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Thursday, November 17, 2011

QPR Report Thursday: Gianni Paladini Departs QPR


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- QPR Ranked Near the Bottom in The Premiership re Social Media

- Asian Football Awards: Nominees include Lakshmi Mittal and Tony Fernandes.

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- The QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC): Is that still in "limbo' almost six months later?

- Euro 2012 Seedings

Gianni Paladini Exits QPR

QPR announced yesterday that former QPR Chairman, Gianni Paladini had left the club "by Mutual Consent" which is terminology usually used to apply to managers and players departing a club. (The club statement erroneously states Paladini became involved in 2003. It was actually 2004.)

- Clive Whittingham/Loft for Words offers an extensive review of the Paladini "Era" and Fans "Activities"

- Limited compilation of things said by Paladini

- A Seven Year: Paladini and QPR "Memories"

- Flashback 8 Years: Paladini and Port Vale I...Paladini and Port Vale II

Posted on: Wed 16 Nov 2011

Former QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini has left the Club by mutual consent.

Paladini initially arrived at Loftus Road in 2003 as part of a consortium of investors, before being appointed Chairman two years later.

He retained his position as Chairman despite the investment of significant new shareholders in the 2007/08 campaign, before stepping down from the role following Tony Fernandes' takeover of the Club in August

Since then, Paladini has been assisting the Club in an advisory role.

Paladini said: "QPR will always be very close to my heart and I am extremely proud to see the team playing in the Premier League.

"I wish the Club, players, staff and fans all the very best for the future."

QPR CEO, Philip Beard, added: "On behalf of everyone at the Club, I would like to thank Gianni for his contribution to Queens Park Rangers over the years.

"He has gone beyond the call of duty in his time here and in more recent times, played an integral role in our return to the Premier League, as well as assisting the football management team with the acquisition of some key players.

"He will always be welcome back here to support the team and we wish him every success for the future." QPR

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport - QPR confirm Paladini’s departure

QPR have confirmed that Gianni Paladini is no longer involved with the club.

The Italian was removed as club chairman immediately after the Tony Fernandes-led takeover at Loftus Road in August and has since been discussing a financial settlement.

Paladini acquired a stake in Rangers in April 2004 and three months later, following promotion from the third tier, he teamed up with Bill Power to take control in a move that led to the departures of the then chairman Nick Blackburn, chief executive David Davies and director Ross Jones.

Formerly an agent, or at least a so-called ‘middle man’ involved in representing Italian players in England, Paladini introduced a Monaco-based consortium headed by Antonio Caliendo to QPR, which brought much-needed investment.

But relations at board level deteriorated and a year after helping promote Power to the position of chairman, Paladini ousted him and chief executive Mark Devlin. Director Kevin McGrath also departed.

Rangers were plagued by a series of problems on and off the pitch in the years that followed and were on the brink of bankruptcy before a takeover by a group led by Flavio Briatore in August 2007.

The 2006 axing of Ian Holloway as manager did much to tarnish Paladini’s reputation among fans.

But Holloway was an ardent backer of Paladini in his battle for control of the club and the pair were close allies.

Paladini became involved with QPR in 2004

Only towards the end of Holloway’s time did their partnership fizzle out, and even then his removal was heavily influenced by other important figures at QPR, including the late Harold Winton, who was the club’s honorary president and a major investor.

The Briatore-led buy-out, which was secured largely by lawyer Kevin Steele – a lifelong QPR fan who at the time was on the R’s board – saw millions pumped into the club with Paladini keeping his position as chairman.

The soap opera continued and after a host of further problems and embarrassments for Rangers, Paladini was under increasing pressure from a disenchanted Briatore and the target of anger from fans.

Paladini’s allies, who frequently used the internet to boost his image among fans and wage an often bitter and deeply personal war against his opponents, therefore sought to rally supporters behind the idea of a takeover by the popular Mittals.

In 2010, Briatore relinquished the title of company chairman and Amit Bhatia, son-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal, took on a more prominent role. It was suggested that Briatore had effectively been ousted by the Mittal family.

That was never the case, and by March this year, with Rangers on course for the Premier League, Briatore and co-owner Bernie Ecclestone were keen to exert more obvious control and the scale of Paladini’s involvement, which tended to vary throughout his time at QPR, was increased again.

Paladini and his supporters always believed a Mittal-led takeover would strengthen rather than weaken his position – hence the drumming up of support for Bhatia - and for a long time they were correct.

But by the time Fernandes entered the scene last summer and joined forces with the Mittals, the tide had turned against Paladini.

He had come close to being axed on several occasions in recent years, such as around the time of Iain Dowie’s sacking as manager in 2007 and the desperate pursuit of midfielder Ben Watson two years later – a deal Briatore was keen to be completed - yet Paladini repeatedly managed to cling on.

Fernandes' takeover was the catalyst for change

But the removal in May by Briatore of Ishan Saksena in the wake of the FA inquiry into the 2009 transfer of Alejandro Faurlin and the Argentine’s subsequent contract extension was arguably a turning point.

Saksena is a friend and highly trusted employee of the Mittals who was not even at QPR when Paladini oversaw Faurlin’s move to west London.

His exit caused acrimony and made actual rather than cosmetic change a certainty once Fernandes took over and Bhatia resumed the role of company vice-chairman, which he had resigned from following Saksena’s sacking.

Bhatia, who had received a number of letters from fans urging him to fire Paladini following the apparent Mittal takeover of 2010, moved quickly to make the change once the Briatore era was truly ended.

Paladini was removed not only as chairman but as QPR’s representative at away matches and the like, and his involvement in football matters virtually ended, making the eventual announcement of his departure a mere formality." West London Sport

Lee Cook Linked to Orient

Sky - Orient consider Cook loan
Injury-plagued QPR wide-man on Slade's radar

Skysports.com understands Leyton Orient are lining up a loan move for Queens Park Rangers winger Lee Cook.

Lee Cook: Spent time on trial at Forest

The wide-man admitted in October that he was looking for a short-term move in a bid to reignite his career.

Cook has made just two appearances in the past 18 months due to a series of injuries, with his latest coming in August's Carling Cup defeat by Rochdale.

He spent time on trial at Nottingham Forest earlier this season, but a move failed to materialise after the departure of Steve McClaren.

Orient boss Russell Slade is now showing interest and he could attempt to sign Cook to give his struggling League One side a boost.



MIRROR - Warnock broke my hearts says QPR misfit

QPR reject Hogan Ephraim admits life under Neil Warnock almost made him fall out of love with the game.

Ephraim, who has been farmed out on loan to Charlton until January, admits Hoops boss Warnock shocked him when he left the midfielder out of the 25-man squad at the end of August.

[b]And the West Ham academy graduate hopes his stay at the LEAGUE League One high fliers will go on longer than his initial six-week deal.[/b]

[b]Ephraim said: "After working so hard to get to the Premier League with QPR, I wanted to stay and it came as a bit of a surprise when the manager made the decision he did.[/b]

"When that happened, I knew I had to move on and I chose Charlton because I knew some of the staff from my days at West Ham.

"I enjoy training here like I haven't done for a long time and I have a smile on my face again. Hopefully that can continue for the next six or seven weeks and I can play a big part for Charlton.

"I am concentrating on having a great time until January 3 and we'll see what happens from there."

QPR striker DJ Campbell is expected to return from his broken foot within a month.

The 30-year-old is out of the protective boot he's been wearing after suffering the metatarsal injury in training last month.

Kieron Dyer is running in training, Akos Buzsaky and Bradley Orr are back in full training and Fitz Hall could return at the weekend. Mirror

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London 24/Tom Moore -Poll: Which out-of-contract QPR player would you keep?
Vote in our poll and we will reveal the results next week. London 24

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