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Thursday, May 24, 2012

QPR Report Thursday: Bhatia on QPR...Joey Barton: 12 Games...QPR to Asia...Flashbacks: The Hotel Fire Alarm...16 Players Released...2001/02 Season Ticket Prices

- Nine Years Ago Today (Tonight!) The Hotel Fire Alarm Went Off.......Nine Years Ago Tomorrow: QPR Lost their Playoff Final against Cardiff

 - 11 Year Flashback: Relegated-and-in-Administration QPR Release 16 Players...Selll off the WASPS and Training Ground....Sign Leroy Griffiths....Set Season Ticket Prices for 2001-02

 -  Nine Years Ago Today (Tonight!) The Hotel Fire Alarm Went Off.......Nine Years Ago Tomorrow: QPR Lost their Playoff Final against Cardiff

- QPR Photos from the Dave Sexton Era at QPR (1974-1977)

Premiership Clubs: Profits and Losses and Debts for the 2010-2011 Season

-  Twitter suspends account for using London 2012 Olympics logo

- The new, very-well produced QPR Online Publication

- Impressive Peterborough Statement on their New Kit
".....[W]e also recognise the current difficult financial climate.... we are hoping you, our supporters will agree, and whilst we would encourage as many of you as possible to buy the new home shirt, it is of course down to choice. .."

- Comparing Premiership Clubs for Season Ticket Prices/Season Ticket Price Increases

QPR Season Ticket Prices

Amit Bhatia Talking about QPR - Past & Future

Evening Standard/James Olley

We tried to run QPR like F1 with cashmere jerseys and fur slippers but that cost us our fanbase

QPR vice-chairman Amit Bhatia on how the club have ditched the excesses of the previous regime captured in a warts-and-all documentary

23 May 2012

Given the box office story and Hollywood ending of Queens Park Rangers’ first season in the Premier League, they must be tempted to make a sequel to ‘The Four Year Plan’.

Mat Hodgson’s compelling documentary aired by the BBC in March still resonates as one of the most revealing insights into the machinations of a modern-day football club.

Amid the whirlwind of impatience created by Flavio Briatore, the scheming and fretting of Gianni Paladini and a cabal of disillusioned managers sacked with the ink still drying on their contracts, vice-chairman Amit Bhatia stood as a voice of reason.

Neil Warnock finally delivered promotion to the Premier League by navigating a way through the madness but Bhatia’s role in creating an environment to thrive was central to that success.

Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone saved the club from bankruptcy in late 2007 but the Italian’s involvement, as the film revealed, had since created an instability that was proving highly corrosive.

Allowing unprecedented access to Hodgson’s film crew and conceding editorial control were remarkably co-operative steps in the usually clandestine world of club management and it made for uncomfortable viewing in the boardroom. “I said when I first saw it that there was no way this thing could ever be released,” Bhatia told Standard Sport, when speaking for the first time about the film.

“I was flabbergasted. We may not have had creative control on it but we still had to sign off on the movie.

“The producers could have been sued if they hadn’t got everyone to sign a waiver but eventually everyone agreed to it because it was a story that had to be told. We tried to apply the principles from past experiences — business for me, Formula One for Flavio and Bernie — to QPR but it didn’t work.

“You can’t compare the fan who goes to the Monaco Grand Prix with the fan who goes to his local football team. They said ‘London has a lot of football clubs but it doesn’t have a sexy, boutique club. Let’s make QPR boutique, let’s make it the Monaco Grand Prix of football clubs. We have the smallest ground, let’s make it the most exclusive ground’. We had cashmere, embroidered jerseys, we had fur slippers. In retrospect, we learned you cannot run a football club like that because you lose your fanbase. It was a lack of experience. I look back and I see myself as such a rookie and knowing very little. You have to treat people better, make decisions that are orientated towards the longer term.”

Rangers are now in a position to learn those lessons after escaping relegation on a dramatic final day at Manchester City. Mark Hughes is the seventh permanent manager in five years but Bhatia is keen to ensure stability now exists where chaos once reigned. “We are trying to take our club to the next level and Mark is central to all that,” he said. “We are moving forward with a new training facility, working with the architects and designers and Mark is very important in that process.

“We want to invest in the academy and youth system. I don’t have that experience but we have a long-term vision and Mark is central to all those decisions.

“Our scouting system isn’t up to par, the infrastructure isn’t good — we need more medical people. We have a shortage of masseurs. He is walking us through all of these ideas. We are going to set new rules at the football club: how people dress, what time they show up, what time they leave. All of these are being rewritten at the moment.

“Setting targets is counter-productive. We were stupid enough to say ‘promotion in four years’. There is no new four-year plan. It is about getting a better infrastructure, a more respected club, a bigger fanbase and playing more attractive football. It would be frivolous to talk about a second four-year plan as we know football now.”

It won’t make a dramatic film sequel but the strategy is equally vital to Rangers’ future.

Bhatia on freezing ticket prices

QPR have frozen ticket prices for next season and Bhatia said: “The fans were vital last season and we are going to need them to come back and support the team. We assessed what it would cost us not to increase prices and decided it was worth it — we didn’t want to price the fans out of a second season in the Premier League.”

Bhatia on the new owners

The Mittal family attempted to buy the club last summer before Tony Fernandes took over.
Bhatia said: “There was a public back and forth that Flavio [Briatore] and Bernie [Ecclestone] believed our offer wasn’t good enough.
“That’s fine, that’s business. The eventual offer that Tony came in with wasn’t too far from what we had offered. I now have a fantastic relationship with Tony and the other two shareholders so it is fine.
“I had resigned over a fall-out involving ticket prices going into the Premier League. But relations remained good and Flavio called me to tell me I should meet Tony and he’d made a better offer. He asked if I wanted to exit but I said, ‘No’.
“I thought about countering Tony’s offer and maybe we would have done it if we didn’t see eye-to-eye with Tony. I didn’t know him well but we found out who he was and his plans. We spent many hours on the phone and he understood we lacked infrastructure.
“He kept using this phrase ‘unpolished diamond’ to describe the club. I wanted the fans to feel proud of the club and for the club to reconnect with them. Tony understood that.”

Bhatia on Kieron Dyer's new deal

Midfielder Kieron Dyer played just seven minutes last season — on the opening day — before suffering a series of injury setbacks but the 33-year-old has been handed a new contract. Standard Sport understands it is a one-year, pay-as-you-play deal, and Bhatia said: “Kieron is there training now and showing real commitment and dedication and Mark Hughes feels he offers a lot around the place off the pitch as well. When it comes down to player decisions, it is up to the manager.”

Bhatia on moving to a new ground

HE claims a move away from Loftus Road is inevitable if the club establish themselves as a Premier League force.
“We have been working on this for the last few years,” he said. “It has been a slow process. We have ambition to try and move to another stadium in the same area.
“We’ve done feasibility studies to try and develop Loftus Road but we can’t expand the stadium by more than a few thousand seats. It is not enough.
“If this club remain in the Premier League, we will need a bigger stadium and so it is smarter plan that we start from scratch and try and build something to make it state of the art. I don’t know where or when it will happen.”

Bhatia on sacking Neil Warnock

Bhatia formed a close bond with Warnock but QPR sacked him in January after eight games without a win. Bhatia said: “It was more difficult for me than for Tony. I had built a stronger relationship with him than any other manager, although we didn’t normally have managers around long enough to build one!
“Tony believed in him when he came on board but every once in a while, difficult decisions have to be made. We thought the club was slightly underperforming after doing well to bring in new players.” Standard 


QPR Official Site - FA STATEMENT
Posted on: Wed 23 May 2012

An independent Regulatory Commission has today (Wednesday 23 May 2012) dealt with two charges of violent conduct against Joey Barton, arising from the game against Manchester City, resulting in an eight-match suspension and £75,000 fine for the Queens Park Rangers midfielder.

This eight-match suspension is to run consecutively to the four-game suspension Barton was already given for his dismissal in the fixture, making a total of 12 matches.

Barton was charged by The FA with two counts of violent conduct in relation to the Queens Park Rangers game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 13 May 2012.

Following Barton's dismissal in the 54th minute of the match, there followed two incidents involving Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. As Barton had already been dismissed, both of these incidents fell outside the jurisdiction of the referee.

Barton accepted the charge of violent conduct against Aguero but denied the second breach of violent conduct against Kompany. The independent Regulatory Commission, however, found this second charge proved.

Barton is already serving a four-match suspension for his dismissal in the match, which consists of three matches for violent conduct plus one match as this was the player's second dismissal of the season. The two further breaches for violent conduct ordered he be suspended for eight matches to run consecutively to the four matches, taking the total suspension to 12 matches.

The Chairman of the Regulatory Commission stated after the hearing: "There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe."

The Club will be making no further comment.

Guardian/Jamie Jackson

Joey Barton given unprecedented 12-game ban by FA for violent conduct

• QPR midfielder also fined £75,000 for actions against Man City
• 'Such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country'

Joey Barton has been banned for 12 matches and fined £75,000 by the Football Association, an unprecedented tariff that places his future at Queens Park Rangers in serious doubt. Before the ruling the club had already met to discuss options regarding their captain.

After finding the midfielder guilty of two charges of violent conduct in QPR's 3-2 defeat at Manchester City on the season's final day the chairman of the FA regulatory commission stated that Barton's behaviour "tarnishes the image of football".

For the two violent conduct counts Barton was handed an eight‑game suspension to follow on consecutively from the four matches he will already miss for being sent off in the game.

After receiving the red card for appearing to strike Carlos Tevez, Barton then kicked Sergio Agüero and attempted to headbutt Vincent Kompany. After the hearing, the regulatory commission chairman condemned the midfielder's actions, saying: "There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe."

Barton admitted kicking Agüero but denied the charge involving Kompany and requested a personal hearing. However, the commission found against him. Barton now has leave to appeal, but his future at Rangers is also far from certain.

The FA statement said: "Barton accepted the charge of violent conduct against Agüero but denied the second breach of violent conduct against Kompany. The independent regulatory commission , however, found this second charge proved."

Barton's troubled season began when he was dismissed on 2 January in a 2-1 defeat by Norwich City at Loftus Road, before he compounded the incidents at the Etihad Stadium by later admitting on Twitter that he attempted to get one of the City players sent off too, claiming that a team-mate "suggested I should try to take one of theirs with me".

The midfielder has had a troubled history on and off the pitch. In December 2004 he was fined six weeks' wages for stubbing a lit cigar in the eye of a young team-mate during Manchester City's Christmas party. In May 2007 Barton was suspended by City after a training-ground altercation with Ousmane Dabo. He was charged with assault, and in July 2008 received a four-month suspended jail sentence. The FA also banned him for 12 matches, six of which were suspended and a £25,000 fine. Later that year he was arrested in Liverpool city centre after a late-night incident and later charged with common assault and affray, and in May 2008 was jailed for six months.

Paolo Di Canio's 11-match ban for pushing over the referee Paul Alcock in 1998 and Eric Cantona's nine-month suspension for attacking a spectator in 1995 are among the longest tariffs since the Premier League's formation.



24 May 2012

QPR are set to launch their own internal investigation after captain Joey Barton was handed a 12-match ban by the Football Association for "tarnishing the image of football" in the wake of his sending-off at Manchester City.

Barton had requested a personal hearing and yesterday an independent regulatory commission found the 29-year-old guilty of two counts of violent conduct.

The controversial midfielder was shown a red card at the Etihad Stadium for elbowing Carlos Tevez, and he then kicked Sergio Aguero before attempting to headbutt Vincent Kompany.

The FA announced Barton received an automatic four-game suspension, with the additional eight matches a consequence of the manner of his dismissal. He was also fined £75,000.

QPR will now begin their own internal inquiry into what transpired on a dramatic final day of an extraordinary Barclays Premier League campaign.

Club spokesman Ian Taylor said on Twitter: "QPR will be making no comment in regard to the Joey Barton case. Internal investigation will begin in due course."

Barton denied the charge of violent conduct against Kompany, but the FA said the case against the player was found to be proved.

The acts were condemned by the chairman of the regulatory commission, who stated: "There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe."

The FA's regulatory panel had discretionary powers to further increase the length of the suspension if charges were found to be proven.

Barton's admission on Twitter that his violent actions were a cynical ploy to provoke a City player to be sent off saw those discretionary powers employed.

Barton insisted via Twitter on the day of his sending-off that he had not lost his head, but that a team-mate "suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me".

QPR are set for a pre-season tour of Asia in July, but it remains to be seen whether Barton, signed on a free transfer from Newcastle on a four-year deal in August 2011, will be part of Mark Hughes' squad.

Speaking earlier this month, QPR chairman Tony Fernandes said: "There are experienced people who will come back to me and we'll review the whole situation.

"Joey has been an integral part of the club and has played his part.

"This is football, and I'm new to it. I don't profess to have all the answers." Evening Standard

TELEGRAPH - Paul Hayward

No sensible Premier League manager will take a risk on disgraced Joey Barton

For hire: one chugging midfielder who thought he was Steven Gerrard while hiding his violent urges behind a veneer of irony and bookishness. Not available for 12 games.

With his anger management, his self-improvement and his veneration of honesty over hypocrisy, Joey Barton will have to admit that no sensible club would want to offer him a contract following his suspension for 12 matches on two charges of violent conduct.
Only two, you might ask? The melee started by the Queens Park Rangers agent provocateur defiled a great contest in which Vincent Kompany — whom Barton tried to nut — displayed spirit, selflessness, leadership, humility: all the qualities lacking in his assailant, who pulled a face of the purest malice when kneeing Sergio Agüero from behind.
Over the next few days we can expect a steady flow of contorted cleverness about how society is really the culprit, with its stupidity and double standards. But even Newsnight are unlikely to buy this now. Nor will the broadsheet papers who invited him through the door to share his autodidactic musings — and managed both to patronise and elevate him in the process.
Football being a pretty amoral business, all the talk now will be of where Barton will pitch the tent of his modest talent next. He will be talked about as a commodity, as he was after punching a man between 18 and 20 times in Liverpool city centre in December 2007 while on Newcastle's books.
Later he had the temerity to lecture the Newcastle board about custodianship and fidelity to the badge. This, from a player who has torched bridges at Manchester City, Newcastle and now QPR.

The pattern is of righteousness, loss of self-control and then a victim stance. If he were another Gerrard he might be able to pull it off, but he is really only a slow, midfield link-man who has alienated just about every manager he has played for.
The problem for his current employers, plainly, is that no sane manager will want to import such disruptiveness. The gain is not sufficient to offset the risks.
There is another cost. Barton had become a poster boy for the Sporting Chance culture of rehabilitation, which has saved many troubled souls. The organisation must feel a regular sense of failure and betrayal.
In isolation this offence ranks lower than Paolo Di Canio pushing over a referee (11 games) or Paul Davis punching Glenn Cockerill (nine). But in the context of all his previous transgressions — jabbing a cigar in a Man City trainee’s face, beating up Ousmane Dabo on the training ground — the FA was within its rights to exclude him for as long as possible, perhaps in the hope that the game will now turn its back on him, as most professions would.
Heaven knows football needs unconventional thinking, awkward players, people to challenge the corporate norm. But not with their fists" Telegraph

Posted on: Wed 23 May 2012

Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce that the First Team squad will travel to Asia this summer for a lucrative pre-season tour.

Mark Hughes's side will play two friendly fixtures in Thailand and Malaysia.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, QPR Chairman, Tony Fernandes, expressed his excitement at the news the R's will be travelling to his homeland this summer.

"We are very excited and honored to be heading to Asia for our pre-season tour," he said.

"The fans in Asia have embraced QPR since we became involved with the Club and it's great that we can give so many of them a chance to come and watch the team play for the first time.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our brand in this part of the World."

He added: "This brings QPR to the global stage which is critical to our commercial efforts.

"I'm also thrilled to be going to East Malaysia which in many ways is the home of AirAsia. To the best of my knowledge no-one has ever toured in Sabah. I'm thrilled that we have remembered all the people that have helped AirAsia get off the ground by bringing QPR to Sabah."

The tour will commence on Tuesday 10th July, with Bangkok - the capital city of Thailand - being the first destination.

The squad will train at the former Suphachalasai National Stadium in central Bangkok, prior to locking horns with a Thai All Star XI at the 60,000 capacity Ramajangala National Stadium on Saturday 14th July.

Thereafter, the R's will jet to Kota Kinabalu, where Hughes's squad will train at the 35,000 capacity Likas Stadium, before playing a Football Association of Sabah Select team at the same venue on Wednesday 18th July.

QPR CEO, Philip Beard, added: "Nothing beats watching the team live and by visiting Thailand and Malaysia, we are allowing fans from all three countries to experience just that.

"It will also be a wonderful experience for the Club and our players, many of whom will be visiting Asia for the first time.

"We will be working closely with our main sponsors, Air Asia, and our other partners in the region to ensure we can deliver our best ever pre-season tour."

Further tour updates, including fan package options, will be available in due course, exclusively on www.qpr.co.uk   QPR


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