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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 10:05 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:49 24 August 2010

By Sandy Lerman MY tag-line on VitalQPR – It s a QPR merry-go-round and I m getting dizzy! – sums up the last crazy fortnight at Loftus Road. I must have been naive to think we would finally experience that long-wished-for luxury of managerial stability

By Sandy Lerman

MY tag-line on VitalQPR - "It's a QPR merry-go-round and I'm getting dizzy!" - sums up the last crazy fortnight at Loftus Road. I must have been naive to think we would finally experience that long-wished-for luxury of managerial stability with Jim Magilton!

We may never know what really happened in that dressing room at Watford - colloquially known as "Butt-gate". Did Magilton head-butt Akos Buzsaky? Did he humiliate the player so that Buzsaky had to flee to the relative safety of the touchline? Did the players really all refuse to show support of their manager when invited to do so by John Gorman?

QPR fans have been expressing their thoughts on various internet sites or over a pre-Christmas pint. Most fans' opinions are that, if Magilton did head-butt Buzsaky he should leave - no question. But for that reason alone - and not because, recently, the football hasn't been so great! Indeed, there has been a feeling that maybe under Magilton we were slowly turning the corner and fans were proudly singing his name in support.

So did he "lose" the dressing room? And is that a good enough reason to let someone go? Was Butt-gate, therefore, merely an excuse to get rid of our latest manager?

QPR's official announcement of Magilton's departure suggests to me that he was not actually sacked for violent behaviour (which surely he would have been for head-butting), but rather he left "by mutual consent" so club and manager could go their own ways.

This differs hugely from the announcement made when Paulo Sousa left for (supposedly) disclosing sensitive club information. And this therefore suggests that Magilton may not, after all, have acted violently.

In which case, has his departure been instigated by player power? If yes, that seems a dangerous road for the board to travel down. Any future manager would know that, if he didn't tiptoe on egg shells around his squad, kow-tow to their whims and desires, and speak softly and gently at all times, he could face the sack.

The players now know that, if they don't like the man in charge, all they have to do is throw a huge, legally-threatening wobbly, and the board will move quickly to dispose of the offending manager.

I believe good man-management is important - but not to the extent that, even if a manager has no discernible bedside manner, the players should be allowed to object in such a way that the manager loses his job. That is, of course, if that's what really happened - but we will never know!


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