I have just read an interesting article on the Sky Sports website written following an interview given by Mick Harford today. Remember, it was Sky Sports News which broke the story of Hart`s departure at around 11.00 pm yesterday evening – hours before the official QPR website made their own, terse statement.
According to Sky Sports Mick Harford is not a “caretaker manager” but, quoting Harford himself: ‘It’s as manager – manager of Queens Park Rangers.”
Harford is reported as saying: “There’s been no time scale said, they’ve said ‘Mick, you take charge of first-team affairs and see where it takes you’.
‘Hopefully I’m here for a long time. If I’m here a long time it’ll mean we’re having some sort of success.”
Harford also seemed to confirm the reports that Hart actually resigned rather than was pushed; something that has been backed by League Managers` Association chief executive, Richard Bevan.
Bevan stated: ‘I am able to say that Paul Hart has left the football club. I understand that he was very unhappy with certain situations which have to remain confidential and felt that resignation was in the best interests of all concerned. Paul wants to thank his staff and the fans for their support during his period at the club and wishes them, and the club, well for the future.’
Rumours have been rife today as to whether Hart jumped or was pushed and as to why, including the possibility that the Club already had another man in place, which Hart didn`t like; that the Board objected to his transfer wishes (in and out) in this January window; or that he had a falling out with Adel Taarabt – and Taarabt won!
Returning to the Sky Sports interview with Harford, he confirmed what many of us felt at the time of his departure a couple of years ago, that he left on amicable terms and has remained friendly with Flavio Briatore.
‘It’s a club I know about, I know how it’s run, I know the people, I know the players, I know about the situation,’ Harford said. Adding: ‘The last time I was here I was here for a short period of time. I thought it was for the best interests (to leave) as QPR got on with their business in the way they wanted to do.
‘We left on good terms and I still have a fantastic relationship with everyone at Queens Park Rangers.”
There were certainly many who felt that Harford should have been given longer in charge, first time around; who were happy with his short-term work with the team before Luigi De Canio`s arrival. It would seem that he now may have the chance to impress where he didn`t have time previously.
But knowing our history with managers – and our current Board – if I were Harford, I wouldn`t hold my breath on my long-term future!
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