Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand shakes hands with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli after their English Premier League soccer match in London
Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand (R) shakes hands with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli after their English Premier League soccer match in London REUTERS

Anton Ferdinand was forced to flee his home after receiving death threat last month, it has been revealed.

The police were concerned about the message sent to the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) defender the night before his club played Manchester City, warning him and his family to take immediate precautions, according to the Mirror.

The threat came in the wake of allegations that Chelsea captain John Terry racially abused Ferdinand during a match (a file on the police's investigation of incident has now been sent to the Crown Prosecution service).

Rangers boss Neil Warnock believes that the incident is the reason behind Ferdinand's poor form.

"He's had a lot on his plate, really," said Warnock. "You never know how things like this affect people. Before the City game, he had to move out of his house at 8pm - so that was not a good preparation for him. There were all sorts of things going on behind the scenes. I felt sorry for him," Warnock said.

He added: "With all that was going on off the field, we have to remember that he is only a human being and you've got to get your preparation right. Unfortunately, we didn't have anybody else to put in. Everybody else was injured."

Rangers lost a closely-fought game against visitors City, 3-2. However, QPR have recorded only one win from their four games since they defeated Chelsea 1-0 win in October, which triggered the Terry-Ferdinand row.

"Before this blew up, we were getting clean sheets and the two centre-halves were outstanding. I just want them to get back to that level," Warnock said.

He has also urged midfielder Joey Barton to mend his ways in the wake of the war of words with Newcastle, his former club. Barton joined Rangers in August.

Barton, 29, recently criticised Toon owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias on QPR podcast Open All R's.

Barton made accusations that he along with other big names were forced out of Newcastle because they were not satisfied with the bonus scheme.

Reacting to the Barton's allegations, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Barton not to taint the north-east club's impressive start to the season, while Llambias called his lawyers to tackle the matter.

Later, Barton called for a patch-up after revealing that he was warned off his old club by some of the QPR top brass over a meal.

"Had dinner with a few wise men last night. They suggested I try to see the good in everybody. I've taken that on board and today I see certain people in a different light regardless of are past differences. Let's move on. Life's too short. I concur. Pardew's a good man and manager, I agree with what he has said. Time to keep my peace," he tweeted.

Commenting on the tweets, Warnock added: "I am glad he tweeted what he did. I think he should move on and hope he sticks to what he said."