Ian Holloway makes sensational return to QPR as manager
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Ian Holloway has sealed a sensational return to QPR, a decade after leaving the club.
The 53-year-old, who made more than 150 appearances as a player for the Rs before later enjoying a five-year spell as boss, has penned a two-and-a-half year deal in W12.
Holloway was not initially viewed as a front runner for the job, but impressed chief executive Lee Hoos and director of football Les Ferdinand so much during his interview this week, which then convinced them to offer him the manager’s job.
While Holloway’s last spell in charge of the Rs ended acrimoniously, after he was suspended in February 2006 amid persistent links with Leicester City, he remains a fans favourite with supporters after rebuilding a side which went into adminstration back in April 2001 and suffered relegation to the old Division Two.
After losing in the play-off final to Cardiff in May 2003 he clinched automatic promotion with the Rs at Sheffield Wednesday the following year, spending a further two years with the club in the Championship thereafter.
Hoos and Ferdinand spoke to various candidates about the job, including Paul Clement, Karl Robinson and Chris Powell. They had initially hoped to prise away Gary Rowett from Birmingham City - but that was never a serious possibility.
Rangers wanted Rowett last season too following Chris Ramsey’s sacking, but he again wasn’t interested in the post which paved the way for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to take over at Loftus Road.
Following Hasselbaink’s sacking reports in the national media indicated Tim Sherwood was set to take over as boss, but that deal was never close to being completed as it soon became clear that both parties were looking to move in different directions, with the former Tottenham boss subsequently being appointed Swindon Town’s director of football on Thursday.
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Dougie Freedman and Steve Cotterill also wanted the job but were always huge outsiders, while Gianfranco Zola expressed an interested in the vacancy.
Elsewhere, Marc Bircham is poised to return to Loftus Road as Holloway’s No 2, a role he previously held when the pair were together at Millwall.
The Times understands Steve Gallen could also make a return to W12 as part of Holloway’s backroom staff.