A FORMER chairman of Queens Park Rangers Football Club told a court how he came face to face with the "four biggest blokes he had ever seen" during an alleged Sopranos-style takeover at the club.

One of the club's directors, David Morris, 50, of Doggetts Lane, Chalfont St Giles, is on trial for allegedly forcing Gianni Paladini to sign over his shares and resign from the board at gun-point on the day of QPR's home match against Sheffield United last August.

One of the alleged gang, David Davenport, 38, of Cowper Road, Chesham, also faces charges of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm. They deny all charges.

Bill Power told Blackfriars Crown Court on Wednesday how on the day of the alleged attack, he was denied entry into his own office by some "heavies" claiming to be acting on the chairman's orders. He said: "I was confronted by four of the biggest blokes I have ever seen in my life all together. They were stood at the top of the stairs.

"I said what's going on boys'? A guy turned around. He could not have been more polite, and said, I'm awfully sorry sir, you are not allowed in here today, chairman's orders'. I explained I was the chairman, but he said I don't care who you are sir you are still not allowed up here today.

"I turned and got out of there as quickly as I could."

At half-time, police arrested everyone in Mr Morris' box and discovered a scribbled note of resignation in Mr Paladini's handwriting. They also found £7,000 in cash which the prosecution says was meant to pay the gang.

The defence claim Mr Paladini made up the incident after a long running feud with other members of the board.

The trial continues