The Guardian’s Stuart James and Arindam Rej report that former Derby County boss Jim Smith might have a new role role in West London, following Ian Holloway’s “gardening leave”.
Jim Smith (above) may make an unlikely return to Queens Park Rangers as director of football, more than 20 years after he first took over at the west London club as manager. The 65-year-old is understood to have been lined up to take on an advisory role at Loftus Road as Rangers prepare for the inevitable departure of Ian Holloway, who was yesterday suspended from his duties.
Smith, who managed at Loftus Road between 1985 and 1988, is known to be a close friend of the QPR chairman Gianni Paladini and although the Championship club would not comment on his possible arrival yesterday they refused to rule out a move for the former Derby County manager, whose last employment was alongside Harry Redknapp at Southampton.
Holloway signed a three-year contract extension 12 months ago but his relationship with Paladini has been strained for some time. Paladini, though, will be keen to avoid any financial settlement with Holloway because it is believed the manager has a rolling one-year deal which would entail a 12-month pay-off if he were sacked.
After dropping a 5-0 decision at Griffin Park this past Saturday, Walsall have terminated manager Paul Merson.
“People have been saying we shouldn’t feel any sympathy for him because he’s earning £100,000 a week.
“The problem is that we don’t really want our Sol Campbells or our Michael Owens or our David Beckhams to suffer from normal illnesses because we put them on a pedestal.
“It is almost as if people think that £100,000 a week should buy you health for your mind, body and soul.
“I felt sad when I saw that his solicitor had come out and said that Sol was absolutely fine.
“That just emphasises the fact that even now, a footballer cannot come out and say ‘yeah, I’ve got problems’. “It’s a shame because it shows that our attitudes to this kind of thing have not advanced at all in the last seven years.”
So there you have it. Some of the most reasonable thoughts expressed thus far on the subject come from a girlfriend-kicking dogging enthusiast. If Stan Collymore can muster up that sort of insight, what’s stopping everyone else?