QPR ‘hugely disappointed’ as Beale leaves for Rangers

Mick Beale has been confirmed as Rangers boss, leaving QPR after just 21 league games at the helm. 

Neil Banfield, Damien Matthew and set-piece coach Harry Watling have also left to join Beale at Ibrox.

Former Blackpool manager Neil Critchley is in line to replace Beale, who took over at Loftus Road during the summer.

B team manager Paul Hall, assisted by former R’s winger Andy Impey, will take interim charge of the first-team squad until a new head coach is installed.

Beale recently rejected the chance to take over as Wolves manager but was never likely to say no to Rangers, where he is a popular figure from a spell as assistant manager at the Glasgow club.

Speaking last month after it was confirmed he would not be leaving for Wolves, he said: “I didn’t think it was the right moment, because I entered into an agreement here.

“Integrity is a real big thing for me, and loyalty. You don’t give it to receive it back but I think if they’re the values you live by then at times when you’re put in a position then you have to be strong by them.

“I have been all-in here and I have asked other people to be all-in so I can’t be the first person to run away from the ship.”

Les Ferdinand will oversee the appointment of Beale’s replacement

Reacting to Beale’s departure, QPR director of football Les Ferdinand told the club website: “Naturally we are hugely disappointed to lose Mick.

“Our extensive research when we were looking for a new head coach highlighted him as being very much aligned with the direction we are moving in as a football club.

“The start to the season we have made, coupled with very attractive football being played, gave us cause for optimism as we looked to build on the previous three seasons.

“That optimism remains but there is no doubt it is a blow to lose Mick so soon into his tenure.”

Chief executive Lee Hoos said: “The search for Mick’s replacement doesn’t start now – as a club we are always updating a shortlist of potential candidates so that we are ready for a situation such as this, and we will be moving quickly to make an appointment.

“Mick helped us move the club forward – and we are grateful for that. The next managerial appointment we make will continue that progression.

“There is so much to play for this season and I fully appreciate fans’ frustrations right now. Your support has been incredible and the players need your backing now more than ever.”

Beale, who previously coached at Liverpool and Chelsea, was Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Rangers before they left Glasgow when Gerrard became manager of Aston Villa.

Beale left Villa for QPR and was replaced as Gerrard’s assistant by Critchley, who quit as Blackpool boss in order to take the job – like Beale, he previously worked with Gerrard as a coach at Liverpool.

Critchley is now available, having left Villa following the sacking of Gerrard, and his record of developing players and working on a modest budget makes him an obvious contender to replace Beale.

QPR might need to move quickly, however, as Critchley has been discussing taking a coaching role at Bournemouth.

Banfield, 60, spent more than 20 years at Arsenal and joined QPR following the appointment of Mark Warburton as manager in 2019 – he was a senior scout at Rangers when Warburton was manager of the Scottish club.

Banfield remained on the coaching staff after Warburton was succeeded by Beale, who brought in Watling, 32, during the summer and installed former Chelsea midfielder Matthew, 52, as assistant boss.