Saturday, 17 November 2012

If I were Tony Fernandes

Queens Park Rangers 1 Southampton 3

If I were Tony Fernandes here is what I would do:

Number One: Take a couple of days off

I wouldn't tweet. I'd avoid the PR machine. I'd have a spa day and get some sleep. I'd need all the energy I can get to figure out what I'm going to do, and to make some big decisions about the club that I bought which is in the most dire situation.

Number Two: Start doing the maths

So many games in, I would have realised by now that QPR are all but relegated. I'd need to take a look at our remaining games and figure out whether there is any hope of saving the club so that we stay in the Premiership. My plans will need to flex for a life in the Championship next season.

Number Three: Call the FA

It's a long-shot but I'd give them a ring and find out whether we can arrange for QPR to relegated sooner rather than later. It will mean several social, sporting and maybe even political implications (I did say it was a long-shot), but I care about the fans having to watch horrific football week-in-week-out and I'd like to explore this potential opportunity which may also give me time to sort things out at the club.

Number Four: Get involved in team selection

I don't believe that I should really get involved in team selection. These decisions should be left with the manager. However, I am still the real boss and what I say goes. Therefore, I will order that we do not play Bosingwa, under any circumstance. Without doubt he has no passion for QPR. In fact, I am not sure that he has any passion for football at all. He is also an ex-Chelsea player. Get rid.

Number Five: Call a meeting with Mark Hughes and his staff

I would not sack him just yet as I don't have many other options. I'm also afraid that another manager will mean more infrastructure changes to the club and more purchases of useless players. Nevertheless I would lock him, Mark B. and Eddie in an interrogation room together with me to have a serious 'chat'  about what's going on in the dressing room and the training ground (Homeland style). I'd ask them why they don't seem to have the attention of the players, and why, during the match against Southampton - they didn't have anyone upfield during opposing corner kicks? And I'd ask them, why, when they did finally get their attention their instructions weren't clear? Cisse looked completely lost in the middle of the pitch and that was when the nail was firmly in the coffin.

Number Six: Divide and Conquer

This isn't a time for democracy and open conversation. I would want to know what the hell is going on. I'd interview and test every one in the squad individually (X Factor boot-camp style). I've heard rumours that training has been going badly Monday to Friday. I've heard that there is tension between old and new players. I want to know what they are doing every day to train better, to stay fit, and stay interested. I want to know everything about them: what they are eating, what music they are listening to, where they go out, what drink they like. And I want to know whether they sleep at night, and if they actually give two fingers for QPR. These interviews will not take place in a 'cushty' sofa and I'm no Cherly Cole. Decisions will be made (see below).

My interrogation room

Number Seven: Have a clearout

Those who fail my test would be sold/got rid of in the January transfer window. If I can't sell them I'd order them to play for the Reserves or Youth Team. I already know who they are. From the squad I would REMOVE:


Quite frankly, all of the above are not good enough and care not for QPR in any way. Some of these players are simply around because they wanted to be near their London mates and the edgy party scene here. Frankly I didn't spend my hard earned money to pay for someone's lifestyle when their footballing skills are questionable.

Did I say I don't really want to get involved in team selection? I've changed my mind. I'm the boss.

Number Eight: Find a striker

Frankly we haven't got one who's prolific enough. It would be all hands on deck for the scouting team.

Find one. Fast.

Number Nine: Rethink the QPR social media and PR strategy

While I truly believe we need to build a global fan base, starting with some of my business ties in Asia, I am not sure buying Park has done anything more than bring a few bus loads of Koreans to Loftus Road every week. I will need to do the numbers to see just how much additional income this is making for QPR, but I suspect it's something I can afford to lose given our position in the league.

I also admit that I've created a bit of a tweet-crazy QPR PR machine that has hyped up players who are past their prime creating unnecessary and unfair excitement for the fans that has only lead to severe disappointment. While it may have excited 'new fans' in to the club, the hardcore QPR base who are my bread and butter want their old QPR back. They want players who care about the club, who have heart and a backbone. I'd give them their Rangers back.

Not just a re-brief to the media team, but a full strategy change methinks.

Number Ten: Make a short-term plan

While a long-term plan is, well, long-term. I now realise that long-term forgets short-term. and in the short-term we have to win games. Short-term builds long-term. And so on, and so-forth.

Remove 'long-term plan' from the QPR vernacular (that includes all QPR Player videos that recorded this being said, it's freaking annoying).

Number Eleven: Consider alternative managerial options

It may be controversial that I haven't yet decided to fire Sparky, but I would start to line up alternatives. In spite of my fears (see above) shouldn't a decent manager be able to work with what he's given? Managers all over the world, across all business have to do it all the time, so why should a new football manager be given the amount of freedom to buy and sell the way I allowed it to happen with Hughes?

I'd give Gerry Francis a ring at Stoke. I don't think he'll come back to QPR as I hear he's enjoying his role over there. But at the very least I'll need the advice of someone who has managerial experience who has real history with QPR. In fact, I'd also ring Ian Holloway because I've heard great things about how he managed QPR through pretty rough times and how he was able to pull the team together and created great spirit and camaraderie.


I don't envy Tony Fernandes at all. I admire how he has stuck by us and manages to maintain a positive attitude, and how he communicates regularly to fans. We are lucky to have him on board and I don't think it's fair for fans to abuse him or Philip Beard. I was sat not far away from Philip today and the venomous stuff coming out of fans directed at him is pointless and unfair. We absolutely should be concerned about Hughes' capabilities and the performance of many players, but we shouldn't be directing negativity to the people who are on our side.

For some reason I'm really calm about the fact that we're likely to go down. It means we'll definitely get our Rangers back as many players who don't deserve to wear our shirt will go.

Time will tell. Seems as if my season prediction is still on course....

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Six tips for sad QPR fans

Arsenal 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Queens Park Rangers 1 Reading 1

Stoke 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

It's bad. It's really bad. It's so bad I'm almost lost for words. Perhaps it's not so much that it's such appalling football, but the fact that it is so relentless. Eleven matches in, not a single win to keep hopes alive, to provide us with an ounce of positive feeling. This situation is incomparable to last season. At least our losses were punctured with home wins. The last performance of any decent quality that I can recall was against Tottenham and we didn't even manage to win that.

It wouldn't  be fair to write a match report for yesterday's game. I was, I suppose somewhat thankfully, 8 hours ahead in Manila enjoying the music of a local band called Session Road with some old pals. I was receiving text updates from my father and even through the various snippets of news it was obvious we were just following the same relentless pattern. And as I look down the list of results so far, all our matches bar the Man City and Swansea ones, show us losing by one goal. This simply affirms the fact that we are making stupid mistakes; that we miss an out and out striker, and that while we are dominating for long periods, we don't seem to have the heart nor that final ounce of skill to be follow through with such possession and score goals. It's as if we lack that vital bit of energy to be able to complete the task at hand. Many fans are calling the problem a lack of passion, and I suppose it's fair also to pine for the old days when we had players who supported the club as well; players for whom the club really meant something.

Unfortunately, we cannot expect that from the current set. But what we should expect is a level of commitment. They bought in to the club, they bought in to the 'long-term project'.  Surely the 'long-term project' should be on their minds as we enter the final third of each match in which we are either still drawing or losing by one goal? Perhaps 'long-term project' is just too 'long-term' and lofty an idea for these chaps.

I have no answers, so quite frankly I'm not going to dwell on it, nor continue to moan.What I would like to propose is Six Top Tips for us QPR fans to cheer ourselves up.

1. Turn the table upside down

This has an immediate and obvious impact. Turning QPR into the top team in the country and putting Manchester Utd and Chelsea in the relegation zone. Be warned though, the impact only lasts for a few seconds and remembering the reality can be rather a harsh experience. A bit like eating a massive bowl of pasta or rice and coming down a few minutes later from the carbo high.

2. Watch Homeland and Hunted

Two of the best TV series being aired in the UK at the moment portraying two of the most gutsy female characters- both fighting for their own justice. Just be careful not to assume that you'll be seeing the same amount of commitment from our own team.

3. Start Planning Christmas

Yes, I am actually advocating that planning Christmas festivities, both at home at at the office might be a suitable distraction. Among several things you can do you can start thinking about the crap gifts you will be buying for £5 in the office Secret Santa. Perhaps a QPR woolly hat for a Chelsea or Utd fan? This strategy does have risks though, you will be reminded of the fact that there are 4 games over the holiday period.

4. Slag off Chelsea

This strategy will allow you to feel superior. There are many things that should make us feel much better about supporting a team like QPR:
a. We do not have a problem with players shouting racist abuse at others
b. We are still a family club with a family atmosphere
c. We really are based in West London and not South West London
d. We serve much better pies

5. Delete from your favourites and unfollow @officialqpr

This will not be easy and is a very drastic move. This is not recommended unless you are already going to games regularly as you may get deep withdrawal systems that could shock the system in spite of the constant bad news.

6. Think of Joey Barton

An odd strategy perhaps, and one that goes against several of my posts that promised not to speak of him again. However, given the current circumstance I revive his ghost to make a point about the fact that we should be thankful at the very least that this idiot is no longer at the club. Sadly, we are still stuck with his ongoing appetite for attention through the various newspaper and magazine interviews but at least we can snigger from afar instead of bemoan his presence at Loftus Road.