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Sunday, October 23, 2011

QPR Report Sunday: Chelsea!...Warnock on Stadium Move..."The Four Year Plan" Update..Faurlin on Last Season's "Trial"

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- 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

- Next Stop for "The Four Year Plan" - Amsterdam

- 11 Year Flashback: Gerry Francis Talking about QPR Finances

- Birthday for Ex-QPR Trevor Challis

- Almost Three Year Flashback: Club-Fan Meet

- Flashback: Recalling "ReBuild QPR"

- Manchester City's Balotelli Starts a Fire!

- Three Years Ago Today: An Open Letter from Amit Bhatia

- Football's Fight Against Racism, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, etc Week (Fortnight)

- QPR & Chelsea: Stats/ Shared Players



R's defender Clint Hill has been recalled from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

With Danny Gabbidon and Matthew Connolly both currently sidelined owing to injury, Neil Warnock has taken the option to recall the experienced defender from his spell at The City Ground.
Hill made five appearances for The Reds during his brief period at the Club.
The Liverpudlian is expected to go straight into the R's squad for the visit of Chelsea to Loftus Road this weekend. QPR

SKYSPORTS - Warnock backs stadium move
QPR boss confident of increasing fanbase

SKYSPORTS - Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock believes that the club has enough fans to make the move to a new stadium a success.

QPR's Malaysian owner, Tony Fernandes, has said that he plans to have his team play in a new stadium that will have a bigger capacity than their current 20,000-seater home, Loftus Road.

However, there have been doubts whether the London side would be able to fill their prospective new ground with enough supporters, but Warnock is positive that they will be able to do so.

"I think we would be able to fill a bigger stadium," he said. "When I was at Huddersfield, we got something like 4,000 average at the old Leeds Road and then we moved to the McAlpine, a fantastic new complex at that time, and we had 12,500 from day one so it trebled."

Tony's not daft
QPR welcome Chelsea to Loftus Road in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with the home side currently 14th in the table with nine points from eight matches.

Warnock is relishing the London derby but tempers suggestions that Fernandes should invest in QPR like Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has done at Chelsea.

"The only thing is that Loftus Road for games like we have tomorrow against Chelsea, it's a fantastic place to be stood on the bench and it's a great atmosphere - I would miss that personally," he explained.

"Roman is a little bit different to most people. Financially he dwarfs everything.

"Tony is not daft. He hasn't got where he has today without knowing what he's doing.

"I think he wants to do well, without necessarily spending billions. He'd like to do it an organised way and get the facilities and the staff in to take the club forward and obviously if you can get stability in the Premier League it doesn't take many years to fund itself."

"You know what you're going to get with Chelsea and you just have to hope they have an off day," added the 62-year-old.

"They're such a good team. We just have to get the atmosphere and enjoy it, give them a good game if we can.

"Playing against top teams, getting points is a bonus. I can sense on the training ground they are up for it, though.

"There's that sense of buzz because it's Chelsea and the first derby we've had for many years. Some of the kids that support QPR now have never seen any Chelsea players in the flesh. It's a great day for them." Skysports

Guardian/Jamie Jackson - Neighbours on the move: Chelsea and QPR and the battle for new grounds

West London rivals want to move from their old stadiums, but suitable sites are at a premium

Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea – long-standing west London rivals – collide again on Sunday at Loftus Road for the first time in the league for 15 years. But there is now added dimension to the clubs' mutual antipathy – with each in a race to grab one of the few available sites for a new stadium in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough they share.

Greater monetary yield, as ever in the Premier League, is the catalyst for the clubs' expansion plans. Chelsea gaze with envy at Arsenal's financial transformation since moving to the 60,000-seat Emirates in 2006 and at the 75,000 plus who can now watch Manchester United at Old Trafford. QPR note how Sunderland and Stoke City's new builds allowed them to reap more funds from their fan base.

Tony Fernandes, QPR's new owner, wants a move away from Loftus Road but not out of what he calls "a fantastic area". If the Malaysian businessman, who bought the club in the summer, can raise the cash and secure the land, the next step is relatively simple. Neil Warnock, the manager, says: "We're already talking about a new stadium. Tony is one of those owners who, with the other shareholders, just want to get there yesterday."

Chelsea are aware of his ambitions and want to move fast. Yet for their oligarch proprietor, Roman Abramovich, the scenario is complex. The club insists that no definitive decision has been made to move. If they do, plots have been identified, with an area next to Battersea power station the current favourite, and sites at Earl's Court and White City other options. Earl's Court is the club's preference, on the north site, as it is the closest to Stamford Bridge, and would allow fans to continue their current pre- and post-match rituals. If Capco, which owns Earl's Court, is willing to reopen talks with Chelsea then the club would gladly accept the chance.

Abramovich's first challenge, though, is to buy back the freehold on Stamford Bridge so that the land can be developed to raise funds. To do this he needs to convince the Chelsea Pitch Owners that there is no wish to relocate any further away than a three-mile radius. Chelsea insist they want to stay close to their roots. If they are to move then the deadline for one of the sites is 2020, they say. This, Chelsea contends, is due to the belief that they will all be taken by then.

An extraordinary meeting of the CPO, whose members have owned the land since 1993, will be held on Thursday, with the politicking fully under way. Abramovich's offer to the 12,000 shareholders who own the 15,000 shares is to buy them at the sum they originally cost, a total of £10m, £8.5m of which was a loan from the club, which will be written off by the Russian. He is arguing, not unfairly, that the original purchase was never about profit, but safeguarding Chelsea's future.

While Abramovich wants to leave Stamford Bridge with its capacity of 42,000 for a new home that can house 55,000 to 60,000, Warnock believes that QPR could regularly attract at least 30,000. "When I was at Huddersfield [1993-95], we got something like 4,000 average at the old Leeds Road and then at the McAlpine we had 12,500 day one so it trebled."

Those opposed to Abramovich's offer are not against moving but want a new destination legally signed off first. Richard King, the CPO chairman, is careful to balance each side's concerns. "As directors of CPO," he says, "we had an obligation to ensure shareholders could discuss the club's proposal and then vote on it. It's for shareholders to decide, not us."

He is clear that Chelsea need to relocate. "I have been watching Chelsea for years. It's like a second home. On the other hand, I understand that because of its location the stadium can't be extended. With Financial Fair Play rules to come, we need a bigger stadium to compete. Finishing below Spurs, because they have a bigger stadium and therefore a stronger squad than us, is too awful to contemplate."

The Say No CPO organisation is upset that neither the CPO nor the club informed them that negotiations had occurred without the shareholders being told before the situation became public. "CPO had to deal with the proposal in confidence at the behest of the club," the Pitch Owners said. "Its directors have sought to clarify and settle a proposal which reflects what the club will offer and to allow the shareholders of CPO to decide, on a 75% vote if in favour, whether or not to accept it."

What Chelsea supporters would also certainly not like is if QPR became the noisy neighbours who take up the prime spot in their local manor. Guardian

Faurlin recalls a testing time

Alejandro Faurlin felt like he was on trial for murder during the controversial tribunal which nearly wrecked the club's promotion bid.

Having dominated the npower Championship for most of last season, QPR appeared to be coasting towards their dream of gaining promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in 15 years.

Those dreams were put in danger of being shattered in March, however, when the Football Association brought charges against the club for allegedly breaching regulations over the transfer of Faurlin in the summer of 2009.

Two months of legal wrangling followed in which Faurlin, and several club representatives, were hauled before the

FA to explain the circumstances that surrounded the Argentinian's transfer from Institute FC two years ago.

Much to the relief of QPR fans, the FA allowed the club's promotion to stand and Faurlin, along with the rest of the Rangers squad, have since gone on to make a decent start to their life in the top flight.

The 25-year-old today spoke of his relief at the decision, but admitted the ordeal of going through the tribunal was tough.

"Imagine that week - on Thursday I had been in Wembley to declare (in front of the panel). I felt like I had murdered someone, " Faurlin said.

"I was made to swear: 'I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'.

"It was very tough and hard, not just for me but for people around me - the club and the group.

"We worked really hard last season and were always top from the beginning to the end. We worked hard for every single point, so imagine if you let down your team. It wasn't all me, it was my contract and QPR, but my name was there and you really feel it.

"We were really, really happy everything finished in the right way otherwise I would have felt very bad in that moment."

The one thing that helped the midfielder through the ordeal, was the support of the staff at QPR to whom he is eternally grateful.

"The support was super, the fans, the group, the manager, the staff, everyone. They all made me feel good, so I was really pleased and now I want to say thank you to them," he added.

Faurlin has been an ever-present in the Rangers

midfield despite the acquisition of the likes of Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips since Tony Fernandes bought the club.

The club face the biggest test since Fernandes bought the club tomorrow when they take on Chelsea at Loftus Road in the west London derby.

Under new boss Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues have kept up with league leaders Manchester City and rivals Manchester United, and they make the short trip across London in superb form having racked up 13 goals in their last three matches.

Rangers, in contrast, drew 1-1 with bottom side Blackburn last weekend and two weeks previously they were hammered 6-0 by fellow strugglers Fulham.

Despite this, Faurlin insists QPR can come out on top in tomorrow afternoon's game.

"We have had a few tough games, and probably a lot of people dont expect much from us. But I can tell you that we are really excited about this," he said.

"We are motivated and every single player wants to play against the biggest sides in the league. We are really looking forward to it. We have support from the owner and the fans, so we will look to get a positive result. "

Unlike many other Argentines, Faurlin has adapted well to life in England, and the physical nature of the Barclays Premier League.

He does admit to not being a big fan of the weather in London, but has otherwise become easily accustomed to life in Britain.

"I watch Deal or no Deal every day and X-Factor with my son as he goes to sleep," he says, with a smile.

"I quite like fish and chips and apple pie with custard. I love that one." Report


Many thanks to Maudesfishnchips for conducting another great interview. And many thanks to Chelsea fan, Martin Rowe of CFCNet for providing us with this interview and offering us with his perspective.

Many thanks to Martin Rowe, associate editor of CFCnet.co.uk. enjoy

How long have you supported Chelsea?

Well, I’m in my mid 40’s now so I guess that’s nearly half a century of supporting Chelsea! Put it this way, I’ve stood in the Shed and seen us get relegated. That was a long time ago but it’s seared into my memory as if it was yesterday.

There is only one team in west London and they play in hoops, why Chelsea!?

Not sure what you mean by that question.

Who's Chelsea’s biggest Rival (or Rivals)?

Traditionally it’s been Fulham and Spurs, but more recently it’s been teams like Barcelona and Man Utd. To be honest, the team we love to beat these days is Liverpool. 20 years and counting to win the league is a long time and we’re happy to play our part in extending this. Listening to Scousers talk you’d have thought they’d invented football but what people don’t realise is that Chelsea won their first European trophy before Liverpool and we were the first UK team to be invited to play in the newly formed European Cup in the 50’s.

Are you happy with your team and how things are to date? – What are your opinions on your manager AVB? His spending/selling this summer?

We’re happy with the style of football AVB is trying to instil at the Bridge and the dynamic pass-and-move nature of the team is winning people over. The board of Chelsea are also fully committed to him so at the moment everything seems to be going well. The big test will be when the difficult periods arrive – as they will – and whether the board will continue to back him. We’re all a bit tired with the constant chopping and changing of managers and would prefer some stability.

What do you think of your current Owner? WHY is he involved? What do you expect from him?

Roman’s been magnificent, absolutely first class. Yes, he’s been a bit trigger happy at times and interfered with managers like Mourinho etc, but overall 3 Premierships, 3 FA Cups and 2 Carling Cups tell their own story. We’ve had a wild time.

How do you think Chelsea treats its fans? Appreciates them? Listens to them? Screws them?

How long have you got? When Peter Kenyon ran the Fans Forum a lot of changes were made at the instigation of the fans and the relationship between the Club and many fans groups was pretty good. However, over time, the Club has become increasingly reluctant to engage with us and is starting to flex its muscles in a dictatorial fashion. Trust is beginning to break down if I’m perfectly honest.

Who are you Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players?

This is a hotly debated topic that could leave me open to widespread abuse when I next visit the Bridge! Everybody’s opinion is different so if you’d ask 1,000 fans you’d get 1,000 answers. However, I think you’d be stretched to find a fan who thinks Salomon Kalou should be a first team regular. Malouda’s form is also too erratic. Overall, though, we have a fantastic squad. Underrated? The media focus on Torres is obscene yet he is looking deadly at the moment – when lady luck turns his way he could have a blistering season.

Are you happy with your youth set up? Is your club doing enough to bring young/local talent through the ranks?

We have a great youth set-up and are doing everything we can to bring young players through. The facilities at Cobham are exceptional and the whole set-up is geared towards sustained long term success. The only criticism is Michael Emanelo’s appointment as technical director. I’m not sure what he brings to the table although Frank Arnesen hardly set the world on fire and he had a stellar reputation before he arrived.

Who would you say was the greatest Chelsea player that you yourself personally saw? And past player? (You can name more than one if it's that close!)

Ruud Gullit was the best player I have ever seen in a Chelsea shirt. He was a one man team and his presence at Chelsea was one of the building blocks of our rise since the early 90’s. He had awesome skill, power, athleticism, intelligence and leadership. Whilst many people would vote for Franco Zola (good as he was), as a complete football player Gullit gets my vote.

What is your prediction for Chelsea this season?

Top 2. Hopefully first. It depends on whether we can get the team to click on a consistent basis. Man Utd have already beaten us but they were slightly lucky in that match and the return fixture should be interesting. Man City are also rivals but they have a self-destruct button lurking in the background.

Are you aware of any player or manager links between our two clubs past and present?

Gavin Peacock played for you after captaining us in the mid 90’s. He was a great player and if his shot had gone in rather than clip the bar in the ’94 FA Cup Final, he could have been an all-time legend. He’s a very genuine fellow, I have a lot of respect for him and I believe he is now in the US studying to be a preacher.

What is your view and the general Chelsea view of QPR (If we even feature in your consciousness) or of Neil Warnock and our owners?

I once read in a Chelsea fanzine that QPR was like an annoying little brother, half your age, who just irritates the hell out of you. That’s fairly accurate. As for Warnock, Ken Bates invited him to become manager of Chelsea in 1991 and he turned us down because he didn’t want to leave the North. That excuse looks a bit thin now!

Who (if any) is your most memorable/favourite QPR Player over the years?

I am old enough to remember your great 1970’s side and Gerry Francis was a truly inspirational player.

Did you attend home or away, any matches between our two clubs when we were last in the premiership? Any memorable matches between our two clubs that stand out for you? And the reasons why?

One of my favourite games in my whole life was in 1990 (I think) when you were 2-0 up and we equalised before Joe Allon scored an overhead kick in the dying minutes. The whole away end went ballistic. I’ve never forgotten that game, it’s one of my top ten games of all time, and believe me, I’ve seen many, many hundreds (if not thousands).

Your score prediction for QPR v Chelsea?

3-1 to Chelsea. We’re a good team, believe me.

What, realistically, do you think Chelsea are capable of achieving in the next five years?

The sky’s the limit. We’d obviously like to go one step further in Europe.

What are your and the general view of Chelsea supporters regarding the proposed new stadium? And the suggested site in white city if this was of interest to Abramovich ? The QPR support would not welcome such a move, would you ?

We’re very angry about the situation. Whilst most fans agree that we probably need to move, the Club aren’t giving us any guarantees where they want to move to. Now, given that 12,000 of us own the Stamford Bridge pitch, turnstiles and brand name Chelsea FC, we’re pissed off that the Club want us to hand these rights over for no guarantee. They must think we came down in the last shower. The vote on 27th October is monumental in the history of our Club.
White City? We’d prefer to move nearer Stamford Bridge, Earl’s Court being a particular favourite.

Martin Rowe

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