The following article was written by Jamie Jackson and appeared in ‘The Guardian’ – Steve Russell
Paul Hart has attacked Queen’s Park Rangers by claiming that he was “very unhappy with certain situations” which forced him to resign as Manager yesterday. Hart’s departure made him the sixth Manager – not including caretakers – to leave the Championship club in the two years and three months since Flavio Briatore became the majority shareholder.
Hart’s assistant, Mick Harford, who had a previous spell as caretaker in October 2007, has taken over as Manager, though he has not been informed by Briatore of the duration of his tenure. Hart, who was in charge of the club for only five games, authorised the League Managers Association to release a statement on his behalf yesterday and the LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan said: “I am able to say that Paul Hart has left the football club. I understand that he was very unhappy with certain situations which have to remain confidential and felt that resignation was in the best interests of all concerned.”
While QPR confirmed they would be making no comment in reaction to Hart’s criticism, questions are bound to be asked from their supporters regarding the stability and direction of the club. There were also reports last night that Briatore is thinking about selling his stake in the club and has been courting outside investors, possibly potential buyers of his stake. Briatore co-owns QPR with Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal and it is the Italian who takes the major decisions, assisted by Gianni Paladini, the club Chairman and Director of Football, according to one former coach. The coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Paladini has a big say in the day-to-day running as Briatore is always in and out of the country. The owners there do love football but possibly they can get too involved and don’t leave it to the Manager and the staff. But what’s happening there now with all the Managers is making QPR laughable.”
Hart walked out, having won a single game, losing two and drawing two. He had succeeded Jim Magilton as Manager on 17th December after the Irishman departed following a dressing-room dispute with the midfielder Akos Buzsaky. Harford, who will be in the dugout for tomorrow’s game at Blackpool, revealed that his precise position has not been made clear. “There’s been no time scale,” he said. “They’ve said ‘Mick, you take charge of first-team affairs and see where it takes you’. Paul decided to leave – we’re all very disappointed about that. He’s a good man and he’s great to work for. I don’t know the waffles of Paul’s departure but I just want to wish him all the best.”
Harford though, is convinced his strong relationship with Briatore will help. “It’s a club I know about. I know how it’s run, I know the people, I know the players, I know about the situation. Briatore is a personal friend of mine. I’ve known him a long, long time.”
Jamie Jackson – The Guardian