Wednesday, April 25, 2012
FORMER Plymouth Argyle midfielder Akos Buzsaky is paying for Railway Beacon Under-16s to stay in Hungary and play his boyhood club, FC Grund.
Buzsaky, now of Premier League club QPR, has remained friends with Railway Beacon coach Craig Duncan since leaving the Pilgrims for Loftus Road in 2007.
Railway Beacon with coaches Craig Duncan (left) and assistant coach Lee Dunstan who are going to Hungary to Akos Buzsaky’s former junior team FC Grund
.Beacon, who found the £3,500 for flights themselves, go over on Friday, July 20 and come back on Monday, July 23.
Duncan said: "When Akos first came to Plymouth in 2005 he came to us (Cross Keys Estate Agents) for advice on buying a property. We've remained friends ever since.
"Akos is very proud of his homeland, Hungary, and always telling us to go over there and play.
"One day I said the lads would love to. He rang back 10 minutes later and said if we could sort out the flights, he would sort out the rest – hotel, food, everything.
"I priced it up and that's a lot of money."
Duncan added: "You hear so much about selfish Premier League footballers, it's just nice to hear something positive. Akos is a genuinely nice bloke."
QPR Official Site - HOOPS' IS BEST VALUE IN THE PREM!
The award-winning publication was also ranked third in the Best Column category; fifth in the Best Read category; fourth in the Most Improved category; and fourth in the Best Statistics Column category.
'Hoops' Editor, Ian Taylor, added: "We're thrilled with these results.
"As a department, we are constantly striving to achieve the highest possible standards and this is a huge achievement for the team.
"I'd like to thank all our contributors, especially Matt Webb, Paul Morrissey, Adam Hulme, Tony Incenzo and Gordon Macey for their support and hard work over the course of the season, as well as our designer, Matt Cole from O Publishing."
We are keen to get your feedback on this season's publication.
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By Sami Mokbel
PUBLISHED: 16:05 EST, 25 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:05 EST, 25 April
John Terry is facing further embarrassment this weekend with Anton Ferdinand ready to snub his offer of a handshake.
Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in a clash that will resurrect the long-running race row between the pair.
Terry will face criminal charges over allegations he racially abused Ferdinand in a Premier League clash on October 23. The court case has been adjourned until July 9.
Another headache: John Terry faces an embarrassing scenario on Sunday
Sportsmail understands Ferdinand will refuse to shake Terry's hand during the pre-game ceremony after taking advice from lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Ferdinand is aware that refusing to shake Terry's hand, or vice versa, could prove prejudicial to the forthcoming proceedings.
Ferdinand's decision leaves Terry with another headache after his sending off in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Sportsmail can reveal that QPR officials contacted the Premier League last week to request the handshake be scrapped for the clash.
However, the request was rejected and League officials insisted on the handshake going ahead as normal.
League clubs choose Financial Fair Play
Posted on: 25.04.2012
The Football League is to implement Financial Fair Play regulations in all three of its divisions, after Championship clubs voted in favour of a breakeven approach based on UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.
From the beginning of next season, the Championship will join League 1 and League 2 clubs in applying rules that exert greater control over club expenditure with each division having the flexibility to determine their own specific approach.
The decision to adopt Financial Fair Play regulations follows a strategic review by The Football League Board which identified the state of club finances as the organisation's greatest challenge. League Chairman, Greg Clarke, said: "On the pitch we have three exciting, competitive divisions with crowds at their highest levels for 50 years. But that success isn't necessarily being reflected on our clubs' balance sheets and we have to remedy that situation or face an uncertain future.
"I'd like to commend the Championship clubs for the courageous decision they have taken today. It means that for the first time, all 72 Football League clubs have agreed to take concerted action towards controlling their financial destiny.
"Whilst we cannot promise that these rules will deliver results overnight, they will begin to lay the foundations for a league of financially self-sustaining football clubs."
Financial Fair Play in the Championship:
- Financial Fair Play (FFP) in the Championship will require clubs to stay within defined limits on losses and shareholder equity investment that will reduce significantly across a five season period.
- Permitted losses will reduce from an acceptable deviation of £4m for 2011/12 to £2m by 2015/16, with additional investment in certain areas of club infrastructure being excluded (e.g. youth development and community programmes).
- The permitted level of shareholder equity investment will reduce from £8m for the 2011/12 season to £3m by 2015/16.
- Clubs will be required to provide annual accounts to The Football League by December 1, covering the previous playing season.
- Failure to stay within the defined limits will lead to the imposition of sanctions. The sanctions will vary depending on whether the club was ultimately promoted to the Premier League, remained in the Championship or was relegated to League 1.
- Clubs promoted to the Premier League will have to pay a 'Fair Play Tax' on the excess by which they failed to fulfil the Fair Play requirement ranging from 1% on the first £100,000 to 100% on anything over £10m. Any proceeds will be distributed equally amongst those clubs that complied with the FFP regulations for the season in question.
- Clubs remaining in the Championship will be subject to a transfer embargo until they are able to lodge financial information to demonstrate they comply with the FFP regulations (either for the previous reporting period or a future reporting period).
- Clubs relegated to League 1 will not be entitled to any payout derived from the Fair Play Tax and will be required to comply with the FFP rules in operation in that division.
- Clubs relegated from the Premier League will not be subject to sanctions in their first season in the Championship, as long as they have met their financial obligations under Premier League regulations. They would, however, be subject to the potential of a Fair Play Tax if they achieved promotion in the first season in the Championship whilst not complying with the FFP regulations.
- The first reporting period will be for the current playing season (2011/12), however sanctions will not be applied until the 2013/14 reporting period in order to give clubs a sensible period of transition.
To find out more about Financial Fair Play in the Championship click here
Financial Fair Play in League 1 and League 2:
- League 1 and League 2, clubs have chosen to implement the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) first used in League 2 in 2004/05, although it will operate at different thresholds in each division.
- The SCMP broadly limits spending on total player wages to a proportion of each club's turnover, with clubs providing budgetary information to The League at the beginning of the season that is updated as the campaign progresses.
- Any club that is deemed to have breached the permitted spending threshold will be subject to a transfer embargo. Wherever possible, The League will seek to tackle the issue 'at source' by refusing player registrations that take clubs beyond the threshold.
- At the beginning of the current season, League 2 clubs reduced the permitted spending threshold to 55% from 60% and this figure will continue to be operated next season.
- League 1 clubs are currently operating a 'pilot' of the SCMP with clubs complying with a 75% threshold but with no sanctions being applicable this season. This threshold will reduce to 65% in 2012/13 and 60% in 2013/14 with sanctions (transfer embargoes) being applicable in both seasons.
Tuesday 24th April 2012
A die-hard Queens Park Rangers fan - who's in charge of the New Zealand Olympic Women's team - has told LBC 97.3 how he plans to stop the London 2012 party before its officially even started!
Anthony Readings - along with British manager Hope Powell - will be in charge of the first action of this summer's London Games - 150 miles away in Cardiff. The draw at Wembley saw Team GB up against the so-called New Zealand Ferns in the opening game at 1600 at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday July 25th - a full two days before the opening ceremony.
"It's fantastic for us. Coming to Olympics anyway is massive thing for our team and something we've worked really hard for past 4 years. But against Team GB makes it more special for us however its another game we need to get points in to move to the next round and that's what we'll focus on that" Readings told our Olympics Correspondent John Cushing. "The Millennium is a fantastic stadium I don't think many of our players will have been there before, I have, I watched Brentford in a play off final few years back. It's going to be a fantastic experience and great stadium and area I think we'll fit in quite nicely in Cardiff."
Cameroon and 2 time runners up Brazil make up the rest of Group E with the top 2 going through the quarter-finals but Readings is aiming higher "We want to win a gold medal - we're preparing for that - but the first thing is to get out of our group and once you do that anything can happen as you're one game away from a medal and 2 from winning gold. That's our focus."
Team GB play twice-in Cardiff before Brazil at Wembley and manager Powell admits, "it will be great, it's a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the sport and raise the profile." And on the fact the first match is two days before the Games actually begin "if we get unprecedented media attention, that is a positive" she said.
David Beckham continues to be the focus of the men's team - despite drawing Senegal, the UAE and Uruguay in Group A. Manchester Utd's Old Trafford, Wembley and Cardiff will stage the games respectively on July 26th, 29th and Aug 1st respectively. Manager Stuart Pearce - who claims being England caretaker boss at the Euros might be helpful rather than a hindrance - has confirmed he'll fly to see the former Man Utd and Real Madrid star playing in the US next week.
"David Beckham will be treated exactly the same as any other individual, whether it is young or over-age." Pearce told a media conference at Wembley. "Form and fitness will dictate what the make-up of the squad will be. David falls into the same category. I have a duty of care to the Great Britain squad to try and win a gold medal. I will pick the strongest possible squad I can."
Chair of the Organising Committee Lord Coe also confirmed that the million and a half London 2012 football tickets will go on sale early next month BEFORE the other Olympic and Paralympic tickets are sold. London 2012 organisers will want to try and capitalise on the interest of the Wembley draw that saw sees the likes of triple Olympic champions the USA and world champions Spain play in Glasgow. Others may argue you sell the football ones first in case people who, to quote Lord Coe want to say "I was there", can't stand the chance of losing out again in the final batch so buy football tickets just in case!
"There's lots of politics and lots of issues why we haven't had a men's team since 1960 and a women's team. Its not about selling tickets its about making this nation proud, some of our finest athletes compete at the largest and greatest show on earth and that's what it'll be" British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt told LBC 97.3.
And Kiwi coach Anthony Readings agrees it would be unthinkable for Team GB not to be competing at London 2012. "I personally think its great. In New Zealand we think it's a great thing. I don't think it'd be the same having football tournament here, one of the biggest footballing nations in the world, not to have some of our players gracing the pitch. I think it's a fantastic thing and I guarantee the nation will follow."
You'll notice he said the phrase 'our players' - surely just a slip of the tongue. So any split loyalties? "I was a Londoner - I'm a Londoner when watching QPR but now I'm a kiwi so no split loyalties from me. We'll stay up I think, beat Stoke and draw with Chelsea that'll be enough. Most of the games are live in New Zealand at 4 in morning - I think I have seen almost every game this year - we'll do it."
And with that positive thinking, Team GB you've been warned!
April 26, 2007, QPR held a Fan Forum with fans. Since then, there has not been another one held ...
Flashback to the April 2007 Fan Forum....
QPR OFFICIAL SITE - FANS' FORUM (April 26, 2007)|
QPR are pleased to announce details for the forthcoming Fans' Forum to be held at Loftus Road on Thursday 26th April 2007 at 7.30pm.
There will be 100 free tickets up for grabs for Rangers fans and they will be administered on a first come, first served basis.
The event will take place in the Blue and White Bar and will be hosted by our media partners at BBC London.
Tom Watt will once again be running the event and the panel will consist of Chairman Gianni Paladini, Manager John Gregory and Club Captain Marcus Bignot.
Tickets will be available from 9.00am tomorrow morning (Friday 13th April) and can be picked up in person from the Loftus Road Box Office, or ordered over the phone - please note, phone bookings will carry a £2 booking fee.
Entry to the event will be via the Loftus Road entrance. Doors open at 7.00pm.
For those who cannot make the event, it will be aired on BBC London and QPR World.
If you would like a question submitted, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to answer as many as possible.
Please include the words 'FANS FORUM' in the subject header. Official Site
QPR Official Site - April 30, 2007
FORUM IN FULL
Last night saw another successful Fans Forum take place at Loftus Road.
Chariman Gianni Paladini, Manager John Gregory and Captain Marcus Bignot fielded a host of questions from supporters on a variety of topics, ranging from out-of-contract players to the new pricing structure for season tickets.
QPR World subscribers were able to hear live coverage from the event.
For those of you who missed it, full audio from last night's Fans Forum will be made available next week to all fans, viawww.qpr.co.uk
Here is a complete transcript from the event. Our thanks to Clive Whittingham for the copy.
Host Tom Watt welcomed the panel (Gianni Paladini = GP, John Gregory = JG, and Marcus Bignot = MB)
The first question from Tom himself was about Marcus Bignot's future with the club.
MB - Well, I'm going on holiday and enjoying that, looking back with some fond memories. My personal situation has taken a back seat, the priority was keeping the club in the Championship, that was at the forefront of all the players' minds. The only goal we were trying to achieve was keeping the club up. There wasn't a queue at the gaffer's door asking for a new deal. The most important thing was survival. I've been here before when this club was relegated and knew what it could mean.
JG - The attitude has been totally unselfish on behalf of the players, Marcus has summed up the attitude of every player that has a couple of months left on their contract. The team and dressing room comes first, the club comes first. They've not been concerned with their own personal situation. It would have been quite easy for them all to bang on the door and say 'what about me?' but not one has come in and asked the question. They've come in for various other things, like a day off, but nobody has said, "Don't worry about all that other stuff, what's happening to me in the summer?"
The whole focus of everybody has been the next match, hoping they're in the next line up, start the next game. Something I've tried to bring to the forefront is that every time they step onto the pitch, they have the opportunity to impress me. You don't have to impress their team-mate or friends at the game. You have to impress me, that's the way it is. Show me you're worthy of another 12 months or two years on your contract. One or two could argue they haven't been given a chance under the new manager but generally everybody in the squad has had a chance to convince me they deserve an extension.
Fans know, they don't get conned, you know the ones that can play because you've seen it year after year - the players and managers come and go. That's why you come every week, you are good judges and you know the good ones from the bad ones. Consequently, the fans are never conned by players. If they give everything they can, you admire those people and warm to them. The ones you don't warm to are the cheats, the ones that don't give it 100%.
This group, every Saturday they've been here recently, they've got a standing ovation because, alright we may have lost the game, like against Southampton and West Brom, but they gave it their all. When they don't, fans have every reason to voice an opinion. Certainly the last three months they've been applauded by fans every time because they've given 100 %. This good run in the last six or seven weeks is down to that.
The team spirit is like nothing I've ever experienced in my career. I played in some good teams here and at Derby, but I've never seen a spirit like the one we've got in the dressing room here. It's carried us out of trouble and we've stuck together and supported each other. The players get on with each other tremendously well. The way you guys have responded to the team - it almost feels like a promotion, it's not, but it's been that good of late. Long may it continue.
What's the situation with the three loan players, Mancienne, Smith and Camp?
JG The two Chelsea boys, as part of their education Chelsea wanted them to come to us. It suited the boys because instead of going to Cobham they just came to Harlington. Michael lives in Feltham so it's actually closer to his home. Joe Mourinho and Frank Arneson were delighted when they came to us, they keep a close eye on them and always have a representative at our games home and away.
From time to time they've gone into Chelsea and trained there. Chelsea don't see the lads in their first team at the moment. Maybe in a year or so they will be putting John Terry and Frank Lampard under pressure. There is an opportunity for them to possibly return here next season and play for another 12 months. I'd love them to come back, they've really enjoyed it like you'd never believe, they've enjoyed being part of the QPR set up, playing first-team football in front of proper crowds - not the reserve team at Aldershot on a Monday night.
Lee Camp joined the club and it gave us so much confidence having him at the back, it's been unbelievable since he came. It's no coincidence that we've had so many clean sheets since his arrival. I hope it will be a brief return [to Derby], we're all very disappointed to lose him. The ball is in Derby County's court, if he leaves we're at the front of the queue to sign him as a QPR player this time, we'd like to sign him. We'll do everything in our power to make sure he comes back and we sign him permanently for next season.
If Derby are promoted, his salary increases quite remarkably. He'd be on a Premiership salary for 12 months. The same would have happened to Adam Bolder, but he so wanted to play first-team football he waived it. Camp's money goes up considerably so we're all waiting to see what happens to Derby. If Derby stay in this league it's a relatively simple decision, if they go up it's a financial one.
What about the future of Lee Cook?
GP: A long time ago I said we want £10m to let everybody know we would like to keep Cook. In football if somebody came up with £10m we wouldn't say no because John could bring in good players. (laughter, and joke about Paladini driving Cook to the buying club himself should such an offer be made)
John wants to build a team around players like Blackstock and Cook, we're not going to sell our best players. If we wanted to do that, we would have done it in January when we had many inquiries for players.
We're not rich and it would have been a simple solution to sell Lee Cook, Dexter Blackstock and Martin Rowlands, but we want the club to move forward so we want to bring better players every year, John wants to do that next season. If you start getting rid of the best ones, you have to start again.
JG - If Liverpool come and offer us £2m for Lee Cook it's not what we want, it's not enough, but sometimes you have to think of how Lee Cook feels about that. It would be difficult to deny him the opportunity to move to the Premiership and play for a top club. If there's a club in the Championship that offers us £2m, it's not enough, we don't want him playing against us and does Lee Cook really want to make a sideways step for a few more quid?
It's a delicate situation. A few years ago I was the manager at Aston Villa and Dwight Yorke had the opportunity to go to Man United. It was a precarious situation of trying to deny him the chance of playing for one of the best clubs in the world and us getting the right amount of money. It was a long drawn-out affair that got messy and nasty.
I don't anticipate a problem with Lee Cook, I think he'll be playing for us next season.
Tom then brought Stuart Downing into the discussion and wondered if Lee Cook is really that much worse than the man currently playing left wing for England
JG - If Stuart Downing was right footed he'd be in League One. It's only because he's left footed that he's in the England team.
Tom then asked Marcus Bignot if the players always think there's a chance we'll be alright in a match because Cook will do something soon and turn the game.
MB - I've played behind him a lot this season and it's comical sometimes. He'll have two or three players around him and he just wiggles his way out. Like the gaffer was saying, hopefully from a selfish point of view that Premiership bid doesn't come, but he is Premiership class. He is a talent and a superb person off the pitch.
He's a great character, QPR through and through and the supporters love to see one of their own out there. He deserves every success in the future.
If that Dwight Yorke-type situation comes up and you're thinking you can't deny him the chance, is the club in a situation where the money can go straight to John Gregory to rebuild, or does he get a little bit and the rest pays bills?
GP - I don't want to think about selling Cook, I enjoy seeing him play for us. £10m is silly money for someone in the Championship, that's why I said it. He wants to stay and he's said that quite clearly, we won't sell him without a stupid offer. If there's a situation like with Shittu where he doesn't want to play for us any more, when the offers came in, he made his mind up he wanted to play in the Premiership. If a player comes and tells you clearly he doesn't want to play, there's nothing you can do so you get the maximum amount.
Cook is completely different. I'm not selling him unless we get a stupid offer. I'll go against the board if I need to on that. John Gregory makes the last decision.
What has happened to Ray Jones since he signed his new deal?
JG - I have to pick the team that I think will win the next match. Whether I bought them or inherited them, whether they're my best mate, friends of my family, I pick the team with total thought on winning the next match. I pick them all for a reason - I don't pick favourites. If I have a personal problem with a player, it doesn't alter my opinion on picking him. If I've paid £5m I don't have to justify it by picking him every week.
That's why Ray Jones hasn't figured in the team for three months or so, I picked others ahead of him because I felt others could do a better job at that time. I've looked at his reaction, which I often do with people. I ask what they're going to do about it. Will they bang on my door, kick up a fuss? Or accept it and crawl away? What will the reaction be on the training ground during the week, how do they react to a punch on the nose?
We lost 5-0 at Southend and I looked at the fans' and the board's reaction, and the players' reaction most of all. I was asking them 'What are you going to do about it?' It was on television, everybody saw that. I got a reaction from it, the one I wanted. That's why we're sat here today, out of the relegation zone. The group reacted well.
When I left Ray out, I looked at his reaction and I'm still waiting for one. I hope he'll bounce back, he's young and it's been a big learning curve. Jimmy Smith was a regular and got left out. I looked for his reaction and he sulked for a couple of days, but then he was the best trainer for four weeks. I put him back in and he scored the winner, that's a fantastic reaction.
Ray will come back again, it's been a massive learning curve. He got his new contract, and I'm always nervous about players with new contracts because they put their feet up for a few weeks and Ray did that - he stuck his feet up for a few weeks with the security. He needs to get his act together by the start of season or he'll get left behind.
In the last few weeks, the front positions have been shared by Paul Furlong, Marc Nygaard and Dexter Blackstock, and they've played out of their skin. Stefan Moore has come through and gone ahead of Ray, and I'm still waiting for Ray's reaction to that.
He's got lots of ability and did everything so quickly, he performed so well and scored a few goals, he didn't have to think twice about it. Now he's got to think about his next move. He scored two for the reserves the other night, and that's a really good sign. He'll be banging on the first team door by the start of next season.
Why are we changing our kits so frequently? It's very expensive for families to keep kitting their children out every season in a new strip.
GP - The kit manufacturer decides, it's the same with every club. After this year, we can get a new contract and say to them 'Please keep it the same for two or three years'.
If and when we get into the Premiership, does the board feel that the size of Loftus Road presents a problem to progress?
GP - This is something that I already enquired about - can we expand the ground, can we lift Ellerslie Road higher to match the rest of the ground? It was refused. We cannot go anywhere else. If we go into the Premiership, we will pay the wages with the money we make. I can't see where else we can go, there's no room around here to relocate. In my time here I can't see us moving elsewhere.
The atmosphere here is outstanding, people are scared to come here and play, other players don't like it. It's a wonderful atmosphere, I'd like to thank the fans for the support given to the team, they are like a twelfth man.
I do apologise for misunderstandings in the past, to say things about fans is not my intention, if I have offended anybody, if people are upset about what I have said before, then I apologise.
The last few games show the club is going forwards, it looked like we'd won promotion. If we do the right things next season, with the supporters we've got, I'm proud to be associated with the club and these people. The atmosphere in my first games when I came here was outstanding and the last four games have been fantastic. I hope it carries on and we build a team that will make the fans happy.
Everybody's got that feeling about the play offs next season after the last few games, and that brings extra expectation. Do you say bring it on or calm down? We are where we are in the league for a reason. How far off a play off team are we?
JG We're obviously a long way off where I'd like us to be and there's lots of rebuilding to be done. We need some concrete in the foundations, the club has had a very difficult period towards the end of last season and literally all of this season. On the opening day we lost at Burnley, and we've had 44 matches of backs-against-the-wall since then.
A change in infrastructure is needed. There's a massive gap between youth and first team at the club and a lack of what I would consider a back up team - a regular reserve side with one or two experienced players and eight or nine real quality kids to push into the first team. That's what I want to build over the next couple of years. The club needs a bloody good kick up the a**e in many departments. I wanted to do so much straight away last September, but the most important thing was to get the first team winning matches. There's so much to be done around the place.
Dave Whelan at Wigan had a dream many years ago when they were at Springfield Park. I don't know if any of you ever went to Springfield Park but it was not a particularly pleasant place to play. He had a dream about getting Wigan to the Premiership. When he told people they laughed, but he never let go of that dream and with a large amount of money they got there and realised his dream. They've built a new stadium and a fantastic football club. There's no reason why we can't dream of one day getting into the Premiership.
I do say bring it on, the expectancy this season was to keep us in the Championship and my neck was on the line, but we got there. It's taken lots of very hard work but we got there. Next season the pressure's on me, Gianni, Marcus if he's still here, and everybody else to push for a play off position. There's no reason why we shouldn't be expected to get there. I revel in that, I'm looking forward to it, bring it on.
About a month ago we played Preston out here. I sit on the side, we all sit on the side under no pressure, the players go out on the pitch and actually have to go out there and do it. I asked them at half-time, 'Have you got the ability to hang on in this second half?' Not a problem. I looked into their eyes before we went out for the second half and there's no way Preston would have scored. They've come further than I ever thought they could, they've amazed me this season. I know looking at them that there's no way this lot would ever have thrown the towel in, I had confidence in this group of lads, they've been brilliant.
Is there a feeling that this group of players can now move on to a different kind of challenge?
JG - We need to add certain parts and improve in certain areas but the nucleus of it all and the spirit in that dressing room is there already. I will make sure I don't allow that to leave over the summer. I know what they're capable of. Given the right circumstances and right additions there's no reason these guys can't move us on to the next level.
MB - When you go to a game, people go to the pub afterwards and talk about the game, people aren't mugs and players aren't either. Back in the summer, it wasn't a happy dressing room, the back end of last season we were nose-diving and that was the feeling in the dressing room. We had a losing mentality. I honestly feel things have changed around, the general consensus is that there are good times ahead.
Under this gaffer, with the signings he's going to bring in this summer, it's going to be a bright future. We will not be in this situation again under this gaffer, I can smell it in the dressing room, in the body language, the way everybody goes about their business. We want to enjoy what we've achieved, but we need to finish on a high in the last two games because the momentum carries on into next season.
Supporters in the pub and players in the dressing room talk about the same thing. We talk about what went wrong on a Sunday morning. The atmosphere is so positive now it's not true, half of us might not be here but we're all singing off the same hymn sheet. The club will not be in this position next season, it was a crying shame and I dreaded what might have happened. We nearly undid all that hard work. We know it won't happen again.
The dressing room at the moment is so positive. One of the players said the other day, 'Don't bother coming back pre-season lads if you're not ready to get promoted.' That's the way we need to be, ultra positive.
A ten-minute break was followed by questions from the floor…
If you take the last game we played, how many of those players will be on the pitch at the start of next season?
JG - about 60%.
A couple of seasons ago Kenny Jackett would come into our box and ask what we thought and he was somewhat more forthcoming with that question - he said it would be this player and this player and so on.
JG - Well we are on GLR! I know who's staying and going and I'm the only one who does know. Even the chairman doesn't know. The first people to know will be the players. It's right and proper that the players find out if they're getting a deal first. I will not impart this information at all until I sit with each player and let them know. There have been various assumptions on the websites, which is understandable but nobody knows for sure, I don't tell anybody anything until I tell the people themselves. People will know if they get a new deal before the Stoke game.
It's difficult for a lot of them, Marcus is testament to that, they will all know before we take to the field against Stoke.
We've had a high proportion of players on loan this season. Do you want fewer players to be loaned next season? Some of them have been really good but do we need a smaller proportion?
JG - Ideally we'd have no players on loan at all but even Man United have loaned Henrik Larsson this season, so even the best do it. If I say to my best striker at the club I'm replacing you with a loan signing and he comes in for a month or two, then gets recalled I have to turn to the guy I left out for two months and tell him I'm sticking him back in, he's going to tell me where to go.
People I've brought in to play for us on loan this season were better than the ones that they replaced so the ones replaced can have no complaints because the loans have done a better job than they did. It's a difficult balancing act. I'd love to be in a position when we have enough quality that belong at QPR and we don't have to go and bring in loan players.
How many new players are coming in and in what positions?
JG - 40% I'd say. (laughter) We want to strengthen all over. If there's a better keeper than the one we have, then we'll go for him if he's available. We are light in the full-back positions. Biggy is a right back really, he's more comfortable there and he's done an amazing job at left back. I've used Michael Mancienne there who's a centre half, Zesh Rehman who is a centre half, Sam Timoska and Pat Kanyuka. They all ended up playing full-back. We need to try and bring in a right full-back if we're not able to get Michael next season.
But all over the pitch, if there are players available that fit the budget and will improve the team, we'll go and get them. Mancienne came in as a central defender but he's such a good player he could do a good job at right back, it's a bonus he can play both positions.
I've always said to players don't pigeon-hole yourself. If you say, 'I play there and that's it', if you can say you can only play left back and I sign a better one then you, then you can't play anywhere else. Players need to be versatile and play anywhere. I know that doesn't answer your question very well. I just want to improve what we already have. I think I did that this season with Danny, Bolder, Camp, Timoska - to a lesser extent because he's still learning - but those three were better than those they replaced.
What do we have arranged for pre season? There have been rumours circulating about a trip to Ireland.
JG - The only definite is Brentford on August 4. I like to do pre-season at home, I don't like 10, 12, 14 day trips abroad. Supporters love it but the players sit around all day bored and the staff have to baby-sit them. Players don't like being stuck in a hotel, boredom sets in quickly. At home the guys finish training and go home to their family, they rest in a proper manner and come back the following day ready for work. I do quite like the idea of going to Ireland, maybe for a weekend, flying in, having two quick games and coming back again. We have a big fan base in Ireland. It would suit us, if the timing is right.
But most of the time will be spent at Harlington getting ourselves up to speed. It's a mega-important period of the year. After a good pre-season you get a good season, it often goes hand in hand.
The players didn't have it this season, we've had to come in and change habits mid-season. We've had seven months at it and by the time they come back the guys will know what's expected of them.
How can an increased budget for better players and solving other problems be supported with the season ticket prices dropping?
GP - Obviously the board has to support improving the team, they have to come up with money like they have done up to now. Hopefully we'll get more season ticket holders than last season. We had 7,000 this season, which was 1,000 down on the previous year and 3,000 down on the season before that. The 10% discount is for everybody, and it's 20% in the first month with the early discount.
We had to do something like that to bring people back. Especially the way they've supported the team in the past four games. We need maximum people in, but if the board have to put more money in, they have to put money in.
We had so many players this year to sustain, and it was very expensive to do. When you change manager you always have this situation, hopefully we've solved that. We want 25 players instead of 40, and to bring the budget down.
If you have 40 players you have to pay them, and pay tax on top of that, everything goes up. John fortunately started to cut down on players, and do a deal to get rid of players. If someone is earning £100k you have to do a deal and give them £50k. We'll work with John on the budget next season and have no more than 24 or 25 players, they'll be a better quality even if we have to pay a bit more. It's the way forward.
The programme, at £3 a week, is a standing joke. There's an error on the front every week. Our facts are meant to come from there. We're bitterly disappointed with it.
Ian Taylor, the new Editor, stepped forward at this point to answer the lady's (Sandra from the Lower Loft) question. Gregory cracked a joke about him being the ex-editor.
IT - I've only been in charge for three months. Myself and Paul (Morrissey, QPR World) are the media department. When you compare our department to other sides in this league, we're only a two man team when most clubs have six or seven. We're short staffed but doing our best on limited resources.
Gregory made a gag about poor excuses but Sandra said it was embarrassing.
JG - Nobody had noticed until you brought it up. (laughter) Those two do a fantastic job, they do a brilliant job. QPR World is something else, it's brilliant. Ian and Paul together do a brilliant job and are very close to the players. Paul Morrissey is based at Harlington, he's there at 8am until late in the afternoon, working tirelessly. We have a fantastic relationship with them and love having the guys around. Information they have from us remains in the confines of Harlington and we're very proud to have them here, they'll certainly be here in ten days' time.
IT - We were runners up in the programme competition for the whole of the football league.
JG - first is first, second is nowhere.
IT - There have been errors in the past, we're doing our utmost to improve the programme.
Alan Barnes congratulated the youth team for their league success and asked about the future of Prav Mathema and Warren Neill
JG - Prav is leaving for a new post, it's a big career move for him, financially it's a lot more rewarding. He's been here for eight years, and been a fantastic servant. He'll get a big send off before the season is finished. He thought about it long and hard, and we had a long chat with him. He's going to Wasps.
We wish him all the best. I'd have loved him to have stayed, I've only been here seven months and during that time his work has been outstanding. He lost his best customer Matthew Rose (laughter) which saw his work reduced 98%, so he's bored now. It's what he wanted to do. He needs a change of scenery for his own sanity. Eight years is a long time to stay in the same place.
Wally has come in and done a tremendous job. He's very unassuming, but was a great player for the club, he's QPR through and through. He's a cabbie and he comes to work in his black cab. We had a reserve game with Bournemouth here last week and afterwards he got dressed and went to work with the light on after the match in the West End.
He's been marrying the two jobs, working with us four or five days a week and I'd like him to stay with us next season, providing it's what he wants. We've only had a quick chat about it so far.
There's no job too small for Warren, he's never too proud, if I want him to be a corner flag he'll be a corner flag. He wants to keep being a cabbie because it brings in extra income for him, he's a grafter and I want him round the dressing room. He'll go that extra mile for the team and the club, and I'm anticipating him being around. You can't overlook his part in us keeping out of trouble.
The youth team has won the league, can you see any players there that could do a job in a few years? It's great for them to be successful but is it actually going to be a source for talent?
JG - There was so much last September that I wanted to do straight away. I wanted to try and get into the school of excellence and do something about that, I wanted to do something about the reserve team, reorganise the training ground and office staff, but I didn't want to get distracted. So I haven't paid a great deal of attention, I see the lads every day, one or two are starting to show great ability and do well in the reserve team. Given the right education over a couple of years, one or two could threaten the first team. I want to overhaul the whole team. I took away one of Joe Gallen's staff, John O'Brien, and he hasn't been replaced.
We had 35 full-time pros apart from kids, and that was a tremendous drain on resources. We've paid a lot of people to leave the club, and we could have done with that money to help the youth set up, allow the coach to have another couple of coaching staff. He's worked alone all season, and I've got to commend him on the results he has got. Those people have now finished being paid, which gives us a few more resources to put into the youth set up.
During my time here the youth set up was vibrant. Chris Gieler was running it, Warren Neill was a product himself and Kevin Gallen. We produced a lot of very good players. I'd like to be in that position again, and it's something I'll spend a lot of time on during the summer.
QPR has always had a good youth set up, we've always produced our own players, and sold them at various times and made large profits on them. This is a fantastic catchment area to attract kids at youth level, they like to come here. Dean Parrett wanted to be at QPR because he had a better chance here, rather than getting lost in the system at Chelsea. Parents are happy with their kids coming here. I will spend time and make sure we have equipment to bring in quality young players.
The conversation then turned to BirminghamCity. John Gregory told somebody to ask him a question. Bignot said he thought McSheffrey was a slightly better player than Cook because of his goal scoring and that he'd told Cook that.
MB - In a situation like Birmingham, anybody would do a good job with that amount of money so I go back to the gaffer. He's our most important signing. The gaffer hasn't spent the money the previous manager did and look at the players he's brought in. At QPR it's so important to have the right manager because you're competing with Birmingham, who can go and spend £4m on a player.
The youth team is an area that can save you money and hopefully one or two players can come through and help the first team. We have a manager who managed a club in the Premiership that I hate, I refuse to even name them, they finished in the top six every year and got to a cup final when he was there. It did my head in. Then he left and we were top dogs in Birmingham. I loved it when he left.
It is a big task seriously, the management and players will come back pre-season, I don't know about my future obviously, looking for promotion and if we don't get it, it won't be for want of trying.
Premiership managers seem to have thrown away their UK road maps. There are players in the Championship where anybody who watches them knows they're good enough. How many times do you have to watch Cook, or David Nugent to know? How many times did Moyes look at Tim Cahill? Do you, John, look in Leagues One and Two or look above you for the ones that weren't quite good enough?
JG - We look at all of them, the one market we don't look at is the foreign market because there is the financial side of getting a player from abroad. Generally they come into the Premiership and there are not so many at our level. We look at the Premiership and we've been linked with one or two, like Lee Hendrie. The type of people not quite cutting it at Premiership level and not playing regularly, coming to the end of their contract, they may be able to come and drop down a level and get it together at this level.
We do look at our own division, players who are out of contract this summer, may not be playing particularly well at the moment but given right circumstances they may do well for us.
Like Cullip - for some reason Colin Calderwood didn't see him in his team after he played the first 23 games. Colin wanted to change his back four and saw Danny elsewhere. He came to us and was just the kind of player we were looking for.
Adam's the same. Derby is a big club that has started throwing money around. Billy Davies, in his wisdom, thought Bolder had been there too long and wanted all his own men in there, he didn't want the ones he inherited.
He's brought all his own staff and physios from Preston and wants his own players as well, so Adam became surplus. My scouting network of one has basically highlighted those out of contract, at a club that don't pay as much as we do, we're pretty good payers in this league. There's something special about this club and it does attract players. People want to come and play here, the fact we're in London helps. People have played here and know what the atmosphere is like. It's not hard to convince people to come.
What plans are in the pipeline to remember Kiyan Prince?
MB - I've spoken to Gary in the Commercial Department, and me and Gareth Ainsworth are doing a documentary on the issue. Hopefully in May. We've had preliminary talks with Rio Ferdinand and others about putting a documentary together with awareness in mind. That's a road to go down and hopefully one or two more.
We're moving towards May and Gaz and me are really looking forward to doing it and putting it together. Rest assured there will be something.
What's the latest on the ABC loan situation? Since the last forum we've heard very little.
GP - We're working on it every day and it's not easy to do, I'm confident we can do something about it very soon. I can't say more than that, we're working on it and will announce something when the time comes. It shouldn't have happened in the first place and we have to do something about it. I'm confident we'll have a new investor by the start of next season to help us move forward and that will help with ABC. I'm confident we'll have new people joining for the beginning of next season.
Two years ago I sat here with a petition against the season ticket price rise, I'd like to thank the club for seeing sense and doing what they've done with the prices this summer, thankyou for that.
GP - The reason we wanted to reduce prices was to thank the supporters. Tracy and Vic, and the people who came around the table and met and discussed about next season. We listened to fans and you were a big help with the group of fans that came to see us. Thank you for the time you dedicated to the club. Thank you from the club to you. QPR