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Friday, June 30, 2006

Paladini Refuses to Comment on Trial Verdict



QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini and newly appointed Manager Gary Waddock (previously Caretaker Manager) held a press Conference today to announce Waddock's official appointment as QPR Manager. Asked about the trial verdict (which saw all seven of the accused, acquitted) Paladini declined to comment and instead spoke about the coming season, farewell to Ian Holloway and prospective players.

QPR World subscribers can tune in to live audio from today's Press Conference as Gary Waddock is introduced to the media. Chairman Gianni Paladini will also be present.


Flanked by Chairman Gianni Paladini, Gary Waddock met the press today (Friday) for the first time since being appointed R's manager.

After being named as Ian Holloway's successor on Wednesday afternoon, Waddock oversaw his first training session yesterday, before taking time out this morning to meet the national press.

"It's my dream job - without a doubt,'' said Waddock.

"I've played and coached the Club and this is the final step for me.

"It's good for everyone that the situation is resolved; for me, the Club and for Ian Holloway - the timing is great.''
Waddock revealed he has tried calling Ollie to wish him all the best, saying: "I've tried ringing Ian, but the phone has been engaged non stop. I'll try him again today, because I genuinely wish him all the best at Plymouth - except when we play them!''
Waddock continued: "It was a great experience last season. I learnt a lot in that period of time as Caretaker and it should stand us in good stead for next season.
"The players are back and the buzz is back. We've got a fantastic set-up and we're all really looking forward to the new campaign.
"Our first league game is the one I'm really looking forward to. The next game is always the most important in football.
"We've got to be realistic, but we - the staff and the players - think we can drastically improve on last season.
"There are some big, big sides in the Championship, spending a lot of money, but we believe the players we've signed, and those we're targeting, can take us to the next level.
"We'd love to go out and match the spending power of the Coventry's and Birmingham's of this division, but we need to balance the books at the same time.''
Paladini also expressed his delight at the appointment, commenting: "I trust Gary, I believe in him and I'm sure he can take this Club to a new level; back to where I and the fans think we belong.
"We made the decision that Gary was the natural replacement. They type of football he plays is fantastic; his attitude is second to none; and he's QPR through and through.
"Myself and the board aim to take this Club forward and with Gary in charge we're confident that will be the case.
"This is a new era for the Club. We're trying to put this Club back to where it belongs.
"Our aim, our ambition is to make the play-offs. You've got to set yourself targets and that is our aim. It might not happen immediately, but if you don't set yourself targets there is nothing to aim for.''
Paladini also reserved praise for Holloway, saying: "I'm glad for Ian and I'd like to thank him for the job he's done here. I wish him all the best at Plymouth.
"He was fantastic for this Club, but things change. The past is the past and we're focusing on the future. That's what counts most now.''
Paladini also revealed that the search for new players in continuing: "We're still on the look out for players.
"We're interested in one who has played in the World Cup and one who is with a Premiership side, but we'll have to wait and see.
"We'll not take any risks. We've got a few irons in the fire, but until we're convinced by the players 100 per-cent, we won't sign them.''
And finally, Paladini had a message for the fans: "The board is united, the Club is together. We're working towards being financially stable and I can definitely say that any problems we had in the past are now firmly behind us.
"We're moving forward for the good of this Club. Success breeds success and I'm confident that under the guidance of Gary Waddock, his staff, and the players, we can progress"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not Guilty Verdicts: Further Reports....Club Has Yet to Issue Any Comment

BBC " ...
A QPR spokesman said the club would not comment."

The Times -QPR gun case men are cleared
By Adam Fresco
A group of men accused of taking a director of Queens Park Rangers Football Club hostage at gunpoint during a game and forcing him to write a resignation letter were today cleared of all charges.

In a scene reminiscent of the television gangster series The Sopranos, Gianni Paladini was said to have been punched and slapped by a gang of five "heavies" hired by David Morris, a director of the club, during a violent boardroom ordeal.

The defendants were arrested by armed police at half-time as they sat in an executive box watching the game against Sheffield United. But today Judge Charles Byers instructed the jury to acquit the remaining four defendants.

Andy Baker, 40, Aaron Lacey, 36, David Davenport, 38, and Michael Reynolds, 45, were originally on trial alongside three other men accused of an attack on Mr Paladini, a millionaire who is now chairman of the Championship club, at QPR’s ground last year.

But after a jury cleared QPR director David Morris of charges of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence Judge Byers threw the case out against all of them.

He said that the Crown had put the case against Mr Morris "as the instigator, organiser and financier of the conspiracy to blackmail" and he was "the essential core of the blackmail and without him there we have no blackmail and no conspiracy".

Mr Morris and co-defendant John McFarlane, 39, of Hayes, Middlesex, were cleared of the charges last week. A seventh defendant, Barry Powell, 34, of Greenford, Middlesex, was acquitted of all charges last month.

Blackfriars Crown Court was told that Mr Morris, 50, had wanted Mr Paladini to relinquish control and give up his majority shareholding of the West London club.

David Williams, QC, for the prosecution, alleged that that Mr Morris had "hired muscle" to force out Mr Paladini.

He said that Mr Paladini, 59, who had bought £600,000 of shares in the club - a controlling stake - had "ruffled feathers" with his fiery Latin temperament.

The team was suffering from serious financial problems and languishing in the Coca-Cola Championship division.

The alleged attack took place in the chief executive's office at QPR's Loftus Road stadium in Shepherds Bush, West London, minutes before the kick-off, Mr Williams said.

"This was no classic boardroom struggle at a football club of the type with which you might be familiar from the business papers or sports newspapers," he said.

"A gun was produced and possibly another held to the head of Gianni Paladini, who then owned a 14.7 per cent stake in the club. At the dictation of Mr Morris, a co-director, he was forced to write out a letter of resignation and to sign two documents. To ensure he did so, he was intimidated by the presence of hired muscle provided by Andy Baker."

The court was told that Mr Morris had asked Mr Paladini for a chat in the chief executive’s office. There, Mr Williams maintained that Mr Baker punched Mr Paladini in the stomach and said that the men were QPR fans and "what they were doing was best for the club".

"A gun was produced, whether real or imitation we cannot say," Mr Williams said. "It was pointed at Mr Paladini before being placed on the table in front of him.

"From the rear he could feel something being pushed at the back of his head. He was never in a position to see if that was a gun or not but, understandably, feared that it was.

"It was against this scene Gianni Paladini was forced to write his letter of resignation. He was shouted at, slapped and punched by the group until he complied. He had no means of escape and, terrified for his safety, did as he was told."

Mr Morris was said to have shouted at him, "Sign there. Sign now", while one of the gang said: "Let's kill him now."

After leaving the boardroom Mr Paladini broke free and began screaming. Police were alerted as the gang fled. Armed officers evacuated guests from executive boxes at half time, then arrested Mr Morris, Mr McFarlane, Mr Baker, Mr Powell and Mr Lacey.

In the box they found an unfinished letter of resignation in shaky handwriting and £7,000 in cash, which Mr Williams contended was payment for the "hired muscle".

Michael Carpenter, a solicitor representing Mr Baker, said outside Blackfriars Crown Court in London: "He feels absolutely fantastic, a great sense of relief, it has been utterly shocking for him, he has been trying to conduct his business and has had time on remand, has had to hand himself in very early in the morning and spend time in the cells each day and he is just relieved at long last justice has been done."


The Sun -
QPR gun case thrown out


Waddock (Officially) Appointed QPR Manager....as Holloway Becomes Plymouth Manager

Good luck to both of them.

QPR have announced Gary Waddock as first team manager following the appointment of Ian Holloway at Plymouth Argyle.
The new role for the former QPR boss means that Waddock, who was named as Caretaker Manager in February, will now be able to officially take up the title of QPR manager.
Ian Holloway was in charge at Loftus Road since February 2001 and oversaw 266 games in his time at QPR, experiencing relegation and then promotion.
When he was placed on gardening leave earlier this year, Waddock stepped up from his position as first team coach to oversee the managerial side and has since instilled a 'no nonsense' work ethic at Harlington.
Waddock first recruited Alan McDonald as a first team coach before restructuring the scouting network and transfer listing and releasing 14 players in a bid to freshen up the squad and bring in his own men.
The new QPR boss said: "I'm delighted that QPR have finally been able to officially announce my position as first team manager.
"Now I'll feel a lot more confident in my role and I'm looking forward to implementing further changes behind the scenes as well as on the pitch.
"I've got a great back room staff here and we've been planning the coming season all summer.
"The work ethic and training methods will be subjected to a complete overhaul and we're looking forward to seeing the results on the pitch."You can see Gary Waddock's first interview as QPR manager on QPR World tomorrow.

BBC Plymouth appoint Holloway as boss
Holloway has managed QPR and Bristol RoversPlymouth have appointed former QPR boss Ian Holloway as their new manager.
The 43-year-old ex-Bristol Rovers manager fills the position left vacant by Tony Pulis, who returned to manage his former club Stoke 12 days ago.
Holloway was suspended by QPR in February this year after rumours linking him with the then vacant manager's position at Leicester.
Hoops chairman Gianni Paladini insisted that he would not sack Holloway, but also said he would not return. http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/plymouth_argyle/5125540.stm

Trial Verdict: All Seven Accused Now Been Found Not Guilty

BBC - Men cleared in QPR threats case

Four men have been found not guilty of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a Queens Park Rangers director. Gianni Paladini told Blackfriars Crown Court he was punched and threatened just before a home game last August.
In total, six men faced charges of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and gun possession. On Wednesday, four men were cleared.
Last week, club shareholders David Morris and John McFarlane were also acquitted of the charges. Mr Paladini, 60, told the court he was forced to sign a resignation letter after being ambushed at gunpoint at the ground in Loftus Road, west London. Mr Morris, 50, from Buckinghamshire, and Mr McFarlane, 39, from west London, had denied all charges. The other defendants who denied all charges were: Andy Baker, 40, from Somerset; Aaron Lacey, 36, from Watford; David Davenport, 38, from Buckinghamshire, and Michael Reynolds, 45, from north London. The co-defendants told the court they had been invited to the game by Mr Morris's brother and were given a guided tour of the stadium.

BBC Updated Report
"...Explaining the decision to direct the jury to clear the men, Judge Charles Byers told the jury that in the prosecution's case, Mr Morris had been the "essential core" of the blackmail plot and without him the case could not stand.
David Davenport, who runs a security business, said afterwards: "We always expected we were going to get 'not guilty', it's just a big weight off."
Tracy Stent, a co-ordinator at the QPR First Supporters' Trust, said: "It has been a traumatic time for the club and things have come out during the course of the trial which have been quite extraordinary really, regarding what goes on behind the scenes at a football club in relation to various arguments that were going on.
"From a fan's perspective, we need to just learn from the experience, move on."

Trial shone light on QPR 'soap opera'
By Chris Summers BBC News website
Seven men have been cleared of forcing a director of Queen's Park Rangers football club to resign at gunpoint moments before the start of a match. The allegation was set against the background of a struggle for power at the club.
If it had been scripted in an episode of Footballers' Wives it would have appeared far-fetched.
The accused
Andy Baker (pictured), 40, from North Petherton, Somerset - acquitted
Aaron Lacey, 37, from Watford, Hertfordshire - acquitted
David Davenport, 38, from Chesham, Bucks - acquitted
Michael Reynolds, 45, from Wood Green, north London - acquitted
David Morris, 50, from Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire - acquitted
John McFarlane, 39, from Hayes, west London - acquitted
Barry Powell, 34, from Greenford, west London - acquitted
Daniel Morris (David's brother) - has disappeared. A European warrant has been issued for his arrest
But what allegedly happened behind the scenes at QPR's Loftus Road ground before the kick-off in their first game of the 2005/06 season sounded stranger still.
Gianni Paladini, a 60-year-old former football agent whose client list had included top stars such as Fabrizio Ravanelli, Benito Carbone and Juninho, became involved with QPR in the summer of 2004.
The club, based in west London, finished fifth in the inaugural season of the FA Premier League but they dropped out of the lucrative elite in 1996 and had struggled financially ever since.
Also in 1996, music tycoon Chris Wright took over the club, but five years later he was forced to put the club into administration due to crippling debts.
A year later the club got out of administration but only after securing a £10m loan from the ABC Corporation, who are based in Panama.
The interest on the loan is around £1m a year and, as one QPR fan told the BBC News Website: "The club has never made a profit of £1m, so I don't know where the money is coming from to pay the interest."
This was the background of financial desperation out of which Mr Paladini emerged.
A promising teenage footballer, he had been forced to give up the game at the age of 18, before playing a single game for his home town club Napoli.
He became an interpreter in the football industry and eventually an agent
Mr Paladini, who had come to Britain in the 1960s, lived in Solihull, just outside Birmingham with his wife, Olga, and children Stephen and Kate.
In 2003 he had expressed an interest in taking over another cash-strapped club, Staffordshire-based Port Vale, but when that fell through he turned his attention to QPR and bought £600,000 worth of shares.
Desperate for cash
The trial at Blackfriars Crown Court heard that few questions were asked about Mr Paladini by the QPR board, which was simply glad to meet someone who wanted to inject money into the club.
In fact Mr Paladini had remortgaged one of his homes and was far from the multi-millionaire saviour who supporters thought would rescue their club.
By August 2005 several people within the club had become hostile towards Mr Paladini and were suspicious about his plans for the club.
On 13 August nearly 14,000 fans turned up to see QPR play Sheffield United.
Mr Paladini arrived at the ground around 2pm with his son, daughter and grandson Gianluca, who was due to be the club's mascot that day.
The trial heard he went upstairs to the chairman's suite and bumped into David Morris, the owner of a 2% share in the club, who asked to have a private word with him.
Mr Paladini claimed he was led into the chief executive's office and was surrounded by a group of thugs.
Mr Paladini, a slender, bespectacled figure, said he had been terrified and claimed that at one point one of the gang held a gun at his head and said: "Sign, sign the paper - we'll kill you."
He claimed he was forced to sign several documents resigning from the club and assigning his 14.7% stake in the club over to Mr Morris. Police never found the documents, only a scrunched up piece of paper in Mr Paladini's handwriting.
Mr Paladini's family alerted the police and armed officers arrived at half time and arrested Mr Morris and several other people.
They questioned Mr Paladini who, at one point, broke away from the interview to go to the directors' box and celebrate a goal by QPR's Marc Bircham.
Several men were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm.
The prosecution claimed Andy Baker had been hired by Mr Morris to recruit a gang of hard men to intimidate Mr Paladini.
But giving evidence at the trial, Mr Baker said he had been invited as a guest of Mr Morris's brother Dan and was hoping to tout for the club's lucrative stewarding contract, which was up for renewal.
Asked about the £7,000 found by police in the pocket of his hooded top he said part of it was wages for his employees and the rest was "to grease some wheels at QPR to help us get the (stewarding) contract."
On 28 June a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court found six of them not guilty of all charges. A seventh man had already been acquitted on the judge's directions.
Boardroom coup
But while 13 August 2005 was the most dramatic day in the history of the soap opera which is QPR, the saga is not over.
Mr Paladini, backed by several friends and fellow investors - including Brazilian World Cup winner Dunga and two Monaco-based companies - ousted chairman Bill Power shortly after the incident.
In February this year the club's highly-rated manager Ian Holloway left after a series of rows with Mr Paladini, who had brought in players including Mauro Milanese, Stefen Nygaard and Dean Sturridge and foisted them on the manager.
During the trial Mr Paladini had been asked by Mr Morris's barrister, Jim Sturman QC: "Did you ever say to manager Ian Holloway that you would kill him?"
"In a funny way, yes, but it didn't mean anything at all," replied Mr Paladini.
Earlier this year QPR's former chairman Bill Power joined the board of directors at Swindon Town and promised to invest £1m in his new club.

Also BBC:
The murky world of football finances
By Chris Summers BBC News website
The trial of seven men accused of trying to blackmail Queens Park Rangers director Gianni Paladini at gunpoint has highlighted the parlous finances of many football clubs outside the Premiership elite. All seven were acquitted on Wednesday.
For the chosen few in the Premiership, football is a land of plenty.
Players get paid tens of thousands of pounds a week and multi-million pound sponsorship and TV deals are a given.
But for the vast majority of professional clubs in Britain the sport is a hand-to-mouth existence and the dreaded word "administration" is never very far away.
Dozens of clubs up and down the country are saddled with enormous debts and many of them are making losses of hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
But fans of all these clubs have aspirations and this often puts pressure on directors to go for broke.
Gambling on promotion
QPR, a Premiership team until 1996, took a gamble in a bid to regain their membership of the elite.
They signed players like Chelsea's John Spencer and Stoke City's Mike Sheron - £2.35m each - and allowed their wage bill to balloon out of control.
In 2001 chairman Chris Wright was forced to put the club into administration.
The following year, threatened by expulsion from the Football League if they did not come out of administration, the club borrowed £10m from the Panama-based ABC Corporation.
With no high street banks willing to lend them the money they had been forced to go to ABC, a "lender of last resort".
But although QPR were now out of administration they now had to pay annual interest of 10% - £1m a year - and this for a club whose income was a fraction of Premiership neighbours Chelsea or Fulham.
QPR were not alone in begging for money from ABC.
Derby County, who were relegated from the Premiership in 2002, borrowed £15m from the company.
Derby, whose wage bill grew, now has huge debts
A new consortium took over Derby earlier this year and discovered it had debts of around £45m.
In the summer of 2004, former football agent Gianni Paladini, whose client list had included top stars such as Fabrizio Ravanelli, Benito Carbone and Juninho, appeared on the scene as QPR's saviour.
While there is no doubt Mr Paladini was well connected - one of his friends was Brazil's World Cup-winning midfielder Dunga, who joined him on the board of QPR - he had no experience of running a football club.
Nor was he a millionaire, let alone a Roman Abramovich-style billionaire.
Mr Paladini had looked at investing in Northampton, Rotherham, Derby County, Burnley and Port Vale, before finally plumping for QPR.
But his £600,000 investment came from remortgaging his home and, under cross examination by Jim Sturman QC, Mr Paladini admitted he was in financial dire straits in the summer of 2005.
"Yes, because I got involved with QPR. Everything I had was spent on QPR," he said.
Eventually, Mr Paladini deposed Bill Power as QPR chairman. Mr Power, a dyed-in-the-wool QPR fan, has since switched his allegiances and joined the board of directors at Swindon Town, promising to invest £1m.
Lower down the league there have been countless examples in recent years of clubs becoming involved in financial difficulties or boardroom power struggles which have proven more dramatic than anything seen on the pitch.....


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Trial - Brief David Morris Trial Quote

Bucks Free Press - Jury clears QPR director
By staff reporter

".... David Morris, 50, of Doggetts Lane, Chalfont St Giles, denied hiring five heavies to confront fellow director 60-year-old Gianni Paladini and force him to sign over his stake in the club.
Mr Morris has been cleared of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm on August 13, last year. Another of the five defendants was also cleared this week.
He insisted the pair were in a row over a botched transfer deal worth £400,000.
Mr Morris said: "I started to voice my concerns that the blame landed squarely on his shoulders and not to expect the club to pay for it."
Mr Morris said he did not rise to the bait and came back later to find the Italian upset and members of his family hurling accusations......
As Mr Morris walked from court he said: "I am grateful to my wife Angela, my family and friends and of course my legal team and for their support over a difficult ten months."
He said he would not make any further comment until the end of the case but he was happy the jury returned "true and just verdicts of not guilty."
The jury are still deliberating on the same charges with four other defendants, including David Davenport, 38, of Cowper Road, Chesham, who was on trial for the same offences

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gary Waddock on Season's Prospects..."We've recruited well over the summer ..."

Official Site
"[Gary] Waddock said: "It's a tough start for us. "There are no easy games in this division, but we're quietly confident about the season ahead. "It wouldn't have mattered who we'd got on the opening day, because this league has proved time and time again that it's the most keenly contested in English football.
"Burnley's a tough place to go, but to be honest I'd rather be going to Turf Moor at this time of year when the pitch is in good condition and the weather okay, than later in the season when the elements could work against us like they did last season.''...
Indeed, Rangers' last trip to Turf Moor ended in defeat...- but Waddock is confident the Hoops will be in far better shape by the time they make the trip North on the opening day of the new campaign.
"We've recruited well over the summer and with one or two more new additions before the start of the season, we'll be in good shape when the campaign kicks off on August 5th,'' he said.
"It's exciting times for QPR, and the whole squad - including the coaching staff - are really looking forward to the season ahead.''

QPR's 2006-07 Fixtures Announced

QPR begin the season, away to Burnley (August 5)
and end the season at home to Stoke (May 6)

QPR's Complete Fixtures can be viewed at



Yesterday's Trial Verdict -"Two Men ...Cleared"...

The Times - Two cleared of QPR gun attack ByA Correspondent
Two men were cleared of taking part in a attack at gunpoint on a director of Queens Park Rangers, the championship football club. Gianni Paladini, 60, said that he was punched and threatened with a pistol after being ambushed by David Morris, his fellow director, and five thugs in a takeover bid at the club ground in West London. The Italian-born tycoon and QPR shareholder said that he was forced to sign a resignation letter handing over his club shares during a match against Sheffield United last August. But a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court in London cleared Mr Morris, 50, of Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and John McFarlane, 39, of Hayes, Middlesex, of taking part in the attack. They were acquitted of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, which they had denied. Four other defendants all deny conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. A seventh man, Barry Powell, 34, of Greenford, Middlesex, has been acquitted of all charges http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2236888.html

Guardian - Men cleared of gunpoint attack on QPR director
Sam JonesThursday June 22, 2006
Two men were cleared yesterday of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a director at the Championship football club Queens Park Rangers. Gianni Paladini, 60, claimed that he was punched and threatened with a pistol after being ambushed by his fellow director David Morris and six others in an attempted takeover bid at the club's west London ground. The Italian-born tycoon and QPR shareholder said he was forced to sign a resignation letter handing over his club shares during a match against Sheffield United on August 13 last year But a jury at Blackfriars crown court in London yesterday cleared Mr Morris, 50, of Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and John McFarlane, 39, of Hayes, Middlesex, of involvement in the attack. The pair were acquitted of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, all of which they had denied. The jury has still to reach verdicts on the four remaining defendants and Judge Charles Byers sent the jurors home, asking them to resume their deliberations next Wednesday. The other defendants who all deny conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence are Andy Baker, 40, of North Petherton, Somerset; Aaron Lacey, 36, of Watford, Hertfordshire; David Davenport, 38, of Chesham, Buckinghamshire; and Michael Reynolds, 45, of Wood Green, north London. A seventh defendant, Barry Powell, 34, of Greenford, Middlesex, was acquitted last month. Mr McFarlane left court without comment but Mr Morris read out a short statement in which he thanked his wife Angela, family, friends and legal team for their "support over a very difficult 10 months". Mr Morris said he was happy that the jury had reached "true and just verdicts of not guilty".

Trial Verdicts - Further News Reports

Telegraph - Two are cleared of gun threat at QPR
By Anil DawarBy Anil Dawar(Filed: 22/06/2006)

Two men were cleared yesterday of taking part in an attack at gunpoint on a football team director during a boardroom struggle at the Championship club Queens Park Rangers.
Gianni Paladini claimed that he was punched and threatened with a pistol after allegedly being ambushed by a fellow director and six other people in a takeover bid at the west London club, a court was told.
The Italian-born businessman said he was forced to sign a resignation letter handing over his shares in the club during a home match in August last year.
But a jury at London's Blackfriars Crown Court cleared club shareholder David Morris, 50, and John McFarlane, 39, of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, charges that they had consistently denied.
It was alleged that Morris had asked Mr Paladini to go to the chief executive's office for a chat where they were joined by six other men. In shaky handwriting he wrote out a resignation letter, the court was told. At the time Mr Paladini owned a 14.7 per cent stake in QPR. He is now the club's chairman.
The jury are still deliberating on charges against four other defendants, Andy Baker, 40, of North Petherton, Somerset; Aaron Lacey, 36, of Watford; David Davenport, 38, from Chesham, Bucks and Michael Reynolds, 45, of north London.
All four deny conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
A seventh defendant, Barry Powell, 34, of Greenford, Middlesex, was acquitted of all charges last month. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/22/nqpr22.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/22/ixuknews.html

The Sun
Men cleared of QPR attack
TWO men were cleared today of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a director at Championship football club Queens Park Rangers. Gianni Paladini, 60, claimed he was punched and threatened with a pistol after being ambushed by fellow director David Morris and six thugs in a takeover bid at the club's west London ground. The Italian-born tycoon and QPR shareholder said he was forced to sign a resignation letter handing over his club shares during a match against Sheffield United on August 13 last year. But a jury at London's Blackfriars Crown Court today cleared Morris, 50, of Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, and John McFarlane, 39, of Hayes in Middlesex, of taking part in the attack. ...http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006280560,00.html

Also Soccernet

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"QPR Trial" Verdicts Being Announced - Thus far: Two accused, including David Morris found NOT Guilty

From Sky News
"..Two men have been cleared of taking part in a gunpoint attack on Queens Park Rangers director Gianni Paladini. John McFarlane and David Morris were found not guilty by a jury at London's Blackfriars Crown Court....Mr Morris, 50, of Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, and Mr McFarlane, 39, of Hayes in Middlesex, were acquitted of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1225466,00.html?f=dta

From BBC - Two cleared of attacking QPR boss

"Two men have been cleared of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a Queens Park Rangers director. Club shareholder David Morris and John McFarlane were found not guilty of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and gun possession. Blackfriars Crown Court had heard allegations Gianni Paladini was punched and threatened with a pistol after an ambush by Mr Morris and a gang. The jury is still considering its verdicts on four other defendants. ..... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/5099000.stm


Leeds Interest in Shittu?

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times
Leeds interest still lukewarm
21 June 2006

LEEDS United have not yet tabled a formal bid for Danny Shittu, despite reports that the QPR defender is poised for a move to Elland Road.Shittu has been valued at £3m by Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini, but so far only one firm offer for the player, from Watford, has been made - and immediately rejected.
Although the Yorkshire club have indicated an interest in both Shittu and transfer-listed midfielder Marc Bircham, both players are expected back for pre-season training at Loftus Road next week.
Shittu's agent, Warwick Horton, told the Times: "We hear rumours and read the stories like everyone else, but I've had no contact from QPR to say they've agreed a deal or spoken to any club."
I think Danny's enjoying his time at QPR, but he is an ambitious player and, like any player in the Championship, he has desires to play at the top level."If there was an opportunity for him to move to a Premiership club and they were able to agree a fee with QPR, it's something he would have to consider. But nothing's happened at the moment." ...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"The Trial" - QPR1st Tracy Stent on The Judge's Summing Up Before Case Went to the Jury

QPR1st's Tracy Stent reports on the Judge's summing up, before case went to the jury.

Former QPR Manager, Gordon Jago Gets MBE

UPDATE: See Also: QPR America and QPR USA

Gordon Jago Receives MBE
"From Martyn Ziegler, PA Chief Sports Reporter"...Gordon Jago, the former Millwall, QPR and USA manager, receives an MBE for services to the promotion of international youth football

Gordon Jago's QPR managerial career: Joined QPR as coach under Les Allen. A few months later, took over from Allen, first as Caretaker Manager, then "permanently." The following season, QPR finished 4th and sold Rodney Marsh (and bought John O'rourke and Terry Mancini).

The following season, QPR went up alongside Burnley...and Jago brought to the club, Givens, Thomas and Bowles. The following season. Mclintock joined the team as QPR were praised for their football....Things looked good...Dave Webb joined QPR...Then the season began, Venables and Evans went to Crystal Palace in exchange for Don Rogers...And Jago left in September 1974.
When you think of Dave Sexton's 1975.1976 "Championship" Side, with the exception of McClintock and Webb (both bought by Jago), Masson and Hollins: The other 7 or 8 were all part of the promotion squad that won promotion: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Francis, Thomas, Bowles, Givens and Leach.

Jago went on to manage Millwall and then moved to the USA, where he coached Tampa Bay Rowdies and Rodney Marsh in the old NCSL where NY Cosmos had Pele; and George Best was playing, etc...post that, Jago's been further involved in US soccer. (See below)

A decade later, in late May 2004, Jago was appointed General Manager of QPR by Chairman Jim Gregory, after Terry Venables went off to Barcelona. A week later, Gregory reversed his decision and Jago was out.

As reportedly reported in Rothmans Football Year Book

September 27 "... Gordon Jago, QPR's manager, resigns and chairman Jim Gregory says that the Board will accept Jago's decision. This dramatic development follows on a poor start to the season by Rangers, and some unrest amongst their players. Venables was sold, Mancini listed, Bowles suspended. Until a new manager is appointed, Jago's assistant, Stan Anderson, will run the club....
September 30 Gordon Jago says that he quit Q.P.R. because he was demoted. He was made team-manager only, and wasn't allowed to do the job for which the board appointed him. Chairman Gregory denies these allegations... http://www.ynw62.dial.pipex.com/thirty44a.htm

A 2005 Q&A with Gordon Jago

profile of Gordon Jago in America:

QPR Schedule - and Then Cancel - Game vs Milton Keynes Dons ("Wimbledon") after original Brentford Game Cancelled

QPR Official Site - June 16, 2006 - MK DONS GAME CANCELLED

Gianni Paladini would like to make the following statement, after making the decision to cancel the game against MK Dons on July 15.

"After several phonecalls and threats from our own supporters, I have decided not to go ahead with the game.
"I was extremely embarrassed at having to call the club secretary at MK Dons after he had done all he could to arrange a fixture on a day where we struggled to find any opposition.
"We were tremendously grateful to MK Dons for having initially agreed to play the fixture after Brentford cancelled the original game due to be played on July 18.
"Had that cancellation not have arisen, this whole situation would have been avoided.
"After Brentford pulled out, QPR re-contacted ALL Premiership and Football League clubs within a two hour travelling distance, yet MK Dons were the only club who answered our request.
"QPR apologises to everyone at MK Dons who pulled out all the stops to arrange a fixture at such short notice and also to all our fans that were willing to travel to the MK Dons fixture and were looking forward to visiting a new ground."
Gianni Paladini

QPR Official Site - June 15, 2006
QPR are pleased to announce a pre-season friendly against MK Dons on July 15.

After only just receiving the official word from Brentford that the game scheduled for July 18 was to be cancelled, QPR have been busily trying to arrange a fixture to take its place and are delighted that MK Dons have been able to fulfil our requirements.MK Dons were themselves trying to hastily find opposition after also having a game cancelled.
The game will take place at the National Hockey Stadium and will kick off at 3pm and will be the first meeting of the two clubs since the Dons' move to Milton Keynes.
Gary Waddock said: "I'm obviously very pleased to have managed to get another pre-season game fixed up as quickly as this, and my thanks go to MK Dons for answering our request.
"We needed another game around that weekend, and I'm now looking forward to visiting Milton Keynes for the first time with a QPR side.
"It's not that far and hopefully our fans will turn out in force to support us there."


This morning, QPR were informed that the pre-season game against Brentford has been cancelled.
Despite contacting Brentford last week, we were led to believe that the game would still be taking place in spite of the fact the Club had received several phone calls from fans to ask if the game was still going ahead.
Assistant Secretary Terry Springett explains: "It's very disappointing to have been informed of Brentford's decision to pull out at such a late stage, especially when we contacted the club last week when rumours had started to surface the game may have been in doubt.
"Only last Wednesday we were informed by Brentford that the game was indeed to go ahead, so at the time, felt it unnecessary to make an announcement on the official website."It would appear that their initial decision to take the game against us was taken without thorough consultation with their groundstaff, who have now informed the Club that the pitch at Griffin Park will not be ready in time."However, having received a phone call from Brentford this morning, we would like to inform our fans that the pre-season game against them, scheduled for Tuesday July 18, is indeed off.
"We will be doing our best in the next few days to find suitable alternative opponents for that week

Letter sent by QPR1st after MK Dons Game was announced

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

QPR FA Cup Hero, Bob Hazell Turns 47

Bob Hazell Turns 47
Born June 14 1959

One of the first signings Tommy Docherty made for QPR after our relegation, he starred for QPR in their FA Cup Final season and their following Division II Championship season.

See: http://footballfocus.xsmnet.com/gallery/teams/qpr/qpr_1982.jpg


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"The Trial" - Latest Updates from QPR1st's Tracy Stent

Latest Trial News from QPR1st's Tracy Stent

As "The Trial" nears its conclusion, trial reports for the past two days from QPR1st's Tracy Stent:

June 13, 2006The trial continues - Day 25

June 12, 2006The trial continues - Day 24

[A complete set of trial reports by QPR1st's Tracy Stent can be viewed at

Saturday, June 10, 2006

QPR Chairman Paladini re QPR On & Off the Feild

QPR Official Site - June 8, 2006


With the start of a new season beckoning, Gianni Paladini would like to clarify the position and goals of QPR:
Last year was a difficult season both for the club and for me personally. I feel that resultant media coverage and speculation has obscured what the Board are striving to achieve with the club, so I would like to take this opportunity to re-state our goals.
Let us state up-front that our ultimate goal is to get the club back into the Premiership where we believe QPR belong, but we know that this will only be achieved with a gradual step by step approach.
To achieve this goal we need to provide the club with financial stability and to improve the quality of playing squad and coaching staff.
As stated previously, the aim of the current Board is for the underlying business of the club to break-even.
Next season will see further improvements and we expect the losses fall to below £1m - a significant improvement on the years before I became involved with the club.
Without the financial support of the current Board, the club would have gone into administration last season. With the financial resources being made available, the club will not go into administration with the current Board in control.
All the members of the Board are people who love football and are committed to QPR.
The Board has already put in place our financing for next season and we will continue to bring in new investors, to help fund further improvements to the squad and the club.
We are currently engaged in discussions with potential new investors, who are very enthusiastic about QPR, and we hope to make an announcement about this in the near future.
The Club would also like to highlight three commercial deals that the current Board have done for the club.
The new four year deal with our shirt manufacturer Le Coq Sportif will bring in an additional £250,000 per annum; the new shirt sponsors Cargiant will bring in £150,000 per annum; and the new stand and shorts sponsors GJ Electrical will also bring in another £150,000 per annum.
In addition, there are two other high value commercial deals, currently in the final stages of negotiation, that will be announced soon.
There would appear to be a contradiction between the club breaking even and improving the quality of the squad. Recent experience has taught us that just spending money on players will not guarantee results, unless of course you have the resources of Russian oligarch at your disposal.
However, with a solid financial and administrative base established at the club, the Board and new investors will feel confident enough to provide further resources for the playing squad.
As I still get asked about the ABC loan I would like to tell the fans and shareholders that we are hoping to replace the ABC loan in the near future with a cheaper loan from a more reputable financial institution.
What do we know about the ABC Corporation? Unfortunately very little, we have suspicions, but we can't prove who the controlling interest behind the ABC Corporation is.
The ABC Corporation's lack of transparency means that the Board must question their motives and their attitude towards the club which is why the Board wish to refinance the ABC loan. We will be reviewing the legality of the ABC loan.
Just to confirm what has been stated previously, Gary Waddock is the Manager-designate and once the situation with Ian Holloway has been resolved then Gary will formally be announced as the Manager.
Recent speculation in the press about a dispute regarding compensation between Ian Holloway and the club is wholly untrue.
We continue to have an amicable relationship with Ian, who is still being paid in full. Ian hopes to have a managerial position sorted out with a new club shortly.
Gary has been responsible for selecting next season's squad and coaching team. The first team squad for next season will comprise of 26 players which is only two players less than the squad we started last season with.
Many old favourites are still here such as Dan Shittu, Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth, Paul Furlong and Kevin Gallen.
Martin Rowlands and Matthew Rose will also be back from injury. We are spoilt for choice with two excellent goalkeepers in Simon Royce and Paul Jones as well as Jake Cole and Sean Thomas waiting in the wings.
We have a superb group of youngsters coming through with Scott Donnelly, Shabazz Baidoo, Stefan Bailey, Dominic Shimmin and Pat Kanyuka.
Our new signings include Damion Stewart, who had a good game for Jamaica against England and Armel Tchakounte from Cameroon. We look forward to announcing the final three signings that we are currently negotiating with as soon as we are able.
I would like to thank all the fans that have already renewed their season tickets for next season.
The volume of season tickets processed so far at 6,300 is slightly down on the number of tickets processed at this stage last year, a pattern that has been reflected across other clubs, but we expect further sales once we confirm next season's signings.
The vast majority of these are full price season ticket renewals and 443 are new full price season ticket holders.
There are 417 free tickets for kids so far and I am personally delighted that we have attracted these young season tickets holders as they are the fans of the future.
We have put our finances in order, our losses will continue to fall towards a break even situation, we have a new manager ready to take us forward and we have a new and younger squad that will form the basis of a team to challenge for promotion to the Premiership.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the first home game of next season, and I thank you for your continued loyal support.
Come on you R's!
Gianni Paladini

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ian Holloway Says Still Under Contract...Wants Situation Resolved

Sky Sports

...Meanwhile, Ian Holloway has reiterated that he is still under contract with the Championship outfit.
The outspoken manager was placed on gardening leave by Rangers in February after a dispute with chairman Gianni Paladini and has called on the Football League to sort out the ongoing problem.
"I've got a two-year contact to run and have been placed on gardening leave which means they haven't sacked me," Holloway told Sky Sports News.
"If they had done I would be owed two years money so I am technically paid every month at moment to do some gardening and not go to work which is not nicest situation.
"This wouldn't happen in The Premiership because you have to sort a manager out within four weeks, which I think is a simple rule for lower divisions to do as well. I don't think it's right and I don't think it's fair, but that's life."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bradley Wright-Phillips to QPR on Loan?

The Mirror, June 1, 2006

"QPR are close to agreeing a deal to sign Bradley Wright-Phillips on loan"

[Report of prospective loan also in the Daily Star]

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