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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 15:23 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:57 24 August 2010

By Adam Boxer A WAVE of optimism, a new manager and a chairman intent on bringing the good times back to W12 – is anyone else getting déjà vu? Cast your mind back to 2007 and the takeover of Flavio Briatore, with Queens Park Rangers dragged from the doldr

By Adam Boxer

A WAVE of optimism, a new manager and a chairman intent on bringing the good times back to W12 - is anyone else getting déjà vu?

Cast your mind back to 2007 and the takeover of Flavio Briatore, with Queens Park Rangers dragged from the doldrums and treated to a who's who of celebrity appearances cast against the backdrop of a relegation battle.

Barely two and a half years later and Rangers had come full circle, with the purse strings being tightened and any shred of play-off aspirations rapidly dashed by the appointment of Paul Hart.

Under Mick Harford Rangers were in freefall, with the man himself admitting the club needed a new manager - and under the guidance of Ishan Saksena and fans' favourite Amit Bhatia, the supporters got their long-awaited wish of Neil Warnock.

Years of false dawns may have had a positive effect on the club, however, as supporters can now truly appreciate with cautious optimism their present standing in the Championship.

The Briatore era promised to reach the heady heights of the Premier League - but in truth ill-advised comments only served the fuel the fire of expectation, and it became apparent that he didn't have the personal wealth to fund his outlook.

Nor would he go cap in hand to Lakshmi Mittal, either through pride or because he didn't want to deviate from his vision of the club - either way the club's model at that time wasn't sustainable as debts mounted and Briatore's vision crumbled.

A very different Queens Park Rangers is now represented despite the subtle shift in ownership. The Rs are now run with a view to creating an entertaining product and the focus of the club has shifted from figures to fun.

Already the new-found philosophy has borne the fruits of success, with Warnock's men propelling themselves away from the relegation zone, and promising what could be a top-half finish.

That in turn could set Rs fans up for an exciting 2010/11 season - but evidently we don't count our chickens any more!

You only have to look at previous articles in this column to see the vast transition of opinion regarding the club's fortunes, but particularly on Vital QPR opinions are forming a positive general consensus concerning the future of the club.

Even the most ardent sceptic cannot fail to see the positives of a new outlook at QPR, and here's hoping that the remainder of the season sets the bar for what could be an exciting future for the owners and the manager, but most importantly of all the supporters.

The future's bright - the future's not orange!

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