Ten Days That Shook The World
OK. An extremely hyperbolic title! But it's certainly been quite an intense past ten days for followers of Queen's Park Rangers (QPR). Where to begin?
On the managerial front, just days after Board members suggested that Acting manager Gareth Ainsworth would be given an extended opportunity to prove himself; it leaked out that the club was set to appoint a new manager.
Supposedly it was between former Italian manager Roberto Donadoni and Portugese Assistant Coach, Paulo Sousa. Sousa became the man. With Sousa, the ball remains out: He has no managerial experience; and no experience with English football or the English Championship. He is a Portugese international who played in Italy; and he reportedly 'comes highly recommended.'
The Sousa appointment followed in the aftermath of a brave cup loss against Manchester United and then a disappointing Championship defeat at home to Burnley. But if fans expected an immediate impact from the Sousa appointment, they would be disappointed: QPR crashed at a demoralised Watford (with Sousa not taking charge of the team).
A few days later, with Sousa in charge, QPR narrowly beat another demoralised team, Charlton who had just axed their manager. The Sousa Meet the Players was broadcast on QPR world, with 'strong words' from Sousa as Chairman Briatore stood by.
The Sousa appointment came after a truly bizarre (presumably completely inaccurate!) story that Briatore not only was heavily involved in picking the team but wanted to be manager. Sousa's appointment led to the departure of Iain Dowie's #2, Tim Flowers.
Flowers was replaced by the completely unknown (at least to English fans) Portugese coach, Bruno Oliveira, Also axed a couple of days later: Briatore/De Canio-appointed Chief Scout, Filippo Orland. No explanation was offered; but logically it might suggest a certain rebuke about players QPR have been signing and not signing.
On the Transfer front, also a balagan! Last week the QPR and Bolton sites announced the signing on loan of the Icelandic International Heidar Helguson, and then something happened - although QPR fans were never informed of his by the club. The transfer was apparently off; Bolton removed the news from its site. QPR fans speculated on the messageboards. In the words of Bolton manager, Gary Megson 'The deal has been on, it has been off, it has been unbelievable.'
Finally in mid week, news that Helguson had finally signed (but that too was never announced by the club) as it acted as though the transfer had always been implemented. Instead one got the somewhat risible Helguson quote 'When QPR showed their interest in me, I didn't hesitate in making the move.' With far less fanfare, QPR also this week, signed on loan the Coventry defender Gary Borrowdale.
But wait: That's not all. Two other off-the-field events this week.
QPR Club Secretary who had been at the club for decades, was suddenly axed with an extremely curt statement on the official site. ' SHEILA MARSON - Queens Park Rangers Football Club can confirm that Club Secretary Sheila Marson's employment has terminated, as of today, Monday 24th November 2008. The details surrounding Ms Marson's departure are confidential and therefore, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this stage.'
According to a snippet by Charles Sale in the Daily Mail (although not confirmed anywhere else), Marson is taking legal action over her dismissal.
A message board posted email asking questions about the club, somehow reached the attention of Charles Sale at the Daily Mail who wrote a piece, entitled 'An (Unidentified) Inside View of 'QPR Chairman Flavio Briatore branded - 'A Dictator and a Really Nasty Piece of Work' which included the email.
After many comments and board speculation (none of it on the official site) Former QPR Director and QPR Legal Counsel, Nico De Marco stepped forward to confess that the email had originated from him (although he had sent it to only 3 people; and had not sent it to the Mail. (Point of order, QPR Report was one of the recipients of the original De Marco email).
With a manager appointed; the loan transfer window closed, QPR fans hope a renewed focus (and success) will be on the field: Tomorrow, QPR have a tough match away to Crystal Palace.
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