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Thursday, December 13, 2012

QPR Report Thursday: QPR Fan Forum Coming Up...Taarabt Leaning to Country...QPR Partner Football Club Social Alliance...Flashback: Two Fan Meetings With Top Club Officials



QPR Partner the Football Club Social Alliance


12th December 2012

Trust joins forces with The Football Club Social Alliance ...

We cannot wait to get involved in our first project and make a real difference."

Martino Chevannes

QPR are proud to announce an exciting new partnership with The Football Club Social Alliance, joining forces with a network of European football clubs to help some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.

Together they will help educate young people as qualified football coaches and role models for underprivileged children, inspiring future generations to become socially engaged in their community.

Martino Chevannes, QPR in the Community Trust manager, toldwww.qpr.co.uk: “We feel very privileged for Queens Park Rangers Football Club to be part of The Football Club Social Alliance.

“We cannot wait to get involved in our first project and make a real difference.”

The partnership follows on from the Trust’s work overseas with Premier Skills, which uses football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people across 15 countries.

Chevannes added: “From going on these trips before we’ve seen what life-changing experiences these can be and the difference they make to both children and adults alike.”

“The Alliance share similar values to the Club and will build on the good work we are already doing to change people’s lives and inspire young people to achieve.”

Since launching in 2007, the foundation’s year-long coaching education programmes in Europe, Asia and Africa have reached more than 6,900 disadvantaged children and young people.

So far 161 young women and men have been trained to become young coaches, arming them with the skills and know-how to conduct their own activities for disadvantaged children in their communities and organisations.

The Alliance’s work can be seen in war-torn regions across the globe including projects in Uganda, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Kosovo.

Within its mission, the Football Club Social Alliance aims to:

Educate young people worldwide to become qualified football coaches and role models for children
Reach thousands of children and youth in difficult circumstances through football and with the help of educated young coaches
Teach children positive values such as mutual respect, solidarity and teamwork
Promote disability football for children and adolescents

"It is great to see QPR joining The Football Club Social Alliance,” Tim Vine, Head of Public Affairs at the Premier League, said.

“The club have a long history of delivering innovative grassroots projects and this will now give them the chance to share their experiences with other professional clubs from across Europe as they work together on projects in developing nations around the world.

"QPR's staff have played a big part in our Premier Skills project, helping train hundreds of new community coaches all over the world.”

“I look forward to seeing the club make a similarly positive impact on anything they undertake with the Football Club Social Alliance."

In coordination with the Scort Foundation, QPR in the Community Trust links up with the Alliance from the end of 2012.

The R’s become the first Premier League side to commit to the Alliance, joining the likes of FC Basel 1893, SV Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Hapoel Tel-Aviv and FK Austria Wien

See also:

Oct 11 2012
The Football Club Social Alliance is made up of professional European football clubs who have united to use the unifying power and values of football to contribute to the education of disadvantaged young people and to sustainably foster their development.
The Alliance’s focus is the good of children and youth in difficult living conditions and the promotion of integration, peace building and development initiatives.
Alliance Members:
* FC Basel 1893 (Founding member of the Alliance since 2008)
- Projects: Palestine 2010/11, Sri Lanka 2010/11, Sudan 2009/10, Kosovo 2008/09, Special Youth Camps 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

* SV Werder Bremen (Founding partner since 2008)
- Projects: Uganda 2012, Palestine 2010/11, Kosovo 2008/09, Special Youth Camps 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

* Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Member since 2008)
- Projects: Uganda 2012, Palestine 2010/11, Sudan 2009/10, Special youth Camps 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

* Hapoel Tel Aviv FC (Member since 2010)
- Project: Palestine 2010/11

* FK Austrian Wien (Member since 2012)
- Project: Special Youth Camp 2012

The Football Club Social Alliance aims:

  • to educate young people worldwide to become qualified football coaches and role models for children.
  • to reach thousands of children and youth in difficult circumstances through football and with the help of our educated Young Coaches.
  • to teach children positive values such as mutual respect, solidarity, teamwork.
  • to promote disability football for children and adolescents.
Below is the 3-pillar model for the curriculum developed by The Football Club Social Alliance.
tfcaeducation The Football Club Social Alliance
Projects (click on the country to learn more):
* Uganda (Ongoing Young Coach-Education Program with emphasis on Health/Hygiene)
* Palestine (Football Education Program in the West Bank, completed in 2011)
* Sri Lanka (Football Education Program in the former civil war region Mannar, completed in 2011)
* Sudan (Football Education Program for young Sudanese men and women from different ethnic and social backgrounds in Karthoum, completed in 2010)
* Kosovo (Football Education Program set up in support of girls’ and women’s football, completed in 2009)
* Disability Football
- Special one week football training camp for youth with a mental and/or physical disability.
- Education for Young Coaches without or with a mental/physical disability

How to get involved:
* Contact info[at]scort[dot]ch to learn about volunteer opportunities.
* Make a tax-deductible donation.
Contact information:
* Website: www.football-alliance.org
* Blog: http://scort-blog.ch/blog/
* Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Taarabt: Club or Country?

MIRROR - Taara, Harry! QPR star Adel set to pick Africa Cup of Nations over relegation fight

Redknapp wants Moroccan to stay with Rangers in January but he says, "It's my country - if the team doesn't do well the fans will have a go at me"

Adel Taarabt is set to snub Harry Redknapp and join up with the Morocco squad for next month's Africa Cup of Nations.
QPR playmaker Taarabt has been asked by new boss Redknapp to stay in the UK and help the west Londoners in their desperate fight against relegation.
Propping up the top-flight table, Rangers have set a new Premier League record as the only club to go 16 games without a win from the start of the season.
But Taarabt, who met with Redknapp earlier this week, admits he is more likely to go to the tournament in South Africa than stay on South Africa Road.
He said: "It's difficult. At the moment, I hope to do my best here before the time comes to take a decision. But I think I will go.
"I spoke with [Redknapp] and we had a talk about whether I'm going to go or not.
"Of course, it's my country so it's a difficult decision for me, because the situation with my club is difficult and the manager asked if I could stay.
"I would love to, but it's my country. If I say no, everybody at home will think I don't want to play.
"I go there every summer and if the team doesn't do well then the fans will have a go at me and I don't want that. I'm sure they can understand but think they would prefer to see me playing at the tournament."
QPR host west London neighbours Fulham on Saturday in search of their elusive first win of the season. Mirror

Morocco's Adel Taarabt unsure over Nations Cup participation
By Ed Aarons

BBC Sport Adel Taarabt will put his decision over whether to play for Morocco at next month's Africa Nations Cup on hold until after Christmas in the hope that Queens Park Rangers can arrest their poor run of form.

The influential midfielder met with manager Harry Redknapp on Monday to discuss whether he will take part in the tournament in South Africa after being informed that new Atlas Lions coach Rachid Taoussi wants to select him.

QPR are currently bottom of the table having set a new English Premier League record of 16 matches without a win since the start of the season.

But while former Tottenham midfielder Taarabt admitted that he is desperate to play for Morocco, he accepts that he faces a tough decision because his participation would mean he may miss up to five matches in his club's relegation battle.

"I spoke with [Harry Redknapp] and we had a talk about whether I'm going to go or not," he told BBC Sport.

"Of course, it's my country so it's a difficult decision for me because the situation with my club is difficult and the manager asked if I could stay. I would love to but it's my country so if I say no everybody at home will think I don't want to play.

Continue reading the main story
“The best thing would be to have the Nations Cup at the same time as the Euros in the summer because that makes it easier for the clubs

Adel Taarabt
"At the moment, I hope to do my best here before the time comes to take a decision. But I think I will go."

Taarabt added: "It's difficult. I want to stay because of the situation at my club but on the other side it's hard to say no to your country. The fans can take it very badly and I love my country.

"I go there every summer and if the team doesn't do well then the fans will have a go at me and I don't want that. I'm sure they can understand but think they would prefer to see me playing at the tournament."

Born in Fes, Taarabt moved to France at a young age but opted to represent Morocco at international level. He played in last year's disappointing campaign that saw them eliminated in the group stages in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

But having been paired with hosts Bafana Bafana, Angola and Nations Cup debutants Cape Verde this time around, Taarabt believes Morocco stand a good chance of making a real impression.

He said: "It will be different because it is in South Africa. Last year the conditions were not the best because it was in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and no disrespect to those countries but for us 85% of the team was playing in Europe so going to Africa where the pitches are not that good doesn't help us.

"I think that South Africa is perfect - nice hotels, good pitches from the World Cup so we think this is great. The next one is in Morocco as well so the next two tournaments will be in the two best countries in Africa [for us]."

QPR team-mate Samba Diakite has already indicated that he would prefer to help his club fight against relegation rather than represent Mali in the continental showpiece.

Taarabt believes now may be the time for the Confederation of African Football to consider bringing the competition in line with the biennial European Championships to stop more players opting to miss out.

"I think it would be the best (to move it). The best thing would be to have it at the same time as the Euros in the summer because that makes it easier for the clubs," he said.

"The first thing is that we are employed by our clubs so it is difficult just to leave. You can understand if they are unhappy."  BBC
11 Year Flashback

Good report from QPR1st and interesting what the fans' concerns were a decade ago!

From QPR1st Archives

Club - QPR 1st meeting 13/12/2001

This was the first time that Committee members from QPR 1st had met with a team of the operational management at QPR. It was in place of the postponed meeting from last month and was a meeting based purely on operational issues and how the Trust and the Club can work together. It was not about the sale of the club. A detailed-minuted report of the meeting is below.

Meeting between QPR Operational Management and QPR 1st Supporters Trust - 13/12/2001

QPR FC: David Davies ~ Chief Executive; Mark Devlin ~ Commercial and Marketing Director; Jim Frayling ~ Marketing Manager; Mike Hartwell ~ Press and PR Manager

QPR 1st: David Price ~ Chairman; Justin Pieris ~ Vice Chairman; Tracy Stent ~ Secretary; Libby Magrill ~ Media and PR; Leon Stent ~ Membership Sec


An introduction was made by all in attendance, giving an explanation of the various roles. We explained that we would be taking minutes, and that Tracy would type them out for a report of the meeting. David Davies informed us that the club also would be taking minutes with a view to publishing them, with Mike Hartwell doing the honours. We saw this as a positive step by the club and welcomed their openness.

Justin started off by stating how there were a number of issues we had to raise with the club, including marketing ones and asked everyone to take a look at the agenda he had prepared.(see agenda here)

DD queried if some of the items were actually operational issues, and then asked if we could set a time limit on the meeting. Due to him having to attend a hastily arranged meeting prior to our one, it meant that our meeting started at a later time than had been originally planned for. With us all having family commitments, everyone fully concurred about the need for a time limit, so 2 hours maximum were decided upon. This did mean that some of the issues on the agenda would have to wait either for next time, or if need be for anything of great importance on the agenda not discussed, to be addressed sooner.

QPR 1st History

David Price then gave a little explanation on the history of QPR 1st. He made the point of saying how perceptions could be wrong and gave our perspective. How some fans, including himself, Justin, Julia and Tracy from the executive Committee had batted the idea of a Supporters Trust at QPR for quite some time before we had been placed into administration. The main reason for this is that it had been felt that bad boardroom management in the past had led to a great deal of lack of direction for our club. The fans desired the need for direction that led to QPR 1st being borne. An organisation which, with its desire for the stakeholders of the club to have far more input, and more of a say in the running of our club, the ambition being for it to be a platform for all QPR fans far and wide.

He mentioned how we also aim to be a totally committed focus group, utilising our members' skills and talents. He also assured the club that whilst we cannot tell them how to do their jobs, we can express concerns and advise when issues are raised. And whilst undoubtedly there will be dust up's he expressed our desire for there to be groundrules set between all concerned.

Mark Devlin then asked the question of whether we thought the club would not have talked to us in the first place at the onset of QPR 1st?

Our reply was that we didn't think so, not at that particular time, mainly down to the many misconceptions about the Trust.

David Davies then told us how he welcomed DP's words. He mentioned how he had recognised, from his early dealings with last season's Supporters Club of how the basis of a Trust was forming from 2 ex committee members of that organisation, and who were present in the room tonight. He recognised the validity that we are a pressure group as well as a Trust. He went on to say that the club has always tried and there have been times when they've had to bite their lip. (Haven't we all?) And he expressed his desire for the club to remain open to other groups that are seen as voices as well. Everyone fully agreed and Tracy made the point that everything the club discusses with us will also be reported back to the LSA. JP also pointed out that there were 4 people from the exec committee of QPR 1st sitting at the table who are also all members of the LSA.

David Davies then asked us about our aspirations and asked if one of our aims is to get fan representation on the board.

DP again stressed that whilst we don't want, or indeed have any wish or desire, to take on anyone's job, our one fundamental wish is to give the fans a proper voice, ultimately to find a way of giving stakeholders a greater say in the influencing of the club, and to advise the board as to where the fans believe input is needed.

Justin pointed out that there are a number of Trusts whose aims are to get fan directors onto their club boards. He mentioned Supporters Direct, and cited Luton and Chesterfield as examples.

Jim Frayling then asked the question about fan representation on the board and are we aiming to represent QPR 1st or for all of the fanbase. Our reply was that we aim to be a general catalyst for board representation for all fans with a direct voice that is influential rather than some kind of a patsy voice.

DD asked if we have been promised seats by all the bidders we had spoken to and DP replied that we had been offered some involvement, but we have been very careful in our response to those offers.

JF enquired about what we had been offered by the various bidders and our response was that we are not at liberty to say, though suffice to say we haven't exactly signed on any dotted lines!

History with Fans

Mark Devlin then went on to speak about issues of communication. He referred back to a time when he was much younger and how during the eighties he penned a letter to the club. Never received a reply. (Sounds familiar!) He was insistent that if the person at the top pays lip service to customers invariably the staff often follow suit and fail in their jobs. He told us how since DD has been at the club; the communication has improved significantly, due to DD's transparency.

He referred to last season's supporters club committee and how it was doomed to fail and then went on to talk about the club's new liaison group. How he ideally sees it as non-political, made from all areas of fans and how he sees it as a way of building trust between the club and fans. He told us how that doesn't mean that QPR 1st and the LSA are not wanted within the group and acknowledged that the club does need to work closely with us in the future and "not to pay lip service as regards communication".

Jim Frayling then made the point over how he wants to make the fans voices heard and was insistent on how communication is very much more open. He referred to the website/commentaries and fan input into this/feedback/fan liaison/beat around the bush newsletter and expressed his wish for recognition over the club's openness. We accepted that there is plenty of common ground for us to work with.

Use of programme to attack fans

discussion took place about the club's recent propensity on using the matchday programme to single out individual fans/organisations (though not actually naming them). We mentioned how we are unhappy with this method of criticism taking place and tried to advise them on how they are coming across as bullies, and we also told them how we were most unhappy with the fact that the matchday programme seems to have been used in recent weeks as a forum to air grievances towards individual fans. DD and MD cited how they reserved the right to reply to fans, whether that is via the website, or to a larger audience in the programme. We reiterated our belief that issues really ought to be addressed via the forum on which they were originally initiated upon. Mike Hartwell queried the logistics of responding on the same media channels and David Davies insisted that if he has something to say then he'll say it loud and proud and said how he couldn't see just responding on the internet channel is good enough. He was insistent that he is a believer in transparency and communication, mentioning how in his top 5 of correspondees via the email channels, Tracy is amongst them.

Leon then asked the question if the fact that you have 'the right to reply' could be printed into the programme, therefore ensuring that fans can write in a response. It was agreed.

A brief discussion then took place between Tracy and Mark regarding the liaison group. She pointed out how it was a step in the right direction but then went on to talk about a difference of opinions MD and herself had had a few months ago regarding the set-up of the group and her subsequent remarks on the QPR mailing list, to which MD had made references to those remarks in his column in the matchday programme. The misunderstanding was cleared up with TS seeking his assurances that he understood her reasons to which he graciously assured her that he did.

Focus groups

Justin then gave our perspective on working/focus groups and spoke of the club's new focus/liaison group. How it is a very good initiative but what we worry about is that in the setting up of the group, which is a small one, there is a danger of it being unable to deliver. He spoke of how the club needs to be harnessing specific groups, made up of individuals who have the relevant skills/experience in the particular areas of each group. Marketing, Catering, juniors etc. QPR 1st can offer the club the above considerable experience for nothing! Small targeted groups containing at least one professional person in each area. This will give the club a proper response unit to many of the issues, which matter to the club/fans.

David Davies said the club would take on board our offer, will think about and absorb it and see if they can at least look to our expectations: delivery - aspiration - fan input.

By now time was getting on so we decided to either put the other items on the agenda on hold until our next meeting, or will discuss sooner if necessary.

So we moved onto the future.

DP spoke of initiatives and how proud we have been of some of our achievements. A discussion took place over how we have been slightly disappointed with the club in not crediting initiatives enough to the person who instigated them. We mentioned Rizman's family season ticket and how the credit hadn't gone to the Trust but to 'a group of QPR fans'. We touched on the Turn up if you Love Rangers initiative and DD showed us the clipping from the official website on which John McCooke was rightly credited. LS made the observation abut how a mention of the initiative in the programme would go down well. MD insisted that the club are not trying to take the credit for anyone's ideas. A brief discuss took place about how there has been an element of mistrust between the fans and the club for many years and this will take a long time to heal. JF reiterated how the club are trying to improve and we spoke a little of leadership, as in our own organisation and the club. DD remarked to us "You can give leadership".

Jim F then went back to the point he attempted to make as regards the club trying to improve for the future. He mentioned how, on his employment at the club a couple of years ago, a small group of fans, who were laden with marketing ideas, were invited along to discuss their innovative thoughts. According to him it became apparent shortly afterwards that all the good ideas just hit a brick wall with the then Chief Executive of the Plc, and he put a stop to the Marketing sub-group rather than pay them lip service.

We agreed that all future working/liaison groups should be minuted

Joint Calendar

short discussion took place about the joint QPR/QPR 1st 2002 wall calendar. Everyone concurred that we are extremely pleased with the end result. DD remarked how it was the best QPR calendar he had seen. There are going to be interviews with Simon Cherry, (the QPR 1st member who offered his photographer's services for this initiative) for the various QPR publications. The only downside is that due to a printing error he wasn't credited with the photos on the back of the calendar. Jim said that he would sort out some stickers with his name on them to be put onto them asap.

We will be working jointly together in order to encourage a hard sell on for the calendars.

Well done Jim, Libby & Simon).


David Davies confirmed that talks have been on-going as regards Fulham ground-sharing at Loftus Road whilst the renovations to Craven Cottage take place. Talks are still continuing, and Fulham also continue to talk to West Ham. The possibility that Wasps could still remain playing at LR also remains. Should the ground-share at LR come about, the proposed arrangements he gave us are as follows:

David Davies confirmed that talks have been on-going as regards Fulham ground-sharing at Loftus Road whilst the renovations to Craven Cottage take place. Talks are still continuing, and Fulham also continue to talk to West Ham. The possibility that Wasps could still remain playing at LR also remains. Should the ground-share at LR come about, the proposed arrangements he gave us are as follows:

* There would be no pay off to Wasps

* Fulham would come in and Wasps would leave

* There would be an arrangement between Fulham and Wasps

* There would be a deal between Loftus Road and Fulham

* It would be a true ground-share i.e. real rent, own system including tickets from Fulham, no Fulham merchandise to be on display in our clubshop on QPR matchdays. And vice versa. (So what would happen should we draw them in the cup we asked? Ahh. Something they clearly hadn't envisaged judging by the blank looks though DD did say that the team drawn first would obviously be the 'home' team!)

* The deal would be worth a substantial amount of money to QPR

He mentioned how he prides himself on making ground-shares work and said how if it comes off it would be of immense help financially. We then asked a couple of questions. DP raised the point of what would happen should the contract finish and Craven Cottage is unfinished/or even planning permission fails completely? Would they come here permanently? DD said the contract would be for a minimum period to re-build the Cottage and that the share date would have to be for a definite period.

Following the same theme, Libby asked if the worst came to the worst what would there be to prevent Mohamed al Fayed from putting in a bid to buy the Loftus Road ground? If they (Fulham) made a bid for LR the administrators would surely listen to it?

DD assured us that he is not asking for LR to be sold to Fulham but that it was a fair question.

We then touched briefly on our public meeting to take place and asked if the club would support us on the night? They agreed.

The meeting finished at 9.30pm and it was agreed that we would all come to an agreement for a further meeting after Christmas to continue with other issues and to discuss matters arising from this one.


And also from QPR1st a decade+ ago:
Friday 7th December 2001

Richard Thompson and Chris Wright

QPR1st notes that, according to the latest question and answer session with chief executive David Davies (www.qpr.co.uk), majority shareholder Chris Wright and former-owner Richard Thompson have had discussions. He said, "Richard Thompson and Chris Wright have recently spoken directly and as a result of their conversation, Richard is considering his position. Until such time as Richard Thompson comes back to the company, there is nothing more to report".

As a consequence QPR1st will reopen contacts with Mr Thompson's representatives, asking how his bid will be financed, what working capital the club will have moving forward if the bid succeeds, what are Mr Thompson's views on QPR1st's proposals for stewardship of the ground by trustees and what provision is being made for supporter participation in the running of QPR.

QPR1st also notes Mr Davies' comments on the Melzack consortium's bid, "They have not been able to complete the deal and as a result we are out of the period of exclusivity and actively seeking other bidders. However, if they came back to the table and were able to complete the deal, it would be unwise to ignore it. We believe they are still trying to complete the deal, but we've had no recent contact".

Emailing Chris Wright

It has been brought to our attention by the club that Chris Wright has been receiving a number of emails from supporters recently.

Whilst QPR 1st are delighted that supporters are, on their own initiative, letting Chris Wright know in no uncertain terms what they think of the current situation concerning the club, debts and any potential sale it has been pointed out to us by the club that some of the correspondence received by Mr Wright from supporters has been extremely abusive and/or potentially slanderous.

We would ask all supporters that are considering sending an email to Mr Wright to do so in such a way that will avoid such criticism being levelled at supporters. A polite letter making your points is likely to be more constructive than an abusive one at this crucial point in the clubs history.

From December 2004: Q and A With QPR CEO MARK DEVLIN

December 13, 2004 - Interview with Mark Devlin at Ron Norris & Simon Skinner's QPRnet.com site http://www.qprnet.com/interviews/devlin.shtml

Mark Devlin Talking about QPR Finances

QPRnet.com: Was it a case that Rangers came looking for you or did you throw your hat in the ring?

MD: I was aware of something, I got a text informing me that David Davies had handed his resignation in and it was a couple of days after that, that I got spoken to about it. I certainly didn’t put my hat in the ring but you are always confident of your abilities to do a good job. At Swindon we were embroiled in trying to get planning permission for a new stadium and there was much going on. I was enjoying life down there and we had steadied the ship and turned the club around so I wasn’t actively looking to leave. Then whatever happened during the summer here happened, I was aware through reading various websites and from hearing various reports as to what was going on and that clearly it wasn’t a happy ship so it was flattering when I was approached and I was delighted to come back.....

QPRnet.com: What happened with the Ramon Diaz situation?

MD: Aah, Ramon Diaz, our new manager! He is someone that knows quite a few of the people from Barnaby, the first Monaco group that invested in the club. Apparently it was in the Argentine press that he had been offered the job and it was only a matter of time.
The facts of the matter are that one of the people involved with the club at board level got fed up after a game and said things indiscreetly, which they have learned they ought not to do and it was picked up by a newspaper. Diaz was never approached by the club, whether somebody at Barnaby had asked him if at some stage he would fancy managing in England because they were getting involved at QPR, who knows? Certainly nobody at the club had spoken to Ramon Diaz and offered him a position at QPR but once it was reported in the Argentinean press and it was big news over there, it soon moved onto England. Maybe he said a few things to build himself up as he is out of a job and I do understand that he does fancy coming into England so people put two and two together.
The Diaz thing had no real substance at all. I think we have a very inexperienced board of directors, and I include myself to an extent in that, that are all massively keen to do the best for Rangers and what I am comfortable with, as a Rangers fan, is that the people on the board at the club have got all the best intentions and want to see QPR moving in the right way. What we won’t do is spend money we don’t have and if that means that we get a bit of stick from fans for being un-ambitious then so be it.
My mission is not to work here when the club goes out of business, I would like to work here when the club cements itself as a Championship club and has a good tilt at the play off’s. First and foremost I want a develop a good, strong financial base which will allow us to invest in a team and squad of players that will give us as fans what we all want but likewise looking after the fans and engaging them, having two way conversations and listening to their opinions.

QPRnet.com: Can you just explain a bit about a modern football club. We have a Chairman and Chief Executive, how do responsibilities work, how are things run day to day?

MD: On a day to day basis I run the club, Bill might be in here on an odd day every so often, depending on what’s going on. Certainly he is around when there are board meetings, reserve, youth or first team matches, but invariably it’s no more than one day a week so the day to day management is down to me.
One of the first things I did was to batten down the hatches in terms of the way we were spending money, basically trying to spend a lot less! I have changed the procedures so that when we want to spend money we have a purchase order system which requires my sign it off. This helps to give me a much better understanding of how we are trying to spend our money, and can we do things differently.
Major expenditure clearly has to be approved by the board, which includes things like signing a player or bringing a player in on loan. What generally happens is that Ian will talk to me about it; we will get a rough feel for what the cost would be, I will speak to the club concerned and then go to the board and tell them what Ian would like to do and discuss the financial implications. I will already be able to say to the board whether I think the money is there or not but ultimately I will leave the decision with them. I will give a recommendation but Bill as Chairman is the ultimate controlling party; he will have the deciding vote at board meetings over big matters.
Olly obviously gets on with the football side but we all take an interest in that and I think that’s why we all enjoy the job and work in the industry we do, but ultimately the footballing side falls down to Olly, his coaches and to Joe Gallen on the youth side. We have had a reshaping of the youth structure and I think for the first time Ian has been fully engaged and spoken to about it. We had to decide what we wanted from our youth structure, where is it weak, where is it strong and what can we do about changing it.
It wasn’t just a case with Des Bulpin, as has been suggested somewhere, that we had differences of opinion and he was sacked because of it, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It was simply that the structure, and cost base, was not right. I believe we now have in place a structure that will take us forward. That’s come about through talking with Ian and getting him involved in the youth scheme. It’ can be difficult, because why should football managers give a d*** how the under twelve’s have got on when their livelihood depends on the first team. We hope Ian is here for the long term so it was a case of engaging him to find out the sort of structure he wanted, getting Joe Gallen’s input and hence they have identified somebody to come in to head up youth recruitment.
There are football clubs where the board think they know about footballing matters, we’ve all got opinions but at the end of the day the decision maker on that side of things is Ian. All I will tell Ian is whether we can afford someone or not and that will be the end of the matter. Of course I am always happy to pitch in with names of people I have seen play but how seriously anyone on the football side ever take people on the administration side doing that is open to debate!

QPRnet.com: So the new position is that effectively a Chief Scout for youth players?

MD: More or less yes, we are very concerned that we really get no kids from this area at all and that this has been happening for years now. How many kids from the White City do we ever get, or from Harlesden and Willesden and places like that. We know there is plenty of raw football talent out there but it all seems to be buggering off to Fulham, Chelsea or Arsenal. Something has been inherently wrong with our youth recruitment policy and operation.
We want to make the personnel accountable as well. You ask, “Who was the person that spotted such and such”, and I guarantee you that at least three people will claim they were involved in spotting him and getting him signed to a pro side. So we are putting in place a system so we can review how good our scouts are and if they are not good enough then regrettably you have to let them go and bring in people that have a better eye for the job.
It costs a lot of money to operate a Centre of Excellence, and you can go one of two ways. Either you can adopt the route that we are going down, or you can go down the route of saving the £250k it costs the club, after grants, and say to yourself, would that money be better off going to Olly?. Or maybe give Ian £150k and use £100k to go and nick players from Premiership Academies as Swindon have done recently. This is a gamble, but other teams have spent the money coaching them, then you can offer them a chance at your first team, normally on reasonable wages as they are young players.
We believe that a club like QPR has so much more to offer than a Chelsea or a Fulham. Sure, it must be lovely for a parent to think their boy can go and play for Chelsea, but unless he is world class he is not going to get a sniff of their first team because at some stage they will spend £20m importing the finished article. At QPR we have a lad called Shabazz Baidoo, who is still raw but he’s come from Arsenal and clearly has more chance here if he continues to improve. If he does he will have a shot at the first team, he was highly unlikely to get that at Arsenal other than the occasional cameo in the Carling Cup and that is the message we need to get across.
We have got to be able to recruit really good kids, look after them well, coach them properly and give them a chance at the end of it. If at the end of it they can play for the club and take the club forward, fantastic, if they play for the club and they are so outstanding that the club makes some money out of them, equally fantastic. If neither of those things happen then over the course of the years to come we will have to reassess the way the youth scheme operates.
It doesn’t help that we have more than one base. We operate out of the Acton training ground, Cranford and Brunel University, its fragmented and we are actively looking for one place to build a decent training ground that will house everyone from under nines up to the pro side and also have the under sixteen’s and eighteen’s playing their home games there on a Saturday. That’s what we want but we need the facilities and that is definitely not easy to find in West, or West of, London. ...

QPRnet.com: At the moment I think we’ve got a better standard of youth player than we have had for years, but what sort of timescale do you give it to see whether it is being successful or not?

MD: To be fair I think you have to look at it over the course of the next five years or so, not one or two years, and we may have to be a little more aggressive in the market place, which is why we are bringing in someone that can identify fifteen to sixteen year olds at Premiership clubs who maybe we can approach.
This guy has in depth knowledge of some of the Premiership’s young kids and what we would like to see is with his knowledge and with Joe Gallen’s leadership that turn those into players that we can bring across to QPR who will be knocking on the first team door within a couple of years. Slowly but surely that will filter all the way down to the under nine’s but it is that fifteen to sixteen year old age group that we need to bring in now. We’re looking for players who are pretty outstanding but don’t have a great deal of opportunities at their clubs.

QPRnet.com: Can you sum up the financial situation at the club generally, where are we at right now compared to when you joined us?

MD: Thanks to the new investment, we are in much better shape. Most of that investment has gone to paying off old debts. If we hadn’t addressed it when we did it would have lead to some serious issues with the Inland Revenue. Because we took that action, we are back on track with the Inland Revenue and on a far more even keel generally. That is entirely down to the new investment from Monaco and also Gianni Paladini’s involvement. To be fair to Gianni it has been his contacts in Monaco which he has been able to convince to invest in the club. I wouldn’t be overstating it if I said that without the new investment, coupled with the plans that I saw that the previous board were trying to implement in terms of additional costs and so forth, I believe this club might have been in administration by now. As it is things are still very tight and they will continue to be for the remainder of this season and probably next while we clear the decks and make sure we are operating responsibly and smartly. It would have been nice had £500k of that investment been diverted into the playing staff rather than paying off old debt but, and it pains me as a fan to say this, it was more important to keep the Inland Revenue happy than to give Ian two or three more bodies.

QPRnet.com: Since you’ve been here we’ve seen a few staff move on from the admin side, were we hideously overstaffed?

MD: We were overstaffed in certain areas, I’ve not let people go that I felt could help to take the club forward. I’ve let people go whose jobs were redundant or whose skills did not match our requirements. There were people here that I couldn’t tell you what their jobs were, but between personnel and changes to services we’ve saved the equivalent of about £400k a year.
For example we were spending £24K a year on photography, now we have got in a QPR fan who’s an extremely competent photographer who’s doing it for the cost of the film and love of the club. .
We were spending £30k a year having our database cleansed for promotional usage. I’ve knocked that on the head as we can do that ourselves through the ticketing system we’ve got here. When we need to input a bit of marketing expertise, so we can run promotions, we’ll bring it in, but only, then.
The new safety officers that I’ve brought in are not PAYE, they are contractors, and we only pay them for the days they come in on a set rate. They’ve already highlighted how overstaffed we were from a stewarding point of view and by the end of this season we will have seen a good saving on stewarding.
We’ve been so set in our ways here over the years that we just worked with the stewarding company and spent whatever it cost. We didn’t attempt to get best value out of the contract. I was fortunate in that I moved away to another football club for two years and saw things done totally differently. I don’t understand why stewards are dotted around the pitch edge at the end of a game as the only time there is ever likely to be a pitch incursion is the final game of the season, like it is at a lot of clubs. I think we just lay down and accepted things as a club for the past few years and we are beginning to get up now.
If I don’t agree with something I’ll say I don’t agree and fight my corner, particularly if it comes down to saving costs. I’m just trying to create a mentality here whereby staff are spending money as if it was their own. If it was own money, would we spend it? Will the place fall apart?, and will we forever be cast into the Vauxhall Conference if we don’t spend that pound? If the answer to that is no, it doesn’t really matter, then don’t spend the bloody thing! Let’s just batten down the hatches for a year or so and see where that takes us. Let’s channel as much money as we can into the squad and into making sure our supporters services are correct. Let’s make sure the box office is right, the club shop is right, and all of the key customer facing areas are operated correctly. Let’s make sure we have got the best people we can afford in the right numbers not just a lot of bodies for the sake of it, and we won’t go far wrong.
We’ve got a great fan base here. It’s more active vocally, numerically and financially than I’ve ever known. I remember coming here to Premiership games or old Division One games against Coventry, Leicester, and Sheffield Wednesday we were lucky if we got 9-10,000 now we have got 15,500 for Burnley who bring 800 people with them. The fan base has been magnificent. I sat at Swindon envious, but delighted, over what’s been going on here in terms of the fan base and the magnificent support. Look at the bucket collections, a club like this should not need to have fans rattling buckets out the front and nobody wants to see a return to that. Our turnover should be enough to have a decent playing budget and a club that is staffed properly so there is no way we should be asking fans to stick money in a bucket to prop this place up, it’s a travesty.

QPRnet.com: It is interesting as when we talked to your predecessor he made it very clear that he wanted to pay for things rather than use free or cheap fan help because he found it easier to go back to them if there were problems. Are you happier to accept help from the fans?

MD: I understand what he was saying, it is very difficult to go to someone who is doing a favour and complain about the standard, but if it is handled in the right way fans will understand that. I am more than happy to accept help from fans and whilst I can understand his point of view it is not one that I share.
I am very aware from talking to the supporters groups that in recent years quite a bit of assistance was offered and was generally turned down. A football club is nothing without its fans and we won’t always make decisions that keep the fans happy, but we will make them with the right intentions.
A very small example is that we will be going back to having kit votes. I thought it was ludicrous not to have a kit vote as the fans that buy the stuff ought, at least, to have a say in whether they like it or not. The last time I looked we weren’t a fashion house so what is the harm in running a website poll. Some of the people that worked here previously weren’t as keen to engage the fans as maybe they ought to have been in my opinion.
There are clubs that say sod the fans we’ll run the football club, all they have to do is turn up, pay their money and support the team, boo, hiss or cheer. Our strength is our unity. That might sound terribly crass but I actually believe that is the abiding advantage Rangers have got versus a club like Chelsea. You go to Chelsea and you see people there that aren’t really into Chelsea, they’ve just bought tickets as it is seen to be good to take corporate people and you take the soul out of the place.
Once people have been to see a game at Loftus Road they can’t help but be taken in by the atmosphere of the place and the passion of the fans. My missus has never been into football but she has come to a couple of evening games and understands all this QPR nonsense I’ve told about over the past umpteen years, a little better now. I think that is one of the reasons why when people like Dunga got involved, before they committed themselves they had people come over here to see what they were going to get themselves involved in and they saw the raw passion of the place. It isn’t the San Siro, we don’t play in front of 60,000 crowds and we don’t play in the Premiership, but they still chose to invest in the club for other reasons and a lot of that is driven by the fact that we are a proper football club with fans and players and people behind the scenes working together. That isn’t to say that we won’t make decisions fans don’t like or which might be unpopular, but they will generally be made for the right reasons.

QPRnet.com: What’s the latest with the ABC situation?

MD: The ABC situation is that we are actively seeking an alternative to take the loan over. We are talking to ABC about under what circumstances they would allow the loan to be taken over and if there are any financial penalties. I think it is well documented now that as a board we are not happy over the circumstances it was taken out in, we didn’t need £10m, we don’t see any evidence that forced us to take this loan from a Panamanian based organisation which then upped the loan by £200k a year at the last minute.
Of course the League were putting pressure on the club to come out of administration but like we have seen with Notts County, if we had gone back to the League, told them of our circumstances, I believe the Football League would have given us time to find another exit route. That’s my belief, there is no guarantee of that, but knowing the way the Football League works, then that’s what I would have thought would have happened.
We are very uncomfortable, to put it mildly, with the fact that Ray Hocking has left BDO, having been our administrator and has now popped up as a representative of ABC, a real conflict of interests if ever there was one. There were other areas of conflict. We continued to use a firm of solicitors who were also retained by Chris Wright and Chrysalis. As a big London firm, they were not the cheapest. We have now found a highly qualified Solicitor, who is also a QPR fan, and it’s safe to say things are a little more reasonable now without compromising on quality.
Generally speaking, football clubs do not need to spend large amounts on legals. We seemed to speak to a legal advisor at the drop of a hat, racking up huge costs at the same time. We are currently reviewing all the information available to us, to see what action we need to consider taking. This will take us through to January at the earliest.

QPRnet.com: Speaking of conflicts of interest, how did you react to the news that David Davies had popped up as Chief Exec at Wasps?

MD: Not surprised in the slightest! I look forward to some interesting conversations with David. For a man who I am told detested Chris Wight with a passion when he was here to then go and accept a job working for the rugby club that is owned by Chris will tell you everything you need to know about that situation.
In administration I am not sure how seriously we looked at a CVA, it would have been horrible for the creditors involved but the whole point of an administration is to protect the business, restructure the operation, and see it restart again with a chance of survival. Normally there are wholesale staffing cuts and being here previously I expected that I might have gone, David Davies would almost certainly have had to have gone and the senior management tier would have been stripped out. In the end we let go two maintenance men and brought in a contractor that cost almost as much!

QPRnet.com: You see so many other clubs go into administration and end up paying back so little of what they owe yet we owe £10m.

MD: Yes, weird that isn’t it. Leicester was the trigger for the new ten point deduction ruling. Leicester went into admin, got themselves promoted to the Premiership, rid themselves of huge amounts of debt, especially crown debts and everyone went mad about it.
Look at Leeds, they had £100m of debt and seem to have been able to write off around £60m of it and come to an agreement with other creditors over the remaining debts, but not QPR. Let’s go into administration owing money and let’s come out owing even more.
We owe more, we lost our training ground, which now costs the club £50k per annum in rent and Wasps is no longer part of the family so it doesn’t seem on the surface to have been a great deal!
We will continue asking questions long and hard, the board are very passionate about getting to the bottom of this to make sure that everything was done legitimately and above board. It may well have been, it may just have been down to desperate management who made bad decisions, it could be no more than that but we owe it to the shareholders and supporters to research it properly and find out what the hell’s gone on.

QPRnet.com: Are we talking to Chris Wright regarding his shares or is that now a dead issue?

MD: We are still talking. One of the directors is talking to Chris Wright about selling his shares, and we remain optimistic that a deal can be agreed.

QPRnet.com: Staying up was the priority for this season, we are now sixth. How do you budget as a club for next season?

MD: It is a nice problem to have. We will have to produce a Championship budget and a Premiership budget rather than just a Championship version. By the end of January we will have produced two outline budgets based on what we think revenues and costs will be if we are in the Premiership and likewise the Championship. I might have missed something here, but I don’t see why we would have to add lots of personnel behind the scenes. The commercial department is down to one person already, although we do need to bring one more person in, but when you’ve got Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, the whole lot coming to play at your ground then your phones ring, you don’t have as much pressure to go out there and sell tickets. Speak to any club, speak to Palace, there will be some matches that are slightly harder to sell in the Premier League, but nothing like as difficult as Rotherham in August, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful to Rotherham. So you don’t need bundles of extra staff.
You actually play less games so your infrastructure doesn’t need to be any bigger, its all down to how much you want to stick into playing funds and we would need to come up with contracts that allow players to earn more when we are in the Premiership and if we are not in the Premiership then they immediately come back down to Championship salaries. If players aren’t prepared to take that gamble along with the club then we will have to think seriously about employing them. I don’t mind paying them well when we’ve got the money; the players should enjoy it, but we would, undoubtedly, need to invest in the squad.
So we will produce two budgets and keep refining them as the months go on and the seasons outcome becomes clearer. The real issue I suppose comes down to if we get in the play offs. Suddenly, you don’t know if you are in the Premiership until May 31st which gives you two and a bit months to plan. I still think getting players in is then the major issue, but the rest of the infrastructure is in place here.
I believe if we were in the Premiership tomorrow then the infrastructure here, in terms of the personnel numbers we’ve got wouldn’t need to dramatically change. There are things we would need to do differently, the Premiership has different rules to the Football League, there may be some subtle changes in terms of medical provision and physiotherapy cover on match days but outside of that we wouldn’t fundamentally need to change. We’ve got some highly experienced staff behind the scenes and I have absolute faith in them to deliver.
Promotion to the Premiership is worth around £15m as a minimum and could go up to as much as £20m dependent on how often you feature on TV.

QPRnet.com: Would you be tempted to use the £15m, pay off ABC, come back down and take the parachute payments for a couple of years and go back up again?

MD: That is certainly one option you would want to look at. In my opinion maybe we would should do is pay off a slice of it. I think we owe it to the players, manager and fans, to give the team some sort of chance, but we wouldn’t be looking to spend all £15m on players. I think we would be getting it wrong if we didn’t try to rid ourselves of some of the debt burden.

QPRnet.com: When you are producing the budgets do people like Olly and Joe Gallen get involved in terms of saying how much money they need or is it very much a case of you saying, “This is how much money you have got”?

MD: A bit of both, not so much with Joe, as with the youth costs it is easier to budget. On the first team side, knowing Olly, he would like twenty five billion to spend on players and we might have to keep him to something slight more manageable! It’s all about working with your manager and hopefully him understanding what you are trying to achieve. You can spend all of your Premiership £15m on players and it doesn’t guarantee you anything like success. If you’ve done all that and you’ve not been very smart you come back down and players are all on huge salaries. In this day and age, you sometimes see players throw their toys out of the pram, when the club has been relegated and want to go back to the Premiership instantly. What you hope to have is a sensible conversation with Ian, give him as much as you can afford to and give him a fair tilt at going up. At the same time the directors of the club have got a burden of responsibility that means they must manage the place properly and that also means taking care of some of the debt that we may have accrued.

QPRnet.com: In terms of future investment, are we still actively seeking further investors to come on board? It is a strategy to have several smaller investors?

MD: Not at the moment as the biggest group of shares that could potentially be sold are Chris Wright’s. There doesn’t appear to be an awful lot of manoeuvring left because there is not much in the way of available equity. There are some key individuals who are looking at different ways of investing in the organisation. I am speaking to one gentleman about investing in the Centre of Excellence and we are looking at ways he can put money into the club, that doesn’t involve having equity of the club. There are plenty of trust type schemes out there that can be utilised in that way. That kind of investment we are looking at but in terms of selling shares or selling equity in the business there is not a lot more that can be done.
You could issue a re-offer, where every share is converted into, say, three shares. That dilutes the current shareholders shares, and is not fair on those recently arrived investors. Perhaps that is one for the future.

QPRnet.com: If a rich Rangers fan turned up with £250k and says, “Here you are, but I want you to buy a player”, would you do that or would you have to say, “Actually, we would quite like to pay some debt with it”?

MD: If someone came to me with £250k and they cant buy equity as there are no shares but they want to buy a player as long as they are happy to fund a player or players of the manager’s choice that would be acceptable. We would want any investment to cover salary as well as any fees.

QPRnet.com: So would it be a case that a player signs on Monday and then on Tuesday the Inland Revenue are on the phone asking how you can afford it?

MD: No, to be fair you can explain that type of thing to the Inland Revenue. What you can’t do is plead poverty, ask for time to pay off debts, and then expect the IR not to say anything if they notice (and they will) you spending money on a new player a few days later. Basically they will think you lied to them and, naturally, they wouldn’t be best pleased.

QPRnet.com: Going forward for this season, in terms of player budget, I assume we will not be signing too many people so is it just loan players we are looking at now?

MD: Yes, mostly it will be loans, whether that be long term or short term. If there are players available and there is no fee and the salaries they are looking for are manageable then we will try and support Olly. He has one or two people like that in mind and we will have to see whether they come to fruition. He also has two or three loan ideas currently on the go but for whatever reason we have not approached them. We have frank and open contact with Ian in terms of understanding what players he is looking for and whether we can afford them or not. Most of the time we are trying to support Ian, I don’t think he can complain too much in that respect. No, we don’t have £1m to spend on a player but who the hell has in our division apart from Wigan? They have a benefactor that will do it, we don’t.

QPRnet.com: Do you ever find that Olly will come flying in and say, “I have found this player give me £100k”, or does he know that if he says that he will get turned down so he doesn’t bother?

MD: I think Olly knows that transfer fees are going to be difficult for us to find but I think he also knows now that if he’s got people in mind and he is keen to bring them in for a month or three months or longer than that, that we will try and support him wherever possible. He understands fully, we have tried to be honest with Ian and the players about the whole situation with the Inland Revenue and the credit card companies. We had the best part of £1.5m held by the credit card companies, our credit card revenues were being frozen, seriously affecting our cashflow, again because the previous management team had agreed that they wouldn’t touch season ticket money and then they went and spent £600k of it so the bank froze our account. People were buying tickets, they were buying stuff in the shop using their credit cards and we weren’t getting anything. It was really hurting us and we tried to explain to the players and Olly exactly what the situation was as we think that as long as people are aware of it and are fully involved they can’t say they don’t understand the decisions we are making.

QPRnet.com: Were the players receptive to it?

MD: Generally yes. They just absorbed it, players are no different from members of staff, the first thing that go through their minds are whether they are going to get paid, can they pay their mortgage etc. They have families to support, they are no different than most of us. They just get paid to play sport and they earn a decent wage doing it. It just meant that they were aware of certain difficulties we were experiencing at the time. That has eased a little bit now and we don’t have to have those conversations. My style is to be very open and honest with as many people as possible. It is no different with the players.

QPRnet.com: We talked about promotion before, nobody expected it, but do we have targets for this season, next season and going forward?

MD: This season was all about staying in this division and giving us a chance to get the finances sorted off the field. Next season we would hope that Ian could move us forward a bit and if that meant as far as getting into the top ten or top eight that’s what we would hope for. Then a year after that, I think is when we expected realistically to have got ourselves in a position to have a proper tilt at promotion. This season if we are still in with a chance come March we might be able to back to some of the new investors and ask them for some support for Olly. It is worth it to them, to the players, to the manager, to the fans for us to give it a go.

QPRnet.com: In terms of player’s wages, not going into specifics, how do we sit in terms of how we pay players?

MD: I would say we are pretty middle of the road. Managers are fantastic at saying, “Well they earn XYZ there”, and we say, “but they get 27,000 people through the turnstiles every week”. I can afford to pay more than we paid at Swindon because our crowds are 2.5 times what Swindon enjoyed. I would say we are up there in the top half of the division in terms of payment. Clearly those clubs that have come down from the Premiership and have significantly bigger gates than us and bigger stadiums can afford to pay more but we don’t pay badly for a club of our size.

QPRnet.com: Do you think Wasps will come back?
MD: The only people that can tell you that really are Wasps. My understanding of the rules of the Zurich premiership is that they need to let them know by the end of the year what they are planning to do, and by March they need to say exactly what they are going to do. We have not opened discussions with them yet. They would be welcomed back; my gut feeling is that they don’t want to come back, as they have found a little home for themselves in Wycombe with facilities that are suited to rugby. The only reason that they would come back is because we would vigorously chase them for compensation. They have had a year’s grace this year- that was negotiated with them previously, but as far as I am concerned they are supposed to be our tenants here for the next eight years and if they want to come back they are more than welcome. Unless I hear otherwise I would expect them back here at the start of the new rugby season.

QPRnet.com: Is the compensation worth more to us than the rent?

MD: The compensation would be very handy. Hopefully we would get it all upfront and it would help us pay some historics and move on. It would also allow us to look seriously at whether we would like to bring in another football club, another rugby union club, a rugby league club, whatever into Loftus Road to ground share. I know that fans feel that their stadium is sacrosanct and the fans of the club coming here wouldn’t be too keen but I would have no problem having somebody share Loftus Road as long as they gave us a reasonable rate.
QPRnet.com: Do you think having David Davies at Wasps now will hinder the negotiations?
MD: As far as I am aware David has gone on record, when he worked for Rangers, saying that if Wasps didn’t come back he would expect compensation to be in the region of £1.5m. I don’t see the fact that his office is now three miles up the road in Acton makes that comment any different. It’s certainly a starting point and I am not saying that is what we would accept but that is certainly a starting point.
The one reason they would really want to come back here is the capacity. They have built their fan base in Wycombe but they might have a problem getting that fan base to Loftus Road. We are in a traditional footballing part of town, not a traditional rugby area which is what they have at the moment. We are on the doorstep of a big council estate and rugby people are not necessarily always comfortable with that. This is a football stadium; I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but rugby stadiums are different. They have bigger suites, different types of facilities for people to drink and eat, because the rules are different. Wycombe does have the benefit of much bigger corporate facilities than we can offer them here. As I say though we would welcome them back and we expect them back unless we here to the contrary.

QPRnet.com: Just to sum up on the financial side, is administration a threat to us right now and do you think it will be in the future?

MD: No, but we came close. Without the new investment I honestly believe we would be in administration or worse by now. If the investment during the summer and early in the season hadn’t come in when it did, and if we hadn’t made the cost reductions that we made, it would be fairly bleak. Having done all that we are now on a more even keel. The fans have played a full part in turnaround, the shop is doing magnificently well, and it is unrecognisable from when I was here previously. Then it had gone from £450k a year to £650k a year and we thought that was really good. Now the shop has had a refit, in Mike Pink we’ve got a tremendous asset to the club and now it is turning over more than £1m a year. I’ve never been able to quite work out why the club could be in the play offs, get promoted, have a club shop turning over what it is with our best average gate in eight years, record numbers of season tickets, Fulham here for two years and end up owing nearly £2m to the Inland Revenue. I just don’t understand how that is possible. I would understand if somebody said that Ian Holloway had spent £7m on players last year but he didn’t. To sum up though administration is not a threat.

This time LAST Year after 16 games 

1 (1) Manchester City 16 13 2 1 50 15 35 41
2 (2) Manchester United 16 12 3 1 37 14 23 39
3 (3) Tottenham Hotspur 15 11 1 3 31 18 13 34
4 (4) Chelsea 16 10 2 4 34 19 15 32
5 (5) Arsenal 16 9 2 5 31 24 7 29
6 (6) Liverpool 16 8 5 3 20 13 7 29
7 (7) Newcastle United 16 7 6 3 21 19 2 27
8 (8) Stoke City 16 7 3 6 18 25 -7 24
9 (9) Norwich City 17 5 6 6 27 31 -4 21
10 (10) Aston Villa 16 4 7 5 18 21 -3 19
11 (11) Fulham 16 4 6 6 18 18 0 18
12 (12) Swansea City 16 4 6 6 16 20 -4 18
13 (13) West Bromwich Albion 16 5 3 8 16 24 -8 18
14 (14) Everton 15 5 2 8 16 19 -3 17
15 (15) Queens Park Rangers 16 4 4 8 15 28 -13 16
16 (17) Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 4 3 10 19 32 -13 15
17 (16) Sunderland 16 3 5 8 18 19 -1 14

18 (18) Wigan Athletic 16 3 4 9 15 30 -15 13
19 (20) Bolton Wanderers 17 4 0 13 22 39 -17 12
20 (19) Blackburn Rovers 17 2 4 11 24 38 -14 10

AND LAST Season in January AFTER AXED WARNOCK and Hughes First Game (LOSS)

1 (1) Manchester City 20 15 3 2 56 16 40 48
2 (2) Manchester United 21 15 3 3 52 20 32 48
3 (3) Tottenham Hotspur 21 14 4 3 39 21 18 46
4 (4) Chelsea 21 12 4 5 40 25 15 40
5 (5) Arsenal 21 11 3 7 38 31 7 36
6 (7) Newcastle United 21 10 6 5 30 25 5 36
7 (6) Liverpool 21 9 8 4 24 18 6 35
8 (8) Stoke City 21 8 6 7 22 31 -9 30
9 (9) Norwich City 21 7 7 7 32 36 -4 28
10 (13) Swansea City 21 6 8 7 23 25 -2 26
11 (10) Everton 21 7 4 10 21 25 -4 25
12 (11) Sunderland 21 6 6 9 27 24 3 24
13 (12) Aston Villa 21 5 9 7 23 27 -4 24
14 (14) Fulham 21 5 8 8 23 29 -6 23
15 (15) West Bromwich Albion 21 6 4 11 20 30 -10 22
16 (16) Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 4 6 11 23 37 -14 18
17 (17) Blackburn Rovers 21 4 5 12 32 44 -12 17
18 (18) Queens Park Rangers 21 4 5 12 19 36 -17 17
19 (19) Bolton Wanderers 21 5 1 15 25 46 -21 16
20 (20) Wigan Athletic 20 3 6 11 18 41 -23 15

Kenny; Walker, Connolly, Gorkss, Hill; Derry, Faurlin (Orr 59); Mackie, Taarabt (Clarke 59) Smith; Helguson (Hulse 70). Subs: Cerny (g), Hall, Rowlands, Ephraim.

Hanukkah Greetings from QPR 
-  "Wishing all our Jewish  fans around the world a happy Hanukkah 

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