The following article was written by Dave McIntyre and appeared in the local Gazette on Friday:-
Chairman Gianni Paladini insists QPR will not be bought on the cheap despite the Club’s Italian owners being willing to relinquish control. Paladini last week declared that he and major shareholder Antonio Caliendo, would seek only the money they paid for their shares when they acquired stakes in the Club. That would mean around ¬£650k would be required to purchase Paladini’s shareholding and around ¬£4m to take overall control of the Club. But Paladini has warned that simply writing out a cheque for those amounts will not be enough. He said. “The offer is there for anyone who can take the Club forward. I will only want what I paid for my shares. But it has to be on condition that they have serious money to invest and can show they can move QPR to the next level. We’re a Club that can compete in the Championship and if someone can take QPR further than that, then there is no way we would stand in their way. I would leave tomorrow for the price I paid for my shares if that kind of person wanted the Club. I would want any other money they had to go into QPR.”
Paladini added, “The vultures are circling. That always happens with QPR but we’re not saying we will sell to anyone, it has to be the right people. We’re committed to the Club, we just realise we don’t have the money to take it further and want others to come in and either help us or take over the Club.” A number of parties have expressed an interest including an Israeli group fronted by former Tottenham and Liverpool striker Ronnie Rosenthal, which has failed to prove it has sufficient funds. And a consortium has this week been discussing approaching the Club with an offer. But at this stage the most likely addition to the Rangers Board is Bill Power, the former Chairman who was booted out by Paladini and Caliendo in 2005 following a bitter battle for control.
Power has invested in Swindon since his public fall-out with Paladini and has been involved in a takeover bid for the Wiltshire Club but the pair have recently re-built bridges and Paladini believes Power may return. “The door is open for Bill,” said Paladini. “I don’t think he wants to buy the Club but the opportunity is there if he wants it, to come back and work with me.” Bar an angry exchange with disenchanted Club President Harold Winton and a couple of questions about ongoing financial concerns, Paladini and other Directors were given a fairly easy ride at last week’s annual general meeting of shareholders. It was confirmed that Rangers made a loss of ¬£3.3m in 2006, up from ¬£2.6m the previous year. A loss of around ¬£2.6m for 2007 is predicted.