- Photos from QPR vs Norwich
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- Premier League FORM TABLE: Reading Second - after Manchester United
- On This Day: First Match for QPR after Chris Wright had announced he was Resigning as QPR Chairman (and Langley and Carlisle has been injured). ...Birthdays for Max Ehmer (21) and Darren Peacock (45)
- One Year ago Today: FA Strips John Terry of the England Captaincy - and AVB says QPR Ruined Chelsea's Season!
CHAIRMAN FERNANDES ASSURES
- AUDIO of QPR CEO Philip Beard re QPR Spending and Finances
The Observer/Daniel Taylor
QPR's big transfer window gamble strays close to line of recklessness|
It is a scattergun approach that may spark a great escape if Harry Redknapp can make the most of his restorative powers but if QPR go down, who clears up the mess then?
Tony Fernandes, the QPR chairman, increasingly comes across as the gambler trying to cover his losses with wild bets. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images
Nobody with a Sky Sports microphone bothers with Portsmouth any more on transfer deadline day. There was a time, not so long ago, when they would be outside Fratton Park from daybreak to last thing at night. Harry Redknapp would wind down his car window to let us know who was next to arrive. He would thank his chairman and talk about how terrific it was to sign another player for a big fee and fat contract. Then he would drive away with a little wave to the crowd who had gathered expectantly.
No point going down there now, though. The gates are locked. The curtains tremble. Portsmouth won the FA Cup under Redknapp and were bucket-collection skint within six weeks of handing it back. These days you will find them grubbing around for points towards the bottom of League One, just grateful still to be going. Pompey are the rusty old Fiat that has failed its MOT and been left out over winter. There's an engine in there somewhere, but it sounds terrible.
All of which may make this an appropriate moment, perhaps, to ask what measures Queens Park Rangers have in place to avoid the possibility of their own meltdown if they drop out of the Premier League this season. Is there even the basis of a fully integrated plan? Or, looking at their business over the last couple of weeks, is this the point when they, too, appear to be basing their entire financial strategy on the theory of chaos?
They are not alone, to give them their due, when it comes to the frenzy of the transfer window and what it tells us about the clubs who prefer to do their business the sensible way and those who can be found on the trolley dash.
Yet QPR stand out for a number of reasons when their chairman, Tony Fernandes, increasingly comes across as the gambler desperately trying to cover his losses with a series of wild bets. Redknapp, the man who once walked out of a television interview after he was described as a "wheeler-dealer", has brought in half a dozen players and tried for goodness knows how many others. For the club's sake, you just hope they know what they are doing.
There is, after all, a point when spending becomes reckless and QPR are surely straying close to the line when, even ignoring for one moment the Loïc Rémy deal, they have just splurged £12.5m on a 28-year-old centre-half – Chris Samba – and agreed to pay him somewhere around £20m in wages over the next four and a half years.
It is true, granted, that someone with Samba's competitive courage could be an important player for a club that have won two league fixtures all season and that, if the gamble comes off and there is a dramatic late feat of escapology, they will no doubt consider he was worth every penny. But £12.5m? Simon Jordan may be a tiresome old rent-a-quote sometimes but when the former Crystal Palace chairman described it as "financial suicide" it was almost reassuring to find someone within the sport who was not willing to sugarcoat the truth. Niall Quinn was also in Sky's studios alongside Jordan on deadline night. Financial suicide? "It's heading that way," the former Sunderland chairman agreed. Jordan talked about a club with "lunatics running the asylum", where the culture was to sign the cheque and think of the consequences later, and it all boiled down to one thing: where does it leave QPR if they go down?
On Friday, at Redknapp's press conference, he was asked that very question and delivered a masterclass in evasion. Will they be financially stable? "I don't know," he replied. "It's the chairman's decisions." It's big money, though, Harry … "That's up to the chairman and the shareholders. That's their decision to spend the money."
Nobody returned to the subject or pointed out that, a few days before the transfer window opened, Redknapp had talked about wanting to change the spending culture of the club. It was his job, he had said, to make sure the owners no longer had "their pants taken down". He was sick and tired of agents wanting a quick payday, and he made it clear that a club the size of QPR had to stop being such an easy touch. "You shouldn't be paying massive wages when you've got a stadium that holds 18,000 people." Quite.
It sounded very noble at the time and still does, in fact. It can also look a bit silly, however, when the club then breaks their transfer record twice in the space of two weeks, first for Rémy and then Samba, and agrees to pay them more than Gareth Bale earns at Tottenham and more than everyone bar Theo Walcott takes home at Arsenal.
There will be QPR supporters, of course, who argue that it is worth the gamble. Far better, they may say, that Fernandes is throwing money at the problem rather than the shift in policy that his Aston Villa counterpart, Randy Lerner, has brought in. Yet there is a middle ground otherwise known as common sense.
Certainly it's a bewildering set of events when, in 18 months, a club can make 31 signings. In three transfer windows QPR have now signed seven new strikers, seven centre-halves, four goalkeepers, eight midfielders, a winger, two left-backs and two right‑backs. They now have such a bloated squad – 42 players if we are counting the 10 they have out on loan – that it has been impossible for them to shoehorn everyone into the revised 25-man squad they submitted to the Premier League on Friday. Luke Young, one of football's forgotten men, has been left out. Andy Johnson, another former England international, is due back from injury next month – but no need to rush now. Radek Cerny has not played for 13 months. That won't be changing between now and May.
Redknapp brought in Samba, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas to go with Rémy, Tal Ben Haim and Yun Suk-yung but missed out on Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie. He had no joy with an ambitious inquiry for Scott Parker and, most perplexingly, he also tried to sign David Bentley, the player he marginalised at Tottenham to the point he ended up at Rostov in Russia. They, of course, are just the deals we know about.
It is a scattergun approach that may yet form the backdrop to one of the great escapes if Redknapp can make the most of his restorative powers. At the same time, QPR are still bottom of the league, with 17 points from 25 games, and it does makes you wonder whether there is any kind of joined-up thinking behind the scenes and what might happen a little further down the line bearing in mind Fernandes has already indicated he will relinquish his position if they go down. Who clears up the mess then?
Because it would be a mess. Maybe not as extreme as Portsmouth but a mess, all the same. Guardian
EXPRESS - JIM HOLDEN CHIEF SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
FANS SWEAT ON ANSWER TO HARRY’ REDKNAPPS £100M QUESTION
I don’t want to spend the owner’s money really
The Good old Days! Six Year Flashback - Chairman Paladini
QPR1st - Recent rumours update Saturday, 03 February 2007
On Thursday, QPR 1st contacted Gianni Paladini to ask if he could shed any light in relation to recent rumours that have been circulating.- When asked about the recent rumour involving the delivery to Loftus Road of fourMercedescars, GP's response was to say that there were no new Mercedes purchased by or associated with the club through any deal.
- The Trust rep did mention to him that the original supporter who raised this issue was known to her and that this person is not the kind to concoct imaginings up, and GP reiterated that he had no knowledge of any new Mercedes, that he has no idea how this rumour started, and went on to say that he owns his own car which was purchased before he had joined QPR.
-GP was also asked if any bids had come in recently for the club(to purchase) and he denied this, saying there had been "no bid" and "no bid for ï¿½12m", saying that if this had been the case then he and the other directors are not stupid, they would not stand in the way of someone coming in with money to take the club forward, that he would step aside for the good of Queens Park Rangers, and that he would buy a ticket and be happy to just watch the football.But until that time comes he said he wants to finish the job he started, and to do his utmost that we remain a Championship side.
- When asked about the possibility of a restructure of the ABC loan, GP commented how/the board did not want to disappoint fans, that there is the possibility of a restructure before the five year end clause comes into effect, but that he could not say too much about it at the present moment. He did say how Deloitte and Touche have been helping with this and that they have also compiled their first report on the club economics and that Antonio Caliendo and himself were happy with it.
- GP also mentioned briefly about the Dean Parrett situation (this was the day before yesterday which was before the announcement was made about Dean's move to Tottenham), saying that a deal was going through; there was nothing he could do about it as Dean is a schoolboy; that there are rules within the FA that have to be complied with; and that the thing they were working on was compensation for QPR, which he mentioned would amount to a significant figure.
- Our thanks to Gianni Paladini and if anyone has anything they'd like to raise/comment on in relation to the above then please get in touch on the usual email address; firstname.lastname@example.org
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QPR OFFICIAL SITE
R's boss reflects on missed opportunity ...
We’re unbeaten since the turn of the year so we’ve just got to keep going. "
HARRY REDKNAPP rued two points dropped after QPR were held to a goalless draw by Norwich City.
Adel Taarabt’s second-half penalty miss proved costly as Rangers were frustrated in their search for a breakthrough.
A share of the spoils stretches the R’s unbeaten run in 2013 to five league games and Redknapp couldn’t fault his players, who were disappointed to come away with only a point for their efforts.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more,” the R’s boss told www.qpr.co.uk. “We just needed a break.
“They gave absolutely everything today, as they have done all year.
“We haven’t lost a game in the league since the turn of the year.
“We just need to turn those draws into wins and we didn’t have a better opportunity to do that than today.”
Saturday’s stalemate leaves Rangers three points adrift of safety prior to the rest of the afternoon’s top flight action.
Redknapp knows their fortunes need to change if they are to claw themselves out of trouble.
“We needed three [points] today,” he said.
“But we’re unbeaten since the turn of the year so we’ve just got to keep going.
“We got a point on Tuesday, looking to get three today but we’ve got to keep going.
“Hopefully our luck will turn.”
The R’s best chance of the afternoon fell to Taarabt after Jamie Mackie was upended by City goalkeeper Mark Bunn, who made amends by saving the resulting spot-kick.
Redknapp laid no blame at the Moroccan’s feet, though, who was once again the driving force behind most of the R’s attacking play.
“Adel was outstanding again, another fantastic performance,” he said.
“It’s just one of those things. If we’d scored we’d have won the game, no doubt about it.”
The R’s boss was equally pleased with the performance of new signing Chris Samba who, despite a lack of match fitness, lasted 90 minutes on his full debut.
“He was fantastic,” Redknapp said.
“He hasn’t played since November because of the winter break in Russia. He said he was about 40 per cent fit.
“If he’s only 40 per cent fit I don’t know what he’ll be like at 100%!
“He was outstanding; he’s such a good player.”
Fellow deadline-day recruit Andros Townsend also made a big impression on his first appearance in a Hoops shirt.
He added: “Andros had an outstanding game, absolutely brilliant. He never stopped working.
“He’s a young player with a great future.” QPR
Dave McIntyre/West London Sport
Worried Rangers to assess Remy groin injury
James Callow at Loftus Road
- The Observer, Saturday 2 February 2013 09.50 EST
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Goalkeepers: Cesar, Green, Murphy Defenders: Ben Haim, Bosingwa, Fabio, Hill, Onouha, Samba, Traore, Yun Midfielders: Diakite, Derry, Granero, Hoilett, Jenas, Mackie, Mbia, Park, Wright-Phillips
Strikers: Bothroyd, Campbell, Remy, Taarabt, Zamora
The Club and its "Associations"