Published on February 4, 2013 | by David Honey


QPR’s will to spend could spell tears in the end

Tony Fernandes, QPR owner

QPR owner Tony Fernandes’ reckless spending has failed to ignite the club’s fortunes on the pitch. [Flickr: Caterham F1]

After a 15-year hiatus from the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers returned to England’s top-flight for the 2011/12 season, surviving by the skin of their teeth thanks to a dramatic last day of action.

This season, however, is slowly turning into a nightmare for QPR and their fans.

The latest disaster came with a humiliating FA Cup defeat at home to League One outfit MK Dons.

The Hoops were outplayed from the off and only showed signs of coming to life late on with two late goals.

This latest setback left many questioning the desire and hunger of some of the players once again with star-names on big wages often accused of shirking the dirty side of the game.

The club now has 14 games to save their season and currently sit in 20th place with a mere 16 points from 24 matches and a minus 19-goal difference.

This season was supposed to be one in which the side cemented themselves as a genuine Premier League side, especially after the money spent in the summer and owner Tony Fernandes’ ambitious plans.

However, Mark Hughes paid the price for a horrendous start in November, despite such an outlay on players during the summer transfer window.

Goalkeeper farce

However, it is QPR’s buying policy itself, which seems to have had a detrimental effect on the side’s whole campaign.

An example of how the club went about its business was epitomised by the shambles that was buying Robert Green from West Ham.

The England international was brought in under the pretence of taking on the Number One jersey, but only a matter of days later, Inter Milan’s Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar was signed with Green pushed back to understudy and almost immediately rumoured to be leaving the club he’d only just joined.

Needless to say, this could not have helped the morale of the squad and Green was far from pleased.

QPR continued to bring in players who boasted admirable pedigrees in the footballing world, but have proved to be lacking in terms of fight as the club got sucked into a relegation battle.

What’s more, the wages being paid to these players will turn into a massive problem if the club get relegated come May.

Players such as Jose Bosingwa, Park Ji Sung and Julio Cesar are on huge wages and are at a point in their careers when they have little to prove, with their motivation not what it once was.

The owners would do well to have a glance at other sides who have chased quick success without setting foundations, such as Leeds and Portsmouth who were suddenly left with unmanageable wage bills and debts once things turned sour.

January spending spree

With the recent purchase of Loic Remy from Marseille for a club record fee of £8million the spending looks unlikely to stop anytime soon.

Indeed, QPR seem to have taken the approach of gambling on the January transfer window in order to get out of trouble, with big-money acquisitions like Peter Crouch, Chris Samba and Scott Parker also on the agenda in the coming days.

Even the transfer of Remy, which was a real coup considering the competition for his signature, can be seen as part of the problem, rather than solving it.

The Frenchman was forced to come out and defend his move, claiming his £75,000-a-week wages was not the key factor in his choice, despite interest from clubs in better positions. Again, another player who’s motivations could be questioned.

Remy is the 15th player to sign for QPR this season, with more than 20 going the other way, again proving the kind of upheaval and short-term strategy the club operates.

Fernandes appears to be in a hurry for changes, but this way of running a football team in the top league rarely works out well. To have such drastic changes in such a short space of time cannot be good for team morale, while gelling as a side and building team spirit also becomes forgotten.

It also makes the manager’s job harder than it should be. Hughes was only in the job for eleven months, and struggled to maintain a settled side that was willing to work for each and push the club forward.

It took QPR until December 15 to register their first win this campaign. This came under the guidance of new manager Harry Redknapp, who’s appointment could well be Fernandes’ best bit of business.

It was a bold move by the chairman but already there are shoots of improvement with the fantastic 1-0 win at Chelsea at the start of January a show of desire, organisation and fight rarely seen from the side over the past year.

A goalless draw with Manchester City last night was another promising display, but these results have been intertwined with woeful displays, most notably against Liverpool at home, when Luis Suarez gave them a hiding.

QPR still have a long way to go to survive, but recent results have certainly given them a chance. However, the careless and short-sighted nature of spending could have a far more long-term effect if survival isn’t secured, with football’s owners and their ambitious plans for success set to come under the spotlight once again.


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