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Friday, March 02, 2012

QPR Report Friday: Everton...Fernandes on Relegation..New Training Ground Optimism...Hughes Job Safe...Four Year Plan..Flashback: Drinkwater


- On This Day in 1963: Ray Drinkwater's Final Game for QPR after 200+ games in goal - See More: (Photos from the Bushman Archives!)


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- Next: Everton: Stats, Past Results and Shared Players

- On This Day in Football (and QPR) March 2

- DEAL OFF! Nigel Quashie is now NOT Joining Dundee

- Macheda Charged...Other two charged, fined. No news yet re Macheda

- Portsmouth in Massive Financial Trouble

Guardian/David Conn Clubs paid £1.9bn for international transfers in 2011• Statistics show £82m paid to agents in international moves
• Brazilians and Argentinians account for 20% of market

TALKSPORT/Nick Rostron-Pike - Tony FernandesExclusive - QPR chief admits he is planning for relegation

Tony Fernandes admits QPR have made plans for relegation back to the Championship.

The west London club is perilously placed in the Premier League table, with just goal difference keeping them out of the drop zone.

But the Loftus Road chairman believes the long-term project he’s building at the club means they would be able to survive demotion to the second tier.
“We’ll have some setbacks and if we go down, we go down”Tony Fernandes

“We’ve got to be real, it’s tough in the Premier League,” the 47-year-old told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“I came in at the start of the season with wide open eyes thinking we could go down. The first game I watched was a 4-0 loss to Bolton, so I’m a realist.

“If we go down we’ll have to deal with it. It’s a long-term project though, we are building a great team with the backroom staff and the squad we’ve got. We’re developing the academy and we’re making plans for a new stadium.

“We’ll have some setbacks and if we go down, we go down. But I’m resolute, I love what we’re doing and once you put a good structure in the results will come.” Click to ListenTalksport

Annove - Beard upbeat over training ground
QPR chief executive Philip Beard is "quietly confident" QPR will secure a site for a new training ground in the coming weeks

The west London club have trained in Harlington since July 2005 after taking over the lease of the Imperial College-owned site from Chelsea when they moved to a �20million complex at Cobham.

QPR have been vocal about their need to move away from their run-down training base to a new complex since Tony Fernandes completed his takeover of the club in August.

It is understood the Warren Farm Sports Complex near Osterley Park is Rangers' preferred option and Beard is confident of getting the go-ahead despite interest from a number of alternative bidders.

"We are in the final stages of a bid for a plot of land fairly close to where the current training ground is and we hope to find out in the next few weeks if we've been successful," he said.

"If we are successful, then we will start building as fast as possible. If not, then we have option B and option C that we will pursue.

"I am quietly confident that the land we are looking at we will get and start to move forward with a Premier League training ground in the way most proper Premier League clubs have got.

"We are looking at best practices so we have looked at a lot of training grounds of current Premier League clubs.

"We've got good architects, good project managers and I think we have got a team of people that understand what it will take to have a Premier League training ground, not just for the first team but for the reserves and most importantly the academy.

"Our aim is to have a category-one status academy so we can nurture young talent and bring them through to the first team."

QPR, who more than a decade ago reverted to a centre of excellence set-up from an academy due to the costs involved, hope to achieve category-one status in the new four-tier national restructuring of the academy system.

"I think lots of clubs have aspirations to get it and we as a club have high aspirations, not just for the first team but also the academy as well," Beard said.

"I think it is fair to say it is a challenge for us.

"We have great people in the academy so we get good kids coming to the club, but I think with a first-class academy we can really move forward.

"If we didn't shoot for the top, then there is no point doing it.

"I am quietly confident, actually more than quietly confident, that one of our main priorities for a new training ground is to have category-one status."

While the immediate goal is staving off relegation from the Premier League, Beard revealed the plans for a training complex are providing motivation for players and staff alike.

"We have got this season to get through and maintain our Premier League status," he said. "That is our main priority and then it would probably take next season to build it.

"I think what is important is to be able to demonstrate to everyone involved in QPR what we're going to be moving to.

"So whilst we are still at the current training ground, we'll be showing graphics, showing progress and taking the team down there to see what is happening.

"That should be enough to keep them motivated, to know that at some stage in the very near future they will be training at a proper Premier League training ground." Annova

London 24 - QPR exclusive: Beard confirms Hughes job is safe
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rangers board are keen to keep hold of manager regardless of their fate this season

QPR chief executive Philip Beard insists that manager Mark Hughes’s job will be safe even if the club are relegated this season.

Rangers have lost four of Hughes’s six league matches in charge, and sit 17th in the league ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Everton.

Hughes’s predecessor Neil Warnock was sacked in January after a run of nine games without a win, but Beard insists Hughes must stay regardless of QPR’s fate if the club are to achieve their aim of long-term stability.

“We’re building here and we believe Mark is the right man to help us going forward,” said Beard. “I try not to think about scenarios where QPR don’t stay in the Premier League, but if we don’t then we’ll just have to regroup, roll up our sleeves and sort it out.

“Mark and his people are the right team for QPR definitely, and whatever happens I envisage him being here next season.

“It’s taking a bit of time to bed everything in, but I’ve got no plans if things don’t work out to change things too much on and off the pitch.

“Stability is proven to be important, you make your changes but if you keep making changes then you don’t achieve any stability at all.” London 24

MIRROR/Oliver Holt - QPR's mad, mad world hits the big screen

After four defeats in five games, QPR boss Mark Hughes and his players were in need of a little light relief.

So on Tuesday, Hughes took the team to an art-house cinema in Mayfair to watch a special screening of a new comedy.

The Four Year Plan, a brilliant documentary about QPR under the regime of former joint-owner Flavio Briatore, was not conceived as a vehicle for merriment.

But for the first half of it at least, as Briatore and his henchmen cull one unfortunate manager after another, that was how it turned out.

The documentary – part Sopranos, part Sweeney and part Do I Not Like That – legitimised every rumour about Briatore’s interference in team affairs. At one point, he had to be persuaded that rather than phoning the manager on the touchline during a match, it would be more discreet if he texted him instructions instead.

As Adel Taarabt, Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand, Shaun Wright-Phillips and the rest of the current team watched the story unfold, astonished laughter rang out around the auditorium.

There are any number of priceless moments, including the scene when Briatore bullies sporting director Gianni Paladini into going down to the touchline to order caretaker coach Gareth Ainsworth to bring Gavin Mahon off the bench.

Mahon promptly scores a last gasp winner and Briatore, his football genius now proven, erupts in a mixture of self-righteous anger and joy in the directors’ box.

Then, after he has dispensed with the services of managers Iain Dowie, Ainsworth, Paulo Sousa, Jim Magilton, Paul Hart, Steve Gallen, Marc Bircham and Mick Harford in short order, there is this discussion between Briatore and club director Alejandro Agag.

Briatore: “The problem is we found four or five idiots. Incompetent. Somehow, we found all the incompetent ones.”

Agag: “We found every idiot.”

Briatore: “No idiot spared.”

Agag: “Every idiot available.”

Briatore: “We found a band of drunkards. One hits a player. Another gets drunk. This is impressive.”

Things only improved when Neil Warnock, who was also at the screening and is, in many ways, the hero of the film, took over in March 2010 and Briatore became less involved with the day-to-day running of the club.

The documentary ends in triumph with QPR’s promotion to the Premier League the following season and as the credits rolled, Warnock hurried off into the night.

Hughes stuck around, chatting in the foyer. He had seen the film once before, he said, but his expression showed he had marvelled at it just as much the second time around.

He had, he said, never encountered anything remotely similar in all his years in the game and the QPR he inherited from Warnock is a very different one to the version depicted in The Four Year Plan. Briatore is gone, of course, and it was new owner Tony Fernandes, who sacked Warnock in January and gave the job to Hughes.

But the push towards mid-table that many anticipated has not materialised and after successive defeats to Fulham, Blackburn and Wolves, only one point separates QPR from the bottom of the table.

Hughes is a fine manager and in Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, he has a talented team of coaches around him.

He was cheerful enough on Tuesday night but it is clear that while the club is now a long way from the chaos depicted in the film, he is beset by a host of problems. It’s no secret that there were tensions between Warnock and some of the more high-profile members of the QPR squad, particularly Barton, who criticized his ex-boss on Twitter in the wake of his departure.

Rumours of fresh dressing room unrest and arguments between players have surfaced.

Discipline has been poor, too. Red cards in the home games against Fulham and Wolves forced QPR to play for long periods with 10 men.

Fernandes’s response has been to promise to tour pubs in Shepherd’s Bush before the crucial home game against Everton tomorrow to respond to fans’ concerns.

Like Warnock before him, Hughes now finds himself in a situation where he needs to turn QPR around as it teeters on the edge of the relegation zone.

Anything other than a victory against David Moyes’s resurgent side tomorrow is likely to see the west London club slip into the bottom three.

Still, as he left the cinema, Hughes realised things could be a whole lot worse.

It will only be if his phone starts ringing in the Loftus Road dug-out tomorrow that he will know things have come full circle.



November 7 2007: Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone pay £14million to take over QPR and settle their debts.

December 12 2007: Family of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal buy 20 per cent of club.

May 12 2008: Luigi Di Canio leaves at the end of the season, claiming his pregnant girlfriend wants to return to Italy. Iain Dowie is appointed within a couple of days and spends the summer putting together his team.

October 24 2008: Dowie sacked after just 15 games in charge, with popular player Gareth Ainsworth asked to mind the shop.

November 19 2008: Paulo Sousa appointed.

April 9 2009: Sousa sacked for disclosing details of Dexter Blackstock’s proposed loan move to Nottingham Forest. ­Ainsworth again handed the reigns ­temporarily.

June 3 2009: Jim Magilton named as manager.

December 9 2009: Magilton suspended and then departed “by mutual consent” following an alleged bust-up with midfielder Akos Buzsaky. Marc Bircham and Steve Gallen named joint caretakers.

December 17 2009: Paul Hart appointed but quit after only five games in charge.

January 15 2010: Mick Harford named caretaker but the team is beaten in six of his seven games in charge.

February 19 2010: Briatore steps down as chairman but keeps his shares.

March 2 2010: Neil Warnock appointed and steers team to Championship title. But promotion only confirmed after an FA investigation into the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin ends with a fine rather than a points deduction.

Jan 8 2011: Warnock sacked by the new owners. Mirror

- Two Year Flashback: Neil Warnock Appointed Manager of Queen's Park Rangers

- Something QPR absolutely should emulate: Brentford have established an Association for Former Brentford Footballers.
Absolutely fantastic by Brentford. Something QPR should absolutely be doing. As we've noted before: QPR Ex-Players are basically abandoned... :-*

Brentford Official Site


Brentford Football Club is pleased to announce the creation of a Former Players' Association

More than 1,000 players have represented Brentford Football Club in competitive First Team matches and many hundreds more have been on the Club's books or played in friendly, trial, Reserve Team or Youth Team games.

The new association is designed to create a formal link between those players and the Football Club and reunite players with each other and supporters.

Director Mark Chapman will run it on behalf of Brentford Football Club.

Mark said: "I believe every single ex-player who has worn the Brentford shirt should be recognised and made welcome at Griffin Park.

"The Club has always done a fine job of keeping in touch with former players and managers and the fact so many return regularly to events and to watch matches is a credit to the welcoming atmosphere.

"The aim now is to create a definitive list of every former player and their contact details so we can formally recognise those who have worn the red and white stripes.

"I am sure those former players will appreciate the fond way they are remembered by Brentford supporters.

"And they will have a chance to meet up with former team mates and managers they may have lost contact with.

"In addition, a leading figure of the club's past will be inducted into the newly re-launched Hall of Fame at next week's home match with Exeter City."

Mark would like to hear from any Brentford supporter who has contact details for a former Bees player, whatever level they played at.

To contact Mark, email mchapman@brentfordfc.co.uk. Brentford

- David Conn/The Guardian: FA Proposes Licensing Clubs and "Surrenders to Premiership"

- Loan Transfer Deadline Day Approaching for League Clubs: Will there be Any from QPR (Such as Vine, Borrowdale, Shittu, Cook, Agyemang, Perone, etc)?

- QPR's Current run is 17 Games Without a Clean Sheet...Two Years Ago, QPR had the Worst record among the Four Divisions with 21 Game Streak of conceding Goals.

- FLASHBACK: Eleven Years Ago: Ian Holloway Appointed QPR Manager

- QPR Goalscoring Stats this Season: 27 Goals - 8 From Helguson...4 from Mackie...2 from four others...Several others with 1

- The New QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC) Team "Lineup"

- Remaining Fixtures: Bottom Six Clubs

- Football Aid 2012 – Play at Loftus Road. And Help Charity!

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