Flavio’s return threatens Rangers’ new-found stability

by Sean Bell

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
 

After the dramatic events which unfolded on the morning of Queens Park Rangers’ last match of the season when the club’s promotion to the Premier League was finally confirmed after the FA imposed a £875,000 fine rather than a heavy points deduction, Rangers’ fans could be forgiven for looking forward to a summer filled with hope and expectation about their first season back in the top flight since 1995-96. Yet with all the inevitability of an early F.A. Cup exit, the perma-tanned and expensively attired figure of Flavio Briatore lurched back into centre stage trailing the twin demons of chaos and misrule in his flamboyant wake.

 

Briatore had taken a back seat during last season’s Championship-winning season as Rangers vice-chairman Amit Bhatia, the son-in-law of Britain’s richest man and club co-owner Lakshmi Mittal, oversaw a period of relative stability at the club. The appointment of Neil Warnock as manager towards the latter part of the previous season has been attributed to Bhatia, and it was undoubtedly Warnock’s proven ability to mould a promotion-winning side that was responsible for Rangers’ success. The myth that because Rangers have extremely rich owners that they have bought their way out of the division is certainly fallacious; this was a typical Warnock side, only really embellished by the talents of Adel Taarabt who was a relatively cheap signing from Tottenham anyway.

 

So the news that Briatore is back at the helm, managing the day-to-day running of the club has been greeted by most supporters with disdain. It was the Italian who was responsible for the managerial merry-go-round at Loftus Road which preceded Warnock’s appointment, a period which saw the likes of Paulo Sousa, Jim Magilton, and Paul Hart attempt to manage both the side and Briatore’s ego. Whilst Briatore and co-owner Bernie Ecclestone’s acquisition of the club in August 2007 has to be seen as a boon considering Rangers’ parlous financial situation at the time and their return to the top flight, Briatore has frequently antagonized supporters by making no secret of his desire to glamorize (some would say tart up) the club.

 

The announcement of huge ticket price rises for next season means that many supporters will be priced out of the club’s return to the Premier League but Briatore is aware that the combination of the club’s limited ground capacity and London catchment area means that he should have no trouble attracting well-heeled casual supporters eager for any glimpse they can get of Premier League football. The suspicion is that Briatore is more concerned with these Premier League tourists than die-hard Rangers’ supporters.

 

Warnock’s future remains a subject of speculation too. Rangers are consistently linked with glamorous Italian names and one expects that if Sophia Loren became available, Warnock would be ousted in favour of the septuagenarian sex goddess. For Rangers’ fans the summer promises to be one of hoping against the expectation of Flavio’s reconstituted anarchy.

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  • Ted

    What can a Qpr supporter say to those two twats running the show ??. Well not much you can print on here thats for sure. I can say comfortably that 90% of the fans would be VERY glad to see the back of them . They are incompetent and have NO loyalty or care about qpr fans in the slightest. The Mittal family were very good for the club with real ambition and feeling for the club that was on show. Flabio and the dwarf are entrepreneaurs first and formost and really do not care about football or its followers , other than making money. Thats not so bad , its the fact that they are butting in and destroying the club from within with their pathetic business accumen of F1 ?????? yes mind boggling i know. If you care to look at the club message board ( i wish they would ) you will see a tirade of anger and hatred for the two clowns in charge. The sooner they GO the better .

  • http://www.spittinmcblain.co.uk john mcblain

    i know qpr wont get much money to strenghten our team for the premier league £10 mill thats not enough i will tell you why thats all we are getting because if we spend big we will do well for a mid table finish…and qpr would have to keep warnock… because we are going to spend very little we will just about survive ….step in flavio briatore he dosent want warnock there he wants some pompus italian to take the reins and ultimately wants warnock to fail dont give him money and he wont succeed… i wish mittal would buy the lot ou..t the club would do better all round.. john mcblain hooped4life

  • http://seanpatrickbell.site50.net/wordpress/?p=4 Sean Bell

    Worst case scenario would be the Mittals buying Fulham whilst Flavio erects a statue of himself even more hideous than the Michael Jackson one on South Africa Road.

  • http://VitalQPR John Gallagher

    When someone comes up with some proper facts, instead of idle speculation, we might have something to comment about!

    In any case, Mittal isn’t the saint that many imagine he is. Google and you will see!

  • Patelvis

    Tango Man & The Poison Dwarf upped my Platinum Season Ticket
    by over £ 350.00 …. Then guess what ??

    Told us that the platinum bar would not be in use anymore as they
    are turning it into a press office …. Bet the old press office will be turned into something fancy solely for the use of the rich and famous !!

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