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Thursday, October 13, 2011

QPR Report Thursday Update: Buzsaky Innjury...QPR Ranked Worst re Elderly Supporters Pricing...John Terry Cites QPR re Chelsea Ground Move

- From The Bushman Collection: Photo Memories of Rodney Marsh in His QPR Days

- 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

- Update: Liverpool Want Own TV Deal...Liverpool's owners

- Government's February Deadline for Football to reform itself

- Chelsea's John Terry Cites QPR as he Advocates Club Ground Move/Fans Supportig the Owners

- (Almost three year flashback: Article re Amit Bhatia and QPR)

- Four Year Flashback: Gianni Paladini Denies Franco Ceravalo on the QPR Staff

- Next: Blackburn - Stats/Players who played for both clubs

- QPR Fans and QPR's Official Facebook Page: Near The Top in the Premiership

Paul Warburton/Fullham Chronicle - QPR midfielder waits on knee injury

AkOS Buzsaky will know early next week the seriousness of a cyst on his knee – and whether he has to play through it for the rest of the season.

The 29-year-old Hungarian missed four months of last season’s Championship-winning campaign with a knee problem, and his chances of featuring in this campaign also appear limited.

“He should be able to play through the problem and have the cyst removed at the end of the season,” said QPR boss Neil Warnock, “but we’ll know more when we get the specialist’s report.”

Meanwhile, defender Danny Gabbidon has been ruled out of Saturday's clash with Blackburn, with Matt Connolly (ankle) a major doubt. Fulham Chronicle


Independent - Exclusive: Older football fans feel price squeeze
Paltry discounts offered by clubs threaten to drive away a generation

By Jack Pitt-Brooke Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Football Supporters Federation and Age UK have condemned ticket price levels for elderly fans at Premier League grounds. As Liverpool's proposal for individual international broadcasting deals has shown, Uefa's Financial Fair Play reforms have left the clubs desperate to increase revenue. In many cases, this has led to costs being passed on to spectators, with discounts for older supporters being shrunk to the point of irrelevance.

While some clubs sell half-price tickets to the elderly, others offer as little as 10 per cent off the full ticket price, an investigation by The Independent has revealed. Football Supporters Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke described this inconsistency as "bizarre" and believes it will be a "significant deterrent" to many elderly fans. If life-time supporters are priced out of watching their clubs, that may risk exacerbating social exclusion, according to the charity Age UK.

The Premier League's worst offenders are Queen's Park Rangers. Even with reductions under the new ownership, attending Premier League football at Loftus Road is painfully expensive. For Category A games – those against the Manchester teams, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool – non-members aged 60 and above have to pay £40, £45, £55 or £60 depending on where they sit.

Not only are these the highest prices asked of seniors in the Premier League, they also represent the slimmest discounts: of 14, nine, 10 and 11 per cent from the full price respectively.

Category B matches at Loftus Road – seven visitors, including Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle – are not much cheaper. The range there for senior citizens is between £50 and £30, expensive enough itself and again at discounts of between only 11 and 16 per cent. Tony Fernandes has lowered prices at QPR since taking over, and recently admitted that the club "need to sort out the ticket prices".

Three miles away at Fulham the deal is almost as bad. The range of senior citizens' prices at Craven Cottage for Category A Premier League games is between £35 and £45, discounted from between £45 and £60: a reduction of between 22 and 27 per cent.

This is not entirely a London issue either. For Liverpool's seven Category A league games (including the visit of Aston Villa), over-65s pay £34 in the Kop and £36 for the rest of the ground, a reduction of only a quarter. Similarly, top Premier League games at Manchester City cost over-65s between £30 and £39, at discounts of between 19 and 27 per cent.

It is rare that the ticketing policies of the larger clubs are to be applauded, but in this case they are rather more generous than some of the smaller sides. Manchester United, despite price increases under the Glazers, are in fact among the country's most generous clubs regarding their older supporters. They give 50 per cent discounts on Premier League tickets, but with a maximum price of £20, meaning that some seats cost as little as £14, and some are discounted as far as 60 per cent.

Chelsea also offer 60 per cent off, selling Category A Premier League East Stand tickets for £19.50 and £27.50. Arsenal sell seats for Category A league games in the family enclosure to seniors for £22 and £27, again roughly 60 per cent off. Of course, it is easier to offer larger discounts when the full price is higher, but Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all impress in terms of the price of the seats and the relative discount.

For children, admittedly, the prices are better. Manchester United let junior official members in for £10, while Liverpool sell Anfield Road seats for £15 for Category A games providing there is an accompanying adult. QPR, even for Category A games, let under-8s in free in parts of the ground, and charge less than half price for others.

It is the variation between the discounts for the elderly that is most striking. The FSF's Clarke bemoaned the inconsistency that allowed some clubs to charge almost full price. "Most people's starting assumption might be for a discount of half of the normal price," he told The Independent. "There seems to be absolutely no justification for such a wide range of variation between clubs."

This range means prices which only the well-supported elderly can afford. "You certainly couldn't comfortably go to Premier League games – unless you had a big discount – if you were wholly reliant on the state pension," said Clarke. "At QPR's prices, you would have to have a pretty decent work pension as well to be able to carry on being able to afford it."

Times are already harder for the elderly. "They face a higher rate of inflation than people in their 20s and 30s, because of what they spend their money on," said Greg Lewis of Age UK. "It becomes more expensive as you get older."

Barriers to attending football risk exacerbating a serious social issue. "It is important that older people have the opportunity to go out and be entertained," said Lewis. "It is an important aspect of tackling social exclusion among older people." And the inevitable, disheartening effect of these prices would be the severing of life-time ties between fan and club. "It would be an awful shame if people who had given a lifetime of support to clubs find that they're dropping out because they can't afford it," said Clarke.

The only real solution, as proposed by the FSF, is league regulation of prices. The Premier League is keen to leave ticketing policy to the clubs, though, and until that changes there is little prospect of reform.

Football is a public good, and a bond in families. If the elderly are priced out, and grandfathers can no longer take their grandchildren to a game, something important will have been lost.

Rip-off? Senior service

Club/Elderly price/Discount

Chelsea £19.50-27.50/57-61%

Arsenal £22-27/57-59%

Manchester Utd £14-20/50-60%

Swansea £17.50/50%

Tottenham £27-30/43%

Everton £23-26/34-37%

Blackburn £17-28/28-39%

Wolves £20-28/28-34%

Wigan £20/28-33%

Aston Villa £21-32/26-32%

Stoke £24-32/25-32%

Bolton £21-24/25-31%

Liverpool £34-36/24-25%

West Bromwich £32/24%

Sunderland £23/23-34%

Fulham £35-45/22-27%

Norwich £35/22%

Manchester City £30-39/19-27%

Newcastle £21-33/19%

QPR £40-60/9-14% Independent

SKY - QPR to discuss winter deals
Warnock targeting striker and defender in January
Looking forward to strengthening his squad further in the January transfer window

....Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock is to speak with chairman Tony Fernandes on Thursday about transfer targets for the January window.

Fernandes' takeover at Loftus Road in August allowed Warnock to venture into the market before the deadline and pull off some eye-catching signings such as Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand.

Warnock appreciates the backing he has already received from the Malaysian businessman but is now looking ahead to the winter and is ready to discuss the next batch of potential recruits.

"Tony has given me great support and I couldn't wish for more backing from him since he arrived," Warnock told the London Evening Standard.

"We have already begun talking about what we are going to do in January and have a number of ideas. He is coming to see me to talk about them on Thursday.

"There are so many things that are possibilities and if I ask for a certain player, the board will support me. At the moment a striker and defender are my two priorities.

"We are looking abroad as well as in this country. We would be silly not to because Tony has all these contacts.

"We haven't got a big enough squad, but we just have to keep going now until January and look to improve again.

"People should know that we are still in the infancy of what we are trying to do."

QPR have impressed since Fernandes completed his takeover, notably winning 3-0 victory at Wolves and securing home draws with Newcastle and Aston Villa.

However, the west Londoners return from the two-week international break on the back of a resounding 6-0 defeat at neighbours Fulham.

Warnock admitted the result was a 'wake-up call' and, while claiming unfortunate circumstances had an impact at Craven Cottage, pledged to respond against Blackburn on Saturday.

"We are going to get a few drubbings this season, but we need the back four to be injury-free," he said."
We have done well when we have had a steady back four, but it was decimated against Fulham.

"[Armand] Traore was suspended so Luke Young had to go left-back. Fitz Hall has been playing with a hamstring injury. Everything went wrong.

"It was like we were blase because we had done so well in the previous matches.

"We just thought it was going to be straightforward.

"It was bad enough to lose a goal after a few seconds, but we lost our discipline then. It was a good lesson.

"I have been able to work with all the players apart from Traore and [Adel] Taarabt during the international break.

"They were just disappointed with what happened but have stepped up training and want to make it up to the fans."

Grateful to fans
Warnock particularly wants the players to make amends this weekend to repay the loyalty shown by Rangers fans at Fulham."I will never forget how they supported us at Craven Cottage," he added. "We were 6-0 down and they were chanting my name - that never happens.

"They must realise how much a boost it gave me and the players.

"It is standard practice when things go wrong you have a go at players and a manager, but they still got behind us.

"We haven't won at home and we have to go all out to beat Blackburn. After this match we play Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City.

"I am looking forward to those games but it would be perfect to go into that tough schedule with a victory." SKY

MAIL Don't believe they hype, Barton is much smarter than people think, says Warnock By Neil Ashton

Joey Barton has finally met his match, according to QPR boss Neil Warnock.

The Rangers boss, preparing for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn, claims Barton has been on his best behaviour since arriving at Loftus Road.

'Training has improved 50 per cent since he's been at the club,' said Warnock.

'He's far more articulate and clever than people give him credit for and I think he will have a career in the media when he's finished playing.

'He's come on so much in such a short space of time that I think he might be ready for my autobiography now, but I think we'll start him off on the pictures first, the words later.'

Barton appreciates Warnock's humour but the QPR boss has spent the past two weeks brooding after they were beaten 6-0 by Fulham.

He loves life in London and admits walking around Covent Garden, where he often spends time in the afternoons clearing his mind.

He is on a big bonus to keep Rangers in the Premier League, but he knows how tough it will be after that defeat at Craven Cottage.

'I used to think London was the pits, but now the CD sellers busking in the streets around Covent Garden know my family's first names,' said Warnock.

'It helps me relax. I know we can compete in the Premier League and I don't give two hoots what people think about me or my team.

'I will get a bonus for keeping the team in the Premier League, but I don't earn anything like what my players earn and I find that difficult.' Mail

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