With QPR facing relegation and staring into the abyss of the Championship, Tony Fernandes must sit and wonder what exactly went wrong at QPR. He invested a huge amount of money in an attempt to keep QPR in the Premier League but at this point of the season it seems all the effort was in vain. What exactly did go wrong for the club to be left sitting in the relegation zone?
The main issue was all their star players they signed who just failed to perform. Too many players turned up to QPR for a big pay packet who just didn’t warrant it based on their Loftus Road performances. The hunger in the team vanished as players who had helped gain promotion were pushed aside for players who had nothing to fight for. Players like Paddy Kenny and Heidar Helguson were pushed aside for big name signings like Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse and the hunger drained from the team. Last season wasn’t too bad but QPR went crazy in pursuit of a better year and that’s when the mistakes really started to tumble. In the summer of 2012 QPR signed Junior Hoilett, Park JI-Sung, Samba Diakite, Jose Bosingwa, and Esteban Granero, all players who have failed to truly justify the price tags and expectations that come with their signatures. The result was no victory until December and the sacking of their manager. The changes of personnel was just too much for their team to handle.
Fernandes’ decision of hiring Harry Redknapp was a pretty simple one but it signalled the panic about the possible relegation. His fear of relegation was seen again in January with the signings of Loic Remy and Christopher Samba. The calibre of player of player signed in January offered QPR a fighting chance but the signings and loanees of Townsend and Jenas have not been enough. Redknapp’s arrival was a huge boost for the club but he just didn’t change enough to allow them to challenge teams in the league. His January players looked initially like they could spring a change but the squad still couldn’t play together effectively. The team still hadn’t gelled and were playing like they just couldn’t go out and win a game. Many people enjoyed the myth of Harry ‘Houdini’ Redknapp escaping relegation again but this time it failed to materialise. The changes he made were not severe enough and not astute enough to avoid the drop. The problem was they were still playing like individuals and there were few signs that was likely to change. The big players at the club knew relegation wouldn’t really affect their careers as so many players in the team were under par that they realised the blame would be passed around. The pressure was not on players to perform.
The concern now will be what will happen to QPR if they are relegated. Too many players will be on inflated wage bills for the squad to stay similar to what it is now. Some players will want to leave the club but some may be happy to stay on their high wage. Who said that all these players would actually sell? They haven’t all painted themselves in the best light and most would need to take a wage cut to leave the Championship. Some players upped their reputation playing at Loftus Road. Julio Cesar, Loic Remy and Andros Townsend have all impressed and the former two will have many clubs after them if QPR are ultimately relegated. The worst case scenario for Fernandes and QPR this season was relegation. All the spending was just in desperation to remain in the top flight before the ship could be settled and the real building could begin.
I honestly believe that Fernandes was aiming for a Europa league spot or somewhere around there in the next few years. Whether he was or wasn’t aiming that high, his lofty ambitions have landed QPR in the relegation zone. It will be interesting to see what lessons the club have learnt and how they will respond. The rebuilding of their squad will be one of the biggest projects in football so it will be interesting to see how it goes and where they find themselves in the next few years.