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Saturday, April 30, 2011

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

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