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The challenge facing Mike Rigg is to build an infrastructure that is fit for purpose.
For starters, Rigg, who was recently appointed as QPR’s technical director, inherited a scouting set-up that requires urgent attention.
Significant changes were introduced during Neil Warnock’s time as manager, but everything is relative, and those improvements were made from a very low point.
Kevin Randall, installed as chief scout after Warnock’s arrival, took on a role that had been left unfilled for the best part of five years following the departure of the popular Mel Johnson in 2005.
Rangers’ scouting had become virtually non-existent in that period and involved signing players on the basis of their CV – and the word of various advisors connected to the club.
RIGG’S CV Sheff Wed academy manager Chief scout at Blackburn Technical director for the Welsh FA Man City technical director Appointed by QPR last month
The outcome was a host of ill-advised signings and an over-reliance on agents.
“Agents are part of the game, it’s as simple as that. There have been times when working with an agent has saved a club millions of pounds,” Rigg told West London Sport.
“But what’s important is that the club has the infrastructure to identify the right players themselves. It’s about putting that structure in place.
“Otherwise, you have players being brought in on an agent’s say-so rather than a club identifying that player.
“The question I get asked most is ‘What kind of players are you looking for?’ because agents are often used to finding players for clubs.
“When that happens, it’s not the agent’s fault – it’s the club’s. The agent is doing a job. And make no bones about it, working with good agents helps you bring in good players and save money.”
Rigg managed a team of more than 30 scouts during his time at Manchester City, where he worked with QPR manager Mark Hughes.
That network included the likes of former Norwich defender Rob Newman and ex-Wimbledon player Andy Sayer.
Hughes was keen to install Rigg.
The plan is for a similarly strong set-up at QPR – and there is a lot of work to be done.
“It’s an area we’re certainly looking to strengthen, because we really need to,” Rigg added.
“At the moment I’d say QPR is very similar to Manchester City when I started there. There are some great people and a real willingness to build the club.
“There are some differences, obviously. We won’t be paying someone like Yaya Toure a couple of hundred grand a week. In that sense, like at every club, we’ll cut our cloth accordingly.
“But the will is there to build a successful club for the long term. The likes of Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia have been incredibly supportive.
“I haven’t once come up against a brick wall. Everything we’re trying to do they’re receptive to and you can’t really wish for more than that.”
And Johnson, who has since been chief scout at Tottenham and is now with Liverpool, believes QPR’s owners have made a wise move by enabling Hughes to bring in Rigg.
“Rangers have got themselves a good man there, no doubt about it,” Johnson said.
“I’ve known Mike through the scouting scene for years and seen him around the world. He works really hard and will do a great job for the club.
“I’ve got so much affection for QPR and always will have, so I’m really pleased they’ve brought in someone like Mike.
“Scouting and development are so important and I’m glad Rangers are investing in that side of things. They needed to.” West London Sport
This article from May 24.. (as it's almost four weeks since the QPR Investigation began) TIME BLOG/GLEN LEVY Does England Have The Most Poisonous Soccer Player of His Generation?
In all my years of watching Queens Park Rangers, it's hard to recall a more unpleasant individual pulling on the famous blue and white hooped jersey. By GLEN LEVY | @glenjl | May 24, 2012 |
From a personal perspective, Sunday, May 13 will go down as quite possibly the most amazing day of my life. Our second child was born that morning (and don’t even think about repeating the “most amazing” line to my firstborn). Plus, on that day my – and my new daughter’s – favorite English Premier League team, Queens Park Rangers, avoided being relegated to the lower leagues; though QPR succumbed to Manchester City 3-2, Bolton Wanderers’ 2-2 tie meant that QPR’s safety was secure.
When you pull for QPR, just staying in the big leagues is a major victory.
But amidst the joy for QPR’s players, management and fans, was an ugly side. QPR captain Joey Barton saw red for a blatant foul on City’s Carlos Tevez. On its own merits, the red card was incredibly damaging, forcing his teammates to play with 10 men for the majority of the second half. But the melee which ensued was among the most regrettable of scenes witnessed on a football pitch in recent years. Barton proceeded to aim a kick at Sergio Aguero (the look on Barton’s face is almost evil incarnate), attempted to head-butt Vincent Kompany and thought about some afters with Mario Balotelli (to be fair, the volatile City substitute shouldn’t have got involved).
Hilariously, Barton tried to maintain that his post-red card actions were carried out in the forlorn hopes of inciting one of City’s players into being sent off. The vehicle for Barton’s thoughts, of course, were on Twitter, a medium the midfielder has championed for cutting out us unreliable journalists and speaking directly to the more than million people who willingly want to read his 140-character missives.
You could argue that a fair amount of those people are drawn to Barton’s tweets much like people are morbidly fascinated by car crashes. Barton doesn’t just tweet about football but culture, some politics and, when all else fails, Morrissey, whose lyrical wit with seminal British band The Smiths, is still held in high regard. “For there are brighter sides to life, and I should know, because I’ve seen them, but not very often.” Indeed.
As of Wednesday evening, Barton’s playing career wasn’t seeing the bright side. “We are all just travellers passing on a journey. Enjoy today its Sunny,” read Barton’s most recent tweet. But the English Football Association certainly disagreed with Barton’s bright outlook. We already knew that Barton’s second red of the season carried a four-game ban, rather than the usual three. But the FA decided to rightly make an example of Barton, by serving the 29-year-old with an almighty 12 game suspension. He was found guilty of two counts of violent conduct plus got a £75,000 ($118,000) fine, which will barely make a dent in his pay packet. But he won’t kick a competitive ball (or fellow professional) in anger for many months.
(MORE: United and Chelsea Show That English Soccer is a Game for Old Men)
The chairman of the regulatory commission said after the hearing, “There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behavior 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.”
It’s a salient point: U.S. television, for example, carried the QPR game live. QPR is beginning to make inroads into the Asian market, after being bought by Malaysian businessman Tony Ferdandes. Fernandes has smartly passed the buck when it comes to whether Barton has a future with the West London club to new manager Mark Hughes, who inherited Barton when he took over at the start of the year. Rangers are set to conduct their own investigation; you have to wonder if lawyers are trying to find grounds to tear up his lengthy contract, which is reportedly worth a staggering £10.5 million ($16.45 million) over the next three years.
And as the saying goes in Britain, Barton has “previous.” On his rap sheet are numerous alarming incidents. He assaulted a man outside a McDonald’s in Liverpool in 2007 (you can watch the CCTV footage for yourself here) which resulted in Barton serving 74 days of a six-month sentence. Then there’s the time he jabbed a lighted cigar into the face of a trainee footballer during a Christmas party in 2004 while at Manchester City, to say nothing of a training-ground brawl with a player three years later, which resulted in that individual requiring hospital treatment.
What seems clear is that every team who dispenses with his services improves once the poisonous player leaves the scenes of his crimes. In all my years of watching QPR, it’s hard to recall a more unpleasant individual pulling on the famous blue and white hooped jersey. You suspect the team will try to dump him this the summer. Possibly the most depressing piece of analysis, when all’s said and done, is there may well be another top team willing to take a chance on Barton, somehow convinced that he’s changed his ways. But I’d bet that Barton hasn’t. He never does. TIME
QPR OFFICIAL SITE Clint Hill has agreed a new one-year extension to his current contract at Loftus Road.
The 33 year-old defender, who scooped both the Players' Player and Supporters' Player of the Year awards last season, has agreed a deal until the summer of 2013, with the option of a further year.
Hill, who initially joined Rangers as a free agent in June 2010, has made 70 appearances to date in all competitions for the R's, scoring two goals.
During that time, he has emerged as a huge favourite amongst the Rangers faithful and enjoyed arguably the finest campaign of his career last term.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, a delighted Hill said: "I'm absolutely buzzing. As soon as I found out that Mark Hughes wanted to keep me for at least another year, staying here was the only thing on my mind.
"It was a straightforward decision to stay. I love playing here and I love playing at Loftus Road. It's a great ground."
Hill added: "I've seen the plans for the future and the new training ground it's an exciting time to be here. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.
"Hopefully I can now try and get a few more games under my belt and next season will see us progress even further as a Club.
"New players are coming in and it's an exciting time for everyone connected to the Club. I just want to try and give the gaffer a headache.
"I don't know what the starting eleven's going to be, but I'm willing to rise to the challenge again and make it hard for people to take that place off me." QPR
QPR Official Site
PLAYED THEIR PART: 20 HULSE Posted on: Tue 19 Jun 2012
Here at www.qpr.co.uk we take a look at the players who were involved in last season's successful fight against relegation … Rob Hulse Appearances (all competitions): 3 Goals: 0 Assists: 0
Almost a forgotten man towards the end of Neil Warnock's tenure at Loftus Road, the arrival of Mark Hughes as boss in January paved the way for former Derby County striker Rob Hulse to be involved in QPR's 25-man Premier League squad.
The 32 year-old made his first appearance of the season in our FA Cup defeat against Chelsea at Loftus Road on January 28th.
Four days later, Hulse was handed his first start of the season - alongside new signing Djibril Cisse - in a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa.
The January arrivals of Cisse and Bobby Zamora would eventually push Hulse down the pecking order once again.
His third - and final - appearance of the season came in Rangers' 2-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in February.
Guardian - Liverpool owner John W Henry questions wisdom of new stadium
• Owner believes a new stadium will increase ticket prices • Henry: it
is 'a myth' that a new stadium will transform financesGuardian