The merry-go-round continues at Loftus Road. Five games into his tenure in charge of Queen's Park Rangers, Paul Hart has joined the long list of managers to have departed W12 since Flavio Briatore came to the club two and a half years ago.
Hart, who was sacked by Portsmouth earlier this season, was the sixth manager – not including caretakers – under Briatore. The 56-year-old had been installed until the end of the season but now leaves the club after less than a month.
Some reports suggest the decision came after Hart fell out with the Rangers board over transfers, while an argument with on-loan Spurs midfielder Adel Taarabt has also been reported. It is thought assistant manager Mick Harford will take charge until the end of the campaign. A Rangers statement read: "The club can confirm that manager Paul Hart has decided to leave Queen's Park Rangers Football Club with immediate effect. Assistant manager Mick Harford will be taking charge of first-team affairs, starting with this weekend's Championship fixture at Blackpool."
Hart's final game in charge was Tuesday night's 3-2 FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United, watched by Briatore and his co-owner Bernie Ecclestone. A crowd of only 5,780 watched Rangers fall 3-0 behind and booed Hart when he brought off midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, to replace him with Taarabt. The Hoops are 10th in the Championship ahead of today's trip to Blackpool, who are managed by their former manager Ian Holloway.
Under Briatore, permanent managers John Gregory, Luigi de Canio, Iain Dowie, Paulo Sousa, Jim Magilton and Hart have departed while Harford, Gareth Ainsworth (twice) and youth coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham have had spells in caretaker charge. Former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has already been linked with the role.