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Sunday, September 11, 2011

QPR Report Sunday Updates: Vine Suing QPR?... Fernandes Speaking...QPR Serious About Beckham

Ten Years Ago Today: RIP: All the people who came from all over the world, who were killed at the World Trade Center in New York, aboard Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon in Virginia on September 11, 2001.

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Totally Non-QPR or Football: September 11, 2001: Ten Years Ago Today...RIP

- Premier League Attendance Chart/Map

- Five Years Ago: Ian Holloway on QPR and Waddock

- Four Years Ago: No Capello to Manage QPR & Hogan Extends QPR Loan!

- Three Years Ago: Gianni Paladini Surviving at QPR...Newcastle's Mike Ashley Admiring QPR Way! QPR Buying players by Committee.

- Next Newcastle: Stats, Flashbacks and Previews

- Other "On This Day" QPR Games

- Three Ex-QPR Birthdays today

- Bournemouth Owner/Developer & Video "Vs" Fans

Sunday People/Tom Hopkinson - QPR striker in legal battle with club following freak accident in training
Sep 11 2011
- QPR striker Rowan Vine is waging a legal battle against his club over the training-ground tackle in which he broke a leg three years ago.
- The 28-year-old was crocked in a clash with reserve keeper Matt Pickens in April 2008, just three months after joining in a £1million move from Birmingham, and has since been unable to re-establish himself at Loftus Road.
- QPR claim Vine (right) has not tried hard enough to get himself fit again after what they consider was a freak accident. People

Observer/Jamie Jackson

Tony Fernandes on Barton, Beckham and the future of QPRQPR's new owner on the winners he wants at the club, a whirlwind spending spree and life as an entrepreneur

Tony Fernandes, Queens Park Rangers' new owner, is clear about why he signed Joey Barton: "You've got to have winners. If they're all passive and sweet that's not any good. I would have taken Craig Bellamy – we tried but Liverpool came along. When I came in I said to Neil Warnock: 'Who do you want? My recommendation is to get people who you think you can get more out of than other people have, and who are hungry.'

"My whole life has always been about looking for that person that money can't buy in that they've got a bee in their bonnet."

In Barton, Fernandes's QPR project has unarguably recruited someone whose bonnet never stops buzzing. He joined on a free transfer last month. This followed his fallout with the Newcastle United hierarchy, and a stream of tweets quoting left-field thinkers that revealed the 28-year-old as the Premier League's most unlikely bard. evening, Barton makes his debut against his former club at what will be a raucous Loftus Road.

How Barton might blend with another potential recruit would prove an intriguing watch. Fernandes claims LA Galaxy's David Beckham, a free agent, is on the radar "100%". "He's got some things left unfinished and he obviously still enjoys playing football." Is it realistic, then, to expect him in the hooped jersey soon? "You are asking me things that generally I hate to answer, because I would rather do it," Fernandes says. "All I can say is: 'Do I like him? Yes. Do I think he fits into the club? Yes. Do we meet what he wants? We'll have to see.'"

Fernandes says Barton heads the list of winners recruited by the club he bought a 66% share in last month for £45m. He believes the club he supports and nearly bought at least three times, West Ham United, has historically lacked these. In the 47-year-old Malaysian, whose fortune derives from building the low-cost airline AirAsia after he previously worked as a music executive for Virgin and Warner, QPR have landed an owner who should know the way to success.

Fernandes speaks well of allowing Warnock to get on with his job without any of the boardroom interference that blighted the turbulent reign of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, the former owners. Between 2007 and 2010 five managers, Luigi De Canio, Iain Dowie, Paulo Sousa, Jim Magilton and Paul Hart were all waved goodbye, with Briatore also offering unwanted input into team matters.

So Fernandes's approach will be soothing music to Warnock, and QPR fans. He says: "Neil has the personality to bring the best out of players. I love him. And he has something to prove. In three weeks we've done quite a bit and now it's up to him. I'm not going to speak of grand plans. But the tone has been set. We want the fans to feel part of the club and part of decision-making process.

"The main thing is to avoid relegation this year. It's not about who we bought that's going to ensure the future success, its about what we build now: the academy, the training ground, the infrastructure. The future of Harlington [QPR's rented training ground] and our stadium are all up in the air. But we're in a fantastic area and don't want to move out.

"The message is: I don't know where we'll take this club but we'll give it our best shot."

Fernandes, who, as a student, lived above a kebab shop on London's Uxbridge Road while taking his accountancy degree at the London School of Economics, possesses a sense of fun that should be sustained by the madcap world he has just entered. He already has some choice transfer window tales that feature panicking owners, cack-handed managers and dithering players. All remain off-record while Fernandes punctuates them with a trademark laugh and the verdict: "It's exciting but not fun at the time. Don't kid yourself that anyone in the Premier League is going to do you any favours."

After Barton, Warnock's recruits since Fernandes took over (with Amit Bhatia, who owns 33%), are Luke Young, Armand Traoré, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand. Fernandes, who owns F1's Team Lotus and is based in Kuala Lumpar, has a townhouse in Belgravia next to Eaton Square, whose residents have included Sean Connery, José Mourinho and Stanley Baldwin.

The date on which we meet there is a special one for Fernandes. "It's 10 years since AirAsia began. I signed on 8 September 2001 and three days later 9/11 happened," he says. "I had no experience in the airline business and I signed subject to due diligence because I didn't have enough money for the insurance – I was remortgaging my house.

"I thought: 'Bugger it.' I didn't want to sit there at 55 with regrets. If I failed I failed. I didn't mind failing. The worse thing in life is to have regrets like that. You only live once and you make the most of it. I'd rather be positive. I am one of those lucky people who have done what they said. I wanted to own an airline, an F1 team and a football club. It's like a fairytale, right? It doesn't sound real.

"But I never thought I would have the balls to be an entrepreneur. Everyday you get your salary and you know what you're doing. To be an entrepreneur you've got to chuck that all in. I was so frustrated in my last job at Warner [as a vice-president] during the late 90s. I walked out of Rockefeller Plaza in New York after I decided to quit. Then I was in the Spaniard's Inn [a pub] in London and I saw Stelios [Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet] on TV, and I thought: 'That looks interesting.' I went up to Luton Airport and saw people flying to Barcelona for £8, to Paris for £6 and it looked great. But there is a very fine line between brilliance and stupidity. If it failed everyone would have said: 'What a fucking idiot.'"

It did not, and neither might QPR if Fernandes's mix of business nous and wonder is retained. He adds: "I went to my first football match at QPR. When I go to Loftus Road now, I can still picture Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis.

"When I walked into QPR and I saw Sky Sports saying: 'Tony Fernandes is about to arrive, the new owner of QPR', I was in the reception. That was probably the most surreal moment of my life. I mean, I can almost walk there from here." Guardian

REUTERS - INTERVIEW-Soccer-QPR actively pursuing Beckham, says Fernandes
By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy, Sept 10 | Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:48am EDT

MONZA, Italy, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Queens Park Rangers are keen to sign David Beckham because he has something to prove and can help with other commercial interests, the Premier League club's new owner Tony Fernandes told Reuters on Saturday.

Asked whether the promoted west Londoners were actively pursuing their interest in the former England captain, he replied: "Yes.

"We stuck our hands up. I think David Beckham will obviously look more positively at Spurs than us but let's see in December how we are doing," the Malaysian airline entrepreneur, who also owns Formula One's Team Lotus, said at the Italian Grand Prix.

League rivals Tottenham Hotspur have also said they want to sign Beckham, who trained with Spurs earlier in the year, when his five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy ends in November.

Beckham has made no secret of wanting to play for a united British team as an over-age player in next year's London Olympics and a return to the Premier League would undoubtedly help with that ambition.

Fernandes said that even at 36 years-old, Beckham was exactly the kind of player QPR were looking for.

"If you look at the players we've signed in QPR, they've all got something to prove," the Airasia boss said.

"I told (manager) Neil (Warnock) 'look for players who have something to prove.' Joey Barton's got a lot to prove, especially after his Twitter problem," he added. "Money can't buy that".

Barton, whose former club Newcastle United play at QPR on Monday, is no stranger to controversy and was jailed for assault in 2008. He also criticised the Newcastle board on social media site Twitter before his move.

"Shaun Wright-Phillips, he still feels he can play for England. He needs to play so he's going to get out there. (Armand) Traore, (Arsene) Wenger never really gave him a shot and I think he's a class player," said Fernandes of QPR's other summer signings.


"Luke Young felt (England boss Fabio) Capello overlooked him. And Anton Ferdinand was lost in the north-east (at Sunderland) and is glad to be back in London.

"So I think David Beckham fits into my profile and of course there are lots of things I could do with him in the other businesses," added Fernandes, whose interests include the music industry.

"Ultimately Neil's the manager and he's got to see if it makes sense and whether David is interested. Let's see. The world is about ideas and exploring things and that's an idea that came up."

Asked how many more players might be signed in the next January transfer window, Fernandes said he would wait and see.

"I don't know. It really depends how (former Blackpool striker) DJ Campbell and (forward Jay) Bothroyd perform. If they perform well, then we've got a great squad."

Fernandes bought QPR from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, neither of whom could be considered die-hard supporters of the West London club.

Fernandes said the purchase from Ecclestone had been a "very clean deal".

The new owner twice tried to buy east London club West Ham United, relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, and had made much of his lifelong support for the Hammers.

Fernandes said that chapter was closed: "I am now a west London man." (Editing by Mark Meadows; For Reuters sports blog - Reuters


QPR can offer David Beckham the 'love, care and attention' needed to fulfil his aim of captaining Great Britain at the Olympics next year, according to new owner Tony Fernandes.

Fernandes is willing to provide Beckham with the route he needs, and to expand his global brand beyond that given his connections in the Far East where the 36-year-old is already a phenomenon.

The Malaysian entrepreneur believes Beckham has something to prove to himself with one last hurrah in the Premier League.

It is understood Fernandes has held talks with Beckham's advisors with regards to a move from Los Angeles Galaxy during the January transfer window.

The feedback is that Beckham would prefer Spurs or Arsenal if at all possible, although he has not ruled out QPR given Fernandes' long -term vision for the club.

Fernandes is adamant signing Beckham is not a pie-in-the-sky idea, but a realistic target as he attempts to cement QPR's future in the top flight beyond this season.

"If you look at the five signings we've made we have brought in people who have something to prove," said Lotus team principal Fernandes, speaking in Monza ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

"Environment, love, care and attention - we can offer that to him. I'm not sure it's for him, and I'm not sure it will fit him in January. Who knows?"

Tony Fernandes

Quotes of the week

"Shaun Wright-Phillips still feels he can play for England; Joey Barton has a lot to prove; Anton Ferdinand, missing in action at Sunderland, but back in London, home town, things to prove.

"Then we've Luke Young who felt he was deserted early by (England manager Fabio) Capello, and (Armand) Traore was never given a chance at Arsenal by (Arsene) Wenger.

"So we've five new players, and Beckham fits into that mould because he wants to return and captain Britain at the Olympics.

"Environment, love, care and attention - we can offer that to him.

"I'm not sure it's for him, and I'm not sure it will fit him in January. Who knows?

"But I'm an ideas man, and he is an idea. He may not want it, he may want a bigger club. I hear (Spurs manager) Harry Redknapp has said he wants him.

"Ultimately, (manager) Neil (Warnock) has to feel comfortable, but who knows what can happen in January. We will have to wait and see.

"They (Beckham's advisors) want to talk because our vision is a long-term one, with lots of things David can do in Asia with me. It's something we have to work at."

QPR boss Neil Warnock backs Barton to earn England call-up
Sep 10 2011 by Tom Hopkinson, The People
Image 6 Paper Pics 11/09/11
NEIL WARNOCK sees no reason why Joey Barton can’t fulfil his ­international dream at QPR – because Fabio Capello won’t be in charge of England for that much longer.

The Italian claimed last month it was “too dangerous” to select bad boy Barton because he runs the risk of getting sent off.

But the Scouser’s reputation did not stop Warnock snaffling him from Newcastle at the end of the transfer window.

And the Loftus Road manager reckons Capello’s grasp of English means he doesn’t always know what he’s saying, anyway.

Now Warnock can’t wait to see the 29-year-old, who won his only England cap as a sub in 2007 under Steve McClaren, ­getting stuck in against his old side tomorrow night.

He said: “What Fabio said won’t be a problem for Joey – if he’s good enough he will get in the England team. And Capello won’t be here in 12 months, so that won’t be a problem.

“Joey could play in any of the top teams in the ­country. Whether he would get ­selected for England depends on who the manager is.

“If I were the manager he would probably be playing.

“But Capello is the manager and he picks his players. Every manager has their own way.

“It’s dangerous when you start saying things like he did.

“I don’t think he has grasped the language yet, Capello. He says things and I don’t think he means what he said.”

Warnock is confident he’ll have no problems handling Barton.


He added: “I like players who have something different, a little bit of passion.

“Basically, you get those type of players when you have no money as you find people don’t want them.

“Maybe that’s why I’ve had so many of that sort of player through my ­career, as I haven’t had a lot of money.

“There was a lad called Ashley Sestanovich at Scarborough.

“I’d never seen a lad with ability like him. I remember saying to him, ‘Son, you’ll either be in the Premier League in a few years or in prison’. Unfortunately, he ended up in prison.” Likewise, Barton spent 77 days at Her Majesty’s pleasure in 2008 for common assault and affray.

But he rebuilt his career at Newcastle and Warnock doesn’t doubt what a fine acquisition the Nietzsche-quoting Twitterholic will turn out to be.

He said: “I told our chairman we were looking at someone who, without his problems, there was no way we’d get on a Bosman.

“Joey has been a revelation with the rest of the lads. Training has been superb. I didn’t realise he’s so articulate and clued-up. I’m thinking of giving him a copy of my autobiography.

“When I first signed him, I thought he was just going to look at the pictures...”

Defender Luke Young, ­another QPR new boy, said: “He’s one of those 100 per cent midfield ­players who has a little bit of everything – he can score goals, create goals and he can destroy as well.

“Joey is probably as close to the all-round midfielder as you can get, so it won’t take him long to win over the fans.” People

David McIntyre/West London Sport

Warnock: Ferdinand can flourish at QPR
QPR boss Neil Warnock believes he and his backroom team can turn Anton Ferdinand into a top defender.

Ferdinand, 26, was once touted as an even better prospect than his brother Rio, but his performances for both West Ham and Sunderland attracted criticism.

It means the player has something to prove following his pre-deadline return to the capital from Wearside, where his first-team place was under threat prior to his move to Rangers.

“He’s still got a lot to learn. He could be a better player. He has all the attributes, but in certain situations he has been lacking defensive qualities,” said Warnock.

“I think we can put that into his game. Keith Curle and Mick Jones worked very hard with the back four last season and we had the best defensive record in the country.

“We have scope to make Anton a better player. At times he’s not defensively minded and in the past has taken too many chances, and that is something that he can learn from.

“I hope he does learn, because he’s got everything – he’s quick, strong and good in the air. He’s got all that you need in a centre-back.”

Ferdinand is expected to make his R’s debut against Newcastle on Monday, and striker DJ Campbell will also be in the squad following a mystery virus that had the club’s medical staff puzzled.

Campbell was unwell for three weeks and underwent a number of tests, all of which failed to reveal what the problem was.

“DJ really has struggled with it – he’s been in a bad way,” Warnock revealed.

“He went through all sorts of tests and nothing showed up. But he’s been feeling better and will be in the squad" West London Sport

And Paul Warburton/Chronicle

Warnock's agonising decision over QPR strikers
By Paul Warburton

IT WAS touch and go who got the 25th and last QPR squad place this week – according to boss Neil Warnock.

The agonising decision saw crocked Jamie Mackie (pic) get the nod over Patrick Agyemang – despite the striker starting in two out of the three Premiership games so far.

“I had to go with the physios telling me Jamie would be back in the next couple of weeks,” admitted Warnock. “If that backfires – I’ve made a mistake.

“But I’m getting enquiries for players who didn’t make the squad. (Striker) Rob Hulse is still injured – and I’ve had three or four about him already.”

The manager also revealed striker DJ Campbell has been laid low an incredible three weeks by a mystery virus.

“He’s been bad, really bad – he only started training this week,” said Warnock. “We’ve done every test you can name – blood, backside – the lot and they’ve found nothing.”

However, the £1.25 striker from Blackpool is set to get a place on the bench on Monday at home to Newcastle, when Joey Barton runs out against his old club.

What you see, is not all always what you get – reckons his new boss. Apparently, the new midfielder is interested in art museums and books.

“He’s quite literary and I was thinking Joey might like a copy of my autobiography,” joked Warnock. “Before I got to know him, I thought he might just look at the pictures.” Fulham Chronicle

Ian Holloway/Independent Column

- "...I can't wait for the Joey show

Just before 8pm tomorrow, I will take the phone off the hook, switch the television on, and settle back in the armchair for what should be a cracking match between Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United.

I love Premier League football at the best of times but this game has all the ingredients of a belter. QPR will have a load of new signings on show, and to see one of those – Joey Barton – up against his old club will add a bit of spice to it to say the least.

Just for the record, I really like Joey. I have met him off the field and you won't find a nicer bloke. We've all got flaws in our character but I get the feeling he is trying to improve himself and, if he cuts down on the Twitter, and concentrates on his football, the better for everyone.

He is a fine footballer, someone I'd love to have the chance to work with at some stage, and I think QPR have made a great signing. He should make a real difference this season. QPR

- Some Great QPR Photos from This Week's PhotoShoot

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