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Friday, February 01, 2013

QPR Report Friday: Assessing QPR Spending...Flashback: Dean Parrett Sold...Birthday for Two QPR #10s...Next: Norwich



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BBC - QPR's transfer spending is gambling the future of the club

As the clock ticked down to Thursday's transfer deadline it was not Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool that were on everyone's lips, but Queens Park Rangers.
Some called it a trolley dash, others described it as financial roulette, but as the dust settled on another transfer window, it was impossible to dispute that Harry Redknapp's squad was better equipped to remain in the Premier League.
But at what price?
First came a striker. That was Loic Remy, the fluid French forward, who completed an £8m transfer from Marseille. Then came the unsuccessful attempt to persuade Yann M'Vila to move to England. But it was the outlay on deadline day that raised more eyebrows and prompted new questions.


It is not Chris Samba's fault that they are paying him £100,000 per week, he will be absolutely buzzing

The deal for Christopher Samba, the towering central defender, broke the club's transfer record for the second time in a fortnight. The fee was £12.5m, the contract worth more than £20m over the four-and-a-half-year deal - an incredible commitment for a 28-year-old.
QPR had met with Samba in the summer of 2012. A deal had been discussed, but the Loftus Road club would not meet his wage demands of £100,000 per week. Six months on and the club's increasingly perilous position in the Premier League changed that position.
"It is not Chris Samba's fault that they are paying him £100,000 per week, he will be absolutely buzzing," former Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage told BBC Sport.
"But 100 grand a week? And they could drop into the Championship. It is madness. You look at what happened to Pompey and it was really, really sad. I know QPR are funded very well by Tony Fernandes. But it is a huge gamble."
The additions of Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend with an hour left on deadline added to the wage bill, although an offer for West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie didn't come to fruition. QPR have been among the most active Premier League clubs in the market since the arrival of Fernandes in October 2011.
Having preached the need for prudence and stability and insisted he would not bankroll the club, he has found the pressure of sustaining Premier League football forcing his hand. Under previous manager Mark Hughes, Ji-Sung Park, Robert Green, Junior Hoilett, Ryan Nelsen, Andrew Johnson all arrived to boost a squad and a wage bill already boasting Kieron Dyer, Joey Barton, Luke Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, Nedum Onuoha, Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora.
It is a recruitment pattern that is ambitious, extravagant but incredibly risky should Redknapp not be able to keep the club in the top division. "If the worst happens the financial position QPR will be in doesn't bear thinking about," former Bolton manager Owen Coyle told BBC Sport. "This feels like a club panicking."
The figures spent on Remy and Samba are startling. The vast sums of money do not tally with a club battling to avoid the drop. QPR's total investment in both players across the term of their contract totals close to £80m.
Nobody at Loftus Road is pretending the model is self-sustainable in the short term, but having already committed vast sums to the wage bill it is felt it is better to roll the dice again in the hope of staying up and cashing in on the lucrative new three-year TV rights deal which kicks in next season.

QPR signings under Fernandes

January 2013
  • Tal Ben Haim - free
  • Loic Remy - £8m
  • Christopher Samba - £15m
  • Jermain Jenas - free
  • Andros Townsend - loan
Summer 2012
  • Jose Bosingwa - free
  • Julio Cesar - undisclosed
  • Esteban Granero - undisclosed
  • Sam Magri - free
  • Stephane Mbia -undisclosed
  • Fabio Da Silva - loan
  • Park Ji-Sung - £2m
  • Junior Hoilett - £4m
  • Andrew Johnson - free
  • Ryan Nelsen - free
  • Robert Green - free
  • Samba Diakite - undisclosed
January 2012
  • Federico Macheda - loan
  • Taye Taiwo - loan
  • Nedum Onuoha - undisclosed
  • Samba Diakite - loan
  • Djibril Cisse - £4m
  • Bobby Zamora - undisclosed

"The wages being paid at QPR are hard for the common man to understand," former Spurs and Luton manager David Pleat told BBC Sport.
"Given the crowds that they get it seems a rather strange wage scale that they have. It is a salary scale that will get them in trouble. It is a difficult market and the weaker clubs do seem to suffer. They are facing relegation and have the fans pressing them to make signings.
"You have got to have strong management at this time and make plans and say we want to sign X and stick to that. Otherwise it just becomes a spiral, a sense of panic."
And yet if Redknapp can use these new players to steer the club away from danger will the reward justify the risk? Comparisons with Portsmouth and Leeds have been made but there are other examples at Fulham, Middlesbrough and Bolton as clubs who speculated, albeit not at this level, to accumulate.
And QPR certainly do look an awful lot healthier than they did a few days ago. To a squad denounced for lack of quality, Redknapp has added players of international quality. Samba may be considered something of a plodder, but he is tall, aggressive and dominant — just what QPR's defence has lacked.
"Harry has had four very good draws," Pleat added. "He has got them organised, played on the counter attack. He has got a win against Chelsea, a point against Manchester City, a point against Spurs - he has nothing fear now.
"He is only a few points behind the clubs ahead of them but with the players he has brought in can help him bridge that gap."
In QPR's Championship-winning season of 2010-11, the wages to turnover ratio was 183%. The current accounts make even more difficult reading.
So much depends on Premier League football. Planning permission has already been secured for a new training ground at Warren Farm, locations are being considered for a new stadium.
There is certainly a longer-term desire to move towards self-sustainability but for now QPR are pushing the financial boundaries and rolling the dice once more.  BBC

David Conn/The Guardian
QPR's panic spree is the exception on saner transfer deadline day

Tony Fernandes's gamble to stay up is understandable but other clubs have taken a more strategic approach

The January transfer window has always been a sellers' market, so the behaviour of buying clubs is a barometer of their blood pressure, on a scale ranging from contented to chaotic. Those who are content with where they are in the league decline to buy in haste at inflated prices and stick with squads they are generally happy with until the saner market of the summer. There are itchily ambitious clubs or those who cannot help themselves – Roman Abramovich's Chelsea, paying Liverpool £50m for Fernando Torres two years ago, is forever the classic example – but there were none in that impulsive bracket this time.

In fact, considering this transfer window played out under the billowing prospect of £5bn expected for the Premier League's three-year TV deals from next season, there has been a notable measure of calm and evidence of more strategic, professional recruitment than some trolley dashes of old.

Newcastle signed five French players, but say they were not knee-jerking at the sudden glimpse of the relegation zone but responding to it responsibly by bringing forward the signing of players they had tracked for some time.

So, in a climate now characterised by more careful, statistics-based assessment of players' abilities and the financial implications, all of football looked at Queens Park Rangers' dealings as a club edging towards red on the barometer.

Given the probable £60m a low-ranking Premier League club will be paid from television alone next season, compared with about £2m (plus parachute payments) for clubs in the Championship, it is natural to strain sinews to stay up. Tony Fernandes, QPR owner for only 18 months, was praised by his manager, Harry Redknapp, for spending £12.5m to buy out Christopher Samba's gilt-edged contract with Anzhi Makhachkala. That followed the £8m spent on Loïc Remy from Marseille, a deal worked on by the agent Willie McKay, a veteran of transfers from France to England, and so humble Loftus Road was the stand-out temple of extravagance in this transfer window.

Samba's adviser, Walid Bouzid, said his client is not being paid the reported £100,000 weekly wage at Loftus Road but that the money is certainly "Premier League sized" and does not include a clause to decrease it if, despite these signings, QPR are relegated.

Spending £20.5m in transfer fees and committing to many millions more in wages to two good players may be a rational effort by Fernandes to avoid greater losses if QPR are relegated but it is also a big-money January gamble. It is barely 18 months since a tough, muscular side managed by Neil Warnock convincingly won promotion to the Premier League and, having sacked Warnock and backed Mark Hughes to assemble a new collection last year, paying £6.8m in agents' fees, Fernandes should wonder how it came to this.

Around him are clubs steadily increasing the sophistication of their scouting and signing of players, in the context of financial fair play which is promoting responsible spending. In the relegation zone Reading are not panicking in similar fashion, perhaps accepting that going down can keep a club strong if the Premier League bonanza has not been blown. Southampton's radical action to stay up was the brutal replacement of the manager, Nigel Adkins, with Mauricio Pochettino, rather than spending millions on players.

Newcastle acknowledge their French signings in January were partly a response to finding Alan Pardew's squad sliding down the league but argue that the strategy helmed by the managing director, Derek Llambias, with the chief scout, Graham Carr, has identified good value nevertheless. By contrast the decision by Aston Villa's owner, Randy Lerner, not to sign any players now might come to seem like paralysis rather than confidence that Villa's form will improve between now and May.

At clubs in safer regions of the table the general lack of panic buying, or very much newsworthy activity, speaks of a satisfaction with squads likely to ensure survival at least in the golden league. Swansea's chairman, Huw Jenkins, had said they identified two or three potential targets to strengthen Michael Laudrup's squad now but, with terms and conditions not being ideal and the team surpassing expectations, they had the luxury of waiting until the summer.

Towards the top Arsenal expressed customary forbearance, while Everton and Tottenham Hotspur both worked hard to secure quality signings who could help grasp the fourth Champions League place. Manchester City always said, in the first flushes of Sheikh Mansour's mountainous spending, that they had a strategy, supported by a director of football structure, and would not continue splashing out every window. This time City, who are confident they will pass Uefa's financial fair play assessment next year, bought no new players, only selling – Mario Balotelli for a satisfactory £17m plus add-ons. Manchester United, top of the league, were never going to indulge too much in January but pocketed Wilfried Zaha for the future.

At Chelsea Abramovich sated his oligarch's impulses by introducing Rafael Benítez as interim manager and, despite his team's imperfections, offered no repeat of the Torres drama. Liverpool, financial fair play devotees, now operate a line of decision-making via Michael Edwards, head of performance and analysis. Their £12m signing of Daniel Sturridge and £8.5m spent on Philippe Coutinho do not quite look like Michu-like steals for a new edition of Moneyball. But still the club's owners, Fenway Sports Group, getting to grips with soccer, must look back and wonder how, in their first weeks in charge, they allowed themselves to blow the Torres money by spending £35m on Andy Carroll.

Gradually – away from QPR – times are changing. The Guardian

Guardian - Paul Wilson

Two reasons clubs are more guarded with their money: Torres and Carroll

Transfer deadline day passes with little drama as clubs learn the lesson of 2011 when Chelsea and Liverpool splashed the cash

The most intriguing question of transfer deadline day was posed by a contributor to Talksport. Why is it that multimillion-pound, sharp-dressed, speed-of-light football is the only industry in the world still using fax machines?

In terms of actual transfers the questions were no easier to answer, apart from the obvious one about what on earth a French club with a brief to gain worldwide attention could possibly see in 37-year-old David Beckham who, if he actually plays, will become the oldest outfield player registered in Ligue 1.

Classy as it was of Beckham to announce his Paris Saint-Germain wages will be donated to a children's charity in the city, it did nothing to dispel the publicity stunt nature of the exercise. Great pictures, not that much of a transfer coup.

For England to start exporting players again was something of a surprise, especially to France, when the traffic has all been in the opposite direction in recent months, though possibly not as much of a surprise as Blackburn supporters must have had when they heard Christopher Samba describe the Premier League as the best place in the world to play football.

It was not exactly startling to discover the defender was pining for a return to England after his lucrative move to Anzhi Makhachkala did not work out to his liking, though it is hard to fathom – apart from a four-and-a-half-year contract worth an estimated £100,000 a week – why he thinks bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers are a better bet to supply him with the Premier League career he now wishes he had not interrupted. It could be argued that Samba is a long-time fan of the Hoops and it was a bid from the former manager Mark Hughes last year that unsettled him at Ewood in the first place. But 12 months ago he was not being offered the sort of deal that Harry Redknapp and Tony Fernandes have just come up with.

At least when Redknapp described his new acquisition as a monster he intended it as a compliment, which is more than can be said for some of the names Sunderland supporters have been calling their new £5m striker. Danny Graham was more or less destined to end up at the Stadium of Light from the moment he publicly disparaged the club while still a Watford player. As a Newcastle fan, he said, he would rather end up playing for Gateshead than Sunderland if he moved back to the north-east, but neither that nor the sound of Sunderland supporters booing the player when he appeared on Wearside with Swansea in midweek dissuaded Martin O'Neill from getting his man. This could at least be a last-day transfer story with legs.

With the bigger clubs doing their shopping early in the window – deals for Demba Ba, Daniel Sturridge and Wilfried Zaha were conducted with little fuss and, though Mario Balotelli's exit dragged on, there seemed to be a sad inevitability about the eventual parting – the deadline day was decidedly short on drama. The more excitable media outlets always seem to think there is going to be a repeat of the dizzying last day of January 2011, when Fernando Torres went south for £50m and Liverpool shoved the proceeds towards Andy Carroll with all the rash optimism of a tourist at the roulette table, though it was clear even at the time that that would be the exception rather than the rule. Two years on it is even clearer that major clubs are going to be more guarded with their money in winter. There are two main reasons for that. One is called Torres and the other Carroll.

In the absence of great big, jaw-dropping deals there was just a list of tiny surprises. Most people had completely forgotten Heurelho Gomes was still on Spurs' books, prior to his loan move to Hoffenheim. Ditto all the other White Hart Lane corpses, sorry careers, Redknapp spent his evening trying to revive. Ditto Rory Delap, whom many outside the Potteries might have assumed had left Stoke some time ago. In other unstunning news the Barnsley right-back turned his back on Wigan in favour of a move to Everton and Norwich decided Luciano Becchio might be a Premier League striker after all.

Jack Butland choosing Stoke over Chelsea and Manchester City looked a bit of a story at first but the small print knocked it down. The goalkeeper is 19, Birmingham are holding a firesale, he is staying with his present club until the end of the season and he reasoned, perfectly reasonably, that he would not be going straight into the team at Stamford Bridge or the Etihad. Common sense is going to be the death of deadline-day drama.




Transfer window closes in shambles as West Brom block Peter Odemwingie's move to Queens Park Rangers
The transfer window closed in farcical circumstances on Thursday night when Peter Odemwingie, the West Bromwich Albion forward, arrived to join Queens Park Rangers only for the deal to collapse as he waited outside Loftus Road.

By Jeremy Wilson

12:40AM GMT 01 Feb 2013

Comments8 Comments

With QPR earlier breaking their transfer record for the second time in three weeks to complete the £12.5 million signing of Christopher Samba, Odemwingie arrived in west London clearly expecting to be Harry Redknapp’s second major deal of the day.

The 31-year-old had even given an interview from his car to a Sky Sports News reporter in which he talked about the expected challenge ahead and even appeared to use the word “we” as he referred to QPR.

West Brom were furious and quickly issued a statement in which they stressed Odemwingie did not have permission to speak to another club. QPR then responded by insisting Odemwingie had not been granted entry to Loftus Road, a situation that literally left the Nigeria striker out in the cold.

It is understood that the two clubs had provisionally agreed a £3.5 million fee but negotiations had then stalled on West Brom’s desire to recruit Junior Hoilett on loan and have QPR continue to pay a significant proportion of his wages.

The West Brom statement read: “Albion have moved to clarify developments regarding Peter Odemwingie after the striker was filmed a short while ago arriving at Loftus Road. The club can confirm they have held further discussions with QPR today but those talks have so far proven fruitless and no agreement has been reached. Albion would also like to make clear that Peter has not been given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move.”

By this time Odemwingie had already outlined his excitement about the prospect of joining QPR. “I think every football fan is interested to see if we [QPR] are going to make it or not,” he said. “I am very optimistic about it. I’m happy with the trust Harry Redknapp has given me. Of course I believe. The last three results have shown there is a chance.

“I don’t think the owners will bring in so many quality players and spend so much money if they didn’t believe it can happen. I’m very optimistic that I will join QPR, it’s a new chapter in my life. It’s not 100 per cent yet, it’s not sorted yet but I hope they will be happy with what they get.” Odemwingie was also quoted as saying that he had been told by Dan Ashworth, West Brom’s technical director, that he could leave if a £3.5 million fee was met.

“I am disappointed this is all happening,” he reportedly said. “I met with Dan Ashworth this morning and we shook hands that I could leave with his blessing if the £3.5 million fee was met. Now, as I am on my way, I find that there are more complications. It is frustrating to say the least.”

Redknapp, who did also complete deals for Tottenham midfielders Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas yesterday, said that there had been a misunderstanding over Odemwingie. “I think he probably felt the deal would be agreed between the clubs,” said Redknapp. “It hadn’t and it was all a bit of a mix-up really. I felt sorry for the lad. It’s difficult – it wasn’t any of our doing. I think maybe he was advised he should turn up here, that the club had made an offer and the offer had been accepted. The wires got crossed somewhere. It’s too late now.”

Jenas arrived at Loftus Road last night and did complete his move from Tottenham on an 18-month deal, while Townsend will remain at QPR until the end of the season.

QPR had earlier competed Samba’s signing from Anzhi Makhachkala to add to previous deals this month for Loic Remy, Tal Ben Haim and Yun Suk-young. Samba signed a contract until 2017 worth an initial £75,000 a week, although it is believed to contain a substantial relegation clause. “This is an unbelievable signing,” said Redknapp. “Chris is just what we need – he’s a monster.”

QPR also failed yesterday with a third and final bid of £5 million for Stoke City’s Peter Crouch.



Harry Redknapp's motor at the epicentre of a fevered crescendo on transfer deadline day
It is not as easy as you might think, getting signed up on transfer deadline day. Take Andros Townsend. Early in the morning, the young Tottenham winger turned up at a private hospital in Osterley, west London.

Jim White

He was there for a medical, something he assumed was mere formality ahead of joining Queens Park Rangers. But, as he gave his name to the receptionist, he received bad news. The move was off. Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy was making it a condition of any transfer that David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas also be signed. At that time QPR weren’t interested in his three-for-one deal.

So Townsend left the building, his ambition thwarted and headed off elsewhere. Perhaps to Brentford. It makes you wonder if this is what happens as the transfer season comes to its conclusion: young players drive round the country turning up unannounced for medicals in the hope of getting a new contract.

But by the evening, the deal was back on. Or at least, the Jenas part of it. Not that it was easy even for a player of his experience. When he pitched up at Loftus Road to discuss terms, he couldn’t get into the place. Every door he tried, was locked. As a metaphor for his career, it could not have been bettered.

If you want to know what is happening on transfer deadline day, there is only one place to be: Queens Park Rangers. With Harry Redknapp in charge, the club are guaranteed to be the very epicentre of activity on deadline day. Indeed, almost as Townsend was being turned away from his medical, Redknapp was arriving at the club’s training ground, conducting an interview through the window of his Range Rover with Sky Sports News.

“I don’t know why everyone thinks I’m always involved,” he said, even as he gave the cameras the defining image of any deadline day. As we all know about Redknapp: the window is never fully closed until he shuts the window on his motor.

For Aiden Magee, the Sky Sports News reporter, that was the interview he wanted. He and his cameraman had arrived at Harlington before dawn. Not because they thought Redknapp might turn up then, but just to be there. Their first live report had been for the 6am news bulletin, when all that could be seen in the pitch darkness was the locked gates of the training ground picked out by the camera’s arclight.

This is what the deadline day has become for Sky: a fevered crescendo of manufactured drama, Cohorts of reporters address us from outside every training facility, passing on information they have had gleaned five minutes before from a club press officer. “We understand that Christopher Samba has passed his medical and is about to sign for the club,” he revealed.

By the time the manager’s motor had swished past, Mark, a lifelong QPR fan, had turned up to see what was going on.

“What’s going on?” he asked. None of us were entirely sure. Mark had heard on the radio that there were rumours that David Bentley’s Range Rover had been spotted pulling into the Osterley medical facility. No one could confirm that. What we could confirm about a Bentley was that Mark was almost run over by one being driven at warp-factor speed by Armand Traoré.

Watching the QPR squad arrive was to engage in a where-are-they-now contest. There was Luke Young in a Bentley, Andy Johnson in a Range Rover, Jose Bosingwa in a Porsche. Even as Samba was signing a deal worth £23.4 million over 4½ years, the club were paying the leftover remnants of the last couple of transfer windows hundreds of thousands of pounds to remain idle.

Once training was over, Redknapp headed to Loftus Road. “Triffic player,” he said of Samba through his window.

Anyone else coming? We all asked him. “Nah, don’t think so.” Not even Peter Crouch?

“Nah, unlikely,” he said, just as his phone rang. “Sorry fellas, better get that. Never know who it might be.”

Convinced his denial meant a very tall man was about to be spotted in the Shepherd’s Bush area, everyone piled into their cars and followed him to the stadium. There we joined another three camera crews, all contributing to the endless urgent waffle of deadline day.

Meanwhile, a man in a white van leaned, Harry-like, through his window and asked if anyone had been signed.

“Christopher Samba,” several of us said, authoritatively.

He looked at the number of reporters and cameras now filling the pavement. “Is that it?” he said. “You all here just for him?” It appeared we were.



QPR forced to lock Peter Odemwingie out of Loftus Road after West Brom refuse to give striker permission to speak to club

Harry Redknapp remains active in the market

Confusion surrounded the future of West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie tonight as he arrived in London for talks with QPR, only for his club to deny giving him permission to do so.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp earlier spoke of his interest in the wantaway Nigerian, and when the player was interviewed in London speaking of his excitement about a move, it looked as though a deal was on.

But West Brom reacted quickly by releasing a statement which read: "Albion have moved to clarify developments regarding Peter Odemwingie after the striker was filmed a short while ago arriving at Loftus Road.

"The club can confirm they have held further discussions with QPR today but those talks have so far proven fruitless and no agreement has been reached.

"Albion would also like to make clear that Peter has not been given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move."

Albion's words came just minutes after Sky Sports News interviewed the 31-year-old as he drove into London.

Sky Sports News then reported that QPR locked Odemwingie out of Loftus Road to ensure they did not break any rules concerning transfers.

The striker has been critical of West Brom on Twitter over recent weeks but he tonight gave a nod to that being in the past, saying: "It's fine. West Brom was my home but this is a new chapter. I love West Brom and always will.

"I am optimistic. A few good players have arrived here (at QPR) and I am happy with the trust Harry Redknapp has in me.

"The last few results have given us a chance to stay up. I don't think the owners will bring in so many players if they don't think it will happen.

"I hope West Brom are happy with what they will get and they hope to get players themselves."

While Odemwingie was in front of the cameras, Redknapp was giving an interview to London Call-In, during which he confirmed his interest in Odemwingie, Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend.

"Peter Odemwingie has pace, great movement," Redknapp said. "I like him and is a player that has always given us problems when I was at Tottenham

"I think if we can get Odemwingie he would be a great signing for us, but whether we can pull it off I am not sure."

The acquisition of Jenas looks like being an easier one for Redknapp, with the Tottenham midfielder also turning up at Loftus Road ahead of what he expects to be an 18-month deal.

He told reporters: "That's initially. I am fit and ready to go, it's a top club and I am confident the manager can make sure the club stays up. I know Harry well, spent a lot of time with him at Tottenham and know him well enough.

"It's a top club, has some good players and not in that bad a position. They're four points off safety and can definitely claw that back."

Earlier in the day, Rangers broke their club transfer record when they signed Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala after triggering a release clause believed to be more than £10million.



West Bromwich Albion

Peter Odemwingie's bid to force move from West Brom to QPR ends in farce

• Odemwingie barred from QPR after turning up with no deal
• West Brom hit out at striker as 'unprofessional'

David Hytner
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 31 January 2013 20.26 EST

Peter Odemwingie was at the centre of a bizarre misunderstanding as the deadline day transfer that he had hoped to force from West Bromwich Albion to Queens Park Rangers fell apart. When he turned up at Loftus Road expecting to sign, he was barred from the stadium.

Harry Redknapp, the Rangers manager, broke the club's transfer record for the second time in a little over two weeks with the £12.5m signing of the central defender Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala and he added the midfielders Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend from his old club Tottenham Hotspur – the former on an 18-month contract, the latter, on loan for the remainder of the season.

Yet it was the drama and controversy of Odemwingie's failed move that appeared to deflate Redknapp, who also missed out on Stoke City's Peter Crouch, another of his targets up front, and a third Tottenham player, the midfielder David Bentley.

Odemwingie is likely to be fined two weeks' wages by West Brom, who said they were "extremely disappointed to witness TV footage of Odemwingie arriving at Loftus Road" when no deal had been struck. The club's chairman, Jeremy Peace, accused the striker of acting "wholly unprofessionally" and said: "He must now accept the fact he remains under contract for a further 18 months." Peace called the whole episode "unsavoury".

Odemwingie had submitted a transfer request last week at The Hawthorns, which was rejected and he tweeted his frustration as his club blocked two offers for him from Rangers. A deal finally looked set to happen on Thursday, with Albion taking Junior Hoilett on loan in part-exchange, only for the QPR forward to refuse to move.

At some point the message was not relayed correctly to Odemwingie, who arrived at Loftus Road to address a media scrum and suggest that he was ready to join Rangers and begin "a new chapter" in his career. Albion, though, immediately released a statement, which said they had no agreement over the transfer and Odemwingie did not have permission to speak to Rangers.

The London club then said the 31-year-old had appeared "unannounced" and had been "denied access to Loftus Road". Redknapp and the chief executive, Phil Beard, tried to revive the purchase but at 10.45pm, 15 minutes before the deadline, they admitted defeat, with Albion insistent that they would not sell. Odemwingie may have to work hard to reintegrate himself with his team-mates and the supporters.

"I think he probably felt that the deal had been agreed between the clubs and it hadn't and it was all a bit of a mix-up, really," Redknapp said. "I feel sorry for the lad and the way the whole thing's turned out. It wasn't any of our doing. I think maybe he was advised that he should turn up here, that the club had made an offer and the offer had been accepted. The wires got crossed somewhere."

Redknapp described the day that he had billed as crucial to Rangers' Premier League survival prospects as "a bit frustrating". The move for Bentley fell apart when the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, demanded a prohibitively high fee. Bentley is out of contract in 2014 and Levy has been consistently determined to recoup a portion of the £15m that he paid for him in 2008.

Redknapp, who loaned the midfielder Alejandro Faurlín to Palermo, was asked whether he felt more confident about survival than he had done at the beginning of the day. "It's going to be difficult," he replied. "But we are bang in there. We still have a chance."

He had been delighted earlier in the day when Samba became the 27th incoming transfer of Tony Fernandes' 17-month tenure at Loftus Road, the chairman having met the value of his release clause at Anzhi. The 28-year-old Congolese joins on a four-and-a-half-year contract and he follows the striker Loïc Rémy who, at £8m from Marseille, was the previous record signing.

Samba's advisor, Walid Bouzid, said that his client's weekly wage was less than £100,000-a-week but he added that the money was certainly "Premier League-sized" and did not include a clause to decrease it if the club was relegated into the Championship. Redknapp's bottom-placed team are four points adrift of safety with 14 matches to go.

"Chris is just what we need," Redknapp said. "He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper centre-half."




The Club and its "Associations"
     An ongoing matter of continued "regret" to at least this blogger: That Queen's Park Rangers FC continue to provide a forum on its Official Match Day broadcast show to "QBlockPete" - Pete Davies.  
     Ultimately, obviously the owners and senior management of Queen's Park Rangers Football determine who they want to employ or utilize.  But equally,  QPR supporters - quite a few of whom have been supporting QPR a lot longer than any of the current QPR owners, employees,  or "Associates" - retain the freedom to express their views (whether supportive or critical) and concerns on matters pertaining to QPR.
    If you want to express any views on this matter either privately or publicly, pm me on the QPR Report Messageboard or email at qprreport@hotmail.com

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