QPR need change from top to bottom

Clint Hill, right, looks on in despair as Queens Park Rangers exit the Premier League. (Image | Getty)
Clint Hill, right, looks on in despair as Queens Park Rangers exit the Premier League. Photograph: Getty Images

QPR exited the Premier League on Sunday, putting in a display of rank incompetence as they lost 6-0 to Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.

In many ways, it was a fitting end to another disastrous top flight campaign in which, once again, a shambolic collection of men wearing blue and white found their level.

Unfortunately, that level is the Championship, where QPR face a possible fine of more than £50million for allegedly contravening Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

What is claimed is that the administration of the owner, Tony Fernandes, tried to write off loans in excess of £60million in order to hide the extent of the losses the club was making.

Leaving aside the prospect of oblivion off the pitch, Rangers imploded on it, letting Sergio Aguero dance through their defence time and again to boost his impressive goal tally.

It was a far cry from the heroic, but similarly fruitless, display put up by Mark Hughes’ Rs team, who went down 3-2 in the last minute in one of the most exciting games in decades.

This time around even the City fans looked bored as their superstars made a mockery of the supposed competitiveness of the league by barely getting out of first gear.

They did not have to, for the Superhoops went into reverse, with all the talk of going down fighting disappearing into the ether while the band of brothers surrendered as one.

The only fraternity at Rangers is the one full of agents, football’s ambulance chasers, who wait for the transfer window to open and pour cash forth from Loftus Road into their hands.

Like the food vendor who follows Homer around in The Simpsons, and declares that “he is putting my kids through college”, players’ representatives have done very well out of QPR.

Such as those behind Shaun Wright-Phillips, Junior Hoilett, Steven Caulker, Joey Barton and many, many others, on whom vast sums have been squandered for little in return.

Following Rangers’ relegation, Fernandes optimistically declared that the club has the opportunity to “put in place the foundations to deliver long-term success and stability”.

Excuse me, but, is this the stability that has seen QPR go through hundreds of players, appoint three managers and spend countless millions in just a few years?

As for foundations, how about the ones not in place at either Warren Farm or Old Oak Common, the respective sites for the proposed new training ground and stadium?

Little to no progress has been made on either development, both of which are crucial to the club’s future, while transfer mismanagement has threatened the Rs’ very survival.

Joey “self-awareness” Barton has identified a few bad eggs in the Rangers dressing room but seems unaware that there may be as many as a dozen and he could be one of them.

According to the Daily Mirror, these include Eduardo Vargas, Armand Traore, Mauro Zarate, Mauricio Isla and, unsurprisingly, Adel Taarabt.

Without meaning to question the sound judgment of Barton, whose red card against City in 2012 could have cost the club even more, many of these players are new arrivals.

The malaise at QPR is not new and it is fundamentally not down to these individuals alone, although they undoubtedly share some responsibility for the Rs’ relegation.

If the dressing room is rotten now, it was rotten then and it will probably still be rotten until the whole culture of the club, and the way it does business, changes fundamentally.

QPR has to stand for something other than just money: being the poster child for unrestrained spending and rewarding greed has got the club almost nowhere

Clint Hill seemed to echo Barton’s complaints by suggesting that some players were not trying as hard as him, but again, he has always stood out for his commitment to Rangers.

With two matches of the season remaining, and a chance to claw back a modicum of pride at home to Newcastle United on Saturday, the Rs face a long and painful summer.

Should the club fail to defend itself against the FFP brigade, and be handed a major fine, this will either set QPR’s finances back for a few years or destroy them altogether.

Meanwhile, any refusal to pay whatever is deemed necessary, should a guilty verdict be returned, could at worst lead to Rangers being kicked out of the Football League.

Such a scenario is unlikely, but experts raise the possibility of points being deducted or transfer embargoes imposed, which hardly bodes well for assembling a fresh squad.

Then there is the issue of Chris Ramsey, who has hardly set the world on fire but was parachuted into a disastrous situation and did the best he could with limited resources.

Perhaps understandably, many Rs fans feel he is too inexperienced to lead the club next season, even with the backing and nous of Les Ferdinand as the director of football.

However, he would surely blood the youth players, which many supporters have been crying out for, and would be much less of a gamble than another high-profile manager.

Yet rather than a new head coach, new stadium, new players and a new training ground, what Rangers really need is a new identity, a new set of values and a new approach.

QPR has to stand for something other than just money: being the poster child for unrestrained spending and rewarding greed has got the club almost nowhere.

Once upon a time, other football fans liked QPR, who were not too big for their boots, had a decent youth system, bought sensibly and played in a stadium with a terrific atmosphere.

The instability of the past five years has yielded two relegations, two promotions and an enormous deficit. Perhaps it is time for a bit of normality and rebuilding out of the spotlight.

Have your say | Tweet the author | @chriskking

Originally published on TEAMtalk on Wednesday May 13 2015.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s