QPR Report Twitter Feed

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