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Friday, July 28, 2006

BBC - Power challenged to buy back QPR

BBC -Power challenged to buy back QPR

Gianni Paladini has challenged the man he ousted as QPR chairman to come up with a bid to buy back the club.

Bill Power, a lifelong R's fan, has invested in Swindon Town since leaving Loftus Road after losing a bitter struggle for control last year.

But Paladini has hinted that ex-agent Antonio Caliendo, the London club's current main investor, could quit.

"I keep hearing people didn't want Bill to go and think he should come back. This is their chance," said Paladini.

"Let him or anyone else who thinks they can do a better job come forward and let's hear what they have to say."

After a series of behind-the-scenes problems, Power was forced out when former Brazil captain Carlos Dunga attended an all-important board meeting and voted with Paladini to remove him.

Power had sought to gain a controlling interest in the club but Dunga's unexpected appearance tipped the balance against him.

We will listen to anyone that wants to make an offer
Gianni Paladini

Paladini and Caliendo seized control and chief executive Mark Devlin was then sacked.

Dunga had previously not attended any board meetings having become a director as part of the Caliendo-led Monaco-based group that bought a stake in 2005 and now effectively own the club.

Dunga stood down as a director this week after landing the job of Brazil coach.

And Paladini has suggested that Caliendo and another board member, Italian businessman Franco Zanotti, may also now quit.

But Paladini insists they expect to recoup the money they have put into the club and has previously said it would take an offer of over £8m for them to relinquish control.

Any would-be buyer would also then have to tackle Rangers' sizeable debts.

"If Caliendo and Zanotti pull out it would make it difficult for me to carry on because I don't have that kind of money," Paladini admitted.

"If Antonio doesn't want to carry on I don't know what will happen. We will talk on Tuesday and discuss the way forward."

But he added: "We will listen to anyone that wants to make an offer but it will not come cheap, that's for sure.

"Bill Power got 6.5p-a-share when he sold his stake and the same would have to apply here.

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