Vital Football

Latest QPR News

The Brentford Take-Over Saga

The Brentford Take-Over Saga

Dennis Signy OBE speaks to Vital QPR once more, about his time within Brentford and the possible take-over by Queens Park Rangers in 1967.

Signy who previous spoke to Vital QPR concerning his time under Jim Gregory and Alec Stock, now moves to speak about Rangers potential acquisition of Brentford in 1967 as well as John Lyall agreeing to manage Rangers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The biggest story of my career over 60 years in newspapers and football came in 1967 ... the QPR bid to take over Brentford.

The headline story went round the world yet, strangely for me, I did not write a word on the subject. I was general manager of Brentford at the time - in fact, I started the whole saga.

It was a chance remark I made to Jim Gregory that sparked off the soccer sensation of 1967. Billy Gray was my team manager at Brentford - having turned down an offer from Alec Stock to join him with Rangers - and he and I were standing in Ellerslie Road waiting for my wife to arrive for a game against Carlisle United, when we saw Jim.

The previous Saturday Bernard Joy, the famous ex-centre half who wrote so authoratively over the years for the Evening Standard, had produced a feature on the old theme of ground sharing and had linked Brentford and QPR as logical clubs to tie up.

Jim asked: 'How many do you think we'll get tonight?'

I told him: 'I don't know - about 18,000. If you were playing at Griffin Park you'd get 30,000' (in actual fact the gate was 19,146).

From that casual remark we progressed to a discussion on Joy's ground-sharing theme and, when Jim Gregory said that he might be interested in pursuing this further I said I would mention it to my chairman, Jack Dunnett, Brentford's MP chairman.

I did - and that started the train of events that led to the eventual take-over bid. The two chairmen went into the appeals of ground-sharing but moved on to discuss the possibility of Rangers buying the Brentford ground - capacity at the time 38,000.

Various idea were thrashed around by the two wealthy chairman, including Brentford using Griffin Park on alternate weeks as tenants of Rangers.

Homely Loftus Road, as I recorded at the time, was Rangers' 16th home and I dubbed them as veritable gypsies of the soccer scene in historical parlance - the happy wanderers.

I remember sitting in on some of the preliminary discussions as a modestly paid journalist who had moved into football management and knew more about headlines than balance sheets. I did understand, though, that both clubs were losing money heavily.

I was fascinated hearing sums of thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds being bandied about between the Mayfair solicitor who was my chairman and the self-made millionaire from Rangers.

It was like Monopoly - with real money. I used to smile at being asked to intervene with important decisions.

The discussions evolved into this: - Rangers were to buy Griffin Park for £220,000 and were to sell Loftus Road to he council for £310,000. The £90,000 surplus was intended to be used to improve Griffin Park. I was to be in publicity and fund-raising projects.

What was not known even when the story broke in the newspapers and on radio and television was that the two clubs were UNDER CONTRACT. After he breakdown of the merger talks Jim Gregory had proposed to Jack Dunnett: 'We'll buy you out, shares, ground, the players, the lot'.

The deal was announced on Jim's 39th birthday. Alec Stock was to be overall manager and Billy Gray and Bill Dodgin the coaches. I, the ideas man of the project, was bombarded by telephone.

The Daily Mail headlined: 'Fans call it a sell -out'. The Daily Mirror: 'Goodbye, Brentford' .

The next crowd at Griffin Park was a best-of-season 10, 650 and the fans left us in no doubt what they thought of the idea. 'Who done it? Dunnett dunnit' was the poster I remember.

To cut it short, it never went through and I resigned some weeks later and Billy Gray followed me out of Griffin Park when Dunnett handed over to new chairman Ron Blindell.

Would it have been such a bad thing? I recall Alec Stock's words: 'This would be a great thing for us. If agreement is reached it will mean that we have a first-class ground for what is already a first-class team'. Jim Gregory said: 'Economically it was a good proposition for Rangers'.

Ironically, when I joined Rangers as chief executive alongside manager Jim Smith in the Eighties, another take-over propelled Jim Gregory and the club into the headlines. I was not involved in the talks between Jim and Fulham chairman David Bulstrode that led to the infamous Fulham Park Rangers proposition.

I was not part of that plan and I left Rangers when David Bulstrode, with whom I got on well, took over as chairman.

Unfortunately that episode ended my long association with Jim Gregory. Despite the eventual acrimony I have outstanding memories of our years together.

One, which I can't remember if it ever made the headlines, was when I persuaded Jim that John Lyall, the West Ham United manager and one of my closest friends in football, should fill a managerial vacancy with Rangers.

To cut it short, I joined John, his assistant, Mick McGiven, and former Spurs assistant Eddie Bailey at Jim's home on Wimbledon Common. After hours of negotiations, with John even being told that he could have a lake to fish in at a home Rangers would find for him in the Marlow area, we all drank champagne to celebrate the appointment of the trio.

The next day the West Ham chairman, who had given Rangers permission to talk to John, refused to let him go.

Ah well, you can't win 'em all!

Vital QPR would like to thank Dennis once again

If you would like to read part one concerning Signy's association with Jim Gregory and former R's boss Alex Stock click here.

TOP STORIES

Waddock Wants To Bounce Back.

Rangers Capture Spanish Starlet.

Cookie Comes Home!.


We want to know YOUR thoughts!

To have your say you can comment in the space provided below, or chat about it on the forum.

VITAL QPR IS 100% UNOFFICIAL - FOR THE FANS, BY THE FANS

Exclusive to Vital ! Read now ! The Vital Boxing John H Stacey Interview




Join the FREE Telegraph Championship Fantasy Football League!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Boxer
Date:Tuesday August 5 2008
Time: 7:47AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Queens Park Rangers Articles

Stats: Rotherham United v QPR

All the stats from Rotherham United (1) vs (0) QPR, New York Stadium, 10.12.16 - 15.00 Att: 8704

Rangers Rattled At Rotherham

QUEENS Park Rangers slumped to an away defeat to rock-bottom Rotherham United - and in truth the odd goal scoreline flattered the appalling visiting side who have some soul searching to do after a thi

Rotherham United v QPR - Team News

Ngbakoto returns for Rangers ahead of clash in South Yorkshire

One to Watch - Danny Ward

Ryan Forrester takes a look at Rotherham danger-man - Danny Ward

Archived Vital QPR Articles

Vital QPR articles from

Site Journalists

Boxer
Editor email
Profile
sandydl
no email
Profile
Superhoop50
no email
Profile
danielqpr
no email
Profile
JackSupple
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MotM v Rotherham
Suggested By:
Smithies100%
Onuoha0%
Hall0%
Lynch0%
Bidwell0%
Sandro0%
Ngbakoto0%
Luongo0%
Cousins0%
Chery0%
Washington0%
Polter0%
Gladwin0%
Wszolek0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 20 14 1 5 43 25
2 Brighton 20 12 6 2 42 19
3 Reading 20 11 4 5 37 2
4 Huddersfield 20 10 3 7 33 -2
5 Leeds Utd 20 10 2 8 32 1
6 Sheff Wed 20 9 4 7 31 0
7 Birmingham 20 8 7 5 31 -2
8 Norwich 20 9 3 8 30 3
9 Fulham 20 7 8 5 29 9
10 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
11 Barnsley 20 8 4 8 28 4
12 Preston 20 8 4 8 28 2
13 Aston Villa 20 6 10 4 28 2
14 Bristol City 20 8 3 9 27 3
15 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
16 Brentford 20 7 4 9 25 -1
17 Ipswich 20 6 7 7 25 -2
18 Q.P.R. 20 6 5 9 23 -9
19 Wolves 20 5 7 8 22 -3
20 Burton 20 5 7 8 22 -5
21 Blackburn 20 5 5 10 20 -8
22 Cardiff 20 5 5 10 20 -12
23 Wigan 20 4 6 10 18 -6
24 Rotherham 20 2 4 14 10 -25
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Queens Park Rangers Results (view all)

Queens Park Rangers Fixtures (view all)

Dec 14 2016 7:45PM : Derby County (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 18 2016 12:00PM : Aston Villa (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 27 2016 12:30PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 31 2016 3:00PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Ipswich Town (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 12 2017 7:45PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.QPR4Me6
2.The Uncredibale Hulk3
3.dustman3
4.ImSitiv1
Write for Vital Football