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Renault chief Briatore in talks with Real Madrid over QPR

in English Premier League, La Liga 26 Apr 2008


Renault team chief Flavio Briatore and his fellow-director of English soccer club Queens Park Rangers, Bernie Ecclestone, the ring-master of Formula One, held two hours of talks with Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon late Friday.

The trio, all friends and fans of twice Formula One drivers world champion Fernando Alonso and major investors in modern European sport, were locked in the upstairs office of the Renault F1 team motor home at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Sources close to the Renault team said the three men are believed to have discussed possible cooperation between Real Madrid and Queens Park Rangers, an English league club, relating to the loan of players and exchange of technical information and possibly coaching staff.

Briatore and Ecclestone took over as owners of QPR three months ago and after clearing the club's debts declared an ambition to gain promotion to the English Premier League and qualify for the UEFA Champions League by 2012.

Calderon's Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of the European Cup and not only have a huge squad of international players, but are also very influential in Spanish soccer.

A tie-up between the two clubs in which they help each other with player loans – young Madrid players being loaned to QPR and developed in London in readiness to force their way into the star-studded Real first team – is widely expected.

Briatore, one of the richest men in Formula One, has operated as the chairman of QPR since their takeover along with Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. The director general of QPR is Alejandro Agag, a close friend of Alonso who is a football fan and a life-long supporter of Real Madrid.

Calderon stayed at the Renault motor home and then joined Briatore in the Renault garage for most of the practice sessions while multi-billionaire Ecclestone busied himself with his 'day job' in the paddock at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“We had a nice meeting,” was the only comment Briatore would make.




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