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Saturday, August 20, 2011

QPR Report Saturday: Everton Play...Warnock Speaks...Fernandes Plans...QPR Chase!

45 Years Ago Today: QPR's 1966/67 Season Got Under Way!
- 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

- Tony Fernandes Talking

- West Ham Fans Discussing Fernandes Takeover

- Flavio Briatore re QPR/Footballers, Post-Fernandes Takeover

- The Lawyers Involved in the QPR Deal

- Leon Clarke Joins Swindon

- Sabotage Times: The Madness Of QPR’s Neil Warnock: 5 Vintage Rants

- Sabotage Times: 5 Things A QPR Fan Is Desperate To See At Everton

- Malaysian Reactions to QPR Takeover

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

- 3+ Years Ago: Flavio Briatore Talking about His Plans for QPR "Global Brand"

- Four Years Ago Today: QPR Directors Nick De Marco and Kevin Steele Resign in Preparation for Takeover

- Thirteen Years Ago: QPR CEO Talks About QPR Future

- Birthdays for Stuart Houston and Lee Charles...Martin Allen seeks a WHistling "Coach"

- Facebook show Entire FA Cup Game (Live) for first time

- QPR-Rochdale: Tickets On Sale

What I learned this Week

Neil Warnock: Rollercoaster week, but with Fernandes on board we can now enjoy the ride

It' been another Alton Towers week – up and down like I'm on a rollercoaster. Obviously walking out for our first match back in the Premier League was a real high, but an hour later, with us losing 4-0, I was sitting on the bench feeling shell-shocked.

As I said last week, I'm determined to enjoy this season come what may, but I'll admit it was an effort to show a cheery face when I did the press afterwards. Come Monday morning, when training resumed, I tried to be upbeat but the lads were really down. There's no escaping the deflating impact of a result like that.

Then came the takeover by Tony Fernandes and things began looking up again. I've had a few good meetings with Tony and I've been most impressed. As you can see from his choice of reading material (pictured right) he's clearly an intelligent and discerning man.

It's fair to say Tony's arrival has been welcomed in most quarters at the club. Flavio and Bernie kept the club afloat when they came in, but both obviously had bigger priorities than QPR. It can only be good for us to be taken over by a football person, which Tony is.

It's also good to see Amit Bhatia back involved. That is the best news I could have had. Amit was the main reason I joined QPR in the first place. His association with me last season was a major reason we achieved the dream of Premier League football.

I'm sure QPR fans will be delighted and they should all keep their fingers crossed that we can find the players we need before the transfer window closes. I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel but we are trying to do in 10 days what we've had 12 weeks to do. We need as many as five to give us a fighting chance of getting the results we need and it's a chaotic, exhausting process trying to find out who is available, then attempting to get them in on our budget.

While the timing is not ideal it could have been worse. Two weeks later and we'd have been looking at a very hard winter before the window reopened in January. Instead we are in a position where, hopefully, we'll resume after the international break with a much stronger squad, and for me that is when, with 35 matches still to go, the season will really start.

I'm so pleased for the fans, and I'm grateful for the support they showed me last week. It's not unusual for a manager's name to be chanted when the team is 4-0 down at home, but usually it is accompanied by the word "out". It's great to know fans appreciate what we are trying to do at the club and now at last we can all show a united front and get on with the job in hand.

When the takeover was announced the press asked me if it meant Adel [Taarabt] would stay. I told them I'm not convinced he would have left anyway because once we give Tottenham their cut from their sell-on clause there wouldn't be much profit. Instead I'm hoping that we can bring players in that will give him a better platform to use his ability and his skills. He knows fitness-wise he's a little bit short of where he was last year so he's got to work really hard in the next couple of weeks to get back up to the top level.

I think he was disappointed on Saturday, the opportunities he got, but he couldn't do more because of his fitness. It is a much harder division. Last weekend showed what promoted teams are up against. I thought we played well for the first hour and I imagine Brendan Rodgers felt the same at Swansea, yet they also lost 4-0. It felt a bit surreal. The first half-chance Bolton got they took the lead with a great goal by a centre-half. That didn't happen very often in the Championship, but in this league you get punished.

2. Football, golf or tiddlywinks: I knew Jagielka would be top-class

We're playing at what I would call a proper old-fashioned football ground today when we face Everton at Goodison Park, one of the best grounds in the country for atmosphere. We're also up against one of the best managers in the country in David Moyes. It was made clear yesterday just how short of funds Everton are but you never hear him complain about that, he just gets on with keeping Everton as a top-eight club in arguably the world's toughest league.

Obviously we won't have any fresh faces yet, which is disappointing, but that might not matter so much because the players already here know they're now playing for their places. They've got to show that they want to stay in the team. They read the papers. They know the type of players that I'm looking at, so there will be some trepidation in the squad and I'm hoping we can harness that.

It'll be nice to catch up with Phil Jagielka. It doesn't seem two minutes ago I was watching him in the kids at Sheffield United and thinking: "Is he a right-back, centre-back, midfielder? I ain't got a clue." All I do know is whatever he set his sights on, be it golf or tiddlywinks, he's such a naturally gifted sportsperson he'd have been one of the best. It does help him coming from a good family with very supportive parents. That can make a real difference.

I remember telling Arsène Wenger that if we got relegated that season he should sign Phil. I think I mentioned Paddy Kenny as well. We did go down, but Phil went with Everton and Paddy stayed at Bramall Lane. So it's interesting to see Arsenal have since reportedly bid £10m for Jags. I suppose Arsène's main experience of Phil at the time was as a goalkeeper when we beat them 1-0 in Sheffield. Phil had to go in goal after Paddy was injured and he made one particularly spectacular save from Robin van Persie. That said, I did think he made a meal out of it, as all keepers do, especially in televised games.

3. Arsenal should have ended Fabregas saga two months ago

Watching Arsenal's game against Udinese on Tuesday I was very surprised how attacking the Italians were. The second leg is going to be tough but Arsenal need to go through, there's so much money at stake. I see last year they made £20m less from Uefa than Manchester United did, and that was after getting out of the group stages.

People will look at the departure of Cesc Fabregas and see that as a blow but I think Arsenal will be better off now the saga has finally been completed. It feels like it's been going on as long as Coronation Street. I don't understand why Arsenal didn't complete that, and Samir Nasri's exit, two months ago and then re-invest the cash on two centre-halves and a goalkeeper.

However it's not for me to tell Arsène how to manage. When you look at what he's done since he arrived in the country it's fair to say he's not made a bad fist of it. Every Tom, Dick and Harry may be jumping on the bandwagon saying how he will struggle but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if, come the last few weeks, Arsenal are just a few points behind Manchester United as usual.

Like us, I expect Arsenal to be active in the market before the window closes, but at least we won't be competing for the same players, though in fairness he might be better off chasing the sort of characters I'm after.

4. I have been around too long to dismiss De Gea for his tricky start

I had a blast from the past when reading The Independent this week. An article about David de Gea mentioned Peter Schmeichel's Manchester United debut against Notts County in 1991. I thought, "Strewth, that was my team." Twenty years ago: where has the time gone?

Schmeichel kept a clean sheet against us, and though he had a tricky period a few games later he didn't turn out too bad. People can criticise Sir Alex but irrespective of our disagreements (I can't see me getting any loan players off him) he's definitely the best manager ever in my eyes and he'll have done all his homework. In the long run I'm sure this kid will be an exceptional keeper.

5. It is not just footballers I am shopping for at the moment

The Olympics came past my front door on Sunday. Well, almost. There was a cycling test event coming through Richmond Park so I went and had a look. It appeared to boil down to a lot of waiting, then in 30 seconds they had all whizzed past. I was impressed how fast they go, but I don't think it's one of those sports I'm going to get passionate about.

The family missed it as they shot off to Cornwall after Saturday's match for a break, and who can blame them? That left me to do the shopping. It does make me smile when I'm pushing a trolley round Waitrose and I see people look at me twice. I can tell they're thinking: "It can't be him." Then they realise it is and they come back with the scruffiest pieces of paper. This week I signed a shopping list and the back of a receipt.

6. I like to be a sole man when there's fitness tests looming large

I had to do the shopping because I'm still on a diet which means I have to lay off the takeaways. Instead I've been cooking chicken and Dover sole, steaming them in foil and giving the butter a miss.

I've an extra incentive as I've booked myself in for my annual League Managers' Association fitness test on Wednesday. I thought I'd do it while I'm all slimline, and before our results turn me into an alcoholic. Meanwhile, the family have been scoffing cream teas in Cornwall. Independent


- QUEENS Park Rangers are poised to raise their offer for Scott Parker in a bid to tempt West Ham to cash in on their prize asset.
New owner Tony Fernandes, who completed his takeover of the club on Thursday, has pledged £10million to manager Neil Warnock to strengthen his team – and top of their list is England midfielder Parker, above.
West Ham rejected an opening bid of £3.75m on Thursday – but Fernandes is poised to raise his offer to about £5m.
- Tottenham are also interested in Parker and more able to afford West Ham’s £8m asking price, but are about to buy Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra.
Fernandes believes he can persuade Parker, 30, that he will be a first-team fixture at QPR in the Premier League, which might not be the case at White Hart Lane.
Warnock is keen on bringing in Parker and is also looking to push through several more in the next 48 hours.
- A £1m deal for Southampton winger Jason Puncheon should be concluded on Monday and QPR have offered Arsenal £1.5m for full-back Armand Traore.- Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha at £3m is a move QPR hope to complete and Warnock is also interested in Shaun Wright-Phillips.
- Warnock’s team face a tough trip to Everton today and he said: “They’re playing for their places. We want four – and maybe even five – players before the window closes on August 31.” Express

Alan Nixon/Mirror - EXCLUSIVE: QPR eager to splash out for SWP
Ambitious QPR are offering Shaun Wright-Phillips a stunning £3million-a-year contract.

Rangers' new owner Tony Fernandes has given manager Neil Warnock the cash to offer Manchester City £2million for the England winger and the Premier League new boys are clear to speak to the London-born star about moving back to the capital on the wages he wants.

Wright-Phillips has been on the brink of joining Bolton rather than fellow suitors Stoke and Wigan, although his personal terms were proving a problem, but now QPR have topped all of the offers on the table.

Rangers hope the chance to carry on at his City salary of around £55,000-a-week will lure the 29-year-old away from Bolton - although Owen Coyle's club won't give up without a fight.

"It's fair to say he is a player we would love to get to the club," said Coyle. "There is no issue with his willingness to come or our desire to have him. But it is not settled yet financially."

QPR will have to convince Wright-Phillips to join their 'revolution' under Fernandes though, and there would be the question of whether he would have to take a pay-cut if they go down.

The west Londoners' new financial clout has caused a stir in the transfer market as the summer window enters its final days.

QPR are also willing to pay West Ham skipper Scott Parker his £70,000-a-week salary in full if he joins them either in a permanent move or on loan.

Their move for Parker has hit Tottenham's hopes of landing the England midfielder on the cheap." Mirror


- Leon Clarke's contract has been terminated by mutual consent with immediate effect.
- Clarke, who joined the R's from Sheffield Wednesday last summer, made just 15 appearances in all competitions during his time at Loftus Road. The Club would like to wish Leon all the best for the future. QPR


Manager Steve Evans is pleased to announce the signing of Queens Park Rangers left-sided midfielder Michael Doughty.

The 18-year-old has been training with Reds since Monday after the manager made an approach to Neil Warnock for his signature. He joins on a six-month loan and is added to the squad who will be on duty at Torquay United in League 2 tomorrow, subject to confirmation from the Premier League.

Doughty, pictured on the left, is a Wales Under-19 International who made his first-team debut for Rangers as a late substitute in the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers in January.

The player had a short loan spell at Blue Square South Woking towards the end of last season and was exceptional in each match he played. A number of Npower League 1 and 2 clubs have tried to secure his services this season but Steve Evans has won the race for his signature.

Speaking earlier today Warnock said: "Michael is an exciting young talent and it was important he joined the right club that will take him nearer our first team.

"He has trained at Crawley since Monday and it was the club he wanted to join. I have the greatest respect for the Steve Evans and what Crawley Town is all about so he is now with them till January.

Steve was delighted with the signing. He said: "Michael came on as a substitute in our match with QPR two weeks ago and he was exceptional.

"We tracked him from last season and I knew Neil would have a number of clubs chasing him but he is our player now. He has a lovely left foot, takes defenders on and I think he will be a very good signing for us.

"We must not forget Michael is only a kid, though, but at the same time he is a gifted player. He has trained here for a few days now and the lads have taken to him, both as a lad and more importantly as a player. He will travel with us to Torquay, subject to the formalities been completed by the Premier League.

"I must thank our owner Ian Carter for all his personal assistance in helping get Michael here - it's team Crawley all the way."

After completing his move Michael said: "The Gaffer Neil Warnock told me of a few clubs that wanted to take me on loan but gave me the opportunity to meet Steve Evans and train at Crawley.

"This is an important decision for me at this stage of my career but having spoke to Steve and seen for myself the quality of player here I wanted to sign for Crawley."


New QPR shareholder Ruben Emir Gnanalingam has called on the R's supporters to be the Club's new twelfth man.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Gnanalingam - who joined the QPR Board on Thursday afternoon alongside Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Bin Meranun - revealed how he believes the Hoops faithful can be the 'difference between winning and losing' this season.

"The fans are the twelfth man and sometimes can be the difference between winning and losing," he said.

"I love football and especially the English Premier League.

"I went to Loftus Road last Saturday and despite being 1-0 down at the time, the fans continued to cheer the team on.

"When I saw that I told Tony that these are the sort of fans we have to get involved with. We also met a few fans outside the stadium after the game. The way they welcomed us helped me make up my mind that day."

Gnanalingam - who is the CEO of one of Malaysia's top seaports, Westports Malaysia - added: "I'd like to thank the fans for this wonderful welcome.

"We felt at home before even coming in.

"We definitely want to take this Club to greater heights and we need your help every single step of the way. Let's do this together. We are very proud to be a part of your team!"

And Gnanalingam is under no illusions with regards to the immediate goals this season, commenting: "Realistically my ambitions for this year are to build a Club that is strong enough to stay up in the Barclays Premier League.

"It's a tough league with teams only getting stronger, so survival would be a good step this year.

"To do that, we need to make sure that the Manager gets what he needs and the fans give him and the players the support they need."

He added: "Tony, Kamarudin and I have a great amount of passion for sports and especially football and more specifically, English Football.

"They own a formula one team and I also co-own a basketball team back in Malaysia, so we have some experience in sports management which will definitely help as we settle into QPR." QPR
However, the Official Site does offer: "HAVE A PIC WITH THE TROPHY! QPR

QPR1st Statement - QPR1st welcomes the purchase of the club by Tony FernandesPublished August 19, 2011

We are delighted that the club can now move forward after months of uncertainty. The Trust is pleased to welcome back Amit Bhatia as vice-chair and that the Mittals have maintained their stake in the club. Having listened to and read Mr Fernandes’ initial media interviews we are glad that we have an owner who it appears will take a long term view of the club and wants to build the infrastructure and the management team.

The Trust is pleased that it appears that all loans from the previous owners have been bought out including one for the Loftus Road Stadium. The Trust believes that the club owning its own ground is essential to future financial stability.

We understand that Gianni Paladini remains at the club but his position is under review. We would like clarification of his role.

The change in ownership has already raised the spirits of QPR fans. We hope that continues and that the supporters will be able to play a full part in building the club for the future. To that end we hope that supporters’ groups will have an early opportunity to meet with the new owners and the management team. We also suggest that the new owners can immediately show that things have changed by organising a fans forum in the early autumn to start rebuilding the relationship between club and fans that had deteriorated under the previous regime. QPR1st

QPR LSA STatement - QPR LSA welcomes Mr Tony Fernandez to our Club and also welcomes the return of Mr Amit Bhatia as Vice Chairman.
Thursday, August 18th, 2011
- Our members are pleased of the talk of investing in a youth academy as well as talk of strengthening our squad. We are also pleased that Mr Warnock will be able to continue building on his excellent achievements.
We are sure that Mr Fernandez is aware that he is the custodian of over a 125 years’ of history and we hope and trust that he forwards and protects the interests of our great club.
The LSA, also, as the oldest independent supporters organisation in the country is a custodian of the interests of our club and its supporters.
We look forward to working with our new owner and hopefully will be able to meet with him in the near future to discuss ticket pricing and other issues that affect our fans.

Welcome to the QPR family Mr Fernandez.

John Reid
Loyal Supporters’ Association - LSA

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