Squash: No method, just madness in running a soccer club - Willstrop

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Pontefract’s world squash number one James Willstrop gives the inside track on the competitive world of sport.

a recent television programme that may interest Yorkshire Evening Post readers was the ITV film Queens Park Rangers: The Four-year Plan, first aired a couple of weeks ago, because of the fact that a major figure in the saga was current Leeds United manager and former QPR boss Neil Warnock.

This absorbing documentary might as well have been called “QPR: how not to run a football club”.

it shed a great deal of light on how much influence wealthy investors seem to have regarding what happens on the field.

The managers who came fleetingly in and out of the west London club in that four-year period were unable to make any sort of mark because of the hierarchy’s obsession with winning.

If the team didn’t win, the manager went. There was no method, no thought and no certainly no patience.

When Warnock entered the fray and won the team the Championship title, his job might well have been considered the safest in British football, it looked as though the pressure was off.

Instead, after a few losses in the Premiership Warnock was on his way. The programme depicted a story of utter chaos. I could hardly believe what I was watching.


The primary investors, Flavio Briatore, Gianni Paladini and son-in-law to the fourth richest man in the world, Amit Bhatia, a less furious board member, spent their time in the stands or in offices calling the manager all sorts of names.

Quite honestly, ten-year-olds could have graced the situation with a greater degree of equilibrium. Luckily for us, the men agreed to be filmed, showing the TV viewers what went on behind the scenes of what appeared to be the worst-run professional sporting institution in history.

Comparisons are likely to be made with the legendary Do I not like that documentary in which Graham Taylor and Phil Neal cursed aimlessly in the dugout during their tenure with the England football team.

People need to be held accountable, but where has the faith gone?

If the best English swimmers or athletes have a drop in form this spring before the Olympics, would their governing bodies jump straight in and sack the coaches?

Surely a salary cap in football would be a good thing, it would eradicate the multi- billionaire owner phenomenon.

I dare say waving goodbye to these individuals might even help this country to produce better footballers and better national sides.