Friday 24 October ~
Iain Dowie's sacking by QPR today won't come as a surprise to anyone, least of all Iain Dowie. He knew the score from the start. When QPR appointed him in May it was announced that they would be looking to bring in another manager in the event of their winning promotion to the Premier League, where Dowie had just one season's experience with Crystal Palace and his ill-fated stint at Charlton. So if he was successful he'd putting himself out of a job, albeit with a £1 million golden handshake. Unless in the interim he managed to convince the QPR board that he could handle the move up.
Dowie was not a popular choice with QPR supporters but while the club may be ninth in the table they are only one point outside the play-offs in a division that looks like it will be as tightly contested as last season. But QPR can't hang about – they have a global name to protect, as co-owner Flavio Briatore pointed out before the end of last season: “I want to create an international brand. In Europe people are talking about QPR, in England everybody is talking about QPR.”
When a managerial vacancy comes up it is customary to see Terry Venables linked with it, especially when as in this case it happens to be at one of the many clubs he has already managed. In August Briatore indicated that El Tel was in his thoughts – “I like him 100 per cent. He is the kind of guy we need when we are bigger” – while only last week the possibility was floated that Venables might be parachuted in.
Briatore recently threatened legal action against the Daily Mail for reporting that the he was considering changing the club's name to Queen's Park City "to better reflect their location in the capital”. It turned out that this was a fabrication but it seemed entirely in keeping with the sort of outlook displayed in the boardroom. The managerial merry-go-round at QPR predates the current regime – Dowie's replacement will be their seventh boss in two and a half years – but there seems to be no likelihood of the typical tenure getting longer while the owners continue to make such a public display of their “ambitions”.