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Saturday, January 28, 2012

QPR Report: QPR & Chelsea Lineups...Fulham Stadium Share?...Prison for Former QPR Director...Warnock on So-Nearly Signing Bellamy and re Buzsaky

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From Bushman Archives
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- Ex-QPR Director, Kevin Steele (Under Caliendo-Paladini) Sentenced to 5 1/2 Prison - and Steele Flashbacks

INDEPENDENT - Three are sent to prison for defrauding Swiss bank of $22m
- Three conspirators, including the former owner of the no-win, no-fee firm Claims Direct and an ex-partner at the top-drawer law firm Mischon de Reya, have been jailed for defrauding a Swiss bank.
- The trio defrauded the Swiss bank EFG Private Bank of Zurich of $22m in 2008 by making a loan application supported by fake letters claiming that more £76m was held on deposit at Bank Julius Baer in Guernsey. The money was to be used to fund a Turkish resort where footballers including Wayne Rooney, pictured, had bought villas.
- Kevin Steele, who was a partner at Mischon de Reya in 2008 and was also on the board of Queens Park Rangers, was found guilty of forgery and fraud in December and was sentenced yesterday to five years and six months. Michael Shepherd, a former client of Steele, was sentenced to six years and three months and banned from acting as a director for 15 years. He, like his associate Mark Pattison, who has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, had pleaded guilty ahead of the trial. Independent

Goal.com - The Sweeper: Fulham approached by QPR about interest in sharing a new stadium

Goal.com can also reveal why Jose Mourinho will not be the next Manchester City manager, and offer an explanation for Blackburn Rovers' improvement under Steve Kean


Fulham have been sounded out about their interest in sharing a new stadium with west London rivals QPR, The Sweeper can reveal.

But Fulham have told Rangers they would only consider the possibility of leaving Craven Cottage if their ground expansion plans are rejected by Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council.

Rangers have been openly scouring west London for a new site since Tony Fernandes’ takeover last August and one possibility that has been tentatively explored is linking up with Fulham to build a bespoke ground.

The Sweeper understands that the approach, believed to have been made last autumn, received a lukewarm response because of Fulham’s plans to expand the club’s home since 1896.

A planning application to develop the Riverside Stand and increase Craven Cottage’s capacity to 30,000 from 25,700 was submitted to the council earlier this month. Fulham, who were tenants at Loftus Road between 2002 and 2004 while the Cottage was developed, will only reconsider the possibility of a ground share if the proposal is rejected by the council.

QPR’s first choice is to buy a parcel of land that belongs to the BBC at White City, which is next to the vast Westfield shopping development and adjacent to the A40.

However, the cost of building a 30,000-capacity stadium from scratch in an area where land and construction costs are so expensive is proving prohibitive and the plan to go it alone at the site has been put on ice.

Sources have told The Sweeper that one suggestion that has been aired is for QPR to move from Hammersmith and Fulham to the adjacent borough of Ealing and a site in Acton, which is close enough to the club’s current Shepherd’s Bush home not to anger the hardcore support.

QPR refused to comment on their stadium plans but it is understood that the club’s priority when the transfer window shuts is to source a site for a new training ground.

No stadium share would get off the ground without the approval of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, who insist they have not been pushing for the two clubs, who are 2.5 miles apart, to build a new stadium.

“There is always speculation and rumour about our premiership football clubs,” said a council spokesman. “However, suggestions that Fulham and QPR have held any discussions with the council about a possible ground share are wide of the mark." Goal.com

- Telegraph/Henry Winters: For football's sake, dignity and respect must win the day

- Chelsea Previews

- Should Ferdinand Shake Terry's Hand: The Ongoing Discussion

- QPR Vs Chelsea Stats, Flashbacks, Photos, Videos

- Updated QPR Transfer Gossip Articles (Go to last page and work back!)

- On This Day in Football: January 28


- At six o'clock, the day before the transfer deadline shut in August, I had a telephone conversation with Craig Bellamy. He was leaving Manchester City and I was trying to persuade him to come to QPR. I'd almost done it, but he'd heard there was the possibility of returning to Liverpool. He told me: "If Liverpool don't come in for me, I'll come [to Rangers]."

He was determined to hang on to see if Liverpool came in for him at the death, and unfortunately for me, they did. I'll never forget that moment. It was about 10pm the following mad night, as I was trying to sign players right, left and centre. I saw one of those "breaking news" flashes on Sky Sports News: "Craig Bellamy signs for Liverpool." I'd heard from his agent about 6pm that Liverpool had been in touch, so I wasn't that surprised, but it was a blow. As he's shown since, he's still a very good player and he could have made a real difference for us.

An hour after the deadline shut I had a phone call from Craig, thanking me for my interest and telling me he always wanted to go back to Liverpool, which I knew. I wished him all the best. The memory came back to me on Wednesday when he scored the goal that sent Liverpool back to Wembley for the first time in 16 years. He was absolutely magnificent, he covered every blade of grass. I bet Roberto Mancini was sat there thinking, "Why on earth did I let him go?"

It'll be strange for Bellers playing against his old team, and his hometown team, Cardiff, but he's such a good pro that when the whistle goes he'll only think about one thing: winning the game. If Cardiff had gone up last season I'm convinced he would have signed for them permanently, but things haven't worked out too badly for him.

2. Palace pride despite pain of penalties

Football managers always watch matches involving other teams with a view to how it might affect your own club. If a player gets injured, or gets a card which will lead to a suspension you think, '"Which matches is he going to miss?" You hope games involving promotion or relegation rivals, or your next opponents, go into extra time. And you are always looking out for players who might be able to do a job for your own team, and looking at the tactics used by future opponents.

When you are not in work you can watch matches from a more detached perspective, but you never stop thinking about what the managers are going through, because on another day it could be you.

That was certainly the case as I watched the midweek Carling Cup semi-finals, which both showed what a fine line there is between winning and losing. Having been through a few penalty shoot-outs, I could empathise with Dougie Freedman (below) and Malky Mackay, two of the most promising managers in the game and two young men I have a lot of time for, when the Cardiff-Palace match went to spot-kicks.

I'm sure the disappointment for Dougie and the lads at Crystal Palace was immense, but they should all be proud of their achievements in getting that far. I've watched Malky from his early days at Watford and I love how he goes about his job with no frills. You can tell the enjoyment he gets out of being manager of a great club like Cardiff City.

The second semi was also decided by narrow margins, in this case two refereeing decisions. I thought it was a penalty when Charlie Adam fouled Edin Dzeko, but not when Daniel Agger's shot deflected on to Micah Richards' hands. Phil Dowd thought differently and I could see why. It was impossible to give the Dzeko penalty from his position, while the other happened so fast I'm convinced Phil never saw the ball come off Richards' foot before it hit his hands. I would imagine after the game he couldn't believe his eyes, but then it's too late.

Three days earlier, though, City got the breaks against Spurs. I still can't believe they won that game. Mario Balotelli should have been off for a stamp on Scott Parker, and I bet Jermain Defoe has made those last few inches to score what would have been Spurs' winner every night in his head when he's gone to bed. I had to smile when Balotelli's agent said he was being picked on. Just tell him not to stamp on people. It's not rocket science.

3. A week off, but my life is going down the Tube

So what have I been doing in my week of leisure? As well as the semi-finals I watched the cricket (I think the lack of spectators might explain why some England players found it hard to get going), the golf (it was great to see Tiger striking the ball well again) and the tennis (though if I watch those shriekers Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka this morning it'll be with the sound turned down).

Today I'm at the ITV studios to watch QPR v Chelsea for tonight's highlights show. I do fancy QPR repeating our Premier League win over Chelsea. Tomorrow I'm at the Emirates with ESPN for Arsenal v Aston Villa. Surely Arsène will go out to try and win the FA Cup? I think they have a great chance.

I've not just been watching television and appearing on it. I've had two more teeth out – with my mouth I've got to have major surgery on most things – and been out and about in London. I went on the Tube twice to London on my own. I try not to make eye contact, but as you can imagine, I get a few supporters giving me some gentle banter – fortunately, at the moment that's all it's been, but I'm sure that won't last.

There's all the world on the Tube. You look around and wonder what people do, where are they going? I think it does me a bit of good to see how everyone else lives in the capital. One night, to avoid the rush hour, I waited until 7pm to come back. Yet when the train came into the platform at Hyde Park Corner and the doors opened everyone was standing up, jammed in like sardines. I had to push my way on.

4. Trying to book concert tickets is Sheer torture

Amy asked me to get some tickets for an Ed Sheeran concert in Plymouth. They went on sale at midday on Wednesday. Come the time, we logged on to be told we could not book online but had to ring the box office. I think the website had crashed. We rang for an hour and 10 minutes. First we got a recorded man's voice telling us to "press one for tickets for today's concert" and so on. The next voice, a woman, gave us more options. Finally, we had another recorded voice telling us "all lines to the ticket office are busy, please call back". Each call took 75 seconds. We eventually got through to hear another recorded voice that said "sorry, all tickets have been sold". All this time, while I was on the phone, on the internet you could buy £22 tickets for £70 from every ticket agency you could imagine. It really is a disgrace that you waste all that time and find the majority seem to have been sold off to ticket agencies. I felt really stitched up.

At least there's been compensation in sport. Amy won at netball while Will scored a fabulous try for his rugby team and a cracking goal in five-a-side football.

5. Time for a tong lashing over Sharon's curlers

Sharon asked me to pop into Boots to pick up gas refills for her Braun curling tongs. I tried four shops, all said they didn't have any. I went to Kingston and tried five more shops. Same response. It looks like they might even have stopped selling them. But there is obviously demand because on the Internet I can buy two for £40 – it's normally £5 a pair. So Sharon now has these useless tongs. I'm told Twitter is good for making complaints like this, but you know what I think about Twitter, so I'm using my column. If anyone from Braun is reading, please get in touch.

6. Akos was left out due to Faurlin being a hero

I had to smile when I read the comments from Akos Buzsaky after his fabulous goal for QPR last weekend. I can imagine the press asking him: "Why haven't you been playing?" The answer is simple, Ali Faurlin plays in his position and he has been QPR's best player this season. However, in my last match as manager Ali was badly injured, enabling Akos to get back in the side.

Akos told the press "at Christmas I wasn't even in the squad, I wasn't even travelling with the team. It was really testing me." I thought to myself: "I wonder if this is the same player that asked for five days' compassionate leave at Christmas?" Independent


Queens Park Rangers Football Club is committed to confronting and eliminating discrimination, whether by reason of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, ethnic and national origin, disability, nationality, religion or belief or gender reassignment.
- The Club is proud of the atmosphere we have at Loftus Road and by working together we can stop any discrimination or behavior that has no place in football.
Loftus Road is governed by Ground Regulations and we would like to remind all visitors that by entering the ground they are agreeing to abide by these rules.
Entry to the Ground is expressly subject to acceptance by the visitor of these Ground Regulations and the rules and regulations of FIFA, UEFA, The Football Association, The Premier League and The Football League in respect of the relevant competition. The Ground Regulations incorporate the Club's Customer Charter (if any). Entry to the Ground shall constitute acceptance of the Ground Regulations.
- Racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment is strictly forbidden and will result in arrest and / or ejection from the Ground, and in addition the Club will impose a ban for one or more matches.
QPR will not tolerate sexual or racially based harassment, or other discriminatory behaviour, whether physical or verbal and where required we will work in full co-operation with the Metropolitan Police to provide CCTV footage and staff statements to ensure prosecution.
- Any actions that lead to prosecution or removal from the ground will result in a ban.
No supporter needs to tolerate discrimination of any kind at Loftus Road, on the pitch or in the stands. If you experience any form of discrimination, help us to eliminate it from football. Please report this to the Club by texting the Matchday Control Room on 07557 435421. We will treat your correspondence in strictest confidence.


Police investigate death threat against Anton Ferdinand

• Spent gun cartridge sent to Queens Park Rangers
• Ferdinand to face John Terry for first time since league meeting

Anton Ferdinand was the target of a death threat on the eve of Saturday's potentially explosive west London derby against Chelsea. Hammersmith and Fulham police are investigating a letter, containing a spent gun cartridge, which was received by Queens Park Rangers and is understood to have been addressed to the defender.

The buildup to the FA Cup fourth-round tie has been dominated by the first meeting of Ferdinand and John Terry on the pitch since the England captain was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence relating to an altercation with the QPR defender during the fractious league meeting at Loftus Road in October.

Terry's case is due to be heard at Westminster magistrates court on Wednesday, though he will not be in attendance, with his legal team to enter a not guilty plea on his behalf.

It is not clear whether Ferdinandwas made immediately aware of the letter but a Metropolitan police spokesman said: "I can confirm we are investigating an allegation of malicious communication received today at Queens Park Rangers Football Club. Officers from Hammersmith and Fulham are investigating."

QPR and Chelsea subsequently stated that "full searches" would be carried out on all spectators before entry and advised fans to arrive early. "Entry to the stadium will be permitted from 10.30am for the midday kick-off," the clubs said.

Confirmation of the threat to Ferdinand will dismay both clubs, who had been hoping to ease the tension before the tie. The two chairmen issued a joint statement this week appealing for calm.

Immediately before kick-off the focus will inevitably be drawn to whether Ferdinand will accept Terry's offer of a handshake. André Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, believes it is "extremely important" that the pair shake hands to set an example, though it is understood Ferdinand is minded not to do so. QPR officials have spoken to their player and suggested shaking hands may help defuse what is expected to be a tense occasion but the centre-half is concerned it may appear hypocritical to make the gesture given the gravity of the charges faced by Terry.

"It is extremely important [they shake hands]," Villas-Boas said. "Firstly, it's a question of respect for the opponent and everybody should do it. When it reaches that moment, the players should set out an example and do it. A lot of the situation has been spoken about but it's good for the players to show that, whatever is happening off the pitch, they are playing against each other on it. It's important they shake hands. This game is based on good values more than anything else. These two players should continue to promote those good values."

The QPR manager, Mark Hughes, has said the decision should rest with Ferdinand alone and, with his squad severely depleted by injury, has no qualms about selecting the player. "It could change from one day to the next – Anton could wake up in the morning, think: 'What's the big deal?' and shake hands," Hughes said. "Or he might feel strongly about it and decide he definitely won't. I don't know if he will shake hands. I'm not Anton.

"I like to think I can judge if a player is ready to play on a Saturday and he's given me no sign that anything is weighing heavily on him. He wants to play and his team-mates want him to play. He'll get support from them and from me so that will be enough and, obviously, our fans will back him wholeheartedly."

Terry will enter the arena braced for a hostile reception from the home supporters even if Chelsea's manager is confident he will thrive in the volatile atmosphere. "The top players have this ability to concentrate fully on the task they have in a game," said Villas-Boas. "I have no doubts about him.

"John is one of the greatest central defenders in the world, maybe one of the best ever. His progression has been outstanding, his qualities are amazing. He's a player who almost guarantees you success, in terms of his individual performance helping our collective, and a player we hold in the highest esteem. All these players went through performances in their lives that make them ready to play in any circumstance, but Chelsea players get stick from every opposition crowd. No opposition crowd loves you or 'incentivates' you. It's a London derby fuelled by emotion, and the fact Chelsea lost there in dramatic circumstances [in October] makes it an even more emotional game.

"You have to value the player and the person. The player, John Terry, has been extremely successful in the world game, with high individual success. John Terry, the person, is someone I have great empathy with, and great respect for. A player who was involved in my knowledge-making and my process of gaining experience as a manager, and a person I will always hold as a friend whichever route our lives take."

Chelsea, who have sold their centre-half Alex to Paris St-Germain for £4.2m, are unlikely to pursue the Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, aware that the Brazilian may struggle to gain a work permit and with their valuation of the player a considerable distance from that of the Ukrainian club. Talks continue with Genk in an effort to secure Kevin De Bruyne, who would stay in Belgium on loan until the summer. The youngster is considered a "club signing" rather than a player the manager has targeted.

"He's a good bet for the future, a player the club have scouted for some time, and I'm a manager who respects club policy," added Villas-Boas. "I'll do everything in my power for him to reach maximum potential. But it's down to the club in decision-making."

A similar arrangement could be struck with the Brazilian club São Paulo for their highly rated 19-year-old midfielder Lucas Moura. Chelsea will renew their interest in the summer if no deal can be agreed before Tuesday night. Guardian


Posted on: Fri 27 Jan 2012

Mo Shariff has joined Blue Square Bet South table toppers Woking on a month's loan.

The 18 year-old penned a two-year contract extension with the R's in February 2011 to keep him at the Club until the summer of 2013.
Shariff will remain at the Kingfield Stadium until Saturday 25th February 2012.

Woking Official Site - Mo Shariff Joins on Loan

John Moore - 27th January 2012
- Woking Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of striker Mo Shariff from QPR on a one month loan deal. Mo will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s match at Boreham Wood.
- The 18 year-old penned a two-year contract extension with the R's in February 2011 to keep him at the Club until the summer of 2013. Woking

Independent Ireland

Driven Murphy makes netting QPR spot his No 1 priority

By Ruaidhri O'Connor
Saturday January 28 2012

ALL eyes will be on FA Cup clash at Loftus Road this afternoon when John Terry and Anton Ferdinand come face-to-face for the first time since their hostile clash in the league earlier in the season.

While all this is going on, though, Brian Murphy will be slipping into his seat in the stand and watching his club play in yet another big game without him involved.

The former Bohemians man joined QPR on a free transfer last summer, but, at the moment, he has to be content with the third-choice goalkeeping spot.

In context, that's not so bad. He gets all of the trappings of being a professional footballer without the stress of having to perform.

But you don't get to where Murphy has in the game without striving for improvement and, while he is certain he made the right move by joining Neil Warnock's side -- after endorsements from Roy Keane among others -- he wants to keep his progress going and get into the first team, even if it means a loan move after the transfer window ends.

"You're not at a club like this without ability," he told the Irish Independent. "You're depending on one person's view of you and I was under no illusions when I came here. I turned down an offer from Ipswich to stay; took a risk not knowing if I had anything concrete, but I was delighted to get the offer from QPR.

"I wasn't expecting straight away to come in and challenge for No 1, I was hoping to be No 2, which I was after I worked hard in pre-season, but I was unfortunate to get an injury at the wrong time."

He was second choice on arrival, but tore his groin in the warm-up before the Stoke City match. During the game Paddy Kenny tore his gluteal muscle and it was Radek Cerny, rather than Murphy, who stepped in and subsequently produced a host of man-of-the-match performances.

When Kenny came back, Cerny dropped to the bench, meaning Murphy -- who has only played once against Rochdale in the League Cup this season -- has been out of the match-day 18 since. Rather than dwelling on his frustration, the former Ipswich No 1 is remarkably positive.

"I didn't come into the Premier League with hundreds of games under my belt. Paddy Kenny's here and he's had hundreds of clean sheets at this club," he said.

"You have to earn your right to be No 1. I just come in and work hard and see who is in the match-day squad; things can change very quickly in football."

Since Warnock's departure and Mark Hughes' appointment, the Waterford native has been getting positive noises from the Welshman's new goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock and is hoping that his chance will come soon.

That will have to come first before his mind starts to wander towards reclaiming his place in the Ireland set-up.

"It's going to be difficult because there are good 'keepers here, there's good competition," he said. "That's what you want, I suppose, you want to prove yourself, that you're good enough and as far as I know, so far, I've done enough to impress the new goalkeeping coach and some of his staff.

"I've been told that if I keep training at the level I am, then I'll get a chance sooner rather than later."

Something that separates Murphy from his Premier League team-mates is his summer pursuits.

While the others are hot-footing it to warmer climes, the 28-year-old has been part of the Kildare Gaelic football set-up, coaching the goalkeepers in Kieran McGeeney's panel.

"I've done a couple of sessions with them. I have a Gaelic background," he explains.

"It's still the same idea, despite being a different sport. Unless they have a soccer background, the Gaelic 'keepers didn't really get goalkeeping coaching until recently.

"I've worked with the lads over a couple of seasons and seen vast improvements. Down the road somewhere, there is definitely something there to improve Gaelic goalkeepers. If you ask the boys that I worked with, they picked up tips."

That can wait, of course, with Murphy's mind firmly getting back into the match-day squads at Loftus Road and taking centre stage again.

QPR v Chelsea,

Live, Setanta Sports 1, 12.0

- Ruaidhri O'Connor - Independent/Ireland

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