Tone interview Telegraph

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Tone interview Telegraph

Post by deadendjob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:47 pm

An interesting read - particularly that he talks with all managers bar Mark Hughes.
I don't understand the hate he gets from some fans as I think Tone really does have the best interests at heart, but was sadly taken advantage of chasing the dream. We've clearly learnt our lesson, it's just a shame it cost so much :lol:
In six years as a football club chairman, one conversation sticks uppermost in Tony Fernandes’s mind. It was the one he had when he rang to discuss the possibility of Ian Holloway becoming his new manager at Queen’s Park Rangers. What was so remarkable was not so much what Holloway said as what he didn’t.

“It was the first time in six years I had spoken to someone in football who didn’t mention money,” Fernandes recounts. “Seriously. I cannot tell you how refreshing that was.”

Owning a football club has been a challenging experience for the entrepreneur who made his fortune founding the low-cost airline Air Asia. From the very moment it was revealed he was taking over at Loftus Road from the chaotic ownership of the Formula One pair Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone (who briefly, through a short partnership with the Mittal family laid claim to the insistence that QPR were “the richest club in the world”) his phone buzzed with those keen to part him from his cash.

“I’m such an accessible person it was so easy to get hold of me. I was probably easy prey, new meat. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t I make mistakes.”

Persuaded by agents to sign the past-it and the has-been on vast wages, hiring (and firing) managers in quick succession, ending up with a wage bill at more than twice the annual turnover, in the process accruing a record fine for breaching financial fair play regulations: Fernandes’s mistakes were not insubstantial. And that is without mentioning the two relegations from the Premier League under his watch.

“What have I learned from six years as chairman?” he says. “Well I’ve always thought if you take someone’s salary you’re going to work hard. I’ve discovered that isn’t always the case in football.”

And yet, never mind the almost continuous attempts to part him from his money, Fernandes says he loves being in charge at QPR. The word he uses is addicted.

“Yup, I’m an addict,” he says. “Not so much to football as QPR. I was invited by my friend Roberto Carlos to go to Wembley for Spurs against Madrid and I said, sorry Robbie really I’m not interested. I went to the Champions League final when Chelsea beat Bayern and the Chelsea songs drove me mad. I’d rather watch QPR’s Under-18s than the World Cup final. I live near Loftus Road, walk to the ground on matchdays, and there’s nothing I enjoy more afterwards than going to the pub on Shepherd’s Bush Green and having a pint with the fans. I’m a one-woman man: I only love QPR.”

Though many have suspected that was his motive, he insists he did not get into English football in order to promote Air Asia (“there are a lot cheaper ways of marketing let me assure you”). He did it, he says, because, watching from afar as a young boy growing up in Malaysia, the game had long obsessed him. And despite his six-year buffeting he claims his affection has not diminished.

“When things went wrong, we could have blamed everyone else, but the buck stops with me. Though one thing I will say; at the time of signing those players, no one criticised me. What I’m proud about is we didn’t give up, we stuck at it, we slowly cleaned it up, we put good people in place, we are a much wiser board. And now at last these last few days I feel good about where we have got to.”

It is an interesting analysis. Because from the outside, despite the huge amount of money Fernandes and his partners have splurged, QPR seem not to have progressed since he took over. Still in Championship, still in the cramped and creaking surrounds of Loftus Road, still renting their training facility from Imperial College: this does not appear to be an institution on the march.

“Actually the evidence is there. There's a structure about the club now. We’ve got people in place who have the best interests of the club at heart. We’re connected to the community. We have a proper academy bringing young players through. Whether we capitalise on that structure, time will tell. That is the real challenge.”

Spending time with Fernandes it quickly becomes clear how he has succeeded in business: friendly, open, disarming, if charm were an Olympic sport he would top the podium every time. And there are hints in the new autobiography he is promoting that he is someone motivated by a desire to be loved. Several times in his book he writes about the pleasure he derives from hearing fans chant his name. And he relishes the interaction with supporters on his busy social media postings.

“When things went wrong, we could have blamed everyone else, but the buck stops with me. Though one thing I will say; at the time of signing those players, no one criticised me. What I’m proud about is we didn’t give up, we stuck at it, we slowly cleaned it up, we put good people in place, we are a much wiser board. And now at last these last few days I feel good about where we have got to.”

It is an interesting analysis. Because from the outside, despite the huge amount of money Fernandes and his partners have splurged, QPR seem not to have progressed since he took over. Still in Championship, still in the cramped and creaking surrounds of Loftus Road, still renting their training facility from Imperial College: this does not appear to be an institution on the march.

“Actually the evidence is there. There's a structure about the club now. We’ve got people in place who have the best interests of the club at heart. We’re connected to the community. We have a proper academy bringing young players through. Whether we capitalise on that structure, time will tell. That is the real challenge.”

Spending time with Fernandes it quickly becomes clear how he has succeeded in business: friendly, open, disarming, if charm were an Olympic sport he would top the podium every time. And there are hints in the new autobiography he is promoting that he is someone motivated by a desire to be loved. Several times in his book he writes about the pleasure he derives from hearing fans chant his name. And he relishes the interaction with supporters on his busy social media postings.

“Sheffield was a pivotal moment,” he says of the victory over Sheffield United on Tuesday night, which followed the win over the Championship leaders Wolves. “I walked into a dressing room brimming with confidence. I see a QPR team running like I’ve never seen a QPR team running. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel we’re getting there.”

And he is hoping the enormous £50million fine hanging over the club for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations will not create an insurmountable barrier to progress. Though he is legally constrained about what he can say.

“I support FFP,” he admits. “When we were in the Premier League mine was the casting vote to bring it in. I think the rules now are much more equitable. We’ve been spanked on the hand [by the fine], but we’d changed already. We are running now well within every rule, sticking to proper budgets.”

And, even if his challenge to the fine is not successful, Fernandes insists he will remain in charge of the club he clearly loves.

“I certainly will,” he says. “If I were hit by a bus tomorrow – and there are a great number of people who would like to be driving that bus – I could look back and say my life was more fun for being involved in football.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/201 ... y-getting/
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Re: Tone interview Telegraph

Post by dm » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:41 pm

Nigel Spackman likes this post

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Re: Tone interview Telegraph

Post by deadendjob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 pm

Whoops. Where :?
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Re: Tone interview Telegraph

Post by dm » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:26 pm

deadendjob wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 pm
Whoops. Where :?
http://qprdot.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=80353

No sweat my dear deadend!

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Re: Tone interview Telegraph

Post by deadendjob » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:06 am

dm wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:26 pm
deadendjob wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 pm
Whoops. Where :?
http://qprdot.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=80353

No sweat my dear deadend!
:oops:
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