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Thursday, August 25, 2011

QPR Report Thursday: Ray Jones (RIP)...Fernandes: 4 or 5 Players...Joey Barton?...Taarabt?...Ticket Prices...Gorkss


- Four Years Ago Today: Ray Jones RIP....Tributes...Further Tributes
- 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

- Flashback QPR Video from a Decade Ago (How Things Have Changed)

- Leeds Fans and Ken Bates

- Spurs Getting 8.5 Million Pounds from The Mayor?

- What's Gone Wrong With Scottish Football?

- NOT QPR/Football directed, but interesting:"Tipping Point" author Malcolm Gladwell of "Psychic Benefits" of owning a Sports Team

- Gorkss Joins Reading...Flashback to the "controversy" with Blackpool re Gorkss Joining QPR!

TALKSPORT/Alex Varney: Exclusive – Fernandes: ‘We’re looking to sign four or five players’ o Wednesday, August 24
New QPR owner Tony Fernandes is hopeful the club will make up to five new signings by the close of the transfer window.
The Premier League newcomers have been linked with the likes of Joey Barton and Scott Parker since Fernandes completed his takeover of the club last week and the Malaysian tycoon hopes to wrap up a number of deals in the next week.
“We’re looking at about four or five players and in due course hopefully we’ll have some good announcements to make,” he told Drive Time. “It’s going to be a tense few days as we try to get the players we want but God willing we’ll be able to get them.
“My goals at the moment are short-term to ensure survival and do something that the fans will be proud of”Tony Fernandes
“We haven’t really got a budget but it depends on the type of player we get, whether he fits in. We’re fairly flexible on it but obviously we’re not in the same league as Man City and any of those teams.”
Fernandes has refused to make any bold predictions about the future of the club, with survival still the target for this term.
“The main aim is to stay up but the second aim is to build a good infrastructure that will endure many, many seasons and I think it’s critical that we invest in an academy and a good training ground,” he added.
“I’m not one to make big predictions. We’ll have to take it one step at a time. My goals at the moment are short-term to ensure survival and do something that the fans will be proud of.
“I believe every business must be run sensibly. We’ll do it sensibly. I don’t think it’s all about money, it’s about building a good infrastructure and having the right people.” Talksport


SKY - Barton impressed by QPR Midfielder impressed by QPR's plans

Last Updated: August 25, 2011 9:06am

Joey Barton's agent has revealed QPR boss Neil Warnock has been chasing the Newcastle midfielder ever since they won promotion.

Barton is on the verge of a move to Loftus Road after holding talks and undergoing a medical at the Premier League new boys.

Former Manchester City star Barton is available on a free transfer from Newcastle after he was placed on the transfer list following his outspoken remarks about the club on social networking sites.

Barton's representative, Willie McKay, confirmed the player was impressed by QPR's plans after speaking to new owner Tony Fernandes about the move.

"After Queens Park Rangers got promoted Neil Warnock called me and asked me the situation with Joey and of course when Joey was rewarded with a free transfer by Newcastle he came on right away," McKay told Sky Sports News.

"Joey spoke to (chief executive) Phil Beard and spoke to Tony Fernandes, via phone and liked what he had to say and I am sure there is going to be a few more signings for Queens Park Rangers.

"Obviously it is a big wrench for Joey [to leave Newcastle] as he loved it up there and obviously he will miss all the supporters and all his team-mates.

"Time moves on, you just have to move on. Newcastle have got their plans and Joey has got his.

"Joey is very confident he can do very, very well for Queens Park Rangers I think he is a top signing for them." SKY


Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton on brink of joining Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer

Joey Barton has agreed an astonishing £80,000-a-week three-year deal to join Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer and was undergoing a medical on Wednesday night as the newly-promoted Premier League club also prepared to submit an improved £7 million offer for another midfielder, West Ham’s Scott Parker.

By Jason Burt

11:00PM BST 24 Aug 2011

The moves in the transfer market came as Tony Fernandes, who took control of the London club last week, fulfilled a promise to review ticket prices by offering a “significant” refund to season-ticket holders, an announcing that children under eight will be able to attend matches at Loftus Road for free.

Manager Neil Warnock is planning to sign five new players before the transfer window closes with West Ham having already rejected a bid of £4 million, plus £1 million if QPR avoid relegation, for Parker on the day of takeover.

QPR are also discussing offers for the City pair of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Nedum Onuoha as Warnock works to strengthen his squad given the club’s new-found stability and the backing he has received. It is understood, however, that they may miss out on both signings with other clubs in the running.

Fernandes has made around £10 million available and the Malaysian entrepreneur is keen to make at least one marquee signing to boost the club’s profile as well as the chances of survival.

Barton is available for free from Newcastle and the 28 year-old travelled to London on Wednesday for talks after being granted permission to speak to QPR and being told he was not needed for his club’s Carling Cup tie against Sc**thorpe Thursday night.

Barton signed for Newcastle for £5.8 million in 2007 but no fee is being demanded for a player who currently earns £60-65,000 a week. He has started both of Newcastle’s league games so far this season but that has not changed the club’s stance that they would like him to leave.

It may well be that talks with QPR were designed to flush out further interest but there have been few genuine inquiries for Barton and, as things stand, it’s believed he will join the west London club.

The review of ticket prices, meanwhile, will be well-received by supporters angered at the huge hikes announced following promotion.

QPR’s new chief executive Phil Beard confirmed on Wednesday that the club will write to season-ticket holders to outline the extent of the refunds on offer. Tickets for QPR’s next home game against Newcastle, for example, are now £35-60 rather than £40-65. Refunds will be given to those who have bought tickets at the old prices.

Beard announced that the club would be reducing match-day ticket prices, introducing a third match-day pricing category and letting children under eight attend home fixtures for free in specified areas of the stadium, so long as they were accompanied by a full paying adult. Telegraph

GUARDIAN Guardian/Louise Taylor

Joey Barton has medical ahead of proposed Queens Park Rangers move

• Barton close to agreeing a deal with Loftus Road club
• Newcastle unlikely to strengthen in midfield if he departs

Joey Barton has held talks with QPR after the Newcastle United board decided he was allowed to leave

Joey Barton was undergoing a medical ahead of a proposed move to Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night after Newcastle United made it clear they were not prepared to do a U-turn and offer him a new contract at St James' Park.

The midfielder, available on a free transfer but with one year remaining on his contract at Newcastle, had hoped that the QPR manager Neil Warnock's move would force a change of heart in the Tyneside club's boardroom. But Mike Ashley, Newcastle's owner, and Derek Llambias, the managing director, still feel that Barton has burned his bridges after refusing to sign a contract extension offer last season and then criticising the club's transfer policy on Twitter this month.

That latter outburst saw him handed a free transfer. The former Manchester City midfielder, who earns close to £70,000 a week, initially maintained he would leave only for a "top team", ideally one involved in the Champions League. With no club expressing serious interest in signing him until QPR's intervention, his options have receded dramatically.

On Wednesday night Barton wrote on Twitter: "Going for a medical now, still no contract offer from NUFC.......think that just about makes my mind up." He added: "Don't want to leave Newcastle........I've made that clear but my hands are tied."

Warnock, no stranger to controversy himself, has long admired Barton but until the past few days he lacked the funds to sign him. Tony Fernandes's takeover at QPR has now provided the cue for Loftus Road officials to make their approach to Barton's agent. Although the player was initially cool on the idea of joining a newly promoted side, Willie McKay pointed out that QPR were offering a lucrative long-term deal and persuaded Barton to board a Kings Cross-bound train.

That departure left Alan Pardew harbouring mixed feelings. Although Newcastle's manager has found Barton distinctly "high-maintenance" at times, he values the midfielder's ability and aggression. Guardian

INDEPENDENT As Newcastle dither, QPR move in for Barton

By Glenn Moore

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Joey Barton said that the lack of a new offer at St James' Park helped convince him that a switch to Queen's Park Rangers was the right move

Queen's Park Rangers are close to signing Joey Barton, Newcastle United's tempestuous, Nietzsche-tweeting midfielder, holding off interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Stoke City and Sunderland. Barton will leave Newcastle reluctantly, but will be welcomed in west London enthusiastically, not least by manager Neil Warnock.

Barton met Warnock in London yesterday and subsequently tweeted: "Going for a medical now, still no contract offer from NUFC... think that just about makes my mind up." He also added: "Don't want to leave Newcastle... I've made that clear but my hands are tied."

Spurs would seem to have offered the most high-profile platform for the once-capped Barton, but are only prepared to offer a one-year deal. Barton, 29 next week, would like longer. Sunderland's interest is equally intriguing given Barton's current club, but also an unlikely destination after the praise he has heaped upon Newcastle's fans.

Newcastle paid £5.7m in 2007 when Sam Allardyce was manager. He is still under contract but the club said Barton could leave on a free transfer after a pre-season row with manager, Alan Pardew, and criticism on twitter of the club's decision to allow Kevin Nolan to leave for West Ham.

Warnock would not be drawn on his chances of confirming Barton's signature but said: "It is great that we are even talking to players like that." Warnock, who yesterday sold central defender Kasper Gorkss to Reading, hopes to make two more signings before the weekend. A full-back is high among his priorities with Clint Hill suspended and Bradley Orr suffering a muscle injury in Tuesday's Carling Cup defeat to Rochdale. As well as Barton he has also been chasing two other England internationals, West Ham United's Scott Parker and Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips.

In a further sign of the new possibilities at Loftus Road since Tony Fernandes took over, the club announced they are cutting ticket prices. They are also giving "significant" refunds on season tickets which are only one match old. Rangers' previous co-owner Bernie Ecclestone increased season ticket prices by almost 40 per cent this season. It is understood Ecclestone wanted to double prices but was persuaded not to by Warnock who feared playing in front of an empty stadium – and Amit Bhattia, the vice-chairman. Bhattia subsequently resigned but has returned under Fernandes

The club's new CEO, Philip Beard, said: "These changes show how serious we are about taking the fans' views on board."

Beard also announced that the club would allow free entry for under-eights in specified areas, if with an adult paying full price. Lowest ticket price will be £25. "I'm delighted," said Warnock, "because I know how difficult it is for a lot of our supporters to make ends meet and still support their beloved Hoops." Independent

Evening Standard/Ian Gibb - Adel Taarabt's in trouble after getting shirty

Adel Taarabt seems certain to be on a collision course with manager Neil Warnock after his dreadful display of petulance capped an awful night for Queens Park Rangers as they slipped out of the Carling Cup to Rochdale.

Rochdale's Nicky Adams approached Taarabt to swap shirts only for the Moroccan to rip off his top, turn away and toss it behind him before stalking off.

Warnock then conducted a bizarre press conference, where he praised the midfielder - courted all summer by Paris St-Germain - and said he needed to improve his match sharpness.

The Rangers manager said, surely with tongue fixed firmly in cheek: "I was really pleased with Taarabt's attitude.

"He doesn't train very well, so he has to play. I was very pleased he came through because he does need three games in a week to just push him on. He looked good fitness wise, the best he's been, apart from the last 15 minutes.

"And if we can get another game out of him on Saturday [at Wigan] before the international break, then he promises to be back to what he should be for the Newcastle match. That's quite good, really."

Asked why Taarabt doesn't train well, Warnock retorted: "Because he doesn't like training!"
That's an extraordinary state of affairs for a player who was made captain last season and led the charge to the Premier League.

A year after the capitulation to League Two Port Vale, Warnock tried to brush off the consequences of last night's defeat as an inferior competition he is not much interested in with top flight survival all important.

Last season's defeat came amid a 19-game unbeaten League run but this reverse to a League One side, even with multiple changes to the line-up, has to be damaging for the club's morale.

In the first home game since Tony Fernandes's takeover, Rochdale deserved the win with goals from former Toulouse and Grimsby striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro after five minutes and then a glorious chip by veteran Gary Jones after 81 minutes.

Warnock added: "Yes, I'm pleased we're out; the competition needs revamping."

But Rochdale manager Steve Eyre countered: "He didn't say that before the game. Any competition in League or Cup that has a front line of Taarabt and [Jay] Bothroyd tells me he was taking it quite serious, pre-game.

"Post-game he has wished us all the best and said he hopes that we get the tie we want. He's a fantastic man and you're looking at 1,000 games and more he's managed in - I've not done even a 1,000 minutes yet.

"And he's someone I can call on, someone I respect. He's done plenty more than I have."

Warnock's mood will not have been lightened by news that, after losing right-back Bradley Orr to injury last night, Fulham have joined the chase for Aston Villa's Luke Young, who is on QPR's wanted list.

The former Tottenham and Charlton defender, who can play either side, favours a move to Craven Cottage as Villa target Spurs' Alan Hutton.

Warnock knocked back moves for Joe Cole and former Rangers striker Peter Crouch even though Fernandes will be hoping to bring in up to four new players. "I'd love them both but I can't see they'll be at QPR if I'm honest," said the manager. "We couldn't afford one of Crouch's shoelaces! It's easier said than done, bringing players in, even if you've got money. It's not easy to get four or five good players here in a week.

"How busy will I be? Too busy. I'm doing 12 weeks' work in eight days and I'm finding it difficult - and tiring!

"I hope we get at least one in by the weekend to start it rolling and then push on, Monday and Tuesday. The chairman is really trying his hardest. I spoke to him in Malaysia and he's as excited as I am. But he wants to sign them yesterday." Standard

Posted on: Wed 24 Aug 2011

We are pleased to announce significant changes to our pricing structure for the current 2011/12 Barclays Premier League campaign.

Following a full evaluation of our prices across all areas and having taken into account feedback from our loyal supporters, we are delighted to confirm the following changes:

- Significant refunds on Season Tickets*

- Significant top-line reductions on matchday prices and the continuation of the £5 Adult members discount

- Introduction of a third matchday pricing category, representing excellent value for money for QPR supporters

- Under-8's go free - all children under the age of eight will now be able to attend every QPR home fixture (subject to availability) free of charge, when accompanied by a full paying adult, in the silver and bronze areas of the stadium

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk about the changes, newly-appointed CEO Philip Beard, said: "These changes show how serious the owners are about taking the fans' views on board.

"Ticket prices are imperative to the business structure and we are confident the supporters will react positively to the news and help make Loftus Road a fortress on matchdays.

"I would personally like to thank the QPR staff, in particular those directly affected by the previous ticketing structure, for their professionalism and patience in responding to the fans' complaints."

Supporters who have purchased a ticket at the original pricefor our home fixture against Newcastle United on Monday 12th September will be entitled to a refund voucher, which will be sent out in due course.

This voucher can be redeemed for a full refund from the Box Office; used to purchase future tickets; or used in the QPR Superstore on all items.

Box Office Manager, Jenny Elliott, added: "The Box Office staff are delighted Tony Fernandes and his fellow Board members have acknowledged all of our concerns regarding ticket prices and have reduced the prices accordingly.

"It's fantastic news and I'm sure the fans will embrace the new pricing structure.

"This is a major step forward in terms of re-building the bond between the Club and its supporters and we look forward to welcoming our loyal fans to Loftus Road this season."

*All current Season Ticket holders will be eligible for a refund. The Club will be writing to each and every Season Ticket holder individually in the coming weeks to explain the refund process.

Matchday Prices

Category A (6 matches) - Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool.... QPR

Posted on: Wed 24 Aug 2011

Kaspars Gorkss has joined Championship outfit Reading for an undisclosed fee.

The Latvian centre-half, who was a regular in the R's Championship winning team of 2010/11, has penned a three year deal at the Madejski Stadium.

Gorkss joined QPR from Blackpool in the summer of 2008 and made 124 appearances in all competitions during his three year spell at Loftus Road.

R's gaffer Neil Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "Kaspars has been a tremendous servant to the Club and was instrumental in helping us reach the Premier League.

"I'm delighted that he's going to a good Club like Reading." QPR

The Club would like to thank Kaspars for his services to QPR and wish him all the best for the future.

*The deal is subject to Football League approval.

- Next: Wigan - QPR-Wigan Stats

- Six Years Ago Today: The "Shock" Boardroom Coup as Gianni Paladini, Dunga and Caliendo ("Consultant") Overthree Chairman Bill Power & Axed CEO Mark Devlin.

- "Spot The Ball!"

- QPR Report Q&A: The Rochdale Perspective of Rochdale and QPR (Interview Conducted by QPR Report Correspondent, Maudesfishnchips)

- Next: Wigan - Stats, Past Encounters

- Past QPR-Malaysia Connections: Allan Harris

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

- A Statistical Guide to Points Needed to Stay Up

- "Spot The Ball!"

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