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10 Years Ago Today
Ian Holloway 1 Iain Dowie 0 - QPR Reach the Playoff Final at the Millenium Stadium (unaware of the Fire Alarm to come)
QPR (4-4-2): Day; Padula (Williams, 70), shiteetu, Carlisle, Kelly; Palmer, Gallen, Bircham, McLeod; Thomson (Pacquette, 55), Furlong.
(QPR win 2-1 on agg)
By ERIC BEAUCHAMP
PAUL FURLONG shot QPR into the Second Division play-off final and sent boss Ian Holloway into a frenzy.
Rangers chief Holloway fired-up his players and fans by declaring they WILL beat Cardiff a week on Sunday at the Millennium Stadium.
The pumped-up QPR boss let his emotions spill over when Furlong's 82nd-minute strike finally saw off Oldham.
Holloway marched into the centre circle after celebrating fans had been cleared off the pitch. He then grabbed the announcer's microphone and made his pledge.
He roared: "Thank you for your support. You have put us back on the map. This is a proper football club!"
And Holloway added: "We are going to win it. See you in Cardiff."
He then let rip with a three chants of "Come on you R's!"
It was the sort of night the Loftus Road faithful thought they had seen the last of after slipping out of the Premiership seven years ago.
Another relegation campaign was compounded by watching their club almost go out of business.
But Holloway's honest graft has brought the smiles and belief back - and now QPR are just one match from making it into the same division as London rivals West Ham next season.
Holloway said: "What goes around, comes around and this club has had so many downs that I think it is our turn to have an up now.
"I believe we've got the right ingredients to give ourselves a right chance. This place is special. I feel so proud. We've got a hell of a chance to be a big club now.
"These fans deserve it - we were playing for them and we did it.
"I know we're struggling financially but I hope I get a new suit out of it.
"We need some good clobber because I want us to feel great in Cardiff. Maybe someone could sponsor us?"
Rangers midfielder Marc Bircham said: "I think we deserved it. The fans erupted after we scored and I don't think the players could hear ourselves speak."
Only Cardiff stand in Holloway's path to Division One - and the showdown promises to be a belter.
What will Holloway's reaction be if his side deliver his promise
Furlong ensures QPR get the tripQPR win 2-1 on aggregate
Football League One Play-Offs Semi-Final 2nd Leg
QPR 1 Furlong 82 Oldham 0
David Alexander at Loftus Road
It has been a long time since QPR fans have had anything to shout about. Relegated from the Premiership seven years ago and dropping down to the third tier in 2001, Rangers' financial problems have been well documented.
It is a testament to Ian Holloway, a tenacious midfielder for the club and an equally determined manager, that the club now finds itself only 90 minutes from promotion back into the First Division.
Who would have thought it after their FA Cup exit to Vauxhall Motors, though Holloway was keen to stress how much progress the club has made since that inglorious occasion.
"What goes around comes around," said Holloway. "We have had so many downs at this club, it's about time we had an up. We have one hell of a chance to be a big club again and no matter what the obstacles we've faced, we've managed to get over it."
One goal was always going to be enough to win this open but finely balanced tie, and Paul Furlong's late strike was just about deserved.
It was tough on Iain Dowie, whose side contributed to the spectacle, but he is confident his side will come back stronger.
"It hurts like hell but the players should be proud and it stiffens my resolve," said Dowie. "The players have given their heart and soul and we want to do even better next year."
Dowie spent three years at QPR and was briefly in charge at Loftus Road in 1998. His future at Boundary Park remains in doubt.
He certainly did not help himself with a Freudian slip during the post-match press conference. "It's no secret that I have not signed a contract and we'll see what happens but as long as I can take QPR forward, I will be here." Watch out, Holloway.
Kevin McLeod, the winger on loan from Everton, twice went close and Danny shiteetu headed into the side-netting but Oldham should have taken the lead when Clint Hill flicked on a corner and Wayne Andrews headed on to the post.
Darren Sheridan was fortunate to escape when he appeared to handle Kevin Gallen's cross and then fired just wide straight afterwards.
Pogliacomi kept Oldham in the game with a superb save from Richard Pacquette, racing across to deny the Rangers forward when he seemed certain to break the deadlock. But, when the goalkeeper scuffed a clearance, Clarke Carlisle lofted the ball over Oldham's defence and Furlong kept his nerve to beat Pogliacomi from 10 yards.
Andrews was sent off in the last minute for violent conduct and Rangers now face Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium for a place in the First Division.
"We've got the ingredients to go there and give ourselves a chance," added Holloway. "It's another test for us but we've passed them all so far."
QPR (4-4-2): Day; Padula (Williams, 70), shiteetu, Carlisle, Kelly; Palmer, Gallen, Bircham, McLeod; Thomson (Pacquette, 55), Furlong.
Booked : Furlong.
Oldham (3-5-2): Pogliacomi; Hall, Hill, Haining; Armstrong, Low, Murray (Carrs, 83), Sheridan (Duxbury 83), Eyres; Eyre (Corrazin, 72), Andrews.
Booked : Eyre.
Sent off : Andrews.
Referee : M Clattenberg.
Oldham Official Site Match Report
Video: Watch The Game -
FIVE YEARS AGO - DOWIE APPOINTED
QPR Official Site EXCLUSIVE: DOWIE APPOINTED
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Iain Dowie as First Team Coach with immediate effect.
The 43 year-old, who spent three years in W12 during a distinguished playing career, has today (Wednesday 14th May 2008) put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Loftus Road.
Speaking about the appointment, QPR Sporting Director Gianni Paladini, said: "Iain Dowie has a proven track record in the Championship and we're delighted to have him on board."
Dowie, who enjoyed a brief stint as Caretaker Manager of the R's, before working under Gerry Francis in the role of Assistant Manager, also expressed his delight, commenting: "This is a very exciting long-term project.
"I'm very privileged to have been given the opportunity under the new ownership to return to the Club where I served my managerial apprenticeship.
"I've been thoroughly impressed by the new investors and their fresh, aggressive and innovative approach to all sporting matters, as well as the marketing and commercial aspect of this Football Club.
"QPR is a fantastic Club, with a steep and successful history and I'm going to relish the challenge that lies ahead." QPR
QPR Profile of Dowie - IAIN DOWIE: IN PROFILE
Born in January 1965, Iain Dowie enjoyed an illustrious 13-year professional playing career.
The striker began his career at Luton Town, for whom he scored 16 goals in 66 league appearances.
A short spell at West Ham United followed in 1991, but it was during a four-year spell at Southampton that he really made his name, scoring 30 goals in 122 league appearances for the South Coast outfit.
A brief career at Crystal Palace followed in 1995, but following the Eagles' relegation, Dowie returned to West Ham United for three years.
His final spell as a professional was with Rangers, for whom he made 31 league appearances, scoring two goals.
Dowie also enjoyed a brief stint as Caretaker Manager of the R's before working under Gerry Francis in the role of Assistant Manager.
During his time in the professional game, Dowie accumulated 59 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring an impressive 12 goals at international level.
After his three-year spell as number two to Francis, Dowie left QPR to become Assistant Manager of Oldham Athletic.
However, following the dismissal of Oldham Manager Mick Wadsworth, Dowie took over the reigns and led The Latics to the Division Two play-off's, where they lost a two-legged semi-final to QPR.
In December 2003, Dowie was appointed Manager of Crystal Palace, inheriting a squad that were underachieving in the lower reaches of the second tier.
Undeterred, his impact was immediate, as he guided the Eagles to 17 victories from 23 matches - and a sixth place finish.
Victory in the play-off final against his former Club West Ham United completed a quite remarkable turnaround, and although Palace were relegated back to the Championship at the first time of asking, Dowie spurned the opportunity to move on to pastures new.
He did, however, leave Crystal Palace in May 2006, joining Charlton Athletic just eight days later.
His stint at The Valley lasted just 15 matches though and after a brief period out of the game, he was appointed Coventry City Manager in February 2007.
The Sky Blues finished 17th in the Championship in his first season in charge, only for Dowie to leave The Ricoh Arena in February. QPR
Yesterday's QPR Report Dowie Profile
QPR OFFICIAL SITE - FITZ THE BILL
Fitz Hall has revealed his delight at the Board's decision to name Iain Dowie as Luigi De Canio's successor.
The R's defender, who was previously signed by Dowie for both Oldham Athletic and Crystal Palace, told www.qpr.co.uk: "He's a players' Manager and I am sure all the lads here will get on with him. I just hope he still likes me!
"When he was at Palace he was considered the next big thing in terms of management.
"He did incredibly well there to get them promoted through the play-offs, and I am sure he will be a success here."
As excited as Hall is by the arrival of Dowie, the 27 year-old centre-back has warned his team-mates to expect tough sessions when the new campaign gets underway.
"There will be a lot of changes," he said.
"Training will be completely different. It will be far more intense.
"It is going to be hard work, but I'm sure it's going to be a good environment to work in.
"In my opinion he is the man to get us into the Premiership - and that's what we are all working towards." QPR
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
QPR Chairman Flavio Briatore Outlines His Plans for QPR
QPR Chairman Briatore Speaks...
Marketing Week - F1 boss on how he will turn QPR into super-brand
The lift to Flavio Briatore’s Knightsbridge office is somewhat snug but extravagantly appointed, lined as it is with faux snakeskin. A full-length mirror hangs on one wall, surrounded by a wildly baroque gilded frame.
The inner sanctum itself is fittingly swish for an international playboy, boasting a huge glass slab of a desk which squats in front of a throne-like leather chair embroidered with the initials FB. Briatore, boss of Renault’s F1 team, sits flanked by assistants and consults them as to whether he is meant to be talking – exclusively to Marketing Week – about F1, Queens Park Rangers or, cryptically, his flat. “QPR,” he is informed.
Queens Park Rangers FC is Briatore’s new baby. In September last year, he swooped – “an hour before bankruptcy was declared,” he claims – and bought the troubled west London club.
QPR was at a low ebb, languishing at the lower end of the Championship with scandals in the boardroom and a team brawl during a “friendly” match with the Chinese Olympic team. When potential star striker Ray Jones was killed in a car crash and the club faced going into administration, things looked terminal to the fans.
Together with close “we talk 20 times a day” friend, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Briatore paid £1m for the club and agreed to clear £13m of its debts. Since then, the pair have been joined by Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man.
Billed as the world’s richest football club, QPR’s financial footing is now more than secure. Collectively, the trio are worth over £30bn, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, making Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's fortune of £11.7bn look almost paltry.
“Yes, none of us was looking for a job,” Briatore smiles, adding that they are not looking for what he calls “main” money.
But behind the glamour, the unimaginable wealth and the procession of supermodel girlfriends, Briatore is a shrewd operator. Though QPR may seem like an unlikely rival to Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea as a “global brand” – its stated aim – Briatore is not prone to investing in unsuccessful ventures.
He took over the Benetton F1 team in 1989 and transformed it from also-rans into world champions within five years. Briatore says what he did at Benetton was “simple”, but it can only have helped that in 1991 he signed a promising young German driver called Michael Schumacher.
The goal is now to pull off a similar transformation at QPR. “In F1 there is a large team behind a product – the car. It is the same at QPR, the team, the football is only the product. In sport, business efficiency is everything,” he says.
Briatore explains: “If I’m going to invest in champagne, I’ll go to France, if I decide to invest in ham then I’ll go to Parma. If you’re going to be in football, you have to be in England. And football is treated like a business here.”
There appears to be no sentiment involved for any of the new owners, in contrast to the likes of Harrods boss Mohamed al Fayed at Fulham, among others. None were avid supporters of the club before the deal, but Ecclestone was linked to buying a number of clubs, including Chelsea before Abramovich beat him to the punch.
The strategy that lies behind QPR’s position in this new chapter is based on “past, present and future”. Drawing on the club’s heroes of old like Stan Bowles and Rodney Marsh, the new regime intends to emphasise the club’s heritage and position the club as a “London jewel”.
Much is made of QPR’s ground Loftus Road being the “closest club to central London” and the club’s essential “Londonness” will be vital when marketing the QPR brand overseas.
A change of ownership and subsequent “change in direction” of a football club is a concern for supporters. Briatore, while not exactly dismissive of die-hard QPR fans, is clear on his position. “The first thing to remember is that without us, there was no QPR. It’s as simple as that.”
He adds: “I don’t want everybody telling me what I need to be doing. People believe the club is owned by the fans but it’s only a few that put their money down. For the rest of the people, it’s easy to criticise [when] they maybe spend £20.”
The plan is for the Championship side to win promotion to the Premiership within three years. Briatore says QPR will develop its own young team that will take the club up and keep it up.
The team’s performance improved dramatically after Briatore installed his friend “Gigi” Di Canio as manager but Briatore believes it would have been a “disaster” if QPR had been promoted this season. “I don’t want to be in an elevator, going up and down,” he says. Di Canio departed “by mutual consent” last week. Everything about QPR is set to be spruced up. Loftus Road will be improved, perhaps with extra seating, while Briatore’s exclusive Mayfair eaterie, Cipriani, will provide catering for the QPR restaurant.
Yet can the club hope to succeed against the odds? Just this month Newcastle United boss and former England manager Kevin Keegan spoke of the vicious circle that drives English football – run almost exclusively by a cartel of the big four clubs, nobody else has either the money or the marketing power to compete. QPR certainly has the cash, and could – eventually – compete in terms of commerce and pulling power.
One of Briatore’s great strengths in F1 has been his ability to attract highly lucrative sponsorship deals. He says he already has agreements with “three of four international companies” for QPR. At the end of March, the club announced it had signed a five-year deal worth £20m, the biggest ever Championship deal of its kind, with Italian firm Lotto Sport Italia as kit manufacturer.
And while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea seem to be chasing the Asia dream, through Mittal the connection with India will be very important for QPR’s expansion into new markets. Mittal’s son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, has been installed as vice-chairman and says the club is looking to develop its links with India.
While QPR fans will not see an Abramovich-style spending spree this summer, Briatore is less parsimonious in his personal life. In one corner of the room sits a glass-encased model of a very large yacht. Asked if he owns the real thing: “Not yet,” he twinkles. Interview
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