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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Assessing Tony Fernandes' "Sports Failures"....Clarke Carlisle's #QPR Suicide Attempt -Footballers, Depression and Suicide...Flashback: Nick Ward Joins QPR....Samba "Explains"...Taiwo to Turkey




The Economic Times/Binoy Prabhakar - Why an assessment of AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes’ sports failures is important

- Harry Redknapp re Long-Distance Pre-Season Tours

- Guardian Article says Mclaren has 3 Month Contract

Daily Mail

Suffering in silence! Hundreds of players at risk of depression and suicide, says PFA boss Carlisle

By Joe Bernstein

In an effort to help the hundreds of footballers across the country suffering in silence from depression, Clarke Carlisle has opened up about the day he tried to kill himself when he was a young professional at QPR.

Carlisle, a well-respected figure who represented nine clubs in a 16-year playing career that ended last month, remains chairman of the players' union and was dubbed Britain's Brainiest Footballer before appearing on Question Time.
Harrowing tale: Players' boss Clarke Carlisle

Harrowing tale: Players' boss Clarke Carlisle

But as a scared and confused 21-year-old, he went to his local park in west London with 56 painkillers and a bottle of beer to wash them down, his mind struggling to cope with a serious injury he thought would not only cost him his career but also respect from his friends and family.
Football's suicide secret

The documentary by film-maker Anna Keel, part of the BBC’s It’s A Mad World season, will be screened on BBC3, Tuesday, at 9pm

'I'd decided that ending my life was the best and most pain-free solution for everyone,' said Carlisle, who is working with the FA to create a specialist, confidential hotline for players suffering from depression. 'It wasn't a cry for help. I downed the pills and was expecting some really dramatic ending, like a movie scene.

'When that didn't happen, I thought I'd go back to my flat, have another can and go to sleep [forever], job done. It's frightening, really frightening, to think about my state of mind back then.'

Fortunately for Carlisle, he was found in time and had his stomach pumped in hospital, although depression and alcoholism continued to dog him throughout spells with Blackpool, QPR, Leeds, Watford, Luton, Burnley, Preston, York and Northampton.

Now the 33-year-old's turbulent experiences have led him to present a challenging and sensitive TV documentary, Football's Suicide Secret, in which he speaks to the sister of the late Wales manager, Gary Speed, and to other players who have attempted to take their lives.

The list of football's suicide victims is growing: Speed, Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, Justin Fashanu, Alan Davies, who played in an FA Cup final for Manchester United, Lou Macari's son, Jonathan, and Paul Vaessen, of Arsenal.
Call: PFA chief Carlisle wants a confidential hotline for sufferers

Call: PFA chief Carlisle wants a confidential hotline for sufferers

Alarmingly, Carlisle, in his only newspaper interview before his programme is broadcast on BBC Three on Tuesday, thinks the cases we know about are just the tip of the iceberg.

'I will categorically state there are hundreds of players suffering with this,' he said. 'The numbers in society are one in four and footballers are members of that society. The thing about football is that the reluctance to come forward and speak means there are so many guys sitting under the radar.

'As PFA chairman, I've had 15-20 guys come to me and say, "Clarke, there's something wrong with me and I don't know what it is or where I should go". All they know is they want to be out of football, out of the system. And those are just the ones who had my number and felt they could call. You cannot undersell this.'

Given Carlisle's Mensa-level IQ, there will be those who think he should have known better than to 'drink through an entire summer' as he confesses in his documentary after losing a play-off final. Others will regard footballers in general as too well paid to deserve sympathy.

But he believes the view is born out of misunderstanding. 'Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs adjustment. Your wealth, job or intelligence don't make you immune,' he said. 'It's as bona fide an illness as gastro-enteritis. It needs to be diagnosed and treated. Stephen Fry is probably the most intelligent man I've ever come across - and he has suffered from it.'

To combat his demons, Clarke has turned heavily in the past to drink - the Achilles' heel of many other prominent players such as Paul Gascoigne, Tony Adams and Paul McGrath.
'My belief and experience is that the majority of substance abuse is born out of depression,' said Carlisle. 'I believe my alcoholism was to try to alter my state of mind, and that was because of my general level of unhappiness.

'Now my depression has been diagnosed, I take drugs every morning. It's not a "happy pill" that makes challenges go away, but it balances my brain so I can see clearly the challenges I face.'

Carlisle says the problem for players in the macho world of football is admitting they may need help. 'Many people see football as the greatest job in the world,' he said. 'My parents had to raise four kids on next to nothing. How could I tell them I was struggling when I was in this fantastic vocation? So I put on this facade that everything was fantastic.

'There's also a fear of divulging your innermost thoughts to anyone in the game. Football's grapevine is so quick.' In one momentous and emotionally-charged day, Carlisle returned to the park in Acton where he had tried to end it all, then travelled that afternoon to meet Speed's sister, Lesley. 'It was incredibly heavy,' he said. 'I was really apprehensive because no amount of sympathy is going to be enough. The only thing that had any power was empathy, letting Lesley know I had gone as far as Gary had and understood the damage depression can do.'

Afterwards, a clearly-moved Carlisle vows the only way Speed's death will not be in vain is to try to save others. He hopes the phone hotline for the country's 50,000 current and ex-footballers is a good starting point. 'The first point of contact is vital,' he said. 'If someone has got to the point where they want to make that call, it has to be to the right person. It is vital the phoneline should sit outside the industry, where they can speak to someone safe in the knowledge their problems will be taken seriously and in confidence.'

Carlisle also wants proper research into what are the most common triggers of depression in the game; to what extent injuries, moving clubs, retirement and other factors mess up players' heads.

Above all, he hopes players can break the traditional football culture of acting tough and start talking about problems. 'A huge part of the solution is the ability to verbalise your fears,' said Carlisle. 'And having that trusting person there not to take advantage of your vulnerability.

'Meeting Lesley Speed has made me feel I have to do something.'


By Steve Stammers

Christopher Samba insists QPR exit was a difficult decision as he prepared for Championship battle

6 Jul 2013 22:30

The defender returned to Anzhi ­Makhachkala for £12.5million earlier this week, but insists: "I was not planning to go anywhere"
Return: Christopher Samba says it wasn't an easy decision to leave Loftus Road Return: Christopher Samba says it wasn't an easy decision to leave Loftus Road

Christopher Samba has explained the reasons behind his remarkable £12.5million move from QPR after just six months at Loftus Road.

Samba has returned to ­Russian team Anzhi ­Makhachkala – the team he left to join QPR in January.

Samba re-joined for the same money paid out by QPR and revealed: “It was a big ­decision and not one that was easy to make. I wanted to help the club to get straight back into the Premier League, where they should be.”

But he met with QPR ­chairman Tony Fernandes after Anzhi made an offer too good to refuse.

“I was getting mentally ­prepared for the battle in the Championship to come back up,” said central ­defender Samba who has signed a three-year deal in Russia.

Pass and move: Samba was ready for a season in the Championship
Paul Gilham

“Tony Fernandes is a great man. Tony wanted to keep me and help him back up, but I believe the offer from Russia was too good to let it pass by.

“I was not planning to go anywhere. I wanted to reward the club for their support by helping them come back up.”

Samba played only 10 times for Rangers and revealed he was never fit during his spell at Loftus Road.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent fit ­during my time at the club,” said the 29-year-old Congo international. “So I couldn’t give my best to the club and the fans who deserved better. They are great fans and then stood by the team despite the results.”

Head-scratcher: Harry Redknapp and the club will be ready to battle for promotion
Michael Regan

But Samba believes that his move back to Russia will leave a legacy that could have a positive spin-off for Rangers by enabling them to bring in players to re-inforce Harry Redknapp’s squad.

“Rangers already have a great squad," said Samba. “But it is true that with the money they have got, I hope they do some smart recruitment to get the players they need to face the battle for promotion.”

Samba has arranged for his family to join him in Russia for this second spell, and he added: “My family are with me this time in Russia. That was a big part of my conditions.”

Samba’s agent Walid Bouzid added: “Christopher has a ­special relationship with Tony Fernandes, but QPR could not miss out on a great deal.” - Mail

Flashback 7 Years

- Ward Joins QPR
July 7, 2006 QPR Official Site

Nick Ward Joins QPR!
QPR Official Site - WARD SIGNS

Australian midfielder Nick Ward has today signed a two year deal with QPR.
Ward jetted in to Heathrow early this morning and was taken straight to the club's Harlington training ground for a medical.
With the all clear after being put through his paces by physio Prav Mathema, the 21 year old then put pen to paper at the main ground.
Speaking of his move, Ward said: "I want to cement my place in the team as a first team regular and I've already set myself a target of scoring over 10 goals this season.
"Of course I've also got a team target of getting QPR into the play offs come next May."
Ward made 21 appearances for Hyundai A-League side Perth Glory last season, bagging five goals - has represented his country at all levels and only just missed out on a spot in the Socceroo's World Cup squad.

Ward also won this year's A-League 'Rising Star' award and was recently included in a 'Who's Who' of the best young players to watch on the FIFA website.

Speaking of the difference between English and Australian football, he said: "The game is a lot slower over in Australia, mainly because of the heat, whereas here it's a lot quicker with not as much time on the ball.
"I know that in the lower leagues especially they like to play the long ball game, but not in the Championship and especially not at QPR next year.
"I like to play good football, that's what I've always tried to do, I like to get the ball down and pass it, get forward and score goals."
Ward has been given today off to recover from the 24 hour journey, but will train with those who are not travelling to Aldershot on Saturday morning.
He will then travel to the Recreation Ground to see his new team mates in action.Tune in to QPR World on Monday for an exclusive interview with our latest signing.

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