Tag Archive: Queens Park Rangers F.C.

By Laurie Fitzgerald

Sergio Aguero’s 95th-minute strike secured the most thrilling of Premier League titles for Manchester City as Roberto Mancini’s side earned the club’s first title in 44 years in truly dramatic fashion.

That 3-2 win over Queen’s Park Rangers served as heartbreak for their Manchester rivals United, as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men had the title given to them and dashed from them all within a matter of minutes.

It was also a fitting end to a Premier League campaign that has thrown up endless twists and turns, and this in a week when the 2011/12 season was voted the greatest in the league’s history, with each club having their own intriguing story.

City will look upon their triumph as potentially the beginning of a new and successful era, with the incredible financial backing of Sheikh Mansour now reaping the rewards.

United will try and use this moment to inspire their younger players such as Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck to drive them on and continuing the consistent success that’s been in place over the past 20 years.     Continue reading


By Tony Alvarez

By midnight tonight the Premier League season will be over, we will know where everyone has finished and more importantly who has grabbed the final important places that are still up for grabs.
It has been the first time in many a year that the final day of the season has seen so much still to play for.

The title is still there to be won with the Manchester clubs, City and United fighting to be crowned Champions.
3rd and 4th are still yet to be decided, really they shouldn’t be important placing but with the money the Champions League brings in they are extremely important, third is also more important that it has ever been before as the side who finish 4th will miss out on Champions League Football should Chelsea triumph over Munich in Munich on May 19th.

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By Tony Alvarez
Tonight sees Steve Kean‘s Blackburn Rovers take on Wigan at Ewood park knowing that nothing less than a victory will maintain their Premier League status.
Blackburn are in a position where they most win both of their remaining games and then hope that other results go their way.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

Queen’s Park Rangers reignited their quest for Premier League survival when they beat in-form Arsenal 2-1 at Loftus Road on Saturday.

The win means that while Rangers are still in the bottom three with seven games still remaining, defeat for Blackburn tonight at home to title-chasing Manchester United will lift the R’s out of the relegation zone.

While there are plenty of positives to take from the weekend, the main issue for Mark Hughes‘ side is their run-in will hardly be the envy of those around them.

Having overcome the Gunners, their next game is a trip to Old Trafford, while they still have to go to Manchester City and Chelsea as well as face Tottenham in their penultimate home game.

Facing the top five in their final eight matches is a horrendous run-in and would give most teams little hope of avoiding the drop; but playing the top sides seems to bring out the best in the Hoops in recent weeks.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

It has been said millions of times before and I’m in no doubt it will be said over and over again but the simple fact is we need goal line technology and the sooner we get it the better.

Of course I am writing this in relation to the “goal” QPR were not awarded in their fixture againstBoltonon Saturday when Clint Hill’s header was clearly over the line on TV replays. It wasn’t a marginal call the ball was over the line by a distance.

Many people will say its easy to spot it with replays from various angles and vantage points but I knew straight away the ball had crossed the line, the ball was pushed back out and up by keeper Adam Bogdan and still hit the bar for me that made it clear, anyway this is not an attack on the referee or the assistants because if they don’t see it they simply cannot give it and I know that they do not have an easy job.

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By Tony Alvarez
This week the papers have been filled with Mark Hughes appointment at QPR following last weeks sacking of Neil Warnock and more in the media has been Joey Barton‘s comments via social media site Twitter about the outgoing manager.
The whole situation started when the departing Warnock blamed Twitter for his dismissal as he had claimed that people inside and outside the club had poisoned chairman Tony Fernandes opinion of him via Twitter.
Joey Barton took exception to Warnock’s comments although there was no suggestion from Warnock that Barton was a culprit. Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

It was all change last week at Queens Park Rangers, as manager Neil Warnock was sacked and replaced at the helm by Mark Hughes.

Owner Tony Fernandes decided to take drastic action after a run of just two points from eight league games left the Hoops firmly in a relegation battle.

There is a great deal of sympathy for Warnock, who despite often causing controversy with his outspoken views deserves great credit for taking the club into the Premier League.

However, Fernandes has decided to put his faith into a manager that he feels shares the same ambition as himself for the West London outfit. Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

This week, Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes announced plans to move the club away from Loftus Road and into a new stadium.

The Malaysian businessman, who also owns motor company Lotus, confirmed that they were looking at potential new sites across West London to take the Premier League newboys.

There are fears that Fernandes is thinking too big, and that a larger stadium would not regularly meet demand due to the current fanbase that is associated with the Hoops.

But Fernandes tried to allay those fears by saying, “Some fans are saying ‘we don’t have a fan base bigger than 20,000.’ My gut feeling is 40-45,ooo. That’s double where we are right now, but we’re in London and there’s a strong catchment area.”

It’s great to see that the 47 year-old has such ambitious plans for the club, especially as it shows that QPR are in the right hands for the long-term, something that couldn’t be said for previous owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone (despite their vast wealth.)

However, the main issue for Fernandes will be whether or not building such a big new stadium is a realistic proposition when there are clubs all across London trying to attract the same supporters.

Loftus Road has been the home of Rangers for the past 107 years, and their current capacity of around 18,500 is a regular sell-out.

So there is a definite need to have a ground with greater attendance, but why not have that possibility where they currently are now?

If Fernandes looked into increasing the current capacity to around 25,000, it would not only give QPR a regular chance of attracting more supporters, but also give them a realistic chance of filling the stadium every week.

Going into a bigger stadium just because London is a big catchment area doesn’t guarantee the increase of the fanbase. The likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham make that difficult enough whatever the stadia.

No-one can dispute Fernandes’ belief in what he can achieve for QPR, and he has also made it clear that the short-term aim is to consolidate their position in the top-flight. He knows without that status, any plans for a bigger stadium will be scrapped.

But while they search for potential sites for a new home, there is no reason to rule out the long-term possibility of where they are now.

 Source: BBC Sport

So what do you think? Has Fernandes got it right in outlining plans for a 40-45,ooo seater stadium? Or are his plans too ambitious and look to increase the current capacity of Loftus Road? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

By Tony Alvarez

It has been revealed that a few clubs in the Football leagues are backing the return of artificial pitches into the professional game inEngland.

Clubs such as Wycombe Wanderers and Accrington Stanley have backed the idea due to lower costs of maintenance and also the increased revenue streams of it being able to be used 7 days a week without suffering damage, this would allow the clubs to train on the pitch as well as hiring out their facilities.

Whilst it is currently thought that the plan is being discussed by all 72 Football League clubs the majority of the Championship are thought to be against installing artificial pitches as Premier League rules state you must play on grass the Championship sides do not want to install something that could have to be removed in less than a year.

Of course artificial or Astroturf pitches are nothing new to English football with Luton Town, Oldham Athletic, Preston North End and Queens Park Rangers all possessing artificial pitches until they were outlawed by the Football Association in the late 1980s, although Preston continued to use theirs until the end of the 1993-94 season.

The pitches were outlawed due to fears over player safety and arguments that they caused a poor brand of Football to be played, however since then technological means the pitches have come on massively and take aside the top few pitches in the country artificial pitches are as consistent.

Artificial pitches are always completely flat by nature meaning no bobbles and as they don’t suffer from wear and tear you do not get unplayable areas as you see in many goal mouths and centre circles in the Football League.

They tend to play faster than grass especially when wet which could add to the fast football which is already played in England, unless there is such a thing as too fast which I don’t believe there is I don’t think artificial pitches would be detrimental to the quality of Football.

The player safety issue is a good one whilst technological advances mean they are a lot safer than in the 80’s hence FIFA’s acceptance of them and many teams throughout the world using them I do believe that grass is safer.

Whilst you can get your studs stuck in grass which causes more horrific injuries, Astroturf pitches are a lot harder meaning and fall hurts a lot more. As well as the hardness of the pitches I feel defenders would be less happy with any change, slide tackles can still not be properly perfected on artificial pitches without a carpet burn effect, the same can be said for any player taken down by a slide tackle, bloody knees would happen numerous times per match.

Whilst a bloody knee is unlikely to cause grave pain think of the amount of stoppages as players have to leave the field as you cannot play with any blood coming from your body.

As mentioned above both FIFA and UEFA already sanction the use of artificial pitches, you may remember England losing to Russia on an artificial pitch in a euro 2008 qualifier or Tottenham losing to Young Boys in a Champions League qualifier last season on an artificial pitch.

Whilst those cases are in Russia and Switzerland there are artificial pitches a lot closer to home, many teams in the lower divisions of the Scottish Leagues use them as they cost less to maintain and do not get damaged in the bad weather.

I happen to know many sides currently have artificial pitches at their training ground, Arsenal’s London Colney training ground has numerous out door grass pitches but also has indoor artificial pitches.

For me it is a tough call I am all for clubs to maximise their revenue by having cheaper maintenance as well as hiring out their pitches not to mention the reduction of postponements it would bring with it.

However I am not for a game that has to stop 10 times per match for a player to go off and get treated for a blood wound, the positives do out weigh the negatives but the negative is a pretty big one, if it could be proved that their would not be numerous blood wounds I am all for a club making their choice whether they want grass or an artificial pitch.

What are your thoughts? Are you for the use of artificial pitches? Would there be numerous blood injuries on artificial pitches? Do technological advantages mean the quality of Football is not affected? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

On Monday the League Managers Association Chief Executive Richard Bevan claimed that there are several foreign-based owners of Premier League sides that want to scrap relegation from the top flight.

With continual growing interest in foreign investment into England‘s biggest clubs, Bevan fears that it will only take a few more new owners from outside the country to make this idea become a reality.

Bevan said, “there are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more owners, that could happen.”

It’s easy to understand why Bevan is eager for a parliamentary inquiry into the way that English football is being run.

There are nine of the current twenty Premier League clubs that are owned by foreign investors, and if they were to have the majority vote then it could spell disaster for the rest of English football.

The logic behind the idea – for those in favour of it – is due to protection of their business; if their club is one of those guaranteed to have regular football in the most marketable league in the world, then more money can be made from it.

Sponsorship deals will soar because interested parties will have their investment assured for the long-term, and clubs will justify soaring ticket prices because of the quality of football on offer year in, year out.

But what these owners seem to forget is that there is no guarantee their club will be one of the twenty assured a place in a franchised Premier League.

There is nothing to suggest that the owners of Blackburn and QPR (both foreign-based) are among the group of owners that are for this plan, but if they were then there is no guarantee that they will be guaranteed a spot.

How would anything like this be decided? Would it be based on which clubs have appeared for the longest in the top-flight over a particular period of time? Or will it be based on the clubs that have the best criteria in terms of stadium and support that will make the grade?

Maybe history will play a big part as well, which means that the likes of Leeds United and Nottingham Forest will have to be seriously considered despite not featuring in the Premier League for a number of seasons.

There are so many permutations to overcome that these foreign owners seemed to have overlooked the potential obstacles in front of them.

The biggest issue of all though is what it will do to those clubs that do not make the final 20; those that will be limited to a certain amount of income, and possibly struggling to survive in the process.

If the Premier League were to authorise such an occurence, then the legal ramifications from the 72 other Football League clubs would be long-drawn and very messy, as these clubs could claim that their futures are being damaged.

When you consider that the top-flight is a breakaway league from the other tiers in English league football, the concern only grows.

What inspires fans when they support their team is the ability to dream of the impossible, achieving something that seems a million miles away, only one day for it to become a reality.

If those dreams really were made impossible, then the soul of English football will be ripped out by those inspired not by the love of the game, but for the love of money.

Source: Sky Sports

So what do you think? How damaging will the scrapping of relegation be to English football? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

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