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Monday, April 16, 2007

The "History" of QPR's Non-Game vs Witney United

QPR's Non-Game Against Witney United: A Timeline

January 5: QPR announced they were playing Witney United in a friendly, January 23. Unfortunately a rearranged FA Cup 3rd Round Replay against Luton also ended up having to be played January 23rd, so the friendly was postponed or cancelled. Witney announced the QPR Friendly was off. (QPR did not make such an announcement.) A few days later, Witney announced the game had been rescheduled to April and promoted the game on their website. At a meeting with fans groups representatives, last Tuesday evening (April 10), Chairman Paladini announced the game was not being played and a club rep would contact Witney. A couple of days later, Witney made a strong statement on their Official Site, saying they'd heard of the cancellation from a QPR fan; but had not heard from the club. (Witney also disputed the Chairman's characterization of how the game was scheduled). As of Monday morning, there has still been no announcement on the QPR official Site - and according to Witney's chairman in a messageboard posting, they have stil yet to hear from QPR.


QPR will play Witney United in a mid-season friendly on Tuesday 23rd January.
The R's travel to the Marriott's Stadium - home of the Hellenic Premier division club - later this month.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm.
Ticket details will be available on www.witneyunited.co.uk in the next few days. QPR Official Site

05-01-07 Witney United Site - QPR coming to united!!

Witney United can today exclusively reveal that they have managed to secure a friendly against Championship side Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday 23rd January 2007 at Marriott’s Stadium.

The match came about with the help of former Witney Town player Richard Hill who is currently the Assistant Manager at Loftus Road. He was looking for an option to bring a side to and after a conversation with Club Secretary Adrian Bircher the two sides have managed to agree a date.

Hill is expected to bring a strong side to Marriott’s Stadium with the names mentioned so far being Paul Furlong, Dexter Blackstock, Ray Jones and Lee Cook. A full squad will be finalised nearer the time but a strong side had been guaranteed.

As a further gesture Hill has agreed to bring some signed merchandise which the club will look to raffle on the night including a signed Dexter Blackstock shirt.

Ticket details for the match will be finalised this weekend and announced at the start of next week but the match will NOT be all-ticket although supporters wishing to guarantee a seat will have to purchase in advance.

The club meanwhile are looking for potential sponsors for the match and also any volunteers who can help with stewarding etc. Anybody interested in helping should contact Ady Bircher on 07747 123411 or Mark Reid 07771 805823. At the moment please do not call these numbers for tickets. Witney United


United have been dealt a blow tonight with the news that the prestigous friendly with Queens Park Rangers scheduled for Tuesday 23rd January has been postponed.
QPR were due to meet Luton Town in an FA Cup replay tonight but the game was postponed and the replay has been set for next Tuesday.
However the club can confirm that QPR have promised to re-schedule the match and there will be a further announcement with a date on Thursday or Friday of this week.
The club has stated that any tickets purchased for the match already will be valid for the rescheduled date but anybody looking for a refund should contact Ady Bircher on 07747 123411 or Mark Reid on 07771 805823. Witney United Football Club would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Witney United

OXFORD MAIL January 6: - Witney fix up friendly with QPR

Witney United's players get the chance to take on a Football League team when Queen's Park Rangers visit Marriotts Stadium on Tuesday, January 23.
The match, for which ticket details will be released next week, came about through the friendship of Witney secretary Ady Bircher and former Oxford United midfielder Richard Hill, who is now No 2 to manager John Gregory at Loftus Road.
Hill's son, Dan, plays for Witney's youth team.
"When Richard got the job at QPR I asked him whether it would be possible to bring a QPR side down to play us," said Bircher. "And he stuck to his word.
"They are without a league game that weekend, so Richard or John Gregory will be bringing a side along.
"We're not sure what sort of team they are sending, but we've been promised a few first-teamers. We're hoping that Dexter Blackstock (the ex-Oxford United youngster) will play.
"QPR are getting a shirt signed by Dexter, so we can auction it off."
Witney are looking for sponsorship for the game. If you can help, contact Bircher on 07747 123411. Oxford Mail

OXFORD MAIL -January 17, 2007 FOOTBALL: Witney v QPR friendly is OFF
Witney United have been dealt a blow with the news that the prestigious friendly with Queens Park Rangers scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, has been postponed.
QPR were due to meet Luton Town in an FA Cup replay last night, but the game was postponed and the replay has been set for next Tuesday.
However, the club can confirm that QPR have promised to re-schedule the match.
Any tickets purchased for the match already will be valid for the rescheduled date, but anybody looking for a refund should contact Ady Bircher on 07747 123411 or Mark Reid on 07771 805823. Oxford Mail

Witney United - 19-01-07 full strength hoops coming to witney!!
The website can today reveal that the postponed friendly against Championship side Queens Park Rangers has been re-arranged and will now be played on Monday 30th April.
The original game was postponed due to QPR’s FA Cup replay at Luton Town being postponed but the game was swiftly re-arranged with a new date for nearer the end of the season.
QPR Assistant Manager and ex Witney Town man Richard Hill offered his apologies to any Witney fans over the change of date.
“It was totally out of our hands, we had actually got to Luton before the game was postponed so we also had a frustrating evening. However I made a promise to bring the First Team to Witney and I won’t go back on that, although the date is some way off it will be a very strong side that I will bring to Witney on the night. It would have been really easy to send a Youth or a Reserve side down and just fulfil the fixture but the deal was I would bring the First Team down so in April that’s what we will do. On behalf of Queens Park Rangers I would like to apologise for any inconveniences caused but we look forward to seeing you on the new date”
The club have announced that all tickets purchased for the original date will be valid for the re-arranged game and that tickets are now back on sale for the new date and are available from the following places.
Printinco Corn Street Witney 0845 652 6552
Ady Bircher 07747 123411
Mark Reid 07771 805823
Witney United Football Club 01993 848558

Witney United Site - News 06-04-07
"...Any concerns about the QPR fixture were today aallayed as the Hellenic League announced that the Harrow Hill fixture will now take place next Wednesday 11th April to avoid clashing.
Witney United Site
New Date: 30-04-07 MidSeason Friendly... Witney
Witney Schedule: Monday 30th Apr 07 - Friendly - Q.P.R- Home - 7-45pm

From QPR Fans Consultative Group Minutes April 10th April 2007 -

Gianni Paladini (GP) was asked about the Witney United game.

2.5 Are we will still playing Witney United on 30th April? It is on their website but not on ours.
GP said the game with Witney would not be going ahead, that it was merely a word of mouth thing and that Ian at the press office has been asked to get in touch with Witney to inform them. It was pointed out that it is this kind of thing which yet again leads to bad communication, which then brings the club bad publicity, though it was also agreed by others that taking part in friendly games when the club is involved in a relegation battle is not exactly useful under the current circumstances.
An announcement about this should be on the official website asap.QPR Official Site
QPR Official Site

Statement on the Witney United Website
LATEST NEWS ! 13-04-07 lake blasts qpr chairman!!

It is with deep regret that we have to announce that the QPR Chairman has taken it upon himself, personally, to cancel our prestigious friendly that was due to take place on 30th April 2007.

Chariman Steve Lake was furious with his counterpart and released the following statement;

"The first the Club heard about this was via a QPR fan that attended their ‘Fans Forum’ on Tuesday of this week (see minutes of the Fans Forum on the QPR Official web site). It was just lucky that this fan contacted the Club otherwise we would have known nothing about the cancellation.

At the forum the QPR Chairman, Gianni Paladini(pictured left), was asked about the ‘Friendly’ and stated that it was NOT to be played – claiming it was arranged on a ‘word-of-mouth’ basis.

I can only say that I am particularly disappointed by this as no one from QPR has of yet to confirm, officially, that the game has been cancelled.

However I can confirm that the arrangements were certainly not made on a ‘word-of-mouth’ basis but through and confirmed by several high-level QPR officials.

Witney had extensively advertised this match in the press and on local radio and have sold hundreds of advanced tickets for the event.

This now leaves Witney United’s development funding seriously depleted – and with the Club with hundreds of pre-match ticket sales to attempt to refund.

Having said all of this I would personally like to thank both Richard Hill and John Gregory for their help in attempting to arrange this game – who’s actions in this matter have been exemplary – just a shame that a Chairman’s claim of ‘word of mouth’ does not mean his Club keeping it’s word.

The Club will shortly release details, through their web site (www.witneyunited.co.uk) and the regional press, of how ticket holders will receive refunds. Witney

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