QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, June 18, 2011

QPR Report Saturday: QPR: What's Happening?...Open Questions to the Official Supporters Club...Ali Russell Back in Football

- Bushman's 1975-76 Season
- Throughout the day, the QPR Report Messageboard has news updates, comments and perspectives - even links to other board comments of interest re QPR matters (on and off the field) along with football (and ONLY football) topics in general....Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- An (obviously-Unscientific) Survey Question re QPR: Do You Believe Your Club?

- Three Warnock Interviews from Friday raising troubling Questions re what's going on at QPR

- QPR's Loyal Supporters' Association (LSA) Meeting Sunday to Discuss Ticket Pricing

- Ex-QPR Assistant Managing Director, Ali Russell is back in Football - at Glasgow Rangers where he is Director of Operations and Commercial Activity.

- Seven Year Flashback: QPR's CEO David Davies Resigns from QPR. A few days later, Chairman Nick Blackburn resigns, opening the way for a Bill Power-Gianni Paladini takeover

- Ex-QPR Lee Brown Joins Bristol Rovers

- PARMA Statement re Non-QPR Game at Loftus Road

- Flasback to Formation of "Our QPR"

- Video: QPR vs Manchester City (1978-79)

- QPR Open at home to Bolton and finish at Manchester City: Complete Fixtures

- Complete QPR Fixtures

SOCCERNET/Rob Facey - An embarrassment of riches
June 18, 2011
It has been 15 long years since Queens Park Rangers competed in the top flight of English football. Rather than anticipating the new season with giddy excitement, fans are once again nervously placing their faith in a club that has narrowly avoided disaster after disaster in recent times.

Back in 1995-96, under the stewardship of player-manager Ray Wilkins, the West London side struggled to cope with the recent sale of England striker Les Ferdinand to Newcastle and finished 19th. They were relegated that year along with Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers.

QPR soon found themselves lost in the footballing wilderness. Another relegation followed before their slow ascent back into the mainstream this season. The club did occasionally make the news, albeit for mostly negative reasons. These range from the tragic and untimely deaths of youngsters Ray Jones and Kiyan Prince, the numerous threats of extinction, the alleged boardroom gun saga, the embarrassing brawl with the Chinese Olympic team and the frankly humiliating home defeat at the hands of Vauxhall Motors in the FA Cup.

Things were apparently looking up when, in September 2007, Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone arrived from the glamorous world of Formula One to stave off the latest threat of administration. Overnight, the club were propelled onto sports pages around the world with talk of them being in a position to financially challenge their neighbours at Stamford Bridge.

However, a flurry of managers, increased ticket prices and Briatore's talk of a 'boutique football club' - where image comes first, and football later - understandably worried fans. One Monday night shortly after the takeover soon came to define the differing attitudes between the board and the fans about the club's direction. Supermodel Naomi Campbell and it-girl Tamara Beckwith were in the directors' box for QPR's 1-0 victory over Norwich City and, while the television cameras focused on the A-listers in the director's box, fans were relieved to have finally secured their first win of the season after nine attempts. They were bottom of the league and struggling to fill the stadium.

By the end of the year, off-field events continued to dominate the news and paint a happy picture of a club on the up as Lakshmi Mittal, one of the richest men in the world, bought a 20% stake in QPR. He was to be represented on the board by his son-in-law and newly appointed vice president Amit Bhatia.

Then the real fun started. Forgetting the flurry of managers that soon came to represent their ownership, the most worrying trait of the early Briatore-Ecclestone years was the conveyor belt of anonymous faces brought to the club, whether it be on loan or on longer contracts.

There are far too many names to mention, but arguably the most embarrassing episode came in 2008 after Argentinean midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma, on loan from Genoa at the time, scored a hat-trick against Carlisle in the Carling Cup. The club shop had commemorative T-shirts for sale in time for the weekend. Needless to say, there was not much uptake.

Two years passed, yet QPR's progress on the pitch was still being stunted by the constant interference from above and the frustration in the stands reached new heights. The chairman, Gianni Paladini - the man who was to be at the centre of the Alejandro Faurlin transfer debacle this season - was another huge factor in the merry-go-round of players and managers. The fans made their feelings towards the former agent known, in addition to the continued baiting of Briatore and Ecclestone.

A small victory, and period of respite, for the fans came when the increasingly unpopular Briatore eventually stood down as QPR Holdings Chairman in February 2010. The club was still in the bottom half of the league.

A month later, Neil Warnock was brought to the club from Crystal Palace. Mittal's representative, the popular Amit Bhatia, was instrumental in convincing the former Sheffield United man to take the job. This was not an easy feat. He was, after all, the 11th managerial appointment since the 2007 takeover.

Warnock was welcomed by most QPR fans as someone with a decent track record in the division and, perhaps most importantly, a famously stubborn attitude. This was certainly needed when it came to dealing with the board and, in particular, the club's scattergun transfer policy.

A staggering 50 players had been brought to the club before Warnock and his staff finally gave the club a sense of direction. As if to prove a point, just three players were brought in last summer - Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill and Shaun Derry - all experienced, no-nonsense professionals with whom Warnock had worked previously. The signings complemented the existing talent perfectly and, with the Championship title won, fans were excitedly and optimistically looking to the future.

This was before the shock resignation of Bhatia from the board last month.

In a statement at the time, Bhatia said: "It is clear to me from recent board meetings that my vision, strategy and direction for the club is very different from that of the other shareholders and board members." He added that the 40% price hike in season tickets was another key factor.

Bhatia did confirm that the Mittal family was considering a potential buyout of the other existing shares - a popular idea with the fans - but with Briatore once again involved with the everyday running of club and his idea of a 'boutique club' growing ever nearer, it is unlikely he would sell. Likewise Ecclestone, who, despite confessing to not having a great deal of football knowledge himself, has invested a lot of his personal wealth into the running of the club over the past season.

This in mind, and the fact that his ally was no longer present to fight his corner, fans feared that the vulnerable position Warnock found himself in would result in him leaving the club and, despite being given a vote of confidence by Briatore, the lack of transfer activity since clinching promotion this summer suggests that wider issues continue to undermine the progression of the club.

In recent weeks, QPR have been linked with World Cup-winner Marco Materazzi, former Italy defender Nicola Legrottaglie, and Juventus striker Amauri, who has been on loan at Parma. All are experienced Serie A players, but hardly align with Warnock's signings from last summer.

Of the three promoted clubs, QPR remain the only side not to have signed any new players, yet the doubt over who exactly is initiating the talks from Loftus Road these days will be of primary concern for most fans.

While it is not yet time to panic - Warnock, like most players, has been enjoying his holidays recently - the fans who are being asked to pay extortionate prices next season will, understandably, want to see a slightly higher value product. Many have already declined the offer to renew season tickets.

Yet marquee signings are not what is needed at QPR. After everything the club has been through during this hiatus from the top flight, the need for transparency and stability is needed now more than ever.

The biggest worry of all, though, is that the last year's success was the blip, as opposed to the years of chaos and politics that preceded it. Soccernet

QPR and the Official Supporters Club: Some Open Questions

Two weeks ago, (June 3rd) QPR and the QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC) issued a joint statement about the OSC meeting with Club Representatives about among other things, ticket prices.
The joint statement went on to say "The meeting also highlighted the importance of the OSC as a mouthpiece for the fans. It was agreed that moving forward, the OSC would continue to meet frequently and will aim to meet monthly with the Club to discuss any issues or concerns that the fans might have. The Club proposes to publish a reminder of the upcoming meeting a week in advance and encourage the fans to contact the OSC with any topics they would like discussed. A summary of the points of discussion and the agreed next steps will be made available on the Club website following each meeting. The Club hopes that other supporters groups will also be able to hold regular meetings with the OSC, in order to allow the OSC to better communicate their views to us."

As others have noted, the OSC Constitution sets out certain things and a number of questions have been asked re the Official Supporters Club and how things are run. And a letter to the OSC was sent from 30+ fans, meeting the OSC bylaws. Two weeks later, things remain as unclear as two weeks ago.

So: Four Open Questions to the OSC and the Club (and there are probably quite a few other questions that could be posed.

[Note: These Questions were composed by someone else and were sent to the club several days ago. Thus far, the questions have yet to be answered.]

1) What was the response by the club to the OSC comments regarding the incredible rises in the cost of season tickets?

2) When will the minutes of the meeting be published?

3) As a member of the OSC (by being a ST holder) please could you inform me as to whom the representatives are?

4) How are the representatives of the OSC elected?

- Any Response for publication can be posted on the QPR Report Messageboard
or emailed to QPR Report

Fri 17 Jun 2011
- The QPR Box Office would like to advise supporters that no match ticket price / on-sale date information will be announced until Mid-July. Once the information is confirmed, it will be announced first here on www.qpr.co.uk, so please keep an eye on this website. Until 5:00pm on Friday 15th July, the QPR Box Office will solely be administering the sales of Season Tickets.
- The Club appreciates your patience and look forward to announcing further details regarding the upcoming fixtures in due course. QPR

Daily Mail - QPR target Real Valladolid top scorer Guerra in £3m move
- QPR are weighing up a move for Real Valladolid striker Javi Guerra, the top scorer in Spain’s Second Division last season, ahead of their return to the Barclays Premier League.
- Guerra, 29, is available for £3million after scoring 29 goals in 42 appearances for Valladolid, and could yet emerge as a target for several other Premier League clubs. Mail

Talksport/Anton Stanley - Exclusive – Derry: New signings will give everyone at QPR a lift
- Queens Park Rangers midfielder Shaun Derry has told talkSPORT that he’s hoping manager Neil Warnock will bring in some new players to the club soon.
- The west London outfit, promoted from the Championship as title winners, have yet to make any signings as they prepare for their first season in the Premier League since they were relegated 15 years ago.
- And their all-action midfielder believes new additions to the squad will give the players a timely boost heading in to pre-season.
- He told Drive Time: “It seems to be quiet on the signings front, I’m sure Neil [Warnock] and the backroom staff are doing a lot of hard work but it would be nice if a few came through the door because it gives everyone a lift.”
- The former Crystal Palace star also revealed that he’s looking forward to facing a higher calibre of London rival this season.
Derry added: “The derbies were good last year against Millwall and Crystal Palace but when you look at Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Fulham coming here, it’s just gone up a notch hasn’t it and it’s going to be fantastic.” Talksports

Charles Sale/Daily Mail - Neil Warnock's son James joins the football family with sports agency job
The conflict of interests caused by a football manager father having an agent son, highlighted by the big fuss around Sir Alex and Jason Ferguson, is causing controversy again.
- This time there is concern among rival agents that Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock’s son James works at HN Sports, who have done deals with the newly promoted Premier League club.
- The agency in Leeds helped take Norwegian winger Petter Vaagan Moen to Loftus Road last January and make Shaun Derry from Crystal Palace Warnock’s first signing as QPR boss.
- However, HN Sports chief Hayden Evans says James, who has been with the company for nine years, plays no part in transfer negotiations but recruits young players and does admin work.
- Evans said: ‘Agents will point the finger, but we are very transparent in what we do and James, who is an invaluable member of the team, keeps well away from any dealings involving Neil’s clubs.’
- Everton boss David Moyes’s student son David has done an internship at the Wasserman Media Group football agency. But WMG say Moyes Jnr worked entirely on the US side of the business. Daily Mail

Who's In Charge of Transfers at Loftus Road?
Simple question: With no Chairman and CEO Ishan Sakensa; no Deputy Chairman, Amit Bhatia; No Deputy Managing Director, Ali Russell. No Club Secretary such as Sheila Marson. Who's in charge of Contract negotiations; making transfer deals and ensuring all paperwork in absolute, pristine order?

- "Brand New" Video Snippet Flashback: Rodney Marsh Magic

- Couple of Other "New" QPR Video Snippets: Dave Clement Scoring for QPR vs Spurs...Ian Gillard Making His QPR Return to the team

- Any Views of the QPR Player Pre-Game Show?

- The Premiership League Rules

- QPR Ladies Seek Financial Support

- Prestige International Youth Tournament: Again No QPR Involvement

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