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Thursday, February 28, 2013

QPR-Fans Site Meeting Report





    Just to emphasize that "the purpose of this meeting was to discuss media-related issues and forms a separate agenda to matters which will be discussed at the upcoming fans' groups' meeting (although there may be some understandable overlapping in certain areas)."

Date: Tuesday 26th February 2013

Venue: Loftus Road Stadium

In attendance:

From the club: Ian Taylor & Paul Morrissey From the fan sites: Steve Sayce (Indy Rs – www.indyrs.co.uk), Matthew Woolf (WATRB – www.wearetherangersboys.com), Colin Henderson (QPR Report – www.qprreport.com), Ron Norris (QPRnet – www.qprnet.com), Neil Dejyothin (LoftForWords – www.loftforwords.co.uk) and David Fraser (QPR Podcast – www.qprpodcast.com)


* Introductions & summary of the Media department

* Digital communications

o The Official Website

o Match day programme

o QPR Insider

* Twitter / Facebook & Social Media

* uStream

* Using players to communicate club news

* Responsiveness


Introductions & Summary of the Media department

* Ian Taylor and Paul Morrissey provided an excellent overview of the media department at the club and what areas each member was primarily responsible for and how it has changed over the years.

* Ian has served at QPR for seven and a half years and Paul for seven years. In that time they've seen the media team grow from three, back down to two, up to two and a half, then to three, back down to two, back up to two and a half, then up to four and now finally and currently six strong – the biggest they've ever been.

* The media team however is currently the smallest in the Premier League, which on average are around 10-12 strong apart from the biggest clubs who have 20+, and source out much of their internal media requirements.

* Manchester United's MUTV has around 60 staff.

* On average a Championship club has approximately 6 people employed in their media departments.

o Neil Dejyothin asked if the team felt they had adequate resources and whether the media team should be at a similar size to other average Premier League clubs.

o Paul Morrissey feels their smaller team is tight knit and able to hold more accountability for their work. He isn't sure it's appropriate to have a media team at a similar size to that of other average Premier League clubs at this stage.

o There could be scope in the long term to increase the size of the team if the club had a bespoke in-house web platform and controlled website. They are however under contractual obligations for the short to medium term with Football League Interactive (FLi) who provide web services for the club.

* Ian Taylor is the Head of Media & Communications and primarily looks after the board and strategic interviews. As well as being responsible for the overall running of the department, Ian liaises with the board on a regular basis and is in charge of online magazine The InsideR.

* Paul Morrissey primarily looks after the first team manager, first team backroom staff and first team playing squad.

* Matthew Webb is primarily responsible for the men’s match day programme and is a contributor for The InsideR

* Adam Hulme is responsible for social media networks including Facebook and Twitter as well as QPR Player.

* David Scriven is the webmaster and responsible for the official QPR website and corporate site.

* Andy Watkins is responsible for covering the men’s Under 18s, Under 21s and the Girls and Women's team. He provides some coverage of the men’s first team as well, providing it doesn't clash with the Under 18s or Under 21s. Andy also ensures coverage of QPR in the Community Trust events.

* Brian Melzack helps the club with the London Call In phone-in show and QPR Player’s Match Day Live coverage.

The Official QPR website

* The official QPR website attracts around 19,000 daily visitors and over 2 million unique visitors since it was relaunched in August 2013. The Korean market accounts for around 450,000 of these unique visitors and demonstrates the marketing potential and interest from that region.

o David Fraser asked what the actual strategy and objective goals of the media team was and which audience the club were talking to with their communication, such as new fans, new prospective fans or existing fans. Ian Taylor expressed that there was a desire from the club to reach out to an international audience, particularly given how many visitors the website has from Korea.

o Ian and Paul are working towards the objective of a more global profile that meets the vision of the board as part of their remit – but they are still mindful about not losing sight of local coverage around W12, the local boroughs and the traditional QPR supporters who come to Loftus Road every week.

* The total visits for the Official Club Website amount to around 3.8 million.

* The club are contracted to FLi for the production of the official QPR website until 2017.

* FLi have been working on preparing some improvements to the platform over the past 4-6 weeks based on feedback received about a wide variety of navigational issues. These fixes will hopefully alleviate some of the sites usability problems – but it can't be guaranteed at this stage whether it will resolve them all.

* The problems with the current Official QPR website are well documented. It's difficult to find information and it takes far too many clicks to find the information you're looking for and the usability issues are stopping people from visiting there more regularly or at all, which is a primary concern for the club.

* The club will continue to provide feedback to FLi to improve the usability experience.

Match day programme

* The match day programme is currently 84 pages.

o The size of the programme has changed and the team were mindful of the impact that may have on collectors who were used to the previous dimensions. There have been some expected gripes – but not as many as anticipated and overall the feedback on the programme this season has been fairly positive.

o The fans’ sites’ reps who read the programme regularly feel it's well produced and has good content.

* The average sales of the match day programme stand at around 4,000 per home game. This works out on average as around approximately 25% of the gate and in the current climate is considered healthy and good.

* Prior to the emergence of digital media – a figure of around 30-31% was considered good for hard print, but in the current climate this is now seen to be more around the 20-25% mark.

* The 3d match day programme for the West Ham United match at home produced the highest volume of sales at 6,000 and was deemed a success, winning the Northern Programme Club Programme of the Month Award.

* By way of comparison one Premier League club with a capacity of more than 50,000 sells around 5,500 copies of their match day programme – which in the context of their gate proves that QPR's programme is performing well in current market conditions.

* The media team feel there will always be a demand for a hard printed programme. There are however ideas to embrace the digital format with iPad/pdf versions being mooted as a potential for the following season. This may or may not be part of a promotional offer for Season Ticket Holders or Memberships in the future – a decision on all this will be made in due course and when the time is right.

QPR’s online magazine – The InsideR

* The free digital online magazine has been well received and had around 10,000 unique visitors. A second version of this magazine is planned for release and will include an exclusive group interview with former Rangers players Lee Cook, Martin Rowlands, Gareth Ainsworth, Kevin Gallen and Marc Bircham. Tony Fernandes is very keen on pushing The InsideR due to its global reach and appeal.

* A discussion arose around the need for a free online digital magazine and Ian responded by saying that Tony Fernandes and the board of directors want to raise QPR's profile on a global scale, both nationally and internationally and were particularly passionate about this project as it helps make information accessible to a wide audience.

* Ian and Paul feel the media team have more scope to introduce innovative ideas under the current owners, and that projects like these were unlikely to be on the remit of

previous regimes. They feel this aspect of their role is refreshing and rewarding for the media team.

* The QPR Official Magazine was discontinued due to poor sales.

Twitter / Facebook & Social Media

* The official QPR Twitter account has over 100,000 followers and the official QPR Facebook Fan Page has around 184,000-185,000 Likes.

* Ian Taylor's Twitter account is a club account.

o A discussion arose regarding the issue of staff using personal accounts for club purposes – and whether the account belonged to them or the club. In the event of a staff member leaving – the followers that person accrued for business purposes would be lost if that person kept the account. It was therefore questioned whether this was sensible practice for the club and in its best interests.

o It was suggested that staff using Twitter accounts for club use should not tweet official club information ahead of the official QPR Twitter accounts where appropriate.

* It was also raised that as the club lists the Twitter accounts for its general staff and players on The Official QPR website and in the match day programme – that it was blurring the lines between endorsing all comments associated with those accounts.

* A discussion arose around the clubs approach to using Twitter.

o It was generally agreed that the Media teams use of Twitter has improved both in tone and consistency of content. There is a more measured and professional feel about the output which is good.

o This is in contrast to how the board currently use Twitter – the fans’ views are that the output appears inconsistent with the media department and feels more amateurish.

o There is a feeling that the lack of footballing expertise and knowledge is evident with some of the messages being tweeted by the board as well as from what is being said in editorial pieces like the match day programme notes.

o An example was given about Philip Beard's recent comments about the state of the pitch over the Christmas and New Year period, when it's widely accepted and agreed that the playing surface is in a terrible state and causing the players problems. The opposing team's manager and players comment on this frequently after visiting Loftus Road.

o It was suggested that in the long term the club need to address the problem of the playing surface and this should be a priority at Loftus Road or the development of a new stadium.

o Another example cited was Philip Beard's discussion about how good the atmosphere is in the Lower Loft at the Fans Forum and talking about the feeling of the Lower Loft sucking the ball into the net, when fans generally feel it is not as good as it used to be. It seemed strange saying that to longstanding supporters who understand the history and heritage of the stadium and what the atmosphere is really capable of achieving.

o A general discussion took place around the conduct towards club staff by fans on Twitter. Some of the staff are receiving abuse, in some cases unnecessarily

– but some of the suggestions and improvements already made will hopefully reduce this. The fan site representatives generally agreed that any abuse of staff on social media is unsavoury and unnecessary and would urge supporters to be more understanding of those carrying out their job for the club. By the same token the club understand that some types of feedback comes with the nature of the job and that they do need to keep a thick skin and not take personal comments to heart.

* It was raised that a better strategy would be to use Twitter to promote the Official Facebook Fan Page and then link back to the website from there, rather than promoting The Official QPR Website. This would reduce the hassle of the usability problems and provide the content more easily – but still give the opportunity for the user to go back to the Official QPR website. The Facebook Fan Page currently appears to have the best level of exposure and reach for the club. Ron Norris raised an example where The Official Website still caters for people who want to go there to find information – such as his Uncle – who wouldn't use social media sites like Facebook, but the suggestions above were a good way to mitigate the existing issues until they are solved.

* It was agreed that the Official QPR website has good content on there – but it's a pain to access it. Neil Dejyothin suggested a key fix for the current platform would be the removal of the excerpt and "Read more >>" feature – which only becomes obvious once you've read half of the article that you need to expand it. This would provide most bang for buck and reduce a lot of the teething issues with the experience. There are also occasions when you go from Facebook or Twitter and the landing splash screen pops up – giving yet another item to click through before you reach the content you want.

* A general discussion took place about the clubs strategy for attracting new fans and the ill-feeling that perceived preferential treatment towards supporters who have little affinity to the club, its roots or the area.

o Both the media team and fan site representatives spoke of concerns about behaviour towards Asian supporters visiting Loftus Road. There have regretfully been some mildly disturbing instances in and around the stadium where respect and conduct have not been appropriately shown by a very small minority of fans, which is unacceptable.

o It was raised that the growth of the fan base in this region needs to be handled with balance and care, and that a more organic approach is needed to integrate them properly into the football club to ensure they are given a fair chance of being accepted – regardless of who they are or where they come from.

o The media team asked for examples where the club may be perceived to be providing preferential treatment and the following were given: a specific Korean Twitter account and the exclusive press conference announcing the arrival of Ji-Sung Park as well as Park's exclusive clothing range. The recent signing of Yun Suk-Young also gives the perceptual impression that he's been signed for commercial purposes over footballing ones – even if that isn't the case and he is here on merit. Ian confirmed that Chief Scout Ian Broomfield had been watching the player for a significant period of time prior to his signing.

o David Fraser raised that he could understand the club’s thinking and that the revenue streams generated from growth in these channels were important and significant and shouldn't be dismissed by supporters.


* uStream was first used by the club to promote the signing of Ji-Sung Park and based on the success and interest it generated, uStream themselves got in touch with the club to create a partnership.

* The pre-season friendly with Wycombe Wanderers was the first QPR game to be broadcast on uStream for free and attracted around 17,000 to watch the game online and around 4,000 attended at the stadium at Adams Park.

* Whenever the club broadcasts something live on uStream it attracts around 8,000-10,000 visits and then on average a further 15,000 may visit the event at a later point.

* Since using uStream the club have attracted a total of around 900,000 viewers.

* The club recognises the obvious benefits of a subscription based model but there are no plans at this stage to go down this route.

* The media team are aware of sound issues on London Call-In. Following the show’s recent sponsorship, they are hopeful of investing in further equipment to improve the quality of the output.

Using players to communicate club news

* The media team explained the difficulty in talking to players who are upset about the team’s performance. There are naturally some players more willing than others and some who are more experienced than others at handling press matters.

* The media team explained that the club does need to protect its interests and image, so there are always going to be certain restrictions on what message they can reasonably be expected to put out to the supporters. The same could be said of their use on the London Call In phone-in show. Paul Morrissey explained that the next show will actually be based around the subject of whether supporters are right to boo their own players.

* It was raised by the fan site representatives that the same group of players tend to be the ones that face the supporters through the media and that the club could try putting some youngsters in there to build up their profile and give them some experience.

o Due to the similar pool of players being used both for QPR Player interviews and the London Call In phone-in show – Steve Saycey raised that the message can sometimes come across as bland and stale, especially at a time when the team are struggling. It was acknowledged this isn't easy for the media team to deal with and that on some occasions it's perfectly acceptable to have a break on some weeks and not put anybody up for public speaking at all – this should largely be assessed on the mood of the fan base.

* It was also suggested that even if a player has a poor performance, is in poor form, or has not got the best relationship with the fans,– that actually having them do a well considered interview is likely to help them get the fans understand their point of view and likely help their situation.

o There can be a perception that some of the players are nicer than others when that might not be the case. The club should look to help those players who the

fans hear little from and build their profile as it will help them develop an affinity and relationship with supporters.


* The club were made aware of its responsibilities and the need to improve upon its communication with supporters at the recent Fans Forum held on February 7th 2013.

o Based upon this feedback the club have set up a new email account at customerservices@qpr.co.uk to handle enquiries and the club have employed a new Customer Liaison Officer who will be announced in due course.

o It was raised that a generic email can come across as faceless and there needs to be a balance struck in terms of ensuring enquiries and feedback are getting a response in an adequate fashion. The Box Office were cited as a good example – if you can get through to them and not Ticketmaster, they are always prompt, knowledgeable, helpful and courteous and you easily build a relationship with some of the individuals in the normal course of dealing with them.

* The lack of responses have included queries over email and post from supporters groups and individual supporters. These responses have gone unanswered not only at board level but in other departments as well.

o The QPR1st Supporters Trust had sent emails and letters to Philip Beard and personal assistants and other staff but did not receive a response. This has since been rectified and the Trust have since had some contact with senior staff. The QPR LSA shared similar experiences.

o Individual supporters have contacted other departments and not received a response. An example was given of a fan who sits in Ellerslie Road Block T and paying Gold Season Ticket prices writing to the stadium manager on behalf of the fans in that area. The club had to extend the television gantry in this area to meet Premier League requirements, but in doing so, blocked many fans in that area from being able to see the big screen. A query was sent in to ask whether a small monitor could be placed up so that this experience could be somewhat restored and remains unanswered.

o Throughout these communications it's unclear whether they've been received, acknowledged, acted upon or delegated. It was suggested this process needs more clarity and the newly announced meetings and work towards a Customer Liaison Officer should help alleviate this. Ian and Paul confirmed that to date there are no outstanding issues known from the new email that's been set up since the Fans Forum.

o Neil Dejyothin raised the topic of the Supporters Liasion Officer – as mentioned in Section R of the Premier League Handbook 2012/13 – where every club has to have one and that this should be a prominent role within the club that is held by a person at senior level. This person or persons should be present at all meetings with fan site representatives and supporter groups. This feedback will be passed on and discussed internally at the club.

* The issue of the Lower Loft was raised and that moving loyal fans from their seats was not handled with the correct care.

o Philip Beard stated at the Fans Forum that there were too many fans to contact individually.

o This approach and statement was wholly unacceptable from the fans perspective and shows a lack of understanding about what it means to be attached to a club, its stadium and your personal seat and came across as disrespectful.

o An explanation was given about the small pockets of communities that develop across the stadium, that friends, family and loved ones may have passed away – so the attachment to the area you sit in can become extremely personal and that part of the experience is also about familiarity. A side point was raised that this needs consideration and consultation with supporters and supporter groups for any potential new stadium – and that it's imperative they are involved in any such process.

o This came at a time when the previous regime had also moved fans out of the South Africa Road Stand – so it has occurred twice in quick succession. It was widely accepted that the club needs to attract fans to the stadium and the importance of younger supporters and families – but at the very least each and every fan affected deserved the courtesy of a telephone call.

o Matthew Woolf re-iterated that there has been a marked decrease in the volume of noise our fans have been able to generate since the Lower Loft was made into a family stand, which could potentially be at a disadvantage to the performance of the team and would like the club to clarify why alternative suggestions were ruled out.

* The club have acted and chased all action points from the Fans Forum and have resolved or are working towards resolving any issues.


* Neil Dejyothin raised the question about the obvious lack of football experience at board level and whether the club recognised this as a concern? The majority of sports team have a person leading or helping run the club with vast experience in the field. The skill set and focus of Philip Beard appears to be on larger scale projects, such as the new training ground proposals and potential relocation to a new stadium. These things are all fine – but if that is the case then the club does need to ensure all of the football and operational matters are still looked after properly and someone is responsible for handling those matters with the relevant experience.

* Neil Dejyothin asked how seriously the club took staff retention and the importance of retaining people who are good at their job and understand what the club is all about. The club have lost a lot of staff over recent years and the likes of Ian and Paul can be considered veterans of the club given the years of service they've provided. The knowledge they've acquired of the fan base, the club, it's history and heritage and it's relationship with the fans are crucial for helping improving day to day operations and there appears to be a lack of this type of experience across the club or the club tapping enough into the experience it has at its disposal.

* The Fans Sites’ meetings will be held quarterly.

o It was raised that these dates didn't necessarily need to be fixed – but could be dynamic based around the end and the start of the season to maximise the quality of feedback.

* The first Fans Group meetings will be announced in the coming days and these are expected to be held quarterly.

o The Fans Group meetings have taken longer to schedule due to the increased complexity of finding a suitable time when senior management are available.

* Neil Dejyothin suggested that the club kept a mailing list of the fan sites and distributed key press releases to the QPR community at the same time they do for the local and national press. This would help with information flow and strengthen the relationship between the club and its fan sites. Ian and Paul agreed that this was a good idea and would formulate a plan for specific types of news that would be of interest to fan sites and supporters.

* Steve Saycey asked whether it was possible to gain more access to players for interviews. Neil Dejyothin suggested perhaps it was a good idea to get the fans involved with some of the interviews – such as for the second edition of the Online Insider magazine and with the interview feature planned with previous players.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

QPR Report Tuesday: Samba on Staying...Neville on QPR...OTD: Holloway Appointed QPR Manager: Flashback...Upcoming: Club-Fan Websites Meet



- Next: Southampton -Past Photos
 IanJTaylor ‏@IJTaylor8 -Meeting reps from the #QPR fan websites next week in a bid to improve communications across my department. Good feedback so far #QPR

- Guardian Looks at the Swansea Success Story (which sadly Looks Opposite of the QPR approach!)

Chris Samba: I’ll stay even if QPR are relegated
CHRISTOPHER SAMBA has promised he will stay with QPR even if they are relegated.
By: Simon Yeend
Published: Tue, February 26, 2013

-12-5m-January-signing-Christopher-Samba-says-he-is-ready-to-stay-at-QPR-past-the-end-of-the-season £12.5m January signing Christopher Samba says he is ready to stay at QPR past the end of the season

The £12.5million record signing has played in three games, from which the team have taken a solitary point. But he is backing the project being built by chairman Tony Fernandes.

QPR are seven points from safety and have won only two matches all season. Defender Samba says the players will give their all over the team’s final 11 games. But, should they fail, he is not planning on deserting the club.

He said: “I will stay if it is a serious project.

I will stay if it is a serious project

Christopher Samba

“Sometimes if there is a setback there is a bigger step forward. If they are willing for me to make it with them, I would. But there are still 11 matches so there is no question of thinking about that just yet. I am going to give this everything that I have. But we have taken just one point since I have arrived, and we all know that that is just not good enough.

“Every failure is so much worse than every success. So you need to remember what you felt when you lose, and try not to let it happen again the next time. It means that you go into your next game with your last match in your head and you are asking, ‘What can I do more’? But if every player does that, then I’m sure it can make a massive difference.”

Chris Samba, Samba, Christopher Samba, QPR, Harry Redknapp, £12m SambaSamba made a name for himself in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers before moving to Russia

QPR manager Harry Redknapp, meanwhile, says he has forgiven Jose Bosingwa following the mid-season bust-up that had exiled the defender for almost three months.

Redknapp picked Bosingwa, 30, at the weekend – for the first time since December 8 – as QPR lost 2-0 against leaders Manchester United.

“Jose made a mistake, but it cannot go on for ever,” said Redknapp. “The issue is resolved, and we have all moved on from it. He has trained hard and is showing the right attitude again.

“There’s no question that he can play and is good on the ball. I took Jose with us to Swansea a couple of weeks ago and did not even put him on the substitutes’ bench. I did that as a test of his attitude, and he was fine.”

SKY Monday Night Football: QPR defending unexplainable, says Sky Sports' Gary Neville

Gary Neville was left baffled by Queens Park Rangers' 'unexplainable' defending at the weekend but thinks the Premier League's rock-bottom club could still produce a Great Escape.

A 2-0 defeat by league leaders Manchester United on Saturday left Harry Redknapp's team at the foot of the table and seven points from safety with just 11 matches remaining in the season.

There was little QPR could do to stop Rafael from opening the scoring with a wonderful strike but Sky Sports expert Neville was less than impressed with the defending which allowed Ryan Giggs to add United's second.

"Southampton could almost put QPR to bed on Saturday. But if QPR win and bring Southampton back into them, they could potentially go on a run"
Gary Neville Quotes of the week

Jose Bosingwa permitted Danny Welbeck to set up the goal while Stephane Mbia moved away from play, seemingly adjusting his gloves rather than focusing on the game, before Clint Hill and Christopher Samba were caught out of position.

"You can talk about tactics and analysis all you like," Neville said on Monday Night Football. "You can potentially say, 'Okay, Clint Hill, you maybe should have gone in there'. You can maybe say, 'Samba, you should have adjusted your position.'

"They are tactical, football points - players maybe not seeing the danger early enough. (But) I cannot understand what Bosingwa and Mbia have done.

"They are things which go beyond football analysis, because, to walk away from the game, which is something Mbia has done, is unexplainable."

The Harry Redknapp factor could help QPR avoid relegation this season, according to Gary Neville

But Neville does not think QPR are certain to be relegated and the former England international and ex-United defender is in no doubt about the importance of this weekend's game at Southampton, who sit 16th in the table and 10 points above their next visitors.

Merson - Title won

Neville reckons the factors in QPR's favour are the presence of manager Redknapp, who steered Portsmouth to safety in 2005/06 when they had been eight points from survival with 11 games remaining, and a favourable fixture list for the rest of the season.

After Southampton, QPR also still have fellow strugglers Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Reading to play before May and wins in those matches could let them potentially climb out of the relegation zone.

"When I see the things that are happening (against United), it is not what I think of in the Premier League - fighting to get into challenges and getting across the sides," said Neville.

"But I sense that, two or three months out, this thought is going deeper into the back of this thick skull that QPR still could, and may, get out of it (relegation).

"Southampton could almost put QPR to bed on Saturday. But if QPR win and bring Southampton back into them, they could potentially go on a run."  SKY

12 Years Ago...


IAN HOLLOWAY was this afternoon unveiled as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers at a press conference at Loftus Road.

The 37-year-old who managed Bristol Rovers for four and a half seasons left the Memeorial Ground earlier this season and returns to Loftus Road where he spent five years as a player. Further details and quotes from the new boss will appear here later.


NEW RANGERS boss Ian Holloway insists his return to Loftus Road is a challenge he is cannot wait to undertake.

Holloway, who spent five years as the club in the mid '90s takes over the reins at Loftus Road less than a month after leaving his post as boss of Bristol Rovers, and follows the path of Rangers' Director of Football Gerry Francis, who also swapped the West Country for a return to West London in 1991.

Subsequently Holloway's respect for Francis, who he served under as a player for ten years, is very high, but the 37-year-old insists that he is very much his own man.

The new boss has signed a contract until the end of the season with a view to another year and he is very glad to be back at Loftus Road.

"I was lucky enough to work with Gerry for over ten years at two different clubs and when I met him I thought I knew a lot about football," he said.

"After I met him I realised I knew nothing. What he doesn't know about the game you can write on the back of a postage stamp and the affect that he had on my overall career was so strong that I think without him I wouldn't be say here right now.

"However, I am my own person, I have my own ideas and I motivate players in a different way to Gerry and I want to rub off on these players here and if I need anybody watched or any guidance then I can talk to Gerry.

"I am one of life's optimists but my policy is to be honest and open with our fans. They are the ones who pay the money to come in. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a wholehearted, passionate person and I was brought here before to rub off on the other players.

"I am hoping I can do that here with the players at the club and I am desperately looking forward to meeting them tomorrow morning and getting down to work." "I am absolutely delighted to be taking this on this challenge and I believe that by all pulling in the right direction we can get out of the position we are in."

More comprehensive quotes and a closer look at the new Rangers boss will appear here this afternoon.

QPR Official Site

DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN Nick Blackburn believes the Rangers board have appointed the right man in Ian Holloway to take over as manager from Gerry Francis.

"We set a certain criteria in appointing a new manager; we wanted someone the ability to motivate, coach well, had experience of management but also someone who was on their way up in the game, someone to help re-structure the club in terms of the academy and the youth system and finally a man who knows players at a lower level in the game or people from Academy league clubs," he said.
"We also knew that Ian made a lot of money in the transfer market with Bristol Rovers which is something we have failed to do in recent years and also his ability to spot and develop players which he has done with the likes of Barry Hayles, Jason Roberts and Bobby Zamora in his time there.

"I know he brings a lot of passion in the way he works and has a lot of passion for this football club and after last Saturday's performance at Wimbledon, I hope some of that passion transmits to the players.

"Ian has signed a contract until the end of this season with another year with options and he is very heavily incentivised especially if he can keep us in the First Division this year which is absolutley crucial to the future of this club.

"He is also heavily incentivised in terms of league positions so I hope he is going to be here for another few years because if he is it will be because he has been able to bring success to the football club.

QPR Official Site

THE appointment of Ian Holloway as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers was not a huge surprise considering the 37-year old's links with the club and speculation which had linked him with a move back to west London.

'Olly' spent five years as a player at Loftus Road in the mid '90s, being brought to the club by Gerry Francis from Bristol Rovers as one of his first signings to play the role of a combative midfielder who, along with Simon Barker and Ray Wilkins, formed an midfield engine room which more than held their own with the Premiership's finest. .

Holloway, by his own admission was not a player who was up there with the likes of Ferdinand, Wilson, Sinclair and Wilkins, in terms of ability, but his whole-hearted, determined style made him a warm favourite with the Loftus Road faithful. .

"It was a huge part of my playing career and I was so proud playing here, anyone who watched me in my time here could see what I was about; wholehearted, determined and I was delighted to work for Gerry. Without doubt this was the biggest club I ever played for and for me to be sat here today is fantastic," said Ian today after being unveiled as the new incumbent in the Loftus Road hotseat.

Holloway's family life has been well-documented with two of his children being profoundly deaf and his wife having bravely beaten Cancer during his time at Brentford over a decade ago, but Holloway's positive attitude in times of adversity made him a hugely popular figure with his team mates in his first spell in west London.

Such positivity is something he is desperate to bring back to the club and Holloway insisted today that there will be no room for negative vibes in his dressing room despite the fact that he is taking over a side which has just experienced conceding five goals or more in a game for the third time in a month.

"I fully aware and realistic of what we have to do but I am fed up with pessimists, I am an eternal optimist and I am so looking forward to this challenge.

"The players will get from me honesty and enthusiasm. I sincerely feel in my heart of hearts that I can keep this club up. We've had some cruel luck with injuries but all I am saying is that with determination, belief it is amazing what you can achieve. .

"I look for people who give me a positive when there is a negative and there are a few negatives at the moment but I know we can turn these things around."

Ian comes into the club with no fewer than 18 players out of contract in the summer and the new boss today warned that those who want to stay with the club would have to earn the right to be a Queens Park Rangers player.

"It is amazing what a new face can do there are an awful lot of players at this club out of contract and if they want to prove to me with hard work and determination that they want to be here next season by showing pride and passion for the club then they will have every chance for me to deal with them fairly.

"I won't criticise people before I start as the players don't know me I don't know them, it was a bad result on Saturday at Wimbledon but the two previous ones give me hope. As long as it is mathematically possible to remain in this division then we are in with a shout. I am a people person and I cannot wait to work with these people."

Prior to his arrival in Shepherds Bush Holloway has spent four and half seasons trying to get his home town club Bristol Rovers into Division One and he narrowly missed out in two heartbreaking occasions in 1999 and last season.

However, in his spell at the Memorial Ground he did add over £5 million into the club's coffers with the sales of Barry Hayles, Jason Roberts, Jamie Cureton and Bobby Zamora and his eye for a player is something what enhanced his reputation as a bright managerial prospect.

Last season was a heartbreaking one for everyone concerned with the Pirates as their promotion dream ended in disaster when a final day of the season defeat to Cardiff saw them drop out of the top six for the first time all season and miss out on the play-offs completely. .

"It was disastrous time for the club especially Olly who very much built that team and in the summer things went from bad to worse when Roberts and Cureton had to be sold," said Chris Swift, the Rovers Football Correspondent for the Bristol Evening Post.

"In his time here he did produce a team which liked to get the ball down and play but a combination of some of the bigger players being tapped up by agents for moves to larger clubs and injuries they missed out at the final hurdle twice.

"It was rotten luck for the whole team really last season as coming into the last eight games he lost his whole midfield with season-ending injuries and he simply didn't have the squad to cover the cracks.

"It was a horrible feeling for everyone concerned as a year earlier they missed out on a Wembley appearance after losing in the play offs to Northampton 3-0 after winning the first leg 2-0 at home and this season the team hasn't really recovered from the loss of two players who bagged 50 goals between them in a season," said Swift.

Holloway left the Memorial Ground a month ago after struggling start to the season but says his enthusiasm for the game has not been diluted one little bit.

"I am very proud of the fact that I have only been out of work for four weeks which has given me a chance to spend with my family something which you can't do too much as a manager, but once you are bitten in the neck you are a vampire and I can't wait to get back in there and start work with the lads here.

"When you go into a new job you never know what other people think of you. However, I know what some of the lads that I have taken from a lesser standard and worked with have done and I am very proud of them and I know what they think of me.

"My relationship with Jason Roberts was fantastic and it broke my heart when I had to sell him to West Brom, but I have faith in my ability and I am determined to succeed here with these players.

"If they want to work with me morning, noon and night to improve themselves then I am willing to do that. I will work with them as much as I can and I can't stress enough just how excited I am to get this opportunity and I honestly cannot wait to get started." .

Deputy chairman Nick Blackburn admitted at this afternoon's gathering that he was unsure as to how assistant manager Iain Dowie would react to the news of Holloway's appointment after he failed to get the job, and Holloway said he was unsure of Dowie's position in the new set-up.

"I am convinced that Iain Dowie will have a great career as a manager. I have not spoken to him since the appointment but it is up to the two Ians to decide what they will do for the future," he said.

Holloway did not rule out the likelihood of Dowie remaining at the club, but insisted that until he had spoken to the staff and the players at the club he wasn't prepared to comment.

"Until I have spoken to everyone here I cannot comment on what will happen but I have my own ideas which I want done my way. I know football is notorious for managers bringing their own people in, but until I have assessed the whole set-up I cannot say what will happen." .

BBC - Monday, 26 February, 2001, QPR name Holloway as boss

Queens Park Rangers have named Ian Holloway as the new manager at Loftus Road.

Former QPR midfielder Holloway - sacked as Bristol Rovers boss last month - takes over from Gerry Francis who announced he was standing down 10 days ago.

I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this
QPR boss Ian Holloway

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to take this challenge on and motivate some of these players.

"It was a huge part of my playing career and I felt so proud. Anybody that watched me play could see what I was - whole-hearted and determined.

"This is the biggest club I ever played for and what we achieved in those five years, I was delighted.

"I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this."


Holloway has joined Rangers on a contract for the remainder of this season and the whole of next term with options for an extension.

He is optimistic that he can keep the struggling club in the First Division, but insists that it is not just down to him.

"The players have got to work hard and they'll get honesty and enthusiasm from me and hopefully that will rub off.

"We are fully realistic of where we are and what we've got to do."

The former Rovers boss takes charge of first-team affairs on Tuesday and will work alongside his former mentor Francis, who has become the club's director of football.

But Holloway's appointment - which Francis is widely reported to have supported - throws the future of Rangers' assistant manager Iain Dowie into doubt.

Dowie was desperate to take over but, having failed in his second bid to land the job, could be set to leave the club altogether especially if - as expected - Holloway brings in Gary Penrice as his assistant. BBC


Football: Holloway's back as QPR manager
by DAVID BOND, Evening Standard

Former Loftus Road favourite Ian Holloway was today appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers and handed the task of steering his old club clear of relegation.
Holloway, who played 147 games for QPR, has just 13 matches left to guide them to safety. Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Wimbledon left Rangers one place above the drop zone on goal difference.
His appointment comes 10 days after Gerry Francis announced he was standing down as manager. The game on Saturday was his last in charge of the team and he is now expected to take up the club's offer of a place on the board.
But Holloway, who was sacked as manager of Bristol Rovers last month, will be in full control of the side for Saturday's home League clash against Sheffield United.
The club refused to reveal the length of his contract but confirmed it was not a stop-gap measure and that Holloway's deal was "multi-year".
Iain Dowie will remain as his assistant for the time being even though he was interviewed and turned down for the manager's position.
Chief executive David Davies said: "Ian is one of the club's most enthusiastic sons and we are delighted he has decided to join us. He will be fundamental in keeping the club in Division One this year."
With the club facing an uncertain future following chairman Chris Wright's decision to sell his majority stakeholding, finding a new manager has proved difficult. Last week Dave Basset, Wycombe's Lawrie Sanchez and former Huddersfield manager Steve Bruce all distanced themselves from the job. But Davies says Holloway was always their No 1 choice.
He added: "No one else was offered the job. Steve (Bruce), Lawrie (Sanchez) and David (Basset) were never actually offered the post in the first instance. Two of those three were seen in interviews along with Ian and we only made one offer and that was to Ian.
"We believe he is the man to take us forward. His four and a half years at Bristol Rovers typified his character and in the end he got no reward for that work. We think he was unlucky to get sacked from Bristol Rovers but we are certainly not complaining as it has been to our advantage.
"He has never courted publicity but if you examine the statistics both with wins, losses and points and also in player trading, he has done extremely well.
"He has worked with financial restraints and in our current situation that's what we need. I think one or two of the other people we saw might not have been comfortable with that.
"When Ian was a player he instilled a great deal of affection with our fans. He never gave up and that's the attitude we need to get us out of trouble now.
"We've got 13 games to go and I'm sure the first thing he will do is to work on the dynamics of the team and the players' willingness to go that extra yard. Woe betide any of them who aren't prepared to do that."
There still remains the job of finding new owners and Davies said: "We can now devote all our energies to finding a buyer."

Monday, February 26, 2001 :
Soccer: Holloway named QPR boss

Ian Holloway has been named as the new manager of struggling First Division side Queens Park Rangers.Holloway was sacked as manager of Second Division Bristol Rovers last month and takes over from Gerry Francis, who recently resigned as QPR boss.Holloway made more than 200 appearances for the Loftus Road club between 1991 and 1996.He will take over another club fighting relegation - Rangers are fourth bottom of Division One and were on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing at Wimbledon on Saturday.Bristol Rovers almost won a play-off place under Holloway last season, but have endured a dramatic change of fortune this season.Despite beating Everton in the Worthington Cup under Holloway, they failed to win a home game prior to his departure on January 30.

[Just one of the scores of interviews and profiles of Ian Hollway which show the man as much as the manager.]

November 2003 Observer Interview with Holloway
Interview: Ian Holloway

Triumph and despair 'Having three deaf children out of four is so rare. We had the same chance of winning the lottery five times over.' The Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway talks candidly about being a 'bolshie parent' - and how doing the best by his family disrupted his football career. Interview by Denis CampbellSunday November 2, 2003
It was a real shock when we found out that Eve and Chloe were deaf. You take it for granted with babies that there will never be anything wrong. William, our first born, had normal hearing. The twins looked fine. When they were born 14 years ago the doctors said they were perfectly healthy. But then, deafness is an invisible disability. After about six months we began to suspect something was wrong when we saw one of them mouthing words but with no sound coming out of her mouth.
We were confused because they could laugh and cry and we thought they wouldn't be able to do that if they had a hearing problem, but apparently they're natural things that all children do. Hearing tests were inconclusive, the medical people kept saying not to worry, and it wasn't until they were 16 months old that they were confirmed as being profoundly deaf. A hearing specialist came round, got a big heavy bell out of her bag and waved it behind the girls. They didn't react at all. Then we knew for sure that something was wrong.
We were shocked and suddenly out of our depth. We knew nothing about deafness and didn't really understand it either. I mean, even if you really shove your fingers into your own ears, you still can't make yourself deaf, so it's a very difficult condition to appreciate. The scariest thing was not knowing how to communicate with them, so we got a deaf woman called Christina in to teach us British Sign Language. That helped get rid of our frustration at not being able to get through to our daughters; it unlocked the door to communication.
After the girls, Kim was worried that if we had another child he or she would be deaf too. But the doctors told us that there was only a remote probability of that happening, even though both Kim and I carry a gene that means we're much more likely to have a deaf child. Then two years later we had Harriet and she was deaf too. Having three deaf children out of four is unbelievably rare. Statistically, we had the same chance of winning the Lottery five times over.
Eve and Chloe's birth was the start of a long fight and we're still angry that nobody told us just how big a challenge it was going to be having deaf twins. We had to learn basic things such as how you get a deaf child's attention. With a hearing child you can just shout: 'Oi!' But that obviously wouldn't work with the girls. If you want to tell off a hearing child, you just get louder and louder until they stop doing something. But if you're telling off a deaf child, they'll shield their eyes and won't look at you. Christina taught us that leaving the room is the best response.
The situation nearly did drive us crazy at one stage. We had three children, two of them deaf, Kim was pregnant again, and the twins' behaviour was out of control. As well as not being able to hear, they also had glue ear, which is horrendously painful. They would wake up screaming in the middle of the night, and I'd have to run outside with them and let the fresh air shock them out of it. They were deeply frustrated that the only way they could communicate with us was through sign language. They threw terrible tantrums.
It's been a fight all the way along to get proper provision for the girls, especially a good education. There's been rows, tribunals, appeals and endless phone calls. We have been labelled as bolshie parents. My view is that every child in the world has the right to be educated properly and whether your eyes or ears don't work is irrelevant. But the system at the moment makes that difficult. It's all about how much money each education authority wants to hand out to their minority of deaf people.
We've twice had to move home to get what we wanted for them. The first time was when I was playing for Queens Park Rangers in the mid-1990s. We were living in Camberley in Surrey, but the nursery school they were in had only basic sign language, so we moved back to Bristol, where we both come from, so they could attend Elmfield School for the Deaf there.
Our view was that the girls' development had suffered enough and that we shouldn't lose any more time. But moving there meant that every day for three and a half years I had a 250-mile round trip from Bristol to QPR's training ground in west London then back home again. Gerry Francis, my manager at the time, was sympathetic.
But it didn't help my care er. I developed terrible sciatica from sitting in the car all that time, even if the journey to London was a relief sometimes because it was an escape from the pressures of being at home. It was a chance to have a couple of hours to myself to think and reflect, which was nice.
We moved again from Bristol to St Albans in Hertfordshire, where we live now, so that Eve, Chloe and Hattie would be in the catchment area to attend a brilliant secondary school here called Heathlands, where 70 deaf children are taught alongside hundreds of hearing children. It's a great place and means the kids haven't become isolated by going to a school for the deaf. The full national curriculum is taught by sign language and the headmistress is deaf herself; she's the only deaf head in the country.
We still feel that we're lucky. Yes, our children have a disability, but it's an invisible disability and in every other way they're perfect, and we're so thankful for that. To experience the sheer trust and the love of a deaf child is amazing. The girls' deafness has touched and enhanced our lives. We're better people because of it.
The life facts
Born on 12 March 1963 in Bristol, Ian Holloway played 561 league games during a 19-year career as a midfielder with Bristol Rovers, Wimbledon, Torquay, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers. He became player-manager of Bristol Rovers in 1996, aged just 33, and since February 2001 has been the boss of QPR, whom he took to the Second Division play-off final last May. He is married to Kim and they live with their four children - William, twins Eve and Chloe, and Harriet - in St Albans, Hertfordshire.


12 Years ago: QPR Looking for a Manager - as Bassett, Bruce and Jewell Turn us down

- On This Day (Yesterday): Second Win in Three Games for Acting QPR Manager, Gary Waddock....Second Worst Defeat for QPR in 1968/69

Ex-Chairman Chris Wright TweetingCHRIS WRIGHT @ChrisWChrysalis "Come on you R's...No luck for the R's."

Monday, February 25, 2013

QPR Report Monday: 32nd Birthday for Ji-Sung Park (Park Ji-Sung)...QPR1st re QPR Ladies News....Next: Southampton...Ex-Chairman Still Cares...Flashback

32nd Birthday Today for QPR's Ji-Sung Park (or Park Ji-Sung)

QPR Need around 20 points from final 11 Games.A look back at what 2012/13 Premier League looked like after 11 Games 

One Stat: QPR  have never immediately "Bounced Back" from a Relegation. Took 3 Yrs, 4 Yrs twice, and about 15 Yrs twice

- On This Day: Second Win in Three Games for Acting QPR Manager, Gary Waddock....Second Worst Defeat for QPR in 1968/69

Ex-Chairman Chris Wright TweetingCHRIS WRIGHT @ChrisWChrysalis "Come on you R's...No luck for the R's."

 IanJTaylor ‏@IJTaylor8 -Meeting reps from the #QPR fan websites next week in a bid to improve communications across my department. Good feedback so far #QPR

SKY -  
Jamie Mackie feels QPR must beat relegation rivals to escape the drop
Jamie Mackie says QPR need to beat the teams around them if theyey have any chance of beating the drop.Rangers remain rock-bottom of the Premier League after Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Manchester United. Harry Redknapp's side are seven points from safety with just 11 games left.
"It is another game down, but no-one has stretched the margin," said Mackie.
"It's important for us to try and get a result, a few back-to-back results, so we could be in there.
"It is going to be hard but we've got to keep going, keep trying to play and get a result. That's all you can do."
On Saturday's game, Mackie conceded: "I think we were playing the champions, in my opinion. They are a top draw side and he (Rafael) has scored a worldie. If he hadn't done that, maybe we were in the game.
"It's hard when we keep going 1-0 down and have to chase a game. It's tough."
QPR have matches coming up against relegation rivals Southampton, Aston Villa, Wigan and Reading, with Mackie adding: "Next is Southampton and if we can get results against the teams in and around us it is almost like a double game."  Sky

By Darren Lewis
Happy birthday! Harry Redknapp looking forward to jolly abuse at Southampton
24 Feb 2013 22:32
After Manchester United drove another nail in Rangers' coffin, Harry's facing 90 minutes of being called a 'scummer' when he visits old club
Harry Redknapp is looking forward to a few songs from Southampton’s fans on his birthday this Saturday.
The QPR boss will be 66 when he takes his men to St Mary’s trying to pinch the three points he believes will help Rangers to stay up.
He joked: “I’ve been thinking to myself, ‘There is no better way to spend my birthday than spend 90 minutes getting abuse at Southampton Football Club.
“They’ll be calling me ‘scummer’ because of my time at Portsmouth.
“That is a great way to spend my 66th birthday.”

QPR1st  -
Club confirm u-turn on Ladies Women’s Super League bid
Published February 21, 2013
Following concerns raised by the QPR1st Supporters Trust, the club has confirmed to The Trust that despite previously announcing its intention to apply for a position in the Women’s Super League for next season, that they will no longer be putting in a bid.
The application process to join the WSL will not re-open until 2018 – a move that will now set back Ladies football at QPR for many years as they will not be able to progress further than their current position. They will effectively be locked out of being able to reach the highest competitive level available in the UK.
The WSL will expand for the 2014 season from one division of eight teams to two divisions of up to 20 clubs – with promotion and relegation between the two divisions.
The news means that QPR Ladies, who currently compete in the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League, will likely lose all of its key players to WSL clubs and struggle to attract those of the standard required to play in the league pyramid beneath the WSL after it’s restructured. The club confirmed its intent to support and look to develop a QPR Ladies team that will compete in the structure below the WSL.
The Trust would like the club to outline their commitment to the Ladies teams in more detail and including use of the new training ground facility and make a pledge that when the application process re-opens that we will be in a position to put in a solid bid for inclusion into the WSL. The Trust would also like to remind the club of its responsibility to the QPR community and the value in social inclusion and equality – whether it’s QPR adults or children – male or female. The supporters expect a level of fairness, dignity and respect shown to all of its own and for the image and reputation of QPR to be protected and upheld.
The Trust has sponsored several QPR Ladies players over the past few seasons and offered to assist the club with their application, so is bitterly disappointed by this decision. Portsmouth, a club in administration – and other teams in divisions below QPR Ladies have signalled their intent to put in bids and they will all leapfrog the QPR Ladies team if successful. The club needs to develop a plan to ensure the strength of QPR Ladies future. The Trust will continue to support the Ladies team and will be happy to assist the club in its work with QPR Ladies.

« Four members of the Supporters Trust attend Fans Forum
QPR1st welcomes clubs intent to improve communication with supporters
Published February 21, 2013

The QPR1st Supporters Trust are pleased that the club’s new Chief Operating Officer Mark Donnelly has been in touch and responded to queries directly from The Trust at the Fans Forum.

We see this as a positive step in the right direction and we welcome the news that the club intends to hold more regular meetings with QPR1st, QPR LSA and the Official Supporters Club as well as regular Fan Forums.

The Trust would like to welcome Mark to QPR and believe his appointment is crucial to the club improving its day to day operations. Good luck and all the best in the role!

The club have yet to announce when these fan group meetings will commence and we will notify the member base and supporters as soon as dates are confirmed.


Tony Fernandes ‏@tonyfernandes
I am optimistic as ever. I'm still smiling. Its the next 8 games. Lots of good things.

@tonyfernandes: Good chat with Harry on the future come what may. We know what we have to do. Many points to play for.”

“@tonyfernandes: No. RT @Tiote_in_Toon: @tonyfernandes do you regret firing Neil Warnock? It appears that was when it started to go wrong.”

“@tonyfernandes: I'm sure he will. RT @reecetop10: @tonyfernandes will harry be staying come what may? That's what we all won't to know #RTID”

Not sure how many times I can pledge. Hahaha. But I'm pledging. Aint going anywhere as long as the fans want me. RT @C14R4N: @tonyfernandes can you, right now, pledge that you'll be sticking with us for many seasons to come ? It really would settle our nerves tony!

“@tonyfernandes: I will. I'm responsible for this mess ultimately. I have heard the fans and I will stay and fix it. I really love ...http://t.co/SUDNy3IlIl

Hogan Ephraim þ@HoganEphraim


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