Thursday 22 March 2018

QPR back Warnock '100pc' as Ancelotti link grows

Ian Parkes

QPR co-owner Flavio Briatore insists the club has complete trust in manager Neil Warnock to take the club forward and compete in the transfer market this summer.

Carlo Ancelotti is the latest big-name Italian to be linked to the Loftus Road club as they prepare for life in the Premier League next season following his sacking as Chelsea manager on Sunday.

That same day, fellow co-owner Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Warnock "is staying -- 100pc," adding: "We don't want to get rid of him."

Now Briatore has voiced his support for Warnock, claiming funds will be made available to allow him to strengthen the squad on their return to the top flight for the first time in 15 years.

Briatore was speaking in Monaco on a rare return to the Formula One paddock since a universal ban from actively being involved in motor sport through to 2013 was imposed following his role in the Renault 'crash-gate' saga.

"The aim is to make sure next season we are competitive, to keep all the good players we have in the squad at the moment," said Briatore.

"The coach now is looking to set up a fantastic club for next year.

"As for players, this is the coach's decision. We completely trust Neil, and we will try and help him put together the best squad for us to be competitive in the Premier League.

"Not for one minute do we have doubts about Neil. Zero."

QPR, however, were rocked on Wednesday night by more boardroom unrest as Amit Bhatia, the son-in-law of the third co-owner in Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, quit as vice-chairman.

Bhatia cited Ishan Saksena's recent removal as chairman and the decision to massively increase ticket prices next year as the reasons for his departure.

Bhatia has, however, confirmed a board representative will be appointed to monitor the Mittal family's investment in the club following a recent failed takeover.


Briatore and F1 supremo Ecclestone combined own the majority 70pc holding, with the latter holding the greater share after the former passed on his stake for nothing, albeit with the proviso the shares could be returned at any time.

Briatore has insisted neither he nor Ecclestone intend to sell, nor does he have any great desire to take a more hands-on role again.

"Forget about selling. Bernie and I own 70pc of the club, this is what we have," added Briatore. "We go ahead, like we have from day one when 70pc of the money was put in by myself and Bernie.

"As for getting more involved, absolutely not.

"The men involved right now are the coach (Warnock) and (chairman) Gianni Paladini. Nothing has changed. I don't want to be involved at all."

Irish Independent

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