Odds shown as:

Ian Holloway QPR Exclusive: Former R’s manager talks administration, Steve McClaren and Ravel Morrison

Ian Holloway_768542

The Sack Race chatted all things QPR with the club’s former player and manager: Ian Holloway.

The passionate gaffer opens up about his love for the club, and the whirlwind of emotions he went through during his first spell in charge; from the agony of administration and relegation, to the ecstasy of his first managerial promotion.

When he returned to the R’s dugout in 2016 he had to deal with financial difficulties once again, plus with the frustrating talent of Ravel Morrison, and finally the fallout of the Steve McClaren saga...

“I have a special affinity with QPR,” Holloway revealed to The Sack Race.

“This was fuelled by old boss Gerry Francis. The way he talked about QPR while at Bristol Rovers, the bloke made it sound so special. Then when I played for them we finished 5th in the Premier League, we were the top London club. To play in that team was an absolute joy.

“When I returned to QPR as manager everything went wrong.

“They were in administration - which I didn't know was going to happen - and I only had seven players - which I also didn’t know was going to happen. I had to fight with the administrators all the time. To tell you the truth they didn’t know what they were doing because it was the first time the football club had ever been through administration. It took me three years to get them back up, an achievement which meant the world to me.

“After suffering relegation it was a nice feeling to get promoted. Back at the time I made a statement: ‘Every dog has its day - and today is woof day! Today I just want to bark!’

“I felt I was learning all the time. You don’t properly learn until things go really wrong, and it shows character to keep coming back and to keep fighting.

“We managed to finish 11th back in the Championship (2004/05), and I’d cut the budget in half. It was a major thumbs up in my career. You ask anybody, to cut the business in half and make it almost as successful - if not exactly as successful - that takes some doing.”

Holloway would go on to manage Plymouth, Leicester, Blackpool, Crystal Palace, and Millwall before returning to QPR for a second spell in November 2016 - 10 years after he left the club...

“I had a three-year contract with Sky TV, which was pretty unusual. I told Sky that I’d definitely not move in the first year unless QPR came back in for me. So, blow me down the job became available, and I managed to get it.

“I saved the club a staggering amount of money each week. It’s common knowledge that they were asked to stop spending money, so wages wise I saved them a fortune. When you’ve got to get rid of a load of players that aren’t going to bring you in some cash - or saleable assets that are costing you a lot of money - you’re in danger of going down.

“I managed to keep them up, and some of the players my chief scout signed made the club profits, like Luke Freeman - bought by QPR for £315,000 and sold for £5.04m.

“I’m delighted in my affiliation with a wonderful football club and its supporters. I thank everyone at the club who helped me because it wasn’t easy. It’s like a tree, you’re trimming down the branches to make it grow again! It’s very difficult but I felt that the fans trusted me, and I thank them for their wonderful support.”

One of the players Holloway managed at QPR was Ravel Morrison, who is now at Sheffield United...

“I liked him, he had talent but he needed to be nurtured and helped. I wasn’t the only manager who thought that. Loads of us tried - Sam Allardyce, Harry Redknapp, myself - it’s his last chance now.

“Sir Alex Ferguson said Morrison could be one of the best England’s ever produced, but I’m not sure the boy has carried that pressure very well. I’ve never seen anyone move around so languidly and lazily, and lose their marker like he does.

“I believe he can do it though, I really do, but it’s knowing which position he should play in. Is he a No.10? Is he a No.8? Or is he a No.6 who sits just in front of the two centre-halves? You’ve got to make sure he doesn’t slow the game down too much, but I think the kid is wonderful, I absolutely love him to bits, and wish him all the very best.

“Under his brilliant manager - Chris Wilder - I hope he can fulfill his full potential. I want him to shine.

“Speaking of Wilder, I absolutely love him, he’s a genius. I love the way he’s doing things, and come the end of the day he will come out with the credit he deserves.

“Even Marcelo Bielsa said ‘well done’ to him last year because he’s doing things very differently. He’s a pioneer, and I’m very proud of him and his staff. I feel like Sheffield United are my second-best team, behind Bristol Rovers!

Holloway reluctantly departed QPR in May 2016 after 18 months at the helm. Within a week Steve McClaren had been appointed as his replacement, a decision which did not go down well with his predecessor...

“I had a year of my contract remaining, which I fully wanted to see out but the club decided to dispense off my services. They honoured everything that they needed to honour with me so I’ve not got an axe to grind with anybody. The only person I don’t like in it amongst it all is Steve McClaren.

“I don’t like him, I never will, and part of me - I’m going to be horrible here - is glad it didn’t work out for him.

"If I saw him today I’d have to tell him exactly what I think of him. We nearly crossed paths the other week but I refused to go. It is what it is. I’ve got no other problem with anybody else, I just don’t like Steve McClaren, and those reasons are private.

“If a Chairman ever rang me and said that they wanted to talk to me about becoming their manager, they’d have to have a vacant chair. The difficult thing for a manager is you can’t ask for a job until it becomes available, but when the job becomes available some people have already been through the back door!”

“I love QPR. I was gutted they got rid of me but it was an honour to manage them. I’m really pleased with the young lads they’ve got there, and I wish Mark Waburton all the best, I hope he does really well.”

Advert Disclaimer
Bettingodds.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Bettingodds.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 & Get £30 In Free Bets + £10 Bonus
#AD Promo code: 30FB • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply. 18+ & Begambleaware
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + 100 Free Spins
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus 100 Free Spins on Big Bass Bonanza, no wagering. Free Bets and Spins expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Bet £10 & Get £40 In Free Bets
#AD New Customer Offer. Place a £10 Sportsbook bet on the Premier League from Wednesday 10th of August until Monday 15th of August, odds 1/2 (1.5) — get £40 in free bets, valid 30 days. Only deposits via Cards will qualify. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
£40 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. Free bets and spins must be claimed within 28 days of opening. Free bet/spin stake not included in any winnings. Ts&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org