Tag Archives: The Championship

Mel Johnson: Welcome Back to W12

Casting aside the pre-season cynicism that has been in evidence this summer, the return of scout Mel Johnson to QPR is a positive step for the club. 

Johnson links up with Ian Holloway for a second time and R’s fans will hope they can enjoy the same success in the transfer market as they did in their last spell together in Shepherds Bush.

Before his departure for Tottenham Hotspur 12 years ago, Johnson helped Rangers identify and sign players including Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth, Dan Shittu, Marc Bircham and Lee Camp; all of whom still fondly remembered in W12.

Since then Johnson has worked at Liverpool and West Brom as well as Spurs (where he apparently recommended an 18 year-old left-back by the name of Gareth Bale to the Lillywhites) and has a wider network of contacts for it.

He returns to QPR with a brief to scout the south of England and Europe and told qpr.co.uk he is happy to be back at Loftus Rd:

“I’ve gone away, travelled around the world, and built up so many great contacts in football.”

“My heart has always been at Rangers and I’m just so excited to be back.”

“Characters”

Personally, the spell where Johnson worked under Ian Holloway is up there with the most enjoyable periods of football I’ve seen in 30 years of watching Rangers. It was a time when I felt that the club and fans were truly in-step with one and other, long before the bloated excesses that would characterise the club in later years.

With the exception of that summer under Neil Warnock where Rangers brought Shaun Derry, Clint Hill, Paddy Kenny and Jamie Mackie through the entrance doors on South Africa Road; I can’t think of a time the club has worked so hard and so well in the transfer market as under Johnson and Holloway. Working on a shoe-string budget, QPR set about signing the right characters rather than signing big names or average players just to fill a position.

Johnson joins the club at a time when there has been criticism on social media that the club have not been bold or ambitious enough in the transfer window, but if Johnson’s arrival is a signal of the club being run as a stable and sustainable club in the Rangers tradition of yore then I’m all for it.

A club looking to find young, hungry players the supporters can bang the walls at Loftus Road for is a far better prospect than one where agents and mercenaries run the show.

Welcome back Mel, finding a new Danny Shittu and the next Stan Bowles would be a nice start!

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Clubs play fair on Living Wage

In 1890, Luton Town Football Club became the first team in the south of England to pay its players, heralding the dawn of professionalism and the end of the age of the Victorian footballing gentleman amateurs.

124 years later, following last season’s promotion from the Conference; the Hatters have become the first Football League club to agree to pay its entire workforce the Living Wage.

Continue reading Clubs play fair on Living Wage

Time for fans to make a stand

From Wembley, to Old Trafford, to the Emirates, every weekend, tens of thousands of fans choose to stand in front of their seats in English football’s all-seater stadiums; prompting calls for the introduction of “safe-standing” sections in Premier League and Championship stadia.

In August, the Liberal Democrats made a pledge that they would allow clubs to introduce standing sections to English stadia in their 2015 General Election manifesto. Rather than a return to the vast expanses of terracing seen in the 1980s, the party proposes the adoption of the “rail seating” system already in operation in top European leagues such as Germany’s Bundesliga.

Continue reading Time for fans to make a stand

Leeds: How a City became United

FANS OF LEEDS UNITED are no strangers to drama both on and off the pitch.

From the glory of the Revie era, to Brian Clough’s infamous 44 day tenure as manager of the “Damned United,” from winning the Football’s League’s final title before the riches of the Premier League changed everything; to the highs, lows and excesses of the Ridsdale years. Leeds United fans have seen it all.

With new owner Massimo Cellino’s reign at the Championship side beginning with managerial changes, questions around his tax affairs, and a bizarre superstition around the number 17 which saw veteran ‘keeper Paddy Kenny frozen out of the club due to his date of birth; Leeds United fans can expect more headlines concentrating on off-field matters.

However, the story of the Yorkshire football club began in far deeper controversy than perhaps anything its supporters have seen since, and still ranks as one of the biggest scandals in English football history.

Ninety-five years ago, in 1919, following an investigation into financial irregularities, United’s predecessors Leeds City, were expelled from the Football League.
Continue reading Leeds: How a City became United

Roll up for the Premier League sack race

Tony Pulis’ departure from Crystal Palace just 2 days before the start of the new season, began football’s annual managerial merry-go-round; illustrating the precarious nature of a football manager’s position in England’s professional leagues. Continue reading Roll up for the Premier League sack race

Away Days: Blades 0, QPR 3, August 14th 2010

From the vaults: A personal view of QPR’s first away game of the 2010/11 season, a campaign which ended in a triumphant return to the Premier League – originally posted on www.qprdot.org Sunday 15th August 2010

Just Recovered . . . 

Sometimes I wonder why I do it?

Continue reading Away Days: Blades 0, QPR 3, August 14th 2010