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Monday, August 15, 2011

QPR Report Monday: QPR Fernandes Takeover Update...Bolton Reports and Comments...Dunga Suing QPR

- Suggest A Caption! - Further Zimbio Photos from QPR-Bolton
- 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

- Earlier Weekend Compilation of Match Reports and Tony Fernandes QPR Takeover Stories

- Everton Match Preview/ Everton-QPR Stats and Past Encounters. (Past Everton-QPR Video)

- Audio: QPR Report Comments on the BBC World Service

- Four Year Flashback: QPR in Talks with Three Consortiums (and Chairman Paladini Warning of QPR Going into Administration

- Update: Leon Clarke will NOT be Joining Swindon Town

- Official Site on the New Shirt "A Modern Classic"

- Flashback 18 Months: Club Desire to Funnel Communications via the Official Supporters Club (OSC)

- Still No QPR Offical Site Update (and apparently nothing in the first programme) re the Status of the Official Supporters Club (OSC). Despite Committee Resignations.

- Still Waiting! "[P]lans are already afoot for a pre-season celebration, once the players return to training in July." QPR May 11, 2011 Statement

However, the Official Site does offer: "HAVE A PIC WITH THE TROPHY!
- Have you ever wanted a picture with the npower Championship trophy lifted by Adel Taarabt and co. on the final day of last season? Well now is your chance! QPR's Superstore will be opening its doors for R's fans to have official images taken with the trophy on Saturday 3rd September, between 10am and 4.30pm. Rangers fans can then purchase their 9x6 picture in an A4 printed folder for just £12, with the opportunity to buy a second copy for just £6. Make sure you don't miss out on your opportunity to buy one of these fantastic mementos! QPR

- "On This Day" Opening Days - QPR's Win at West Ham with Paul Parker (and others) making their QPR Debut....QPR losing at Birmingham (having just signed/but not played, Phil Parkes)

- QPR Documentary "Four Year Plan" - To Marbella Festival in October

- Alec Stock's Daughter Offers some Memories of Her Father

- Six Year Flashback: QPR vs Sheffield United and Alleged Gun/Boardroom "Incident"


Financial Times - AirAsia owner nears deal for QPR

By Kevin Brown in Singapore

Tony Fernandes, Malaysian airline entrepreneur, is poised to take majority control of Queen’s Park Rangers, the English Premiership football club, as early as Monday, according to people with knowledge of the transaction.

Mr Fernandes, owner of the low-cost airline AirAsia, is close to finalising a deal where he will buy a 51 per cent stake in the newly promoted West London club from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One motor racing chief.

The balance of Mr Ecclestone’s 62 per cent holding would be acquired by Lakshmi Mittal, the UK-based Indian steel magnate who already holds a 33 per cent stake.

The deal would complete Mr Fernandes’ long quest for ownership of a premiership club. He has several times tried and failed to buy West Ham United, the biggest soccer club in east London.

It would also provide a way out of a difficult situation at QPR for Mr Ecclestone, whose relationship with Mr Mittal has become increasingly fraught.

However, people with knowledge of the deal cautioned that it had not been sealed and could be delayed or even collapse as the parties sought to reach agreement on final details.

The price was unclear, although those close to the deal said Mr Fernandes would not be paying anything close to the £100m Mr Ecclestone was said to be seeking.

The outline deal may also provide the opportunity for a continuing role in the shareholding for Flavio Briatore, the former team principal of Renault F1 who was QPR chairman until last year and who retains a small stake.

Mr Fernandes, who with Mr Briatore watched QPR lose 4-0 at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday in the first match of the premier league season, is one of Asia’s boldest and most successful entrepreneurs.

Neither Mr Ecclestone nor Mr Mittal was at the match. Mr Ecclestone did not return calls on Sunday asking for his views on the matter, while aides said Mr Mittal was on holiday and unavailable for comment.

With interests ranging from airlines to hotels and telecoms through his privately held Tune Group, Mr Fernandes’ best known business is Kuala Lumpur based AirAsia, one of the most rapidly growing budget airlines in the region.

The English Premier League is highly popular in many parts of Asia, with widespread reporting on matches and broadcasting of live matches in many countries, including Malaysia and Singapore – both big markets for AirAsia.

Mr Fernandes last week announced a deal where he acquired informal control of state-owned Malaysian Airline System through a 20.5 per cent stake held by Tune.

In return, he gave the Malaysian government a 10 per cent holding in AirAsia and a similar interest in AirAsia X, a separately owned and managed long haul budget carrier.

Mr Fernandes, who has a keen eye for the value of sporting links in building brands for his businesses, is in his second year as proprietor of the Lotus F1 motor racing team, which he sees as a significant provider of publicity for AirAsia even though his holding in the airline is separate from his private investment in the racing team.
Additional reporting by Peter Marsh in London thread - Financial Times

Skysports -Fernandes vows to back Warnock
Entrepreneur on brink of acquiring majority stake in QPR

Sky Sports News sources understand Fernandes, the owner of Formula One team Lotus Racing, is on the verge of acquiring a majority stake in QPR, with the deal believed to be worth around £80million.

He is in discussions with majority shareholder Bernie Ecclestone and his business partner Flavio Briatore over buying out the F1 supremo to take control of the London-based club.

Fernandes, who watched as QPR's Premier League campaign get off to a torrid start with a 4-0 defeat at home to Bolton on Saturday, expects the takeover situation to be resolved in the coming days.

"I am in discussions," he told Sky Sports News.

"I think over the next two to three days, one way or another, they'll be some sort of announcement. That's for sure."

The Malaysian added that manager Warnock would have the full support of the board should he complete the proposed takeover, including the provision of transfer funds where needed.

"I think the manager should get what the manager wants," he added.

"I think Neil is a super guy and he's done extremely well to have got QPR to where they are.

"If I were to get involved, he'd have my full support. But let's see if I do get involved."

GUARDIAN/Dominic Fifield - QPR takeover talks continue as Dunga takes legal action over debt

• Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes hopes to close deal
• Former Brazil captain claims he is owed £750,000 by the club

Talks between Tony Fernandes and Bernie Ecclestone will continue on Monday over the Malaysian businessman's prospective takeover of Queens Park Rangers.

The Air Asia and Team Lotus owner, who was at Loftus Road to witness Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers, is hoping to conclude a deal to buy the newly promoted club in partnership with the major shareholder, Lakshmi Mittal. The Indian steel magnate owns a 33% stake in QPR, with the pair attempting to buy out Ecclestone's 66% shareholding in the Premier League club.

The former Brazil manager Dunga has instructed lawyers to recover a £750,000 loan he claims he made to QPR in 2006 when the club was under previous ownership.

"I loaned my money to QPR in good faith when they needed it and I am very disappointed that the new owners, who are very wealthy, are now refusing to pay it back. I am fully confident in the English system of justice and that the court will help me recover my loans," said the Brazilian. QPR would not comment. Guardian

TEAMTALK - Dunga acts over QPR loan
Sunday 14th August 2011

Former Brazil manager Dunga has instructed lawyers to recover a £750,000 loan he claims he made to QPR in 2006.

Dunga, who also captained Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994, has previously been acknowledged by QPR as an investor in the club, when it was under previous owners.

He has instructed lawyers Collyer Bristow to pursue his claim in the High Court if necessary, and hopes the current owners of the club, who include Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, agree to repay his loan.

The 47-year-old said in a statement released by his lawyers: "I loaned my money to QPR in good faith when they needed it and am very disappointed that the new owners, who are very wealthy, are now refusing to pay it back. I am fully confident in the English system of justice and that the court will help me recover my loans."

Steven Heffer, of Collyer Bristow, said: "I can confirm I have been instructed by Carlos Dunga to issue proceedings in the High Court to recover the money he lent to QPR.

"I am waiting to hear back from QPR's lawyers whether the loan will be repaid without the need for a court action. It would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage."

QPR were on Sunday offering no comment. TEAMTALK

- See Also: Dunga/QPR Flashback!

Queens Park Rangers need immediate cash injection following Bolton Wanderers rout at Loftus Road

Events over the next two weeks should shape the fortunes of both QPR and Bolton, whose managers face diametrically-opposed problems as they face up to life at opposite ends of the Premier League table.

Neil Warnock’s problems are more obvious and immediate, after this comprehensive defeat showed his Championship-winning side just how much tougher a test lies ahead in the top flight.

QPR need more reinforcements of proven Premier League quality, but so far the money has not been forthcoming from the club’s wealthy owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. Warnock has spent just £1.25 million this summer, on DJ Campbell, and has had to bring in free transfer signings to bolster his squad, but it is not enough.

That will change if Tony Fernandes can conclude a takeover deal valued at around £100 million. The Malaysian businessman flew to London last week for talks and spent most of this match sitting alongside Briatore, who was the subject of much derision by home supporters.

Talks will continue on Monday and Warnock is optimistic that a deal will be done in time to release the funds to sign those players he has in mind. “We need two or three players and I am confident we can get them in the next week or two,” he said.

“I have spoken to the [prospective] new owner am quite positive from what I have heard. I have two or three in mind and think I have the support to bring them in.”

For Owen Coyle, the problem is holding on to his best player rather than signing new ones. Gary Cahill is his prized asset and showed why Arsenal and others covet him, with a rock solid defensive performance and spectacular opening goal.

Cahill hit an unstoppable shot past Paddy Kenny from outside the penalty area in first-half stoppage time to set Bolton on their way, but Coyle fears the defender could also be on his way if firm offers prove irresistible.

“We need to wait and see what the next few weeks holds,” said Coyle. “It would not be ideal for me to lose Gary, but I need to be fair to him. Any player wants to play at the highest level. I have said to Gary he can improve here with Bolton, and he has improved.

“In the 18 months I have worked with him, Gary has become an integral part of the England squad. There is no doubt he has taken his game to another level. I am loath to say this because he is my player, but if I was at one of those elite clubs, then Gary Cahill will be the first name on my shopping list.”

Where QPR lack solidity and experience, Bolton have it in abundance, exemplified by Nigel Reo-Coker, a free transfer from Aston Villa. He helped nullify the threat of QPR’s enigmatic Adel Taraabt, who was more frustrating than inspiring. “We saw him on video and thought: ‘Wow,’ admitted Kevin Davies. “But he was disappointing out there.”

Davies, by contrast, was effectiveness personified, winning the free-kick which Danny Gabbidon put past his own keeper to make it 2-0 and then heading on for Ivan Klasnic to volley home a third goal. Rangers had given up by the time Fabrice Muamba strolled though to make it 4-0, though QPR’s Clint Hill was sent off in stoppage time for butting Martin Petrov.

“It was handbags,” added Warnock, who also saw new signing Kieron Dyer carried off on a stretcher in the fifth minute.

“We’ve got to get the players I want, get over this result and take the club forward.”

Meanwhile, former Brazil manager Dunga has instructed lawyers to recover a £750,000 loan he claims he made to QPR in 2006. Dunga, who also captained Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994, has previously been acknowledged by QPR as an investor in the club, when it was under previous owners.

Opening day disasters
Bad first games often mean big problems for top flight new boys.

Swindon Town (1993-94)
Lost 3-1 at Sheffield United on the opening day and were relegated, having conceded 100 goals.

Crystal Palace (1994-95)
The tone was set by a 6-1 home humbling by Liverpool. They went down on the final weekend.

Wolverhampton (2003-04)
Dave Jones’s side were crushed 5-1 at Blackburn on the first weekend. They finished bottom.

Sunderland (2005-06)
Beaten 3-1 at home by Charlton first time out and finished bottom with 18 points, a record low for the division.

MIRROR/Oliver Holt - Takeover boost for QPR

QPR boss Neil Warnock last night insisted the imminent takeover of the club would boost their chances of staying in the Premier League.

Malaysian entrepreneur Tony ­Fernandes is poised to buy out Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore this week to take control of the club.

Warnock refused to be downcast after his team were hammered by Bolton on their return to the top flight and part-owner Briatore was booed as he left the directors’ box (right).

Warnock hoped funds would be released for new players once the uncertainty over the ownership had ended.

“The only things I’ve heard about what’s going on behind the scenes have been very positive,” Warnock said. “I expect to bring two or three players in during the next fortnight and that’s what I’m working at, to do my job as best I can.”

QPR held their own in the first half but fell apart after the break and could have suffered an even heavier defeat.

And whether Warnock brings in the players he wants or not, the issue of whether his playmaker Adel Taarabt will be able to make the transition to the Premier League will linger.

Taarabt’s influence was limited against Bolton but Warnock remained optimistic.

“I didn’t think he did too badly,” Warnock added.

“He was wasteful on a couple of occasions where he could have laid it off and got caught in possession but there was nothing he could have done about the goals that killed us off.” Mirror

INDEPENDENT/Glenn Moore - QPR in need of Fernandes' funds

For all the agility of Paddy Kenny, industry of Shaun Derry, and ingenuity of Adel Taarabt, salvation for Queen's Park Rangers may lie in the wallet of a chunky 47-year-old LSE graduate who supports West Ham United.

Unless Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian airline entrepreneur, completes his proposed takeover of the west London club this week Rangers' prospects of staying in the Premier League are minimal. Fernandes was here on Saturday to see them taken apart by a Bolton Wanderers side that last won a league game away from home in

The experience should have convinced Fernandes – who is hopeful of signing a deal today – of the need for speed if he wants to avoid buying a relegation-doomed club. Having been starved of investment by his billionaire owners, the QPR manager, Neil Warnock, desperately needs to strengthen, but the transfer window closes in just 16 days time and Warnock is now talking about bringing in loan players who do not make the 25-man squads of other teams. Aside from estranged Manchester City players, whose wages will be prohibitive, there will not be much quality there.

QPR were not as hapless as the scoreline suggests – they dominated the first half. But they created few clear chances in their first Premier League match in 15 years, and when Bolton went forward Rangers' porous backline was exposed. "We gave away some rubbish goals," said Jay Bothroyd."Almost amateurish," was Warnock's view.

It is the back four which most needs reinforcement. Warnock's lack of faith in Bradley Orr was revealed when he picked Kieron Dyer – who soon went off injured – at right-back while left-back Clint Hill picked up both yellow and red cards. Central defence looks equally shaky, but decent replacements are going to be hard to find.

It is not as if the game is replete with high-class centre-halves. Gary Cahill is being linked with a £16m move to Liverpool or Arsenal but while the thrice-capped England centre-half scored the sort of goal that demands attention, the way Derry, of all people, waltzed past him on the edge of the box before being brought down might raise some suitors' eyebrows.

Cahill was never a QPR target, but the likes of Roger Johnson, Matt Upson and Jonathan Woodgate might have been signed if the funds had been there. They now play for Wolves and Stoke respectively and Warnock had to settle for Danny Gabbidon who marked his debut with an own goal.

That was as scrappy as Cahill's 25-yard opener was sublime but it still killed the game as a contest, Ivan Klasnic and Fabrice Muamba adding further goals as Rangers folded.

Through a mixture of craft and graft Muamba gradually imposed his will on the game. Still only 23 the midfielder has played more than 200 senior matches since leaving Arsenal as a teenager and he could well return to a top-four club (indeed Arsenal, after Alex Song's foolishness at Newcastle, might wonder about re-signing him).

Owen Coyle could ill-afford to lose Muamba and Cahill, even if his comments on the latter sounded as if he was trying to talk up a fee. "I am loathe to say this because he is my player, but if I was at one of those elite clubs Gary Cahill would be the first name on my shopping list." There have not, Coyle added, "been any concrete bids," but the way he moved on to praise David Wheater indicated Coyle expects some.

There is an argument for closing the transfer window the night before the season begins: everyone would then know where they stood as they set sail on a new campaign. Coyle would probably support such a view but not Warnock for he would be standing very precariously indeed.


QPR's Neil Warnock targets 'one or two players' after Bolton defeat

• 'This will depend on money available,' says QPR manager

• 'We defended poorly against Bolton and got punished

Dodgy things prophesies. Too often they become self-fulfilling. On Saturday morning Neil Warnock's newspaper column was emblazoned with a declaration that "We will get turned over now and again – but I'm going to enjoy every minute." Well maybe not every minute.

If Warnock enjoyed the period between the 67th and 79th minutes on Saturday afternoon, when his newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers team meekly conceded three goals to a Bolton side who had not won away in the Premier League since last November, there must be a streak of masochism in his make-up. In losing 4-0 QPR were not so much turned over as tossed aside.

Unless Warnock can make positive use of what promises to be a hive of hyperactivity at Loftus Road over the coming fortnight Rangers are in for a season of unrelenting toil. It used to be said that every promoted side needed one more quality player in each of their three departments – defence, midfield and attack. On Saturday's evidence that would appear to be a minimum requirement at QPR.

Warnock is aware of this. "We do need one or two players and I am confident we can get them before the end of the transfer window," he said. But this will depend on the money being available and that situation will become clearer only if and when the £100m takeover of the club by Tony Fernandes, the head of Lotus, is completed. "I have just got to hope things get sorted and we move on," Warnock added but time is short and the Premier League programme waits for no one.

The fixture list has been kind to Rangers. They will not encounter any of the big teams until late October and will be hoping to gather a respectable number of points from imminent encounters with Wigan, Newcastle, Wolves, Aston Villa and Blackburn before meeting Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City in quick succession. But unless there is a considerable improvement defeat will soon become a depressing habit.

Apart from an encouraging start, when Adel Taarabt was linking well with the new strikers, Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell, QPR looked increasingly out of their depth against efficient, disciplined but hardly-awe-inspiring opposition. Taarabt was inclined to dwell on the ball, indulging in too many touches, and could have taken a hint from Kevin Davies's immaculate first-time lay-offs as to what was required against Premier League defenders.

That said, Rangers' sluggish defending said most about what they need to learn fast if they are to stay up. Gary Cahill's opening goal for Bolton in first-half stoppage time, while it was superbly struck from beyond the right-hand corner of the penalty area, would have been prevented had QPR had the wit to close down the centre-back before he could shoot. And while Danny Gabbidon was impeded by a team-mate when he turned Chris Eagles's low shot into his own net Ivan Klasnic was allowed too much space inside the penalty area when he scored Bolton's third and nobody picked up Fabrice Muamba's well-timed late run to get the fourth from Klasnic's pass.

"We defended poorly and got punished, which is what happens in the Premier League," Warnock said. "Until the second goal we created some good chances and could have scored. You have to look at that really rather than commit suicide. I am not happy we lost 4-0 but sometimes you have to smile through adversity."

Loftus Road had to grin and bear it from the third minute when Kieron Dyer, still pursued by wretched luck with injuries, was carried off with a damaged ankle, though happily with no bones broken, to the last, when Clint Hill saw a straight red card after butting Martin Petrov in the chest. Rangers are talking about appealing but this would appear to be the least of their problems.

Bolton were more like the team who reached the top six last season before tailing away at the end. Cahill"s all-round performance emphasised the loss they will suffer if he is sold before the end of the month. "He has got feet which belong to a centre-forward," said Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager. If there is any logic they should shortly belong to Arsenal.


TONY FERNANDES is used to 'no frills' but even he must have been shocked by this.
The low-budget airline tycoon is set to complete his takeover of Rangers this week.

He watched from the directors' box as the hapless Hoops crash-landed spectacularly on their Premier League return.




Bolton's Nigel Reo-Coker fouls QPR's Adel Taarabt QPR's Kieran Dyer is carried off on a stretcher with a broken metatarsal Gary Cahill curls in a shot to put Bolton ahead Gary Cahill celebrates his goal with his Bolton team-mates Danny Gabbison scores an own goal as Bolton go 2-0 up Ivan Klasnic twists and turns before slotting in Bolton's third goal Ivan Klasnic celebrates his strike Fabrice Muamba fires home to put Bolton 4-0 ahead Fabrice Muamba celebrates his goal with Paul Robinson QPR'S Clint Hill is sent off

Yet that is what happens when you try to travel economy on the world's richest flight.

Air Asia boss Fernandes' impending investment has left the Rs up in the air.

With current supremos Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore about to relinquish their controlling interest in the West London club to the Malaysian, manager Neil Warnock's transfer plans have been grounded.

QPR's boss has spent just £1.25million this summer. And it looks as if he will have to wait until Fernandes lands at Loftus Road before he is able to splash any more cash on new signings.

That cannot come quickly enough for the regulars down South Africa Road. They know their squad desperately needs improvement if they are to avoid becoming an easyBet for relegation.

Rangers new boy Jay Bothroyd, one of four free transfers this summer, admitted: "A bit more experience and a few more players who have played in the Premier League before, and know what it's all about, would help us.

"We created a lot of chances and, on a different day, they might have gone in. But it wasn't to be.

"The gaffer has said he wants to bring a few more players in. That can only be good for the squad."

The prospect of a new owner at the club could be why Warnock was not too downhearted after this opening-day drubbing.

He said: "You can get too carried away. Blackpool won 4-0 against Wigan on the first day of last season but Wigan stayed up and they went down.

"Yes, it's disappointing but life's too short. I'd rather be losing 4-0 to Bolton than playing at Portsmouth or Brighton."

Warnock revealed he had met with Fernandes, and added: "The only things I've heard about what's going on behind the scenes have been very positive.

"I just think we're in a situation where you have to be as positive as you can.

"I expect to bring in two or three players in the next fortnight and that's what I'm working at.

"Some of the goals we conceded were amateurish. So we'll have to learn from that. I think it just makes the challenge even more appealing. You might think it's like extracting teeth but, with the players I want and the support, I feel we'll have a fighting chance.

"I'm just going to be going about my business as I have all summer. We've managed to bring four in and we still need another two or three. The sooner I can get them in, the better.

"I'm looking at Premier League players on loan. When the 25s are announced before the deadline, there will be a number of players available. I think I'll have the support to bring them in."

Rangers dominated early on. But, in the end, it was all too easy for the Trotters.

Warnock's men should have known it would not be their day when Kieron Dyer's latest comeback from injury lasted just seven minutes before he left the field on a stretcher with an injury to his left foot.

Rangers looked fairly comfortable until Gary Cahill's long-range shot out of the blue put Bolton in front in first-half added time. Danny Gabbidon made it 2-0 when he slid Chris Eagles' free-kick into his own net in the 67th minute and Ivan Klasnic added a third three minutes later with a shot that deflected in off Hoops sub Bradley Orr.

Fabrice Muamba completed the rout via a neat finish 11 minutes from time.

Rangers fans turned on Briatore, who was sat next to Fernandes, chanting 'Where's all our money gone?' and 'We want Briatore out'.

Their wish was granted. The Italian left his seat a few minutes later with the jeers ringing in his ears.

Briatore missed his defender Clint Hill's straight red card for a bust-up with Martin Petrov.


QPR: Kenny 6, Dyer 4 (Orr 6), Hall 5, Gabbidon 4, Hill 4, Smith 6 (Helguson 6), Derry 6, Faurlin 6, Taarabt 4 (Buzsaky 5), Campbell 5, Bothroyd 6. Subs not used: Murphy, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim. Booked: Hill. Sent Off: Hill.

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen 7, Steinsson 7, Cahill 8, Knight 7, Robinson 6, Eagles 6 (M Davies 5), Muamba 8, Reo-Coker 7 (Pratley 5), Petrov 6, K Davies 9, Klasnic 7 (Blake 5). Subs not used: Bogdan, Alonso, Gardner, Wheater. Booked: Reo-Coker, Cahill.

REF: M Atkinson 5

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