ID card just the ticket for Rangers
PUBLISHED: 12:44 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 24 August 2010
2008 Getty Images
By Ben Kosky IAIN Dowie has returned to QPR to take over as manager less than a week after the departure of Luigi de Canio. The former Rangers player, caretaker boss and assistant manager is back at Loftus Road after seven years to replace de Canio, whose
By Ben Kosky
IAIN Dowie has returned to QPR to take over as manager less than a week after the departure of Luigi de Canio.
The former Rangers player, caretaker boss and assistant manager is back at Loftus Road after seven years to replace de Canio, whose spell in charge lasted just six months.
Despite speculation that the board were seeking to appoint a high-profile foreign coach, Dowie has been top of their list from the start and was one of only two candidates interviewed for the job.
With De Canio's assistants Iuri Bartoli and Paolo Pavese also leaving the club, former England goalkeeper Tim Flowers - Dowie's number two at Coventry - is also joining QPR.
It remains unclear whether Dowie's brother Bob and fitness trainer John Harbin, regular members of the backroom staff throughout the manager's career, will also join his team.
Dowie, 43, ended his playing days at Loftus Road, having started out in non-league football with Hendon before moving on to Luton, West Ham, Southampton and Crystal Palace.
He was appointed caretaker manager after the resignation of Ray Harford in September 1998 and led QPR to a 2-1 win at Wolves, their first away success for a year.
Gerry Francis, who returned to the club for a second spell as manager, kept Dowie on in the assistant's role, but he was overlooked in favour of Ian Holloway when Francis stood down in 2001.
Dowie's stock as a manager rose, though, as he guided cash-strapped Oldham to the Division Two play-offs - where they lost to the Rs - and then turned Crystal Palace's fortunes around the following season.
Struggling near the foot of Division One at Christmas, Palace soared up the table to reach the play-offs and beat West Ham in the final to claim a place in the top flight.
Palace were unable to hold on to Premiership status, though, with a draw at Charlton sending them down on the final day of the season and Dowie resigned a year later.
He soon resurfaced at Charlton, prompting Palace owner Simon Jordan to begin legal proceedings that culminated in a court ruling against Dowie last summer - although an appeal has yet to be heard.
Meanwhile, the manager's reign at Charlton lasted just 15 games and he then spent a year with Coventry, but fell out with new Sky Blues owner Ray Ranson and was sacked in February.
Rangers have been cagey about the reasons for De Canio's departure and issued a gagging order to the entire playing staff until the new manager's appointment was confirmed.
But it is understood that De Canio had made clear his desire to return to Italy - only six months after replacing John Gregory in the QPR hotseat - some time ago.
Interestingly, the club have continued to sign players in the absence of a manager, announcing on Tuesday that they had agreed to sign Czech goalkeeper Radek Cerny and Newcastle defender Peter Ramage on free transfers.
Cerny, 34, had spent three and a half years with Tottenham and made 28 first-team appearances, but was unable to make the number one spot his own at White Hart Lane.
And the 24-year-old Ramage, who can play at right-back or in the centre of defence, has signed for Rangers after turning down a new contract at his hometown club.