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Thursday, August 23, 2012

QPR Report Thursday: QPR's Transfer Policy and Spending Under the Microscope...Tony Fernandes Responding...QPR Cheapest London Club in Premiership to Follow!...Dawson Deal in Question...Paddy Kenny Going Too Far?...On This Day: QPR Slaughter the Champions Away


- On This Day in 1975: QPR Crush Champions Derby County at the Baseball Ground! (For More Photos from the 1975-76 Season from the Bushman Photo Archives)


- Contract Extension for  Hogan Ephraim

- "Open All Rs" Podcast with Lee Cook, Guest

- QPR Official "London Call In" with Hogan Ephraim - Update: Tony Fernandes Appearing

- Marking One Year Anniversary of  Philip Beard as QPR CEO

QPR's Spending and Transfer Policy Under The Microscope


Tony Fernandes ‏@tonyfernandes

 -You know something I don't. Wages are less than last year 15 players already left. And we have spent a net of 1.5 ... http://m.tmi.me/vRgum

- We have a fantastic team led by our very committed manager mark. There is no panic and no overspending. Very sensible shareholders.

- QPR's Crippling Lack of Transfer Imagination

Telegraph/Jeremy WilsonQPR’s owners speculate to accumulate real success
Spend-spend policy stakes Loftus Road future, but at least the Mittal family millions provide safety net

Another day in another transfer window and once again it was not Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester City generating the biggest headlines but Queens Park Rangers.
With Jose Bosingwa, a Champions League winner, having already arrived and negotiations ongoing yesterday for Real Madrid’s Ricardo Carvalho and England centre-back Michael Dawson, QPR’s back four against Norwich on Saturday could bear no resemblance to the one which lined up in their 5-0 opening-day drubbing against Swansea.

After the additions already this summer of Ji-Sung Park, Robert Green, Junior Hoilett, Ryan Nelsen and Andrew Johnson, it will also represent the continuation of a recruitment pattern at Loftus Road that is certainly ambitious but also extravagant and highly risky. Add in Kieron Dyer, Joey Barton, Luke Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, Nedum Onuoha, Djibril Cissé and Bobby Zamora, all signed since promotion was achieved from the Championship, and Mark Hughes has one of the most experienced squads in the Premier League.
Yet it is also a team with limited resale value and, for a club on QPR’s relatively moderate turnover, an extraordinary wage bill.

In the most recently published accounts, which relate to QPR’s Championship-winning season in 2010-11, the wages to turnover ratio was a whopping 183 per cent. It led to an operating loss of £25.7million. The next accounts, expected to be published in April, could be more eye-watering still.

Nobody is pretending that the model is even remotely self-sustainable in the short term but there might still be method in what some might regard as madness. Yes, in the recruitment of seasoned internationals on wages that cannot be covered by their natural resources, there is a possible comparison with Portsmouth or even Leeds. Yet it is equally possible to point to the examples of Manchester City, Chelsea, Wigan, Stoke City, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Bolton as clubs who were successful in establishing themselves at a new level in the Premier League after an initial injection of outside funds. It is about speculating to accumulate.

There is certainly no particular concern at the Premier League’s headquarters in Gloucester Place over QPR’s strategy. In the wake of Portsmouth, tighter sustainability tests were introduced and clubs are required to produce financial information on how they will meet their commitments during the year.
The viability of QPR’s model is underpinned by the vast wealth of the club’s owners. The 2010-11 accounts with their strategy for growth at every level, should provide considerable reassurance to supporters.
Although net debt as of May 2011 was £56.1million, all outstanding loans can be described as “soft” in that they are only owed to Tune QPR Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Ruben Gnanalingam or the Mittal family’s Sea Dream Limited. Given that the Mittal family, who are 33 per cent owners of QPR, feature regularly in the top 10 of Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, the safety net should be considerable.

The focus for the owners stretches well beyond this summer’s investment in the playing squad. Beneath some frantic transfer activity, change at QPR is being implemented from bottom to top. Planning permission has already been secured for a new training ground at Warren Farm that is due to be opened next year.
There has been an overhaul of the technical staff beneath Hughes. Mike Rigg, the technical director, was appointed from Manchester City in April and, in the last 48 hours, Shaun Hallett has come in as the head of academy and football operations, Levin Cruickshank as scouting coordinator and Stuart Webber, Hans Gillhaus and Steve Hitchen have been added to the scouting team.
A longer-term desire to move towards self-sustainability is reflected in negotiations over two west London sites that could house a new 45,000-seat stadium. Phil Beard, QPR’s chief executive, is focused on growing the club’s fan base over the next five years to the extent that a larger new stadium could be filled. As well as its modest 18,500 capacity, Loftus Road has only 18 executive boxes.

“What we desire is an arena for QPR that could have multi-use capabilities,” said Beard. “If we are serious at QPR about building a club and generating improved income then we have to consider another site.

“We need to grow our fan base and engage with young people and the community and become a club that is not just known in London and around Europe but further afield.”
Beard realises the dangers: “The game is so competitive it tempts clubs to push their financial boundaries.”
The lasting commitment of QPR’s owners will decide whether the boundaries have been sensibly stretched in a fascinating first year back among English football’s elite. Telegraph

The Guardian/Jamie Jackson
Tony Fernandes's QPR continue quest to spend or be damned

QPR's approach to sign players with little re-sale value raises questions over Tony Fernandes's vision for the club

Last September Tony Fernandes, Queens Park Rangers' new owner, told the Guardian: "The message is: 'I don't know where we'll take this club, but we'll give it our best shot.'"

In the first season following promotion the journey would be a haphazard stumble to near-relegation shaped by a scattergun recruitment policy that now stands at two managers, 40 players used and 16 recruited if Michael Dawson's expected move from Tottenham Hotspur goes through.

Factor in the desire of the manager Mark Hughes, who replaced Neil Warnock in January, to add Real Madrid's Ricardo Carvalho (on loan) and Dawson's Spurs colleague Jermain Defoe before 1 September and that is enough for a completely new match-day squad since Fernandes became majority shareholder.

All this would be fine if QPR had kicked-off their first full campaign under Hughes with style and stability, but by 4.50pm on Saturday Michael Laudrup, in his first Premier League match as a manager, had overseen Swansea City's 5-0 hammering of the Hoops at Loftus Road.

Hughes's words following their survival, despite losing 3-2 to Manchester City in that final day championship decider, suddenly convinced a little less. "We will never be in this situation again while I am manager," the Welshman said. Hughes's optimism was probably founded in his knowledge he would never have to select Joey Barton in a QPR XI again.

After witnessing how the midfielder came close to costing the club their Premier League status by being sent off against City in May, and compounding this with further clashes with Sergio Agüero and Vincent Kompany – for which Barton received a 12-match ban – Hughes hoped the midfielder's travails and tweeting would soon be someone else's problem.

Barton was the first player to be signed under Fernandes's ownership. Hindsight's wisdom now places this and his appointment as captain by Warnock as a disastrously wrong tone-setting move for the new era, one from which Hughes is still trying to recover the club.

Those 40 players called upon by QPR are five more than any other club in the corresponding period. Norwich City and Swansea City, promoted alongside QPR in 2011, have needed 29 and 28 respectively.

The profiles of the 15 signed so far during Fernandes's time in charge reveal the fault-lines in the club's policy. Only six could be expected to have either a significant sell-on value or have their best years ahead of them.

After Barton, 28-years-old when he arrived in August 2011 and who has been linked with a loan move to Marseille, came Luke Young (32, joined last August), Shaun Wright-Phillips (29, last August), Djibril Cissé (30, January) Bobby Zamora (30, January), Andrew Johnson (31, this summer), Ryan Nelsen (34, this summer), Rob Green (32, this summer), Park Ji-sung (31, this summer) and Dawson, who is 28.

If the 34-year-old Carvalho and Defoe, 29, arrive, then expect the wags at Loftus Road to whistle the theme from Dad's Army whenever QPR play. Hughes's squad also includes Kieron Dyer, 33, and Shaun Derry, 34. Both were named on the bench against Swansea.

Of the 16, only the 22-year-old Junior Hoilett, Anton Ferdinand (27), Armand Traoré (22), Nedum Onuoha (25), Samba Diakité (23) and the Manchester United loanee Fábio da Silva (22) have an argument for youth or sell-on value. A source close to Fernandes told the Guardian: "We haven't paid for 95%, many are free transfers and many of these players, for example, Junior Hoilett, have huge value."

In a multi-tweet dispatch following Swansea's 5-0 rout of QPR, Fernandes said: "That was a pretty poor anniversary. Worse than last season. But I remain positive. We haven't gelled yet. Have faith and be optimistic. I always said it takes time to gel this team and know our formation. There are some positives. Ji was great. Hoilett looked good. We dominated the first half. I don't honestly feel that bad. But 5-0 is 5-0.

"[The] defence was very poor today. No excuses. But this is a far better place we are in than last season against Bolton [QPR lost to them 4–0 at Loftus Road on the first day]. [There are] many many positives. I feel we are in a much better place, just takes time. At 2-0 we chased the game and lost shape. Its about a season not one game."

Fernandes even offered Hughes the confidence vote not always welcomed by managers. "I have a fantastic relationship with Mark Hughes," he said. "He's as disappointed as me. He will fix this. No one expected this. Better now than later. For all QPR fans we are working overtime. Once we have analysed the game we know what we have to do. Body blow but we are all fighters."

QPR are at Norwich City on Saturday, themselves 5–0 losers at Fulham last week, before a challenging three-game run which features a trip to the champions, Manchester City, the visit of Chelsea, the European champions, and the short journey to Tottenham Hotspur, who finished fourth last season.  Guardian

DAILY MAIL - EXCLUSIVE: QPR fury at Kenny's 'abusive' text rant after Swansea drubbing

- QPR have made a formal complaint to Leeds accusing goalkeeper Paddy Kenny of sending a series of abusive messages to a member of their management team.
- Kenny, sold by Rangers to Leeds in the summer, is said to have been mocking QPR after the 5-0 home defeat by Swansea on the opening day of the season. His replacement, Rob Green, made a howler to concede the opening goal on his debut following his move from West Ham.
- It is said a number of Kenny’s messages were of an aggressive nature.
The messages were supposedly sent on Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Claim: Paddy Kenny is believed to have sent abusive texts to QPR staff

Kenny had played in goal for Leeds during their opening Championship win over Wolves earlier in the day. Leeds are believed to be investigating the complaint.
Rangers sold Kenny to Elland Road for £900,000 in the summer. He made a mistake in their last game of the season at Manchester City that could have seen QPR relegated and was allowed to move to Leeds and rejoin Neil Warnock, who had been sacked by Rangers.
The latest text row comes after Sportsmail revealed how Kevin Pietersen had sent messages to the South Africa dressing room about his captain, Andrew Strauss.

Gaffe: QPR keeper Robert Green was at fault for Swansea's opening goal
Kenny was in the QPR side promoted after winning the Championship in May 2011.
QPR owner Tony Fernandes has been informed of the Kenny incident and has asked to be kept fully up to date with developments.
If QPR are dissatisfied with how Leeds deal with the matter, they could ask the FA to discipline the keeper.
Kenny linked up with Warnock for the fourth time when he moved to Elland Road. He spent the previous two campaigns at QPR under Warnock and eight seasons at Sheffield United, where he failed a drug test after testing positive for ephedrine. He was banned for nine months by the FA.

In the past: Kenny worked with Leeds boss Neil Warnock at QPR
He was also involved in a drunken fight with his friend at an Indian restaurant in Halifax, in which his eyebrow was bitten off. Warnock also signed Kenny for Bury.
Leeds refused to comment when contacted by Sportsmail on Wednesday night.  Mail

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