I found a solution. I told Les I was certain that QPR would not want to lose a player of his ability, and I was prepared to sign a letter guaranteeing that his loan to Besiktas , would terminate in one year's time and, after that,he would return to Rangers ! Les liked the idea; I prepared the letter for him ; he gave me a big smile ; and off he went to Turkey.

One year later, Les Ferdinand's fears were proved correct. He prepared to return to England but was immediately informed that his loan was being transferred into a permanent transfer for a fee of £100,000 (!) and he was to remain at Besiktas. Transfer papers were drawn up for him to sign, but Les stunned everybody b producing the letter I had given him the previous year. A Club Secretary's signature on such a document made it a cast-iron contract - so, Les came back to Rangers.

All hell broke loose over the head of that Club Secretary. The Manager did not speak to me for months. Unfortunately the Chairman did.............

Jim Gregory had just moved his private office to Rangers Stadium and now operated from the floor above the Secretary's office.

Several times a day, for many weeks I was summoned upstairs to appear before the Chairman and receive a substantial rocket.
Eventually all went quiet, but I was never forgiven for what I had done. To be honest, the Chairman and the manager were correct - A Club Secretary should never interfere in a transfer deal.

I should have been fired.

The years passed by. Jim Gregory's health deteriorated and he sold the Club.

I had a terrifying experience with one of the new directors and quickly followed in Jim Gregory's footsteps.

Les Ferdinand meanwhile went fron strength to strength displaying talents which marked him out as one of Ranger's best ever players, with a goal-scoring ability which made him a targer for several of the League's major Clubs.

Deprived of Jim Gregory's careful financial control, Rangers fell on hard times and it became clear that the Club might have to be placed in administration.

In the nick of time, Newcastle United offered a £6,000,000 transfer fee for Les Ferdinand. The bid was accepted with alacrity, and the windfall this avoided Ranger's probable disappearance from the Football League.
I was delighted that my "mistake" 6 years earlier had produced such beneficial consequences for the Club and I sent them a joking letter, asking if they would consider apologising for the reprimands I had
received or, failing that, 10% of the transfer fee would be quite acceptable.......

I received a formal legal reply to the effect that Club Secretaries were not entitled to any share of transfer fees.

football Clubs have no sense of humour.

As told to Imperium by Ron Phillips"

Blog Archive