Sky Sports News managed to get hold of QPR’s CEO, Philip Beard, this evening. And he was honest and forthright about the sacking of Neil Warnock.
Interestingly, Beard admitted that there had been discussions going on with Warnock ‘in the last few days, thinking and reflecting on what we wanted to do in January’.
Being a busy month, Beard admitted that ‘the conclusion that the owners came to was that this was the right time to make this decision.’
We hope to bring someone in very soon. Somebody that we think can help us to fulfil the ambitions not just of the owners but of the fantastic fans that QPR have got.’
Beard then went on to praise Neil Warnock: ‘I want to reinforce our appreciation and support for Neil and also for Keith Curle and Mick Jones who have done a great job.
‘I just think that we are going to be criticised for whatever we do, like everybody else in footbal (you think?!) . We just we believe that this is the right decision at this time.’
When challenged as to the real motivation behind the sacking being to retain our Premier League status, Beard said ‘Being in the Premier League is key to the ambitions of the Club. We have no divine right to believe that we should be there; and we’ve got half a season to prove that we want to stay in the Premier League. But it isn’t just about surviving.
‘It is about building the Club for the future and developing ourselves as a Premier League Club going forward. And I think, with January being theopportune time to bring some other players in, we’ve made this decision.’
However, having said all that, Beard was very eager to stress the Club and Board’s, and particularly Fernandes’ and Bhatia’s, appreciation of everything that Warnock has done for our beloved Club.
Beard would not be persuaded to reveal the plans to bring in Warnock’s successor: ‘We are moving as quickly as we can and hope to make an appointment very soon. We have very strong ambitious ownership, we have very loyal fans, we have a good squad at the Club and our intention will be to bring someone in who can help us grow the Club and fulfil the ambitions, I have to say primarily, for the fans.’
Regarding a transfer kitty for the new manager, Beard confirmed there would be funds available but said ‘we have got to make the right purchases. It’s a tricky month to make things happen but our appetite is to bring 1 or 2 players in, if we can, to strengthen the squad and the new manager will be part of that as soon as we can identify him, and spend time looking at some of our targets.’
His final message to us, the fans, is this: ‘be appreciative of everything that Neil has done for the Club; we will stay close to him going forward. I know he appreciated everything that the Club did for him and the support he had for the fans. And I know, having spent time with him today, that he wishes us well and we’ll stay close to him in the future.
‘My message to the fans is that this is a project about building for the short, medium and long-term and our intention, very strongly, is to do everything possible to stay in the Premier League this season but to buld and grow the Club so that we can fulfil some of the ambitions, not just of the people behind the Club, but more importantly than anybody, the people that support the Club.’
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