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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:54 24 August 2010

By Steve Hoad STOP Press!! Pull the bit I had written for this week. Something s happened at that sleepy retreat of W12, where nothing ever happens. Having seen out two managers in consecutive articles, for my third trick, I follow the departure of Flavio

By Steve Hoad

STOP Press!! Pull the bit I had written for this week. Something's happened at that sleepy retreat of W12, where nothing ever happens.

Having seen out two managers in consecutive articles, for my third trick, I follow the departure of Flavio Briatore whose decision to step down as chairman of QPR Holdings was announced on Friday.

As I write, following a dramatic change of fortune on the pitch, we're short on facts, but long on conjecture. All we have to go on at present is the statement from the club which tells us that Flavio steps down, and Ishan Saksena succeeds him as chairman. Gianni Paladini, who was alleged to have handed in his notice the other week, resumes the role of chairman of QPR FC.

The Mittal family increased their shareholding, but Flavio and Bernie Ecclestone remain shareholders. It's reasonable to assume the Mittals bought shares from the other two.

Then there are quotes, which, I must confess, lead me to wonder if anyone has spoken to anyone else.

Flavio is proud to have saved this historic club, and contributing in paving the way to its future success (I'd give him that). His commitment remains unchanged, but he needs to focus his energies into other fields as well. (So we've not seen the last of him yet then?)

QPR thank him and wish him every success in his future endeavours, but fall short of suggesting continued involvement - maybe we've seen the last of him. Pity, his drive, contacts and acumen have been an asset.

Amit Bhatia has known Ishan for 12 years and knows his feelings for the club run very deep (good, because those feelings have clearly been nurtured over some time then).

Or perhaps not, if you listen to Ishan, who "since becoming CEO has developed a great love and very strong passion for the club." When exactly did he become CEO? Not that long after all then.

Oh, and he thanks Briatore for his work during his time here. Again, no mention of ongoing involvement - I'm afraid that's 2 to 1, Mr B. Perhaps it is bye-bye after all.

But he still has his shares? Plenty of room for conjecture.

Remember Crashgate, and the Football League's fit and proper test? And that bit about people not qualified to hold directorships or control of clubs? Did Lord Mawhinney have a quiet word in someone's shell like? I wonder?

And the best part of the announcement? Recognition of the importance of the fans. But that's something for another day.


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