QPR manager Jim Magilton was suspended after midfielder Akos Buzsaky issued an 'either he goes or I go' ultimatum to chairman Flavio Briatore.
Magilton has been suspended over an allegation he headbutted Hungarian player Buzsaky after Monday night's 3-1 defeat at Watford. But a dressing room witness insisted there was no headbutt and Buzsaky merely took exception to Magilton's forthright post-match opinion.
"Buzsaky and his agent have basically said 'either he goes or I go'. It's all about player power," said the source. "There was no headbutt, nothing like it. Akos was actually sitting down at the time.
"It was exactly the sort of discussion you'd expect after a disappointing defeat. Jim bent down to speak to Akos, it got a bit heated, forehead to forehead, and (coach) Keith Ryan told Jim to move away. Jim did, but then Akos got up and ran out of the dressing room. [Assistant boss] John Gorman told him not to be so stupid and to come back inside. But he refused.''
Magilton, who told reporters after the game the incident was down to "a difference of opinion", put his side of the story to Briatore on Tuesday but was told yesterday morning he had been suspended and not to show up at the club's training ground. The former Ipswich boss also spent much of Tuesday attempting to speak to Buzsaky in a bid to heal the rift, but the player did not answer his calls.
Gorman and reserves boss Keith Ryan have walked out in support of Magilton, who insisted: "I categorically deny any allegation of wrong-doing."
Rangers appear to be backing their player, on Wednesday issuing a statement denying Buzsaky had handed in a transfer request and quoting the 27-year-old as claiming he was "focused on our next fixture against West Brom on Monday night''.
Magilton is the fifth permanent manager to work under Briatore in the two years since the Italian took over. Former Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has already been linked with the role. Youth coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham have been placed in temporary charge.