Date:Wednesday May 10 2006
Ben Kosky's interview with Rangers' Chairman Gianni Paladini.
From the Kilburn Times (10/5/06)
How soon do you expect to appoint the new manager?
'It's public knowledge that Gary will be the manager and Macca will be his assistant - the players all know that, so let's make it clear and there's no confusion about it.
'Gary wants to be his own man and he'll bring in his own people.
'I cannot believe that Ollie will be out of work for the next two years - he's an up and coming manager, very popular and I'm positive he'll get a job by the end of this month. If he doesn't, we'll have to do something about it.'
With hindsight, do you feel you handled Ian Holloway's situation in the right way?
'When I meet other chairmen, there's not one that doesn't think I did the right thing and they all think they'd do the same.
'If Gary, after three months, said he wanted to go and speak with, say, Birmingham City or Manchester United when he has a two-year contract with me, it's the end.
'Goodbye, don't bother to collect your stuff - I'll send it to you. It's as simple as that.
'What amazes me is this - a player under contract cannot be approached by another club, or they get fined. A manager under contract can be approached by another club, go and talk to them and he doesn't get fined by anybody.
'I don't see how that can work. Leicester approached me and I don't think it should be allowed for them to ask when my manager is under contract for another two and a half years.'
The season ended with a very poor run of results under Gary Waddock, so why do you feel he is the right man to take QPR forward?
'My personal view is that I've enjoyed the football under Gary - we played some very good games against Norwich and Reading recently.
'I really don't have much time for people who say 'good luck, bad luck' - I'm looking at the way we play.
'There was never any danger of us going down and in our division it makes no difference to be 21st or seventh. It's about whether you are preparing for next season.
'The reason why we played some younger players and stuck to that in the last five or six games was to see the strength of what we've got in the camp.
'It's only fair to Gary to judge him on the players he brings in. If we're unsuccessful next season, it'll be a problem and he knows that.'
Is it realistic to expect a push for the top six next season while you're trying to cut costs?
'Unless they live on Mars or the Moon, everybody knows that unless you get success, the fans won't stand for you and we're all in the same boat. I don't want to come here and not enjoy the games.
'It will be the fourth year since I became involved with QPR and I've never been in a position where we're fighting relegation. I want us to be in a good position by Christmas to challenge for the play-offs and, if we're not, Gary knows the situation.
'Queens Park Rangers fans are not stupid - they're brought up to be entertained and they like good football, so I think they understand what we're trying to do.
'The good news is that we are up on ticket sales compared with this time last year, so people are already responding.'
What's the financial state of the club compared to when you took over as chairman?
'Things are much better - we expect to be able to bring our loss to a manageable level, between Â£200,000 and Â£300,000 next season. We have a new shirt sponsor and we hope to have a different sponsor for the shorts as well.
'We've reduced our budget for next season. This year was Â£5.5m and next year will be nearer Â£4m - that's our plan for the next three years and this is why we're reducing the number of players.
'There are just too many players and we seem to have the longest squad list wherever we go. We want to have a squad of about 25, that's more or less what teams like Watford have got.'
How has the squad size been allowed to balloon - is it a direct result of signing players with persistent injury problems such as Dean Sturridge?
'To be fair, Sturridge's record was outstanding - he scored goals left, right and centre and I'm not blaming Ollie for the fact that it didn't work out.
'He felt Sturridge was worth a gamble and we took it, but when you cut open the melon it's not always nice and red.'
'At any club, you can have the best players in the world, but if they're injured through silly things, you're forced to get more players in all the time.
'That's what happened to Ollie this year - we got seven players in during the summer and he had to bring more because of the injuries. Players' wages have to be paid, but we also have to pay the bills.
'I don't want people injured all the time for no reason. It was always the same - hamstring, hamstring, hamstring - and something can't be right there.
'I believe that going to Ibiza last summer wasn't the best preparation, especially working on the plastic pitch and I won't take the team there again.
'In Italy there will be better training facilities - and also it's an easy way for me to get home for a week!'
From the Kilburn Times.
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