Gianni Paladini wandered back to his seat in the Directors’ Box after half-time, alone and deep in thought. After a dreadful month in which his QPR team had dipped back into the bottom three and attracted adverse headlines on front pages as well as back, he would have been entitled to be wondering where it is all going to end. One down to an Ipswich team who had not scored for 8 minutes short of 10 hours was merely the latest in a sequence of trials that include the recent brawl with China’s Olympic team but last week’s admission by Paladini that he would sell if, “some millionaire” wants to take the Club forward. But, “nobody is interested at the moment and I have no choice but to stay”, had hardly inspired confidence.
Three new Board members were also wheeled out by Paladini last week, all said to be fans and at least two of them property lawyers. Coming so soon after the sighting of Sam Hammam, the man who rendered Wimbledon homeless and ultimately, stateless, at their last home match, the Club and their Loftus Road Stadium are again seen to be under threat. It is not the best of working environments then for the Manager, John Gregory. “We’ve swum the Channel to get this far”, he said later. “I’m just looking forward to the summer and sitting down with a blank piece of paper to try and build something constructive.”
“I’ve paid off nine or ten players and it’s not been easy – I’ve been the bad guy in all of it. But there’s people out there trying to destroy the Club, people who are close to it. You’ve got some on the internet message boards slagging everything off and giving out details about financial aspects, which are confidential.
A few former employees might be feeding them stuff, spreading a lot of poison. It’s quite sad really. Financially we are restricted and are trying to make the best of what we have got. They are a good bunch but sometimes they are not at it and other weeks they are brilliant. That’s the hardest part.”