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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

QPR Report Tuesday Update: WBA Preview...Fernandes' Vision


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- Bristol City Announce Loss of Over 11 Million pounds. To add to the almost 12 Million pounds they lost the previous year.


New QPR contract will make Clint's day

Clint Hill is in line for a new deal with QPR - after being exiled on loan at Nottingham Forest early in the season.

The left-back, 33, was sent off in an opening-day defeat by Bolton, fell out of favour and, with his contract up in the summer, looked on his way out of Loftus Road.

But Hill hasimpressed boss Neil Warnock since his recall from Forest to help the Premier League new boys through in an injury crisis.

Guardian/Press Association. (Nice Logo they chose for QPR story! )

Now If he thinks we have 100,000 people looking/sending tweets. And if he received 100,000 tweets he'd be able to receive them...I honestly don't think that is the way to go to genuinely get fans from around the world sending in re players they may have seen.

QPR looking for site for 45,000-seat venue to replace Loftus Road

• We would like a bigger ground but it must be in the area
• First thing we are going to build is a new training facility

Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, says his gut feeling is to go for a venue that can hold 40,000 to 45,000.

Tony Fernandes, the Queens Park Rangers owner, said he is searching for a west London venue that could accommodate a 40,000- to 45,000‑seat stadium to replace Loftus Road.

With a capacity of 18,500, Loftus Road is the smallest ground in the Premier League and, despite its "intimidating" atmosphere, according to Fernandes, he believes the club need a bigger arena.

Fernandes, who also owns Team Lotus in Formula One and the budget airline AirAsia, said: "It's still premature at the moment. The key this season is to survive but we would like a bigger ground and we are looking. It has to be in the area. It makes no sense to move out from where you have spent most of your life and where the fan base is. So west London is where we are and where we'd like to be.

"I've built airlines and Formula One teams, but building a stadium is not the easiest thing in the world. There are opportunities in west London we are looking at. The first thing we are going to build is a new training ground and there are two sites in west London, so hopefully we'll announce that soon.

"The current training ground is really not up to the mark. It has great grounds and we've tarted it up ourselves and got more equipment there, but it's not something for the future."

The key question for Fernandes is deciding on the new stadium's capacity. "Some fans are saying: 'We don't have a fan base bigger than 20,000.' My gut feel is 40,000-45,000. That's double where we are right now, but we're in London and there's a strong catchment area.

"Of course, there is nothing worse than a half-empty stadium, but I'm the king of sizing. If you start an airline with two planes, and then you buy 150 planes, the same question can be asked.

"As I say, it's just a gut feel but we'll do some studies first. We can find the space, although it's not easy, and there are lots of things that have to be put into place."

Of primary concern for Fernandes is ensuring QPR survive, with the Malaysian entrepreneur promising the manager, Neil Warnock, up to four new players when the January transfer window opens.

In an effort to find fresh talent, Fernandes recently sent out a tweet on Twitter asking for fans to come up with the suggestions, with the response overwhelming.

"That was superb. Without blowing my own trumpet, I have to say it was inspired by me," said Fernandes. "You effectively have 100,000 scouts out there for you, and there is no way QPR could know every single player. Suddenly we have players we've never heard of, and Neil is looking at videos and thinking 'not bad'. It was seen as another mad Tony Fernandes moment, but there was no harm, no downside."

Fernandes believes strengthening the defence, attack and finding another goalkeeper are the priorities. "We have to strengthen our squad. It's just not deep enough. I feel we maybe need three, four. We could end up with none if we don't find anyone. We had six or seven in the last transfer window, which is way above what I thought we'd get. It depends. At the last minute some things come up. It's very hard to tell."


Reuters -QPR eye new recruits and stadium, says Fernandes

Malaysia's AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes speaks during a news conference at Forbes Global CEO Conference in Kuala Lumpur September 14, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Queens Park Rangers could be after three or more players in the January transfer window but are unlikely to revamp the squad at the end of the season if they stay in the Premier League, according to owner Tony Fernandes.

The Malaysian aviation entrepreneur, who runs Team Lotus in Formula One, also told Reuters at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix that QPR were looking at sites in West London for a new stadium and training ground.

"We have to strengthen our squad. (On Saturday) we had so many injuries, we just don't have a deep enough squad," he declared.

"I was given 10 days to buy players (at the end of August) and we picked up six or seven in that period and did pretty well. We need to keep building the squad, and we also need to keep building the youth squads, which is important as well."

Fernandes, previously a committed West Ham United fan who failed to buy that club, bought the West Londoners in August from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore.

He immediately brought in highly-rated men like Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Armand Traore, Luke Young and Anton Ferdinand.

Asked what he would be looking for, Fernandes replied: "That's really (manager) Neil (Warnock)'s call, but we need to keep strengthening the back, we are short of 'keepers for a start, and up front we could do with a bit more firepower.

"We're having a meeting in the first week of December to discuss that with the shareholders," he added when asked about the budget available.

"It could be maybe three, four (players), I don't know. You could end up with none if you don't find anyone. We had six or seven in the last transfer window, which is way above what I thought we'd get.

"It depends. At the last minute some things come up. It's very hard to tell."


A keen user of social network Twitter, Fernandes recently asked QPR fans to recommend potential transfer targets and he hailed his 'mad Tony Fernandes moment' as an inspired one.

"You effectively have 100,000 scouts out there for you, and there is no way QPR could ever know every single player," he said. "Suddenly we have players we've never heard of and Neil is looking at videos and saying 'not bad'."

Come the end of the season, the club should be more settled.

"I think you can see from my life in Formula One that I'm not a revamper," smiled Fernandes, wearing his familiar red AirAsia cap. "I like stability. I don't make decisions and chop and change. That's bad.

"We've a great manager, we've the nucleus of a great team, so I don't see a wholesale change."

Loftus Road, hemmed in by residential streets in West London and with a capacity of around 18,500, is another matter.

"The key this year is to survive, but we would like a bigger ground and we are looking," said Fernandes.

"It has to be in the area. It makes no sense to move out of where you have spent most of your life, and where the fan base is. So West London is where we are and where we'd like to be.

"Building a stadium is not the easiest thing in the world but there are opportunities in West London.

"The first building that we are going to do is a new training ground, and there are two sites we are looking at, also in West London, so hopefully that will be announced soon."

How big a stadium is needed remains open to debate.

"Some fans are saying 'We don't have a fan base bigger than 20,000'...My gut feel is 40-45,000. That's double where we are right now, but we're in London and there's a strong catchment area," said Fernandes.

"We'll do some studies on that. The beauty of Loftus Road is that it's so intimidating."

The Malaysian also joined in criticism of FIFA president Sepp Blatter for recent comments on racism in soccer.

"His comments were said without a lot of thought, and with a little bit of nonchalance that shouldn't be there for someone who is FIFA president," said Fernandes, whose defender Ferdinand is at the centre of a police investigation after Chelsea's John Terry was accused of racially abusing him.

"He (Blatter) probably didn't mean it the way it came out, but he's the president of FIFA so he's got to be gooder than good.

"Football administration has to sort itself out. It's too big a sport, there is too much money around," added Fernandes.

"When countries are changing and asking for freedom and democracy, and you have organisations such as FIFA, there just needs to be more transparency. The world demands it, and the world should get it."

(editing by Mark Meadows) Reuters

Ian Cooper/London 24
- The QPR Monday Verdict: Rangers manager is faced with a midfield conundrum

Lack of goals from Rangers’ middle men is a problem Neil Warnock must solve in January
Neil Warnock has stated that signing a midfielder will be one of his priorities in January and it is difficult to escape the conclusion that such a player will come as a replacement for Adel Taarabt.

Taarabt has seemingly sealed his own fate at Loftus Road with a series of indifferent displays on the pitch and ill-discipline off it that have surely paved the way for his exit when the transfer window reopens.

There may yet be scope for his return to the first team but every game that passes with the Moroccan on the bench sees him edge another inch out of the exit door. The truth is that his attitude has rarely been one of a player ready to show the commitment and desire to earn his place in the side, it has been on of an individual desperate to secure a transfer.

But since Tony Fernandes’ takeover this season was never going to be about Taarabt, and the upside for his manager is that in Taarabt’s absence, his team-mates have produced displays of expansive football, playing within in a new, more attacking 4-4-2 system that is bringing the best out of strikers Jay Bothroyd and Heidar Helguson.

The negative is that Warnock now presides over a midfield which though defensively strong and attackingly creative, does not carry a goal-scoring threat to match the strikers.

Shaun Wright-Phillips is a potent weapon both on the wings and through the middle, in many ways taking on the mantle from Taarabt, but has faded after his flying start.

Handed a ‘free’ role by Warnock, Wright-Phillips has been unlucky not to break his duck, but history says that throughout his fluctuating career the former Manchester City and Chelsea man has never been a regular on the score-sheet, and is unlikely to be so for Rangers.

Jamie Mackie has also found form, particularly in the last two games against Stoke and Norwich. It was his shot which cannoned back off the post allowing Luke Young to net QPR’s equaliser at Carrow Road. But though a reliable and hard-working figure, Mackie is similarly unlikely to get anywhere near double figures this campaign.

Alejandro Faurlin’s performances from deep have drawn many plaudits already, but his is a role which allows few forays forward, while the same can be said for skipper Joey Barton, who has looked far more at ease in his deeper role of recent weeks.

Indeed, QPR’s only goals from the middle so far this season came in that 3-0 win against Wolves at Molineux in September. Since then, Helguson has scored five, Bothroyd two, and right-back Young two.

Come January, Warnock will certainly have greater concerns than his midfield, namely plugging the gaps in a defence which in the last few weeks has been beset by injuries and become alarmingly porous, conceding 10 goals in the last four games. One, if not two versatile defenders will be added to bring much needed strength in depth.

The lack of a goalscorer from the middle of the park will not make of break QPR’s season, but it could yet be a deficiency which hurts them.

There is an argument to suggest that as long as the likes of Wright-Phillips, Mackie and Barton continue to lay on chances for the strikers, the dearth of goals from further back matters little.

But Bothroyd and Helguson will almost certainly go through periods without a goal, and they are the moments when the presence of a midfielder capable of taking over that responsibility becomes invaluable.

Warnock does have Akos Buzsaky to call on, but has been reluctant to play the Hungary international, whose 12 minutes at Norwich were his first since the defeat at Wigan in September.

DJ Campbell’s return from injury this month will bring an additional option, the former Blackpool man capable of playing up front and in the hole behind the front two if required.

That makes Warnock’s recent assertion that, as well as a midfielder, he is in the hunt for not one but two strikers somewhat hard to fathom. In Bothroyd, Helguson and Campbell the manager would need only one more addition to his front line to be considered rich with options in that department.

Rather, a goal-scoring midfielder is one of the missing pieces in Warnock’s puzzle. Many will still harbour hopes that Taarabt is the man to solve it, but he is clearly craving his big move and is unsuited to a formation which is no longer constructed around him.

It is a problem which, when Fernandes opens his chequebook again in January, will be high on his manager’s list to solve.

Follow me on Twitter @QPRTimes London 24

Gary Speed (RIP)

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