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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

QPR Report Tuesday: Two Years Ago Today: QPR Promoted as Champions after FA "Faurlingate" Ruling...Mumbai Trainees...Birthdays....Flashbacks

 - Two Years ago Today: FA Faurlingate Ruling....QPR Promoted as Champions (as Lose at home to Leeds)

QPR History in Photos: From the 1880s to the 21st Century - The Bushman QPR Photo Archives



 - Two Years ago Today: FA Faurlingate Ruling....QPR Promoted as Champions (as Lose at home to Leeds)

- Birthday Yesterday for Jim Magilton (Flashback to QPR Arrival and Departure Statements!)

- Six Years ago: The Blitz Loan

- 17 Years ago (couple days) - QPR's Last Relegation from the Premiership

- Birthdays today, for Akos Buzksay (31) and Tony Sealy (54)

Two Match Suspension (Suspended) for Joey Barton



Monday 6 May 2013

How the fall of QPR restored my faith in football

It may sound wimpishly at odds with the spirit of the game, but I have discovered that I would prefer to support a team owned by someone I can respect


Following a football team as it is relegated from the top division of the game is one of the more miserable experiences which sport can offer. A defeat, a disappointing performance, leaves hope; being kicked out of the great champagne party of the Premiership to join the great, beery mob outside trying to get in, brings with it a more long-term despair. The sharp present pain leaves an after-ache which could last for years.
It is a slow fall, too. Every game from January onwards feels like the key moment of the season, and with every point dropped, the unthinkable becomes more possible, then more likely, then inevitable. I vividly remember the last time my team, Queens Park Rangers, were dumped from the Premiership in 1996. By rights, this debacle should feel even worse. There was so much hope: a chairman who invested in the club, a manager with a record of success (Harry Redknapp, pictured), players of class and pedigree.

All turned out to be a false dawn. The Rs, as they are known, are down and out – rich, ridiculed and relegated. Yet, to my surprise, the slow-motion crash of this season has restored my enthusiasm for football. The sneering pundit may have seen in QPR the unacceptable face of the game, with sky-high investment and overpaid, less than committed international players, all leading to disaster, but there has been a decency and dignity at the top of the management chain which seem more important than all that.

Sporting wisdom suggests that the soul of a club is its supporters, then the manager and the players; but in truth it is the chairman who defines its character, as surely as a head teacher does a school, or a proprietor a newspaper. Tony Fernandes, a Malaysian billionaire of whom I had previously never heard, has – unusually for a chairman of a football club – behaved like a grown-up. He may have made misjudgements, attempting to do too much too soon, hiring the wrong manager at a key moment, but he has faced his critics, shown loyalty to those he appointed, and respected fans, sometimes in the face of unpleasant abuse.

It is surprisingly rare, and it matters. My club has been owned by a grotesque galère of opportunists in recent years. One chairman was a sulking egotist who left when supporters loved him less than he expected. Other owners seemed in it solely for the money, their chief executive cheerfully admitting that they would buy a rival club if the terms were right, just as a farmer might buy some new land. Then there was the chairman who humiliated his managers, and a part-owner who took pride in not knowing the names of the players.

None of these men were people I would like to know personally – indeed they represent all that I like least in the business world – and yet I was shackled to them by my support of the club they owned. It was a nasty feeling, like supporting an evil regime.

It may sound wimpishly at odds with the spirit of the game, but I have discovered that I would prefer to support a team owned by someone I can respect, even if it is not in the top division. Lord Ouseley was right to comment on the nastiness unique to football, and people like Fernandes are needed to set the tone from the top.

Undeniably the past year has been rich in disaster: a high-profile player who lost his temper, another refusing to sit on the bench, a third this very day apparently requesting a transfer through the public forum of Twitter, defeats, deflections, bad luck. When things go wrong, most owners of football clubs whinge to the press, or fire employees, or turn on the fans, or look for a buyer. The fact that the chairman of my club has behaved throughout with straightforward, old-fashioned directness has reminded us why football can be a great game, and gives me hope that QPR will soon be back at the great Premiership party. Independent



Five youngsters enjoying QPR Academy experience ...

FIVE LUCKY teenagers from Mumbai recently arrived in London to take part in a three-week training programme with the QPR Academy after winning the Mumbai Soccer Challenge (MSC).

The MSC was set up by Programme Director Sanjiv Saran Mehra, in conjunction with R’s Vice-Chairman Amit Bhatia, Milind Deora, a Member of Parliament from the South Mumbai constituency, and Andy Evans, CEO of QPR in the Community Trust.

Working closely with the club, the MSC has expanded greatly since its inception four years ago. 

David Baker, QPR Academy’s Head of Education and Welfare, explained: “We have been working alongside Sanjiv to give young children from across Mumbai the chance to be trained by QPR coaches here in London. And from thousands of participants, five children were chosen to come over here for three weeks.”

Rudolf D'Souza (13), Arfat Ansari (15), Tanaay Shah (15), Uzair Ansari (15) and Praful Kumar (16) were all selected based on footballing ability and, having arrived a week ago, they are now working their way through an intensive programme at the Academy’s Concorde Club base.

“We have put something in place which gives these youngsters the chance to experience Academy life with us,” Baker continued. 

“Four of them have never been out of Mumbai before, so it is a great opportunity for them. It has given some of them the chance to do something they would never otherwise have had the opportunity to do, so it’s a great programme.

“They will experience what it is like to be a young, elite football player. They’re involved in the Academy programme and integrating with the Under 14s, Under 15s and Under 16s teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus attending training at the weekends.

“As well as that, they are heavily involved in all aspects of QPR. They have gone to Harlington and Loftus Road to watch the first team train and play, so it’s a very varied and exciting programme.

“I know Andy Evans has big hopes for this programme and the aim is to make it bigger and better.”  QPR


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