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Saturday, November 05, 2011

QPR Report Saturday Update

- Welcome to Manchester City
- 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

- On This Day Flashback: Announcement that Jude the Cat has Joined QPR!

- Neil Warnock's Weekly Column

- Year Flashback: Marking the 75th Anniversary of the Official Supporters Club (OSC)

- Query of the Day! The Official Supporters Club A Year Ago...(Is it Still Active?)

- Two Year Flashback: QPR1st on Their Meeting With Club Representatives

- Three Year Flashback: Amit Bhatia Talking re QPR and the QPR Board

- Four Year Flashback: Report on the New QPR Takeover EGM

- Flashback: Alec Stock (and then Bill Dodgin Leave QPR...Tommy Docherty Arrives)

- Guardian Gallery (Which Featured Neil Warnock last year) seeks Adel Taarabt Photoshop Cartoons

- Continuing Articles re the John Terry "Matter"

- Aston Villa's Declining Gates (Still almost double QPR!)

Telegraph - Jason Burt

Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes is not just talking the talk but helping the club to think bigger

Tony Fernandes has just authorised the purchase of an underwater treadmill to help injured Queens Park Rangers players recover more rapidly, Kieron Dyer being the first beneficiary. The starting price? Around £15,000, but it would have been an expense too far not so long ago.

Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes is living the dream as club start to think big

“We are coming up in the world,” said manager Neil Warnock.

QPR supporters may be more interested to hear that Fernandes is also going to make substantial funds available in January to buy at least one striker and a couple more defenders, that he spent part of Friday visiting the two sites which have been earmarked for a new training ground and that he was poring over plans for a new 30,000-seat stadium, but the treadmill story is indicative.

“It’s been the toss of a coin on how the club has been run over the last few years,” Warnock said. “There’s been no thought about longevity from previous regimes. It’s been about today or tomorrow. I didn’t think that anybody could come in and do what he’s done in such a short space of time. People talk but he doesn’t talk, he gets things done. It’s just fantastic what is happening behind the scenes.”

Warnock was sitting in the club’s Harlington training ground, close to Heathrow Airport and owned by Imperial College. An A4 sheet pinned behind the bar, close to where Warnock sat, details that a pint of lager and lime will cost £2.70 while a commemorative plate celebrates “the visit to Cyprus of Imperial College Hockey Team June 2007”.

This is no place for a Premier League football club to do their work, as Roman Abramovich immediately remarked when he visited the facility after buying Chelsea

Fernandes is no Abramovich and he is no Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan — the owner of Manchester City, QPR’s opponents at Loftus Road this evening — but the 47-year-old is a millionaire with powerful backing. Crucially, he is using that to overhaul a club in which he acquired a 66 per cent stake in late August for around £35 million, buying out the unhappy regime of Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore and becoming chairman.

“Coming into the club where it was and where the fans were then, it was kind of hard not to be accepted,” said the Malaysian entrepreneur, who made his money through first saving and then hugely expanding the budget airline AirAsia. “I’m on the honeymoon period and I’m certainly under no illusion that it will last forever.”

Harlington is a bugbear. “I used to play there when I was at university so it was a bit of a shock for me to see that’s our training ground,” added Fernandes, who lived above a kebab shop in Uxbridge Road while taking an accountancy degree at the London School of Economics.

Not that QPR fans can expect the same level of investment as Abramovich and Mansour have sunk into their clubs. “But,” Warnock says, “in relative terms we have spent a lot of money — Joey Barton, [Shaun] Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, [Armand] TraorĂ©, Luke Young — in respect of where we were 12 months ago. So we have gone up the ladder a little bit in terms of our expectations.”

That expenditure has helped convince any doubters that Fernandes, who came close to buying West Ham United last year, is more than just a sharp marketing man with a bucketful of ideas.

“I went to the pub before the last home match,” Fernandes said. “And the club were saying, ‘You’ll have to take bodyguards’, but I wasn’t having that. The landlord said it was the first time an owner of the club had come in and the fans were wanting to buy me pints, or for me to buy them pints!”

Fernandes has not come in with grand statements. He will not make the mistakes of the likes of former West Ham Chairman Eggert Magnusson, who promised the Champions League and almost ruined the club. “The ambition right now is modest — let’s stay up,” Fernandes said. “There is no three-year plan, there is no five-year plan. I don’t know where we will be this time next year. When I bought the airline people said I would be out of business in three months. So I have never been one to make promises.

“But as with everything else that I have done, the airline and Formula One [he is team principal for Lotus], I believe it [QPR] is an unpolished diamond. In two years at Lotus we have closed the gap hugely [with the other F1 teams] and I’m hoping to do good things with QPR.

“However, every business must be run as a business. It should not be run as a hobby. With a bit of love, tender care and planning, you can make this into an established Premier League club and make some money out of it.”

Indeed, the biggest shock has been a simple one. “I find it amazing that in a sport awash with money so many clubs face a financial squeeze,” Fernandes said. “That can’t be right and there are lessons to be learnt from other sports such as NFL. In saying that it’s probably a good time to buy into football because more and more clubs are looking to break even.”

It is also fun. “To think I’m going to watch us play City, next week there’s the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and then owning an airline.”

“It’s a dream come true. There are downs as well but I always think of the positives. I do pinch myself. I turn up at Loftus Road with a huge grin.”

It is certainly not like being on a treadmill. Telegraph

Pre-QPR: Manchester City Fan Danny Pugsley Offers a Perspective re Manchester City and QPR - Interview Conducted by QPR Report's Maudesfisnchips

"Many thanks to Danny Pugsley, a blogger who has contributed to a number of websites and publications including the Press Association, The Observer, Yorkshire Evening Post, The League Cricket Yearbook, the BBC, Channel 4 news, 2CC Radio and Xfm. http://www.bitterandblue.com/ and author of

How long have you supported Man City?

I remember going to a few games when I was quite young but my first regular season of going was probably 1986/87.

How did you get to your blog? Has it evolved how you would have expected?

Really just an interesting in writing and City seemed the obvious vehicle for that at the time. When I started I had no expectations of it to be honest as blogs were still in their infancy in general (there were no other City blogs at that time if I remember) but I probably didn’t envisage I’d write about and cover City at various points for a number of newspapers, TV and radio as well as writing a book about them.

Who are Man City’s biggest Rival (or Rivals) and why? (Have to ask!)

It never stopped being United of course, even during the lean years, but since City’s progression over the past couple of years it is noticeable that an intensity has returned to the derby.

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

This season? Most definitely and they have exceeded expectations for sure. Mancini has done an excellent job in a relatively short space of time to be honest. He has fostered a good spirit within the squad (with the exception of a certain malcontent) and his ability to manage the squad and make changes ‘in game’ is impressive. Yes he has all the money in the world to spend but what is noticeable is how successful his signings have been, certainly in comparison to his predecessor.

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

The owners (and their representatives) are quite distant to be honest and rarely are seen at the game. As to why they are involved? It could be a number of reasons: money, a front to promote Abu Dhabi or for ego or hubristic reasons but in comparison to other owners around the league I doubt any City fans would swap them.

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

I’d say they were good when it comes to developing and maintaining relationships with fans. Since the new owners took over – perhaps wary of wanting to stay in touch – there have been plenty of initiatives that have been implemented which should be applauded. Certainly from my position as a blogger, the club has been fantastic in acknowledging what we do.

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

Dangerman has to be David Silva. If you thought he was on fire last season then he stepped that up a notch so far this season. With the way City have started it is difficult to really say any players are under the radar right now. Two players I would pick out though who are by no means headline grabbers are Gareth Barry and James Milner who have impressive starts to the season.

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

For all the talk of money, Mancini has given youth its fling during his time at the club and they do have a number of players out on loan throughout the Championship at the moment.

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

The best I have seen is Gio Kinkladze without a doubt: a shining light in a dismal era for the club. I’m not alone though in saying David Silva may well move past him if he continues in the same vein.

What is your prediction for Man City this season?

I thought third at the start of the season but with the way they have begun the season is there any reason they can’t win the league? I though consistency may be an issue but so far, so good.

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

There’s a couple for sure. Clive Wilson, Tony Scully to name two that spring to mind.

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

I think they’re one of those clubs who people are glad are back in the top flight. Certainly from someone who remembers the 80’s and the plastic pitch and all that they seem like they should be a Premier League club. This season will be so important as if they stay I think they could really kick on the season after.

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

This may well be Panini sticker based but Gary Bannister always stands out for me!

Any memorable matches between our two clubs that stand out for you? And the reasons why?

Can I mention Jamie Pollock? Enough said with that I think.

Your score prediction for QPR v Man City?

Hard to see anything other than a City win but it may well be closer than people think. 2-1?

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