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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Four Years Ago: QPR's Troubles ...One Year Ago: Waddock's Hopes & Derby's ABC Era Coming to an End

The Evening Standard (London) April 14, 2003
HEADLINE: QPR seeks £2m kick-start to revive flagging Fortunes
By Robert Lea

QUEENS Park Rangers fans will be asked to put their hands in their pockets and raise up to £2 million for the cash-strapped Loftus Road club.QPR today admitted it racked up losses of £10 million in the past two seasons. The losses cover the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, during which the club was in administration after one of the more spectacular collapses among the stock market listed football companies. It came out of administration last summer after the sale of its sister rugby club London Wasps to Chris Wright, the former QPR chairman.Financial details reveal it was rescued after a £10 million cash injection from ABC Corporation, a secretive Bahamas-based trust that loaned the money secured on the club's Shepherds Bush stadium.That enabled the club to pay off Wright, who had bankrolled QPR from his own music-industry fortune, with a £3.5 million cheque. Wright, QPR's lifepresident, wrote off a further £3.3 million owed to him and waived his rights over the stadium - on which the loans had previously been secured.Wright's controlling shareholding has been given back to the club and is waiting to be sold to a prospective buyer.In the meantime, however, QPR finance director Paul English confirmed the club is looking to sell new shares. "Given the current negative investment climate in the City it is more likely to be aimed at our fan base," he said."We are actively seeking to raise the further capital to ensure the future of the company and club."Rangers made operating losses of £3.5 million last season despite slashing the players' and management's wage bill to £3.6 million from £6.8 million the previous season, when the club made an operating loss of £6.5 million.English said QPR would make further losses this season, though the underlying performance should improve.The Second Division club gets £1 million a season from tenants Fulham. QPR Report "Archives"

BBC- Hoop dreams
QPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock wants the chance to build his own side

Waddock wants to build for future
By Chris Bevan
The Ian Holloway situation needs to be resolved so the club can move forward - that is the most important thing, not any one individual
Gary WaddockQPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock is desperate to be given the chance to put together his own side at Loftus Road.
The 44-year-old has been in temporary charge since Ian Holloway was put on gardening leave on 6 February.
He has won only one game since then but told BBC Sport: "I want to be judged on my team, not somebody else's.
"I want to build my own team and play the style I want to play. I will bring in a better quality of player if I am appointed permanently.
He added: "I have inherited a group of players that Ian has put together.
"Some of these players have played a certain system for four or five years and I have publicly stated I want to change to a passing game.
"I was brought up that way at QPR and I know the sort of player who has been at the club before. I also know what sort of player the fans are loooking for.
"That is no criticism of Ian Holloway and his style of play or the success he had as a manager here. It's just I don't want to copy that - I have my own ideas.
"I've been able to put them into place in training but people don't see that side of it. They only see the team that you pick on a Saturday and you are judged on that.
"At the moment we are not getting the results or the performances that the club demands.
"But the players that are out there are not ones that I have brought to the club. I am not shifting all the blame here - I have a responsibility also - but hopefully I will get my chance.
"I am just starting out as a manager and I want to be a success at it."
Rangers are on a run of three successive Championship defeats and Waddock admits that in many ways the end of the season cannot come quickly enough.
"It is hard at the moment," he said. "We are in an awkward situation and the club is in limbo.
I have done the job on what I look at as a game-to-game basis so far but in recent weeks I am looking longer term
Gary Waddock
"The Ian Holloway situation needs to be resolved so the club can move forward - that is the most important thing, not any one individual.
"I have no idea when it will be resolved though.
"I have done the job on what I look at as a game-to-game basis so far but in recent weeks I am looking longer term and trying to think about a squad that can take the club forward.
"Someone has to plan for the future - and in the role I am in, even as caretaker, that someone is me and the chairman so I do have to look along those lines."
With four games left Rangers have slipped owards the wrong end of the Championship table but are not in any danger of the drop.
Waddock is determined that his players do not take their foot off the pedal in the run-in - and does not want this campaign to simply peter out.
He stated: "There is still plenty to play for. The players have to be professional and keep performing for the club and for the fans who are paying good money to watch us.
"They are also playing for their futures.
"We want to finish as high as we can in the table and, more than anything else, it would be nice to finish the season on a high." BBC


And then what Waddock said on the QPR World Site (reported by Derby OFficial Site)
QPR caretaker boss Gary Waddock has made a plea to the Rangers fans - don't judge me yet.
Waddock took over in a caretaker capacity after Ian Holloway was put on "gardening leave" in January.
The timing of the move meant he had little room for manoeuvre in the transfer window and was only able to add one more player to the squad he inherited from Holloway.
In a passionate interview with www.qpr.co.uk, Waddock said: "I came in at a time when the transfer window was closing so I've worked with the same group of players.
"Judge me when I've put in place the players and the team.
"I've been able to make changes off the field, which a lot of fans don't see, but the most important thing that needs to improve is the playing side and I've not yet had the opportunity to do that.
"But make no mistake about it, during the summer there will be some decisions made, and I'll definitely make them for the benefit of the club, to take it forward.
"I've had the backing from Gianni (Paladini, chairman), Antonio (Caliendo, non-executive director) and the members of the board, they've backed me 100 per cent.
"They want to take the club forward and I've seen what they've done on a day to day basis, and I've got an opportunity to take that forward on the football side.
"I keep saying it, give me a chance to put my players in place, judge me with my style of football, then if there's any criticism I will take it on the chin.
"But at the moment I've had to work with the players that I've been here for a number of years.
"That's fine, and the players have responded, but OK and average isn't good enough.
"This football club is a large part of my life and I want to take it forward, I want to make it successful again." Derby

And at the same time at Derby, their ABC Connection was discussed

Derby County chairman quits as police investigate - David Conn Friday April 14, 2006
The Guardian

John Sleightholme resigned as Derby County chairman yesterday following the revelation in Wednesday's Guardian that the police are inquiring into allegations of financial malpractice at the club.
Sleightholme is not the subject of those inquiries; quite the opposite. He said he had resigned partly because Derby's board refused his request to launch an independent investigation.

A barrister and the deputy coroner of North Yorkshire, Sleightholme, together with Jeremy Keith and Steve Harding, became a director of Derby in October 2003 after the club was put into receivership and then sold for £3 within minutes to a company called Sharmine Limited.

Sharmine subsequently disclosed that its shares were held in the offshore tax havens of Belize and the British Virgin Islands - Sleightholme and Keith later declared they owned them. Sharmine's £3 takeover was backed by a £15m loan from a Panamanian-registered company, ABC Corporation, which went partly to reducing £30m owed to the Co-operative Bank.
As the Guardian revealed, at the time of the takeover £375,000 was paid as a commission to a company, Streamline Management, for introducing ABC Corporation to the club. Now Murdo Mackay, the club's former director of football, is alleging that the money was shared, £125,000 each, by himself, Keith and Andrew Mackenzie, who was the club's finance director before and after the takeover. Keith and Mackenzie firmly deny receiving any of the £375,000.

Derbyshire police confirmed "an allegation has been made about financial irregularities" at Derby County and said the force "is making initial inquiries to ascertain whether there is any legitimacy to this allegation and whether any offence has taken place".

In the statement announcing his resignation Sleightholme said: "At my last board meeting I asked for an independent investigation into the allegations of payments directly or indirectly to board members. This request was refused."

Derby have debts of around £45m and are the subject of an increasingly bitter takeover battle. Keith introduced a London-based venture capital fund, Sisu, which is tabling a bid, opposed by a consortium of five local businessmen led by the club's former vice-chairman Peter Gadsby. Guardian

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