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Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Year Ago: The Evening Standard's Apology

QPR Official Site - December 7, 2005
Today the Evening Standard issued an apology to QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini.
The statement comes two months after the London newspaper printed articles relating to business dealings conducted by Paladini.
London's evening paper also falsely claimed that the FA were investigating how much QPR had paid agents to bring players into the club.
The apology reads:
On September 30 we published two articles which referred to Gianni Paladini, the chairman of Queens Park Rangers.
If these articles were interpreted by readers as suggesting that Mr Paladini was guilty of fraud, corruption and malpractice, we apologise.
We did not intend to give this impression and have no reason to believe such allegations are true.
We are happy to set the record straight.
Paladini was delighted with the retraction.
"Justice has been done for myself and most importantly, for the club. That was always the most important point for me to get across as I do not want the club's name blackened.
"I hope that now this matter can be put behind us and everyone connected with Queens Park Rangers can now focus on getting behind the team in what I hope will be successful season."

The Standard Apology came a little over two months after QPR had issued the following Statements on their official site in response to the Standard article.

September 30 2005, QPR Official Site - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
GIANNI Paladini today began legal action against the London Evening Standard after the paper published yet another libellous and factually inaccurate article about QPR.
The QPR Chairman has instructed one of the country's top libel firms, Carter-Ruck, to commence legal proceedings immediately by formally requesting an immediate apology and retraction of damning statements made by the paper.
Paladini will also be writing to the Press Complaints Commission, urging them to conduct an immediate inquiry into the unprofessional way the Standard has conducted its so-called investigation.
"I held detailed talks with Carter-Ruck yesterday," Paladini confirmed. "It is their belief I have been libelled by the paper and on that basis I have instructed them to commence legal action. This will be on a strictly no-win, no fee basis so it will have no financial impact on the club.
"I am demanding an immediate apology - not just for me, but for everyone who works for, and who loves, QPR.
"I am deeply saddened that this is happening but enough is enough. The Standard has chosen to mount a witch-hunt against QPR and are clearly being fed a string of deceitful lies, inaccuracies and misleading information by individuals who have their own axe to grind against the club and me.
"These individuals cannot possibly be true fans - how could they harm us by pedalling such rubbish?"
Once again, the Standard is falsely claiming the FA are investigating how much QPR has paid agents to bring players into the club.
Paladini added: "Let me state this clearly and categorically. I have spoken to the FA and there is no probe or investigation into our finances - or how much we have paid agents. Yes, they ask to be kept informed of how the club is being run - as they do with all clubs.
"That is right and proper and we have always co-operated. But we have nothing to hide and there is nothing that has caused them any concern. I have their assurance that we are not under suspicion.
"Anyone reading the Standard right now would think QPR is being run by the mafia. Let me tell you the only crime being committed at the moment is by the Standard. Every club, no matter how big or small, has to deal with agents - there's nothing I can do about that.
"If I tried to by-pass them, players would simply refuse to come to QPR. Is that what the Standard wants? A club with no players? What would our fans think of that?
"The Standard has made me look like someone out of the Godfather and that's why I will also be writing to the Press Complaints Commission, urging them to launch their own investigation into the journalistic standards of this paper.
"Not only have they printed lies about the club, their columnist David Mellor has launched a particularly nasty and deeply personal attack on me - even though we have never met.
"It is my belief the Commission will want to seriously reprimand this paper for the way they are conducting themselves."
QPR September Statement

QPR Official Site - September 23, 2005- NO FA PROBE
Rangers Director Gianni Paladini has told qpr.co.uk that the FA are NOT investigating Queens Park Rangers.
Friday's Evening Standard contains an article claiming that the Football Association are considering a probe following a complaint from an agent regarding the signing of Ian Evatt.
But Paladini has dismissed the whole story as 'ridiculous' and says that he has spoken to the FA himself about the matter.
"This is simply ridiculous and I am getting very tired with the agenda of other parties who have leaked information and who are clearly seeking to discredit me and the Club for their own ends," he said.
"I have spoken to a well-known senior executive at the FA and he has assured me that, as he understands it, there will be no probe and no investgation.
"For whatever reason, this newspaper is trying to make a big story out of a puff of nothing."
Paladini then went on to discuss further details of Ian Evatt's transfer, and refuted suggestions printed in Friday's paper.
"First and foremost, Ian Holloway wanted the player. So when we spoke to the lad we asked him to meet us with his representative.
"In came along with his agent Jonathan Wall and Mel Eves and because Mr Wall is not licensed, Mel formally brokered the deal.
"Then out of the blue this company, First Artist, complained that he was their player. Well if that was the case, why did Ian Evatt come along with someone else?
"This is an issue between First Artist and Ian Evatt and yet the Standard are suggesting impropriety on our part. It's pathetic.
"First we had this nonsense on Thursday which appeared to imply wrongdoing and now this. And yet the governing bodies are perfectly happy and there are other clubs spending vastly bigger sums than us.
"Leeds spent £1.89million on agents fees last season and Leicester spent £611,000. So why this nasty piece? Why the accusations and the negativity towards OUR football club?
"For whatever reason, this newspaper has chosen to make a big issue out of this and I have nothing but contempt for them."

QPR Official Site - September 22, 2005 -ANGER & DISTRESS
Gianni Paladini has reacted with anger and distress regarding allegations made in the press on Thursday.
Paladini strongly refutes allegations that have been made and asserts that they are without foundation.
He said: "All of our players have agents, if you are negotiating a contract you have to go through an agent. All of our payments have been done in the proper way."
"With the exception of Milanese, Langley & Lomas all the other deals were signed by either the ex-Chairman or the Chief Executive"
"The article lists players who were here before I even invested in the club. If we go over budget who has to pay? The fellow directors and I"
"I am very angry that both myself and the club are being dragged through the mud. We have had a difficult few months and we just want to concentrate on running the club properly and pushing up the league. I am incredibly angry about this and am taking legal advice."
Ian Holloway added: "I like to think the fans trust me and I trust Gianni. I cannot believe some of the stuff I've read today but I can assure everyone no matter what people throw at us it can only make us stronger."
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for Gianni Paladini and what he is trying to achieve at Queens Park Rangers. It seems to me that people are looking at the job that Gianni used to do before he came to QPR and are jumping to ridiculous conclusions."
"Gianni has the best interests of QPR at heart - I've absolutely no doubt about that."

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