The QPR Managerial Merry-Go-Around – By QPR Report
As Rangers go in search of a new boss following the sacking of Iain Dowie, QPR Report takes a look at the managerial Merry-Go Round that surrounds the club.
BEING a Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR) fan means never being surprised at what may come the way of QPR. As a QPR fan you’ve grown accustomed to disappointing results (especially in the Cups); sensationalist tabloid stories and shock developments on and off the field
So it was, once again, this past week when, after weeks of press gossip and messageboard rumours, Chairman Flavio Briatore axed Manager (Chief Coach) Iain Dowie. While the sacking was not exactly a shock; certainly its imminent timing hadn’t been predicted or announced by either the media or by board posters ostensibly ‘in the know.’
So now, after a brief hiatus, it’s back to the QPR Managerial Merry-Go-Round: Already various names are being touted in the press. In many instances, it’s a case of ‘Round up the usual suspects’ as names cited in previous job hunts are again mentioned. Primus inter pares in this list, The perennial Terry Venables who for the last two decades, has had his name touted as the potential ‘next’ QPR manager.
The announcement that Gareth Ainsworth would be the QPR Acting Manager (even though the ousted Iain Dowie had in fact been designated as First Team Coach) means that Ainsworth is QPR’s 13th manager (four of them, including himself, caretaker managers) to manage the club in the 13 seasons since QPR`s relegation in 1996. 10 ‘permanent’ managers in 12 years.
Almost (but not every) QPR Chairman has made his own contribution to this lamentable managerial record; although clearly some Chairmen are more impatient than others (or have made poor managerial selections). QPR fans need no reminding how many permanent and acting managers have come QPR’s way since Ian Holloway was placed on ‘Gardening Leave’ just two-and-a-half years ago.
Since Alec Stock was (shamefully) ousted as QPR’s manager almost exactly forty years ago, QPR managers have come and gone; come and gone, constituting some 25 in total. If Terry Venables were really to return – almost a quarter century after he abandoned QPR for Barcelona, QPR have seen 20 managers (including caretakers) ‘guide’ the club. QPR’s longest-serving manager since Stock, was Ian Holloway’s almost five years in charge before he was cast out. By QPR standards, with each passing day – and with each ensuing manager – Holloway’s five year tenure looks more and more remarkable.
Just their very names conjure up memories: The optimism of their appointment followed by disillusionment and ultimately, departure. Alec Stock, Bill Dodgin, Tommy Docherty, Les Allen, Gordon Jago, Dave Sexton, Frank Sibley, Steve Burtenshaw, Tommy Docherty, Terry Venables, Gordon Jago, Alan Mullery, Jim Smith, Terry Francis, Don Howe, Gerry Francis, Ray Wilkins, Stuart Houston, Ray Harford, Gerry Francis, Ian Holloway, Gary Waddock, John Gregory, Luigi De Canio, Iain Dowie. And whoever is the next manager or scapegoat. (And this list does not include the Acting Managerships of Iain Dowie, John Hollins, Mick Harford, the repeated turns of Frank Sibley, and now Gareth Ainsworth)
All too often, QPR managerial appointments end in grief. Only rarely have QPR managers left QPR for better things or left relatively amicably: Venables went off to Barcelona. Sexton left for Manchester United (after initially having seemed aimed for Arsenal). Gerry Francis, the first time, went off to Spurs (but that was in part a result of a Chairman-Manager dispute). Jim Smith was permitted to move to Newcastle (a lateral move). And Luigi De Canio had a departure shrouded in mystery.
On the bright side: For any QPR fans unhappy with QPR’s next managerial appointment, this note: Don’t fret. He probably won’t be QPR manager for too long!
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