Despite my faint hope that my daughter’s original message was unfounded rumour, it has been confirmed that, indeed, Neil Warnock and his management team of Mick Jones and Keith Curle have been released by the Club (I just cannot bring myself to say ‘sacked’!)
In a statement read out by the presenters on Sky Sports News at 7.00pm tonight, Tony Fernandes confirmed the news that had been growing as rumours on Twitter since late this afternoon. The official statement makes it clear that ‘the Board’s commitment to retaining our Premier League status ultimately led to this decision.’
Fernandes said: ‘This decision has been made in the very interests of the Club and I can assure everyone that it is not a decision that was made lightly.
He continued: ‘Neil Warnock has acted with honesty, professionalism and integrity throughout his time at the Club and I would personally like to thank him for his significant contribution to Queens Park Rangers over the past 22 months.
‘I genuinely wish him all the very best for the future and he will always be welcome back at Loftus Road.’
Fernandes admitted that: ‘A recent run of poor form has seen us slip alarmingly down the table and the Board felt it was the right time to make a change.’
Amit Bhatia has also spoken this evening: ‘It is with a heavy heart that we make this announcement. I played a key role in bringing Neil Warnock to Loftus Road and consider him to be a personal friend and a great professional. I would like to place on record my thanks in transforming us from a Championship Club to a Premier League Club.’
And the man himself, SIR Neil Warnock has commented: ‘Obviously, I am very disappointed. having achieved so much, I leave the Club with a great sense of pride. I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else.
He continued: ‘QPR fans have been brilliant with me. They deserve success. My biggest regret is that the takeover didn’t happen earlier because that would have given me the opportunity to bring in the targets that I had pinpointed all last summer and probably given us a better chance to succeed in the Premier League.
‘The Board at QPR are hugely ambitious and I wish them every success for the future.’
What a gentleman! Leaving with dignity and his head held high. Well done, Neil, you will be forever in our hearts – you DID change us from a poor Championship team to a Premier League outfit and you will always be a hero not just to me but, I think it’s right to say, ALL QPR fans!
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