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Old Rivals Awaken From Their Ancient Slumber


Guest Brian M

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Guest Brian M

To put this guy in context: he has twice the money that Abramovich has...

It'd be nice if this old rivalry were rekindled.

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QPR welcomes the billionaire effect as Mittal strikes a deal

By Danny Fortson, Business Correspondent

Published: 21 December 2007

Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a championship-winning football team, a truism lavishly proven by Roman Abram-ovich at Chelsea.

The board of Queen's Park Rangers was yesterday hoping that the arrival of a new billionaire owner in the form of Lakshmi Mittal, head of the world's largest steel company and the richest man in the UK, would herald a similar change of fortunes for the long-suffering club.

The West London club revealed yesterday that the steel baron paid an undisclosed sum for a 20 per cent stake, becoming the latest fabulously wealthy businessman to add an English football club to his trophy case. QPR, currently bottom of the Championship, welcomed the arrival of Mr Mittal, who has an estimated net worth of £20bn. "This investment ...is a great step towards the development of the club and supports the ambition of the shareholders to reach the Premier League in the near future."

Mr Mittal joins the club's other high-profile owners, Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One, and Flavio Briatore, the Renault team manager, who took over the club in September. Mr Mittal will be represented on the board by his son-in-law Amit Bhatia.

QPR declined to comment on spending plans beyond a statement saying: "The new capital being invested in QPR will help fund the programme that is needed to help us to achieve this target."

If recent history is a guide, QPR, which last played in the Premier League in 1996, is probably on the cusp of a liberally bankrolled make-over. It needs it. The club descended into farce last year when details emerged of a boardroom confrontation in which former director Gianni Baldini said he was held at gunpoint to force him to resign and sell his shares.

Mr Mittal's dip into the football world is the latest in a string of such deals. Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, bought Manchester City last summer and immediately splashed out tens of millions of pounds to hire former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson and a raft of pricey foreign players.

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QPR are only our rivals in their eyes. Up until the early 80's QPR's main local rivals were Fulham, with no love lost on either side, but then QPR fans seemed to think they deserved bigger and better rivalry. Quite comical really - whenever we played at Loftus Road we took over the entire ground, hardly a QPR fan to be seen - yet they're our rivals?

Well, let them believe it if they want, but to most Chelsea fans, QPR are just a bunch of w*nkers from Shepherds Bush w**k2.gif

Be interesting to see what effect that kind of money has on a crap team with a crap ground and crap fans. Once they've bought their way into the Premier League, hopefully they'll build a big new stadium at White City and attract all the prawn sandwich brigade away from the Bridge. And then all us older fans might start going to games again - what a great thought icon_lol.gif

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Well whatever, have to admit the QPR game is the hottest ticket in town. My phone has been ringing 24/7 with people asking if I can get hold of spares.

Going with all my usual crowd, but also a fair few R's coming up with us as well. To put it into context. For them this match is the equivalent of us meeting Rottenham in the Champions League final. That big. For them, it is massive. Personally, I'm having a problem keeping a straight face.

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Guest Brian M
have to admit the QPR game is the hottest ticket in town.

Would you expect anything less, Just! icon_wink.gif

http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/New ... 85,00.html

On a serious note though, any local derby in any city adds a bit of spice to a game, I always think. Even if the team you're playing is crap and their fans a bunch of knobs. So it'll be interesting to see if this guy ups his 20% stake in the club. Because with that much money behind them (him) I could easily see them in the premier league in 2 or 3 seasons, with a team full of internationals. Money buys that kind of loyalty (look at Man City now). Then maybe the rivalry will finally live up to its potential.

PS: the following stats show that the results between the two teams are closer than some of the older fans on here may be remembering. Though I just grabbed these stats off a QPR fan's blog, so they may well have been doctored! PDT_nunu.gif

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Results between Queen's Park Rangers and Chelsea

QPR wins draws Chelsea wins

League 11 15 14

FA Cup 1 1 2

Lge Cup 1 1 0

Total 13 17 16

1995/1996

English Premier Chelsea 1-1 Queen's Park Rangers 23-03-1996

English FA Cup Queen's Park Rangers 1-2 Chelsea 29-01-1996

English Premier Queen's Park Rangers 1-2 Chelsea 02-01-1996

1994/1995

English Premier Chelsea 1-0 Queen's Park Rangers 29-04-1995

English Premier Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea 22-03-1995

1993/1994

English Premier Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 13-04-1994

English Premier Chelsea 2-0 Queen's Park Rangers 25-08-1993

1992/1993

English Premier Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 27-01-1993

English Premier Chelsea 1-0 Queen's Park Rangers 29-08-1992

1991/1992

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 2-1 Queen's Park Rangers 18-04-1992

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 2-2 Chelsea 21-09-1991

1990/1991

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 2-0 Queen's Park Rangers 12-01-1991

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea 01-09-1990

1989/1990

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 4-2 Chelsea 09-12-1989

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 1-1 Queen's Park Rangers 22-08-1989

1987/1988

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 1-1 Queen's Park Rangers 26-12-1987

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 3-1 Chelsea 12-09-1987

1986/1987

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 18-04-1987

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 3-1 Queen's Park Rangers 01-01-1987

1985/1986

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 6-0 Chelsea 31-03-1986

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 1-1 Queen's Park Rangers 19-03-1986

English League Cup Chelsea 0-2 Queen's Park Rangers 29-01-1986

English League Cup Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 22-01-1986

1984/1985

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 1-0 Queen's Park Rangers 06-04-1985

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 2-2 Chelsea 26-12-1984

1982/1983

English Division 2 (old) Chelsea 0-2 Queen's Park Rangers 04-04-1983

English Division 2 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-2 Chelsea 27-12-1982

1981/1982

English Division 2 (old) Chelsea 2-1 Queen's Park Rangers 10-04-1982

English Division 2 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 0-2 Chelsea 26-12-1981

1980/1981

English Division 2 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea 17-01-1981

English Division 2 (old) Chelsea 1-1 Queen's Park Rangers 30-08-1980

1979/1980

English Division 2 (old) Chelsea 0-2 Queen's Park Rangers 02-04-1980

English Division 2 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 2-2 Chelsea 18-12-1979

1978/1979

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 1-3 Queen's Park Rangers 17-03-1979

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 0-0 Chelsea 04-11-1978

1977/1978

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 3-1 Queen's Park Rangers 02-05-1978

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 24-09-1977

1974/1975

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea 18-03-1975

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 0-3 Queen's Park Rangers 28-12-1974

1973/1974

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 3-3 Queen's Park Rangers 23-02-1974

English FA Cup Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea 15-01-1974

English FA Cup Chelsea 0-0 Queen's Park Rangers 05-01-1974

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea 06-10-1973

1969/1970

English FA Cup Queen's Park Rangers 2-4 Chelsea

1968/1969

English Division 1 (old) Chelsea 2-1 Queen's Park Rangers 19-04-1969

English Division 1 (old) Queen's Park Rangers 0-4 Chelsea 14-09-1968 Soccerbase

Played for Both and QPR and Chelsea

Numerous Chelsea players have gone on to play for QPR. A far smaller number of QPR players went on to play for Chelsea.

Among the Former Chelsea Players Playing for QPR:

Les Allen, Terry Venables, Ray Wilkins, John Hollins, Dave Webb, Barry Bridges, Steve Wicks, Allan Harris, Gavin Peacock (originally from QPR); John Spencer; and on and on down to Smith, Sinclair, Ben Sahar and Mancienne. (Add: Tommy Langley, Richardson, Walker, Chivers, Cunningham, Perkins, Ian Watson, Alan Wilks and Paul Furlong.)

And of course in the managerial field, Dave Sexton and Tommy Docherty!

Among the Former QPR Players Who Played For Chelsea:

[in the other direction, directly or indirectly: Clive Allen, Paul Parker, Steve Wicks, Gavin Peacock, John Hollins, Alan Mayes, Mark Stein, and perhaps a few others)

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Guest Brian M

Ray Wilkins fears billionaires will cost QPR

By Jeremy Wilson

Last Updated: 12:51am GMT 04/01/2008

It is doubtful that Roman Abramovich has ever felt inadequate financially when entering the Chelsea boardroom. That could change tomorrow when Queens Park Rangers arrive at Stamford Bridge for an FA Cup third-round tie between what are, arguably, the two richest clubs in world football.

Abramovich's personal wealth is put at £9.35 billion, yet even his fortune falls well short of estimates for Lakshmi Mittal, the fifth-richest man in the world with £16 billion. The Mittal family have just purchased a 20 per cent stake in QPR and Mittal's son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, is now a director. Also on board is Bernie Ecclestone, whose wealth is said to be £2.5 billion, while Flavio Briatore (worth around £70 million) has been pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Six players have already arrived since the January transfer window opened on Tuesday and more are certain to follow. The supporters, not surprisingly, are buoyant at the possibility of replicating the sort of success Abramovich has helped bring to Chelsea.

Yesterday, though, there were words of caution from Ray Wilkins, a former England captain with the rare distinction of having played for, coached and been sacked by both QPR and Chelsea.

"QPR is very much a family club and it would be lovely to think you could always keep that identity," said Wilkins. "But if Bernie Ecclestone and Briatore are serious in what they are doing you could lose that little bit of the heart and family atmosphere that belongs to Loftus Road.

"A lot of these guys - not so much Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore - have a lot of money but are not known in the world. The one way they can be known is to buy a football club because they will be straight on the back page of every newspaper in the country.

"But they are extremely successful businessmen and I wouldn't have thought they are going into this too lightly. They have bought Luigi de Canio from Italy as manager; he's obviously a man who knows his stuff, and the results in the last couple of weeks would bear that out."

QPR's recent run of form has included four wins and two draws in their last seven matches.

But Wilkins sees little chance of them defeating their fiercest rivals tomorrow. "You have to be a realist and go for Chelsea," he said.

"Unfortunately, the romance of the giant-killing in the Cup may have disappeared. The playing surfaces are so good that the big teams can play against you.

"You play on top of the surface now instead of running underneath it, and I think that used to give the underdog the chance because teams on the mud couldn't play."

While the financial advantages enjoyed by Premier League clubs has helped make FA Cup upsets rarer, the competition's relevance came under fresh scrutiny this week when Reading forward Dave Kitson admitted that he did not care about the FA Cup this season.

Wilkins, who scored in the 1983 final for Manchester United, understands the sentiment but disagrees.

"The FA Cup is still massively important - the final is watched by billions of people," he said. "It's a fabulous occasion to play in an FA Cup final and a lot of wonderful players have never had the opportunity to do so.

"I think Dave is probably a one-off. The FA Cup is very special and I'm sure if he were to be in the final he would realise that."

Wilkins fully expects Chelsea to join QPR among the more active clubs in the transfer market and has detected an added maturity in one of Avram Grant's main targets, Nicolas Anelka, since his 2006 move to Bolton.

"If the money they are talking is about £10 million, then that's got to be good business," he said. "I think his performances have been that of a more mature guy - he seems to have taken on more responsibility and he's ever-present at Bolton. There's no reason he can't play with [Didier] Drogba and what a strike-force that would be."

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Guest Brian M

"We tore Chelsea to shreds"

By David McIntyre

John Byrne knows a thing or two about beating Chelsea, so how can his former club QPR somehow overcome them in their FA Cup third-round encounter?

"Pick me and Gary Bannister!" he jokingly told BBC Sport.

"'Banno' and I probably couldn't run for a bus now. But we loved playing against Chelsea, that's for sure."

They certainly did.

Bannister netted two hat-tricks against them for QPR, one of them in a 6-0 mauling of the Blues at Loftus Road in 1986, in which Byrne scored twice.

It will remain QPR's greatest victory over their neighbours unless the current team achieves the unthinkable on Saturday.

Weeks before the six-goal demolition of a title-chasing Chelsea side, Byrne also hit the net in a League Cup quarter-final tussle with them, which Rangers won in a replay on their way to the final.

"The cup game was great itself but the 6-0 win a few weeks later was amazing and thinking about it brings back great memories," said Byrne.

"We tore them to shreds. Doug Rougvie, who was playing at centre-back for Chelsea, was a fearsome player and he was absolutely furious. By the end, Doug was looking for blood.

"We had the Milk Cup final coming up a couple of weeks later. Banno and me didn't want to get injured so having destroyed Chelsea, we spent the last part of the match avoiding Doug, who was an angry man. We stayed away from him. Banno went to play on one wing and I went and played on the other! icon_lol.gif

"It was an unbelievable game to play in. We just played so, so well and everything we did came off. They couldn't handle us that day."

Byrne's tormenting of Chelsea was not confined to his QPR days.

The former Republic of Ireland forward's equaliser for Sunderland in an FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge in 1992 took the tie to a replay.

Sunderland, then a Second Division team, won the return match and went on to face Liverpool in the final.

"I always seemed to do well against Chelsea," Byrne recalled.

"I scored for QPR at Stamford Bridge one year and of course there was the goal for Sunderland. I did seem to have the Indian sign over Chelsea when I played against them.

"Games between QPR and Chelsea used to be great and the atmosphere was brilliant - especially at Loftus Road.

"The ground is so tight with the crowd practically on top of you and you can't beat the place for atmosphere.

"They were great days for Rangers and I've some great memories of my time there."

Byrne's swagger and his strike partnership with Bannister formed part of an era in which QPR were often west London's leading club.

For the best part of two decades they fared better than their counterparts from SW6 and put them to the sword on a number of occasions.

Rangers finished above Chelsea in 15 of the 22 seasons prior to their relegation from the top division in 1996. *

How times have changed.

This weekend the two clubs meet in the FA Cup, 12 years after Chelsea won a third-round clash 2-1 against a QPR side on their way to relegation from the top flight.

Since losing their Premiership status, Rangers have been in - and almost returned to - administration and the third tier of English football, suffering a multitude of problems on and off the pitch.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have grown into one of Europe's top clubs, taking on the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan while QPR have faced the likes of Chesterfield and Wrexham.

The gulf between the clubs is currently massive and Saturday's game has the makings of a mismatch.

The hope for Rangers is that the gap is about to close and that the recent takeover by Formula One magnates Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, followed by further investment from steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, will help them become an established Premier League club again.

"I feel really sad to see QPR down there," said Byrne.

"I know some of their fans will hate going to Chelsea as the plucky underdogs. A few years back you'd never have thought that would happen.

"QPR have never been a massive club like Chelsea but they were always associated with good teams and good football.

"That was the case before my time, when they had Stan Bowles and other great players, and after that in the early 1990s.

"I'd love to see them get back where they belong and hopefully with the investment, they can do it.

"You need that investment to not just get to the Premier League but to stay there. You have to spend and keep spending these days and hopefully QPR will now be able to do that.

"You have to say it's going to be very difficult for them on Saturday because Chelsea are a great side.

"But come on, this is the FA Cup and anything can happen. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for them."

*not bad for a team that some fans remember as crap... 247.gif

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*not bad for a team that some fans remember as crap... 247.gif

My observations on QPR were based on their fans (or severe lack of them), not the team. Having said that, my first memories of QPR go back to the 60's, when they were in the 3rd.Division.

First time I saw QPR was in the 68/69 season, when we beat them 4-0 away. That was also the day the Chelsea fans captured the 'drum', though at 11, I was too young to be involved (of course) icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

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