Briatore rules out hands-on role at QPR

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MONACO - Queens Park Rangers co-owner Flavio Briatore on Thursday ruled out taking a more hands-on role at the west London club now that they are back in the Premier League.

The former Renault Formula One team boss, making an appearance at the Monaco Grand Prix, also told Reuters that he and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had no plans to sell the club and had complete confidence in manager Neil Warnock making the right moves in the transfer market.

"No, I don't want to (get more involved), absolutely not," said the Italian.

"The coach and (chairman) Gianni Paladini are the ones involved right now. Nothing has changed, absolutely nothing. I don't want to be involved at all."

Briatore stepped down as QPR chairman in February last year after being barred from Formula One activities as a result of a race-fixing scandal.

He, Ecclestone and Indian steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal bought QPR, who secured promotion as Championship winners last month, in 2007.

The club's vice-chairman Amit Bhatia, Mittal's son-in-law, resigned on Wednesday after saying in a statement that his "vision, strategy and direction for the club is very different from that of the other shareholders and board members."

GOOD PLAYERS

Mittal was quoted as saying last week that he would be making a bid for full control of the club, but he was rebuffed by Ecclestone who said he had not been consulted. Briatore said there would be no change of ownership.

"Forget about selling, Bernie and I we are together and we own 70 percent of the club. This is what we have," said the Italian. "We go ahead like we have from day one.

"The plan for QPR is... to make sure next season we are competitive, we keep all the good players we have in the squad at the moment and the coach is now looking to set up a very good club for next season," said Briatore.

Asked about spending and the club's possible budget for players, he replied: "This is the coach's decision. We have complete trust in Neil. We try to help him have the best squad for next year to be competitive."

With speculation continuing about the manager's future, Briatore was adamant that Warnock would be staying. "Not for one minute was there any doubt about Neil," he said.

Briatore, a regular at Monaco Grand Prix time, remains banned from active involvement in Formula One until 2013 and he said he had no plans to return.

"I am just here now. I think it would be nice to be here at lunchtime," he quipped, standing outside Ecclestone's motorhome in the paddock.

"Formula One is a really great situation, great sport and I love a lot to be part like a big fan of Formula One. But in this moment I don't have any plans to come back.

"It's much better if you stay out and watch on TV. This year we've had fantastic races, I enjoy it very much, I think it's super."