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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Year Ago: #QPR Axe #MarkHughes...Next Day: #Redknapp Appointed...President #Obama on #Mittal...45 Years Today: Ian Gillard Debut in "The Doc's" One QPR Win...



- 45 Years ago Today: IAN GILLARD makes his QPR Debut, as QPR achieve their solitary victory during the Tommy Docherty "era"!...44 Years ago today: MIKE FERGUSON makes his QPR Debut....Also: 17 Years ago today; Debuts for JOHN SPENCER and Gavin Peacock...72nd Birthday for Alan Mullery

November 23, 1968: Tommy Docherty's QPR won 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest.
In his month-long managerial QPR career (Stint I), Tommy Docherty achieved one victory in his four games in charge. (And QPR managed only four victories that entire season. In that Docherty victory, Rodney Marsh scored one of his four goals that season with Tony Hazell scoring the other goal - a true rarity for Hazell) Making his debut that day: 18 year-old Ian Gillard. 
QPR's team vs Nottingham Forest had seven "home growns." The full team
Kelly - Clement Hazell Watson Gillard - Ian Morgan - Mcgovern - Sibley - Roger Morgan - Bridges Marsh

One Year Ago Today - Mark Hughes Axed
10:45 23rd November 2012


Hughes contract terminated with immediate effect
QUEENS Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.

This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.

The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his ten months in charge.

Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change.

The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.

Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

As posted on QPR Report Blog a year ago tomorrow: Redknapp in and assessments of Hughes



10:54 24th November 2012
by @officialqpr
Harry pens two-and-a-half year deal ...

I can’t wait to get to work and get the results necessary to kick-start our season"
Harry Redknapp

QUEENS Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Harry Redknapp as the club’s new manager.

The 65 year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract at Loftus Road and will watch his new team from the stands when the R’s take on Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk,Redknapp said: “I’m delighted to be back in the managerial hot-seat at QPR.

“When I spoke to the Shareholders and they told me about their plans I knew this was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“There’s no doubt there’s a lot of ability in the squad, but for one reason or another things haven’t gone as well as everyone expected since the start of the season.

“I can’t wait to get to work and get the results necessary to kick-start our season.”

Redknapp’s arrival in W12 represents a significant coup for the club.

Widely-regarded as one of the best English managers in the business, Redknapp’s track record at the highest level speaks for itself.

After guiding Portsmouth to an FA Cup Final victory in 2007/08, he enjoyed arguably his finest hour in management at Tottenham Hotspur, where he led them into the Champions League for the first time in their history at the end of the 2009/10 season.

He was also named Premier League Manager of the Year at the end of that campaign.

Speaking on behalf of the QPR Shareholders, QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes, said: “Harry was our number one target, the unanimous choice of the Board and we’re delighted we’ve been able to attract him to the club.

“He has a proven track record in the Premier League and has all the characteristics we were looking for to get us out of the current situation we find ourselves in.

“His man-management skills are second to none and we are confident he is the right man to lead us away from the bottom of the table.

“We believe we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.”

QPR Shareholder Kamarudin Bin Meranun added: “While we look forward with Harry we would also like to place on the record our appreciation to Mark.

“Though results have not been good this season, Mark has moved the club forwards in terms of infrastructure and advancing QPR as a Premier League club. For that, we want to thank him.

“He was a consummate professional and it was a difficult decision to make as we had all grown to respect him. We all wish him and his family well for the future.”

A further announcement regarding Redknapp’s backroom team will be made in due course.


“@tonyfernandes: Though we have a change the long term vision of the club remains and much good work has already been done and will continue.”

This is a club where the chairman and shareholders look at all things in a long term view. But also take the views of the fans who are the most important constituents of the club. To us fans come first.


SACKED! QPR finally fire Hughes as Redknapp is handed reins (but not until after trip to United)

Mark Hughes has been sacked as manager of QPR - and Harry Redknapp has been appointed as his replacement.

Hughes's assistant manager Mark Bowen will take Rangers, winless and rock-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, to Old Trafford tomorrow with former Tottenham boss Redknapp in the stands.

Redknapp will take formal charge of the team on Sunday.

QPR are the only team out of 92 league clubs yet to win a match this season. But Harry has performed miracles before. When he took over from Juande Ramos at Tottenham the team had only two points and his only brief was to stop them slipping them into the Championship. He managed to finish in eighth place that very season, and took Tottenham to the Champions League two years later.

Hughes's position has been hanging in the balance all week after defeat to Southampton at Loftus Road, a match dubbed 'El Sackico'.

The former Manchester United striker had been preparing his team for the clash at Manchester United with the expectation that he would be on the touchline.

However, owner Tony Fernandes finally snapped this morning, showing Hughes, who had replaced, Neil Warnock the door after 10 months.

Crisis talks were held at the club's Harlington training base on Monday evening.

But the decision was taken by the board to end Hughes' tenure as boss with the board aware that any increase in the five-point gap between QPR and Reading in 17th would make it harder to find a new boss to take charge.

On the ground: Beard watches training as shareholder Muhammad Amiruddin (right) shares a joke with a QPR staff memeber today

The boss men: Redknapp (left) will take charge on Sunday, while Bowen (right) will be in charge of the QPR team for the trip to Manchester United tomorrow

On the brink: Mark Hughes took QPR training this week before being axed this morning


OCTOBER 21 (QPR 1-1 Everton)
'Stop wasting your time and energy on negative tweets. QPR needs time and stability. We have great squad great manager great ceo. Takes time and a bit of luck.'

OCTOBER 29 (two days after Arsenal 1-0 QPR)
'I honestly believe we have one of the best managers in the premier league. And we are in for the long term. Whatever happens. We love QPR. Ill be there at reading so rangers fans ill be available to meet and chat. Trust me on this one. Keep the faith. Stability is the key.'

'Completely right. Mark has my backing and the shareholders. We need a little luck and no injuries. What’s written in the press is all rubbish. RT @wayneoeyers: @tonyfernandes we must stick with Hughes. We haven’t been playing poorly. The club needs stability, manager change would be suicide!'

NOVEMBER 4 (QPR 1-1 Reading)
'We are doing our best. Keep the faith. Need to get behind the team now. Positive energy is what we need. RT @martingreen_qpr: Message to the entire QPR team, staff, manager and **** head @tonyfernandes. Please don’t **** up another one of my weekends.'

'A game of 2 halves. Players getting used to premier league and different type of teams. Keep calm we will come good. Plenty of time. Many opps to win the game. I’m calm. Won’t please everyone. But as I keep saying stability is key.'

NOVEMBER 10 (Stoke 1-0 QPR)
'We got to cut out errors. One error cost us and we got to take our chances. Team played as planned. Must win next win. No panic. Table is compressed. Defense was awful now fairly solid. Midfield strong. Got to score now.'

'Keep the faith. Panic is not what the doc ordered.'

'Won’t be happening. For the one millionth time. Hahaha. Stability. RT @timnmcollins: _QPR @tonyfernandes @lieyam_M Maybe you can practice the “You’re fired” line on Mark Hughes? #QPR'

NOVEMBER 17 (QPR 1-3 Southampton)
'I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.'

'Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better.'

A club statement this morning said the Rangers board were now looking to appoint a replacement as soon as possible, however Sportsmail is able to confirm that Redknapp is the new manager.

The club's statement read: 'Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.

'This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.

'The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his ten months in charge.

'Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change.

'The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.

'Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon. 'The club will be making a further announcement in due course.'

Former QPR winger Richard Langley told BBC Radio 5live: 'The frustration has been brewing and the main thing is they've got such a talented squad at the moment and the results haven't been coming so you can understand the frustrations at the club. They haven't been playing as a team.'

Hughes has been walking a tightrope since QPR lost at Arsenal on October 27. Fernandes was set to sack him then but had a change of heart and has tried to support him.

They have not won all season but have an easier run of fixtures coming - and Redknapp will be licking his lips at that prospect.

The former Southampton and Portsmouth manager, who was snubbed by England after Fabio Capello left his post, will eagerly look forward to a new year clash with Tottenham, his most recent club.

QPR's chief executive Philip Beard was seen talking to the players during today's training session following Hughes' departure.

Former Manchester City boss Hughes oversaw 34 matches as manager at Loftus Road, winning just eight of those fixtures.

He managed to keep the club in the Premier League last season despite a 3-2 defeat at City on the closing day of the campaign, picking up memorable victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham along the way.

Marquee signings such as Park Ji-sung, Junior Hoilett, Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa and Esteban Granero were brought in before the transfer window closed but Hughes could not bring the best out of his expensive talent. MAIL

Dave McIntyre
Why Mark Hughes was never likely to succeed at QPR

Paul Parker was right. And he was right because, unlike those in control of the club, he understands QPR.

An ex-Rangers favourite and Manchester United colleague of Mark Hughes, Parker told West London Sport after the Welshman’s arrival that his former team-mate would need to change his style in order to succeed as R’s boss.

You could argue it was a polite way of suggesting Hughes wasn’t the right man for the job. And he wasn’t.

“Successful QPR managers have tended to be charismatic, engaging characters – tub thumping, big personalities who acted as spiritual leaders as much as decision makers.”

Parker was merely saying what others who understand QPR as a club suspected – that Hughes is a capable manager, but simply wasn’t right for Rangers.

And Hughes is a capable manager, however much of a battering his reputation has taken.

Even Alan Mullery, perhaps the worst QPR manager of them all, had some success. He signed Gary Bannister and John Byrne after all.

Hughes’ 11-month tenure was not without similar achievements.

The signing of Djbril Cisse, who had previously been found wanting in the Premier League, was a bold call vindicated by the striker’s role in keeping Rangers up last season.

And while Neil Warnock talked a lot about developing Adel Taarabt as a player, Hughes quietly did so.

But it was that quiet nature, along with the folly of his employers – more on that another time – that did for Hughes rather than some supposed lack of tactical acumen.

Successful QPR managers have tended to be charismatic, engaging characters – tub thumping, big personalities who acted as spiritual leaders as much as decision makers.

Ian Holloway, Gerry Francis, Warnock and to some extent the likes of Jim Smith, Don Howe and even John Gregory during high points of their reign all fitted into that bracket.

Fernandes’ pal was a flop.

So does Harry Redknapp, who will do a ‘triffic’ job of lifting the club in the coming weeks, I’m very sure.

Others, like Hughes, had the knowledge but not the personality, and knowledge is worthless unless you’re able to make use of it.

No-one demonstrated that more than the late Ray Harford, who had one of the finest football brains of his generation.

His seemingly dour personality made him a sitting duck at a club that was beset by problems and needed someone like the hyperactive Holloway, who later restored some much needed zest to the place.

If management was about tactics and preparation, the likes of Harford, Paulo Sousa, Hughes and others would have left QPR with their reputations enhanced rather than dented.

Once managers come across as dour – and in Hughes’ case, perhaps just not very likeable – problems on the pitch are quickly put down to them being clueless and lacking motivational skills.

Once that perception sticks, the game’s essentially up.

Hughes made the mistake of believing his knowledge and experience would do the trick for him.

Some of his allies inside the club were scathing about Warnock’s methods.

What they failed to grasp was that Warnock, like other successful Rangers bosses, had his limitations but was first and foremost a manager. He managed. He managed players, fans and the media and did it well.

That’s what’s the job’s about. It’s not about theory, or “meticulous preparation” as Hughes continually called it. It’s about practice – the nuts and bolts of getting people behind you and instilling the right mentality.

Privately, Hughes would be sincere and complimentary about QPR fans, saying he really enjoyed their passion and the ‘feel’ of Loftus Road. He should have gone very public with that, but it wasn’t his nature to.

Some of his predecessors would have beaten that drum for all it was worth, got the fans on their side and created the kind of momentum that almost always transmits to players. It’s worth more than all Hughes’ dossiers and Pro-Zone stats.

He needed to get out and engage, kiss a few babies, make a disparaging comment about Fulham’s away support compared to Rangers’ – something, anything, to lift the gloom and build some momentum behind him.

He should, if nothing else, have gone on the club’s online show, London Call-In, last week, rather than continually leaving that kind of thing to Mark Bowen.

He should gone on there in front of the fans and stressed the need for his under-performing players to deliver for them, and urged them in turn to get behind the team and raise the roof for one big effort against Southampton, which Hughes was convinced would be a turning point. That’s what leadership is all about.

Nigel Adkins is a leader and had Saints fans rooting for him. Meanwhile, let’s be honest here, how many QPR fans were understandably thinking of what the up side to a defeat on Saturday might be?

I think that had a bearing on the outcome of the game. That’s not the fans’ fault. It’s Hughes’.

Adkins led his men – his club – into battle.

Hughes, with his chairman sticking to his ludicrous and typically poorly judged ’cream always rises to the top’ message, failed to lead, and his overdue dressing-room tirade afterwards was too little, too late.

Hughes isn’t a leader, he’s a thinker, and that type of manager generally doesn’t succeed at QPR. He was quite simply the wrong man.

Redknapp wouldn’t be my choice, but he is a leader and man-manager in the Warnock/Holloway/Francis mould and one I fully expect to give the club the kind of short-term shot in the arm that Francis did when he replaced Harford.

Another similarity between Harford and Hughes is that their spells showed the effect of having a dodgy centre-back cannot be underestimated.

You can have all the knowledge and tactics you like, but if you’ve got someone in the middle of your defence who’s as big a threat as any opposing striker, you’ve had it.

To keep QPR up, Harford brought in Neil Ruddock, who was outstanding in what had been a problem position for Rangers.

When unable to keep Ruddock, Harford went for a carbon copy, Gerry Taggart, who at the last minute opted to join Leicester, where he was a crucial player in their subsequent success.

A chance was then taken on Richard Ord, who was crocked, so Karl Ready ended up staying at the heart of Harford’s defence, with inevitable consequences for his manager.

Until the sight of Stephane Mbia leaving the pitch at Arsenal after being sent off, I always felt Hughes would survive – that he’d get enough points to keep Rangers up and keep his job, but not to justify the level of spending by the club.

It was at that moment, with Mbia facing a three-game ban for vital matches that would decide the manager’s fate, I belatedly started to feel Hughes was in serious trouble.

Hughes cannot cite a lack of financial support for his demise, given the amount he was allowed to spend and the number of players he brought in.

He was, however, disappointed and concerned by the club’s failure to sign a commanding centre-back – which he regarded as a top priority – despite many attempts, and that concern was fully justified.

They ended up getting Mbia, who needed time to find his feet in England, as his early displays showed.

He was getting there though and did well against Arsenal before his moment of madness. His replacement of Anton Ferdinand was absolutely pivotal to Hughes’ plans for turning things around.

I expect him to be an important defender for Rangers for the rest of the season and believe if Mbia had played against Reading and Southampton then, rightly or wrongly, Hughes would still be in a job. www.westlondonsport.com/features-....-succeed-at-qpr
Ben Kosky/London 24 - why should look beyond Redknapp

Why QPR chairman should look beyond Harry Redknapp

Ben Kosky
Friday, November 23, 2012

3:38 PM

“A fool and his money are soon parted”, the saying goes, and rarely has it been more applicable to any individual than Tony Fernandes.

When the Malaysian businessman took over QPR in August 2011, the general consensus was that his stewardship of the club could only be an improvement on the unpopular regime of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

Fernandes has made different mistakes to Briatore and Ecclestone. But, just like his predecessors, he appears unwilling to learn from them, or incapable of doing so.

The Rangers chairman has sanctioned enormous spending sprees – on wages if not actual transfer fees – in each window since he took over. That gross irresponsibility is the main reason that the club find themselves in a perilous position at the foot of the Premier League.

Fernandes bandies around the buzzword ‘stability’ an awful lot, yet he does not seem to understand its meaning.

At least half of the players QPR signed last summer were not needed. Why did Mark Hughes want two goalkeepers? Or three midfielders? Or an ageing, average centre-forward to replace perfectly decent back-up strikers like Heidar Helguson and DJ Campbell?

It was inevitable that such an unnecessary recruitment drive would lead to turmoil – poor team spirit and a manager with no notion of his best side.

But Fernandes is so clueless about football that he totally embraces the Sky Sports mantra: signing another player is always good news because it shows ‘ambition’ and ‘healthy competition’ for places.

Apart from the scale of Rangers’ frenzied spending, questions need to be asked about the area in which their net has been spread. Almost without exception, all their recruits have joined from bigger clubs than QPR.

How motivated can the likes of Esteban Granero, Julio Cesar and Park Ji-Sung be about playing at Loftus Road? Why do Rangers appear to have no interest in attracting younger, hungrier players who would relish the step up?

Given these blunders, it makes no sense to turn to Harry Redknapp – the epitome of a manager who is only interested in buying and selling. But mostly in buying – and usually ageing players with limited resale value.

It’s hard to imagine that if – as all indications suggest – Redknapp takes over the manager’s chair in the near future, January will not see more of the same in a desperate attempt to rescue Rangers’ Premier League status.

And here’s the nub of the problem. For many years now, those in charge it QPR have only ever considered the short-term.

Most fans are terrified at the prospect of relegation – and understandably so. However, Newcastle and West Ham are both good examples of clubs that dropped out of the Premier League in recent years and returned in far better shape.

But, while the consequences of going down are likely to be painful, the consequences of going down with Redknapp in charge could well be devastating.

Despite the tag of miracle-worker that Redknapp – aided by his many friends in the media – likes to attach to himself, there is no guarantee that he will keep Rangers up.

He failed to save Southampton in 2005 and, more pertinently, failed to get them anywhere near challenging for promotion before jumping ship to rejoin Portsmouth.

Ah yes, Portsmouth. The club that are now in League One and almost went out of business during the summer after Redknapp’s years in charge had saddled them with a colossal wage bill.

The reality is that QPR could find themselves in the Championship at the start of next season and they need to think about who is best equipped to rebuild the club in those circumstances, should the worst happen.

My personal preference would be to move for a younger, up and coming manager – someone with a good track record who appears to get the best out of his players while recruiting wisely. Gus Poyet or Malky Mackay would both be high on my list.

And, before anyone dismisses those names due to a lack of top-flight experience, just consider that Gerry Francis and Ian Holloway – two of the club’s most successful managers in recent times – had only Bristol Rovers on their CVs before they were appointed.

Fernandes never bothered looking around for a replacement after he fired Neil Warnock. It would be nice to think he has learned from that mistake, rather than eagerly entrusting his credit card to Redknapp


Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the sacking of Mark Hughes, with Harry Redknapp poised to replace the Welsh manager at Loftus Road.

There has been no official confirmation of Redknapp's appointment, although he is widely expected to take charge of the west London club on Sunday.

Hughes's sacking has not come as a surprise given QPR are bottom of the Premier League having gained just four points from their opening 12 fixtures, and having lost 3-1 in abject fashion to 19th place Southampton last week. However, the timing is somewhat curious given the team face Manchester United at Old Trafford in less than 24 hours.

QPR's official Twitter account confirmed the news on Friday, saying: "Queens Park Rangers Football Club has terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect," with a statement from the club following.

It read: "Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today [Friday] terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect. This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the board of directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days. The board of directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his 10 months in charge.

"Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the board of directors with very little choice but to make a change. The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.

"Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the Rs' trip to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The club will be making a further announcement in due course."

QPR's chairman, Tony Fernandes, who backed Hughes significantly in the transfer market over the summer, had continually taken to Twitter following recent bad results to voice his support for the manager. But the derision among the crowd at Loftus Road during the loss to Southampton suggested Hughes had lost the backing of the majority of QPR fans.

Crisis talks were held at the club's Harlington training base on Monday evening but Hughes continued as manager, preparing his side for the test at Old Trafford this weekend.

But the decision was taken by the board to end Hughes' tenure as manager with the board aware that any increase in the five-point gap between QPR and Reading in 17th would make it harder to find a replacement.

Redknapp has been out of work since leaving Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season and was this week linked with the vacant manager's job with the Ukraine national team. That speculation could have forced Fernandes's handhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/nov/23/mark-hughes-sacked-by-qpr

EXPRESS - Simon Yeend


Mark Hughes had his contract terminated by QPR

WHEN the axe came, it fell swiftly.
Mark Hughes arrived at Queens Park Rangers’ training ground near Heathrow Airport yesterday morning, swung his Bentley with its distinctive LMH (Leslie Mark Hughes) plate into his parking space and within minutes he was unemployed.

He was summoned by chief executive Phil Beard into an office and told that his contract was being terminated immediately.
With QPR bottom of the table after no wins and just four points from their first 12 games, Hughes was a dead man walking. The timing was a surprise, though, coming a full six days after the abject 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton that left owner Tony Fernandes “gutted”, yet just 24 hours before a daunting trip to Manchester United.

Harry Redknapp’s flirting with Ukraine prompted QPR to act yesterday. Fernandes feared Redknapp might have taken that job and with another target, Rafa Benitez, now in work at Stamford Bridge, that would have seen two highly respected coaches slip through his grasp when Hughes was inevitably going to be sacked.

Inevitable after the fans turned against not just him, but also the players after the Saints game.
“You’re only here for the money” they chanted angrily at their overpaid but under-performing players.
For Hughes, this is his lowest moment as a manager.

He has been sacked before, three years ago at Manchester City. But most observers regarded that decision as harsh, with City in reasonable health at the time. This time Hughes must take responsibility for the hazardous position Rangers find themselves in and can have few complaints about his P45.
So where did it all go wrong? Hughes had left Fulham last year claiming they could not match his ambition and that a bigger job beckoned.

That job did not materialise, but QPR came calling last January.
He saved the club from relegation, with his team upsetting the form book to beat Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal at home. A summer to rebuild and put his stamp on the team meant Hughes began the season in confident mood that relegation fights were a thing of the past.
Yet eight minutes into the first game of the season and the first nail was being hammered into his coffin.
Swansea’s Michu hit a speculative 25-yard shot, new goalkeeper Rob Green let it squirm through his fingers and the ball was in the back of the net.
Swansea hit another four as Rangers collapsed. Hughes said the performance was embarrassing and asked Fernandes for even more money. Green was jettisoned for Julio Cesar, who was enticed by a £100,000-a-week contract. In, too, came Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero and Stephane Mbia.
Still there were jokes made behind his back that the sign on his door, Mark Hughes, OBE, stood for Out By Easter.
Hughes ignored the mutterings. As each week went by without a victory, he dug in his heels.
“My methods will work, we will turn this around,” he said. Even before the Saints game he claimed a top-10 finish was the aim.
Throughout it all, though, Fernandes stayed loyal, tweeting his support last week with “for the millionth time we will not be changing the manager”. This week he went quiet on the matter. That silence proved deadly.

What's in Harry's in-tray? Redknapp must bring harmony to a divided dressing room at QPR

Mark Hughes knew he had a problem at QPR when one of his players walked into his office last season and told him he had never witnessed a dressing room so torn apart by tension, bitterness and deep, mutual dislike.
'The players basically told Hughes that everyone in that dressing room hated each other,' a QPR source told Sportsmail recently.
'Mark was a bit taken aback. He was used to problems between players at clubs, but this was different.

'He was being told that there were so many different issues between players that it was hard to keep track of them all.'
Fast forward a few months, and Hughes has paid the price for being unable to mould a reasonably talented group of players into an effective unit. QPR have been found wanting not for ability, rather for attitude and application.
From this day on, this is Harry Redknapp's biggest problem.
Divisive individuals such as Joey Barton may have been moved on by Hughes but enormous issues remain for Redknapp to address.
One of them is a split in the dressing room between players brought to the club in the summer and those who remain from last season.
Barton's exile to France has not put a stop to those completely.
On the field, Redknapp will soon discover that some of the key players bought in the summer have just not performed.

Moved on: Mark Hughes loaned Joey Barton to Marseille

Target: Redknapp may try to buy Michael Dawson (right) from his former club Tottenham
Park Ji-sung has been a disappointment, not in attitude but in performance.
Experienced central defender Ryan Nelsen was signed as back-up in the summer but has transpired to be one of the club's few reliable performers.
Elsewhere, Redknapp will have to deal with the brooding presence of goalkeeper Rob Green - bought from West Ham in the summer and then replaced immediately by the experienced Brazilian Julio Cesar - and the talented but erratic Adel Taarabt.
Redknapp prides himself on his man-management skills. Over the coming weeks and months, he will need them.

Sign a goalscorer
He will only be given £10million in January so he will have to spend it wisely.
But a new striker will be his priority and a move for Michael Dawson to shore up the defence is likely too.
Rangers lack a real cutting edge up front. Harry will know that.

Spark: Redknapp must get Djibril Cisse (right) back to goalscoring ways

Find a settled side
Part of Hughes's problem was that he was unable to select a settled side due to injuries and suspensions.
There is not enough strength in depth within the squad to make changes every week. Harry needs to find an XI and stick with it.

Spark Cisse
With Bobby Zamora out for three months with a hip injury, Redknapp will have to rely on Djibril Cisse to be his No 1 striker until January.
Redknapp knows his side must not be cut adrift at the turn of the year. He'll need Cisse firing to achieve that.

TELEGRAPH - Henry Winter

Football's soap opera can have a happy ending as Harry 'Red Adair' Redknapp rides to QPR's rescue

Another day, another drama. Forget EastEnders. The real capital soap opera is WestEnders. First Roberto Di Matteo gets dismissed at Chelsea, then Friday’s episode writes Mark Hughes out of the script at QPR. Ratings will rise as a perennial favourite, a reliable footballing character, Harry “Red Adair” Redknapp, rides back into town to assume a starring role at Loftus Road.

So, welcome to another noisy week in the national sport. Football possesses this arrogant ability to seize the agenda. In the run-up to the BBC’s coveted Sports Personality of the Year, football really should be keeping a low profile, a chastened stance after an embarrassing, eclipsed year. Inspiring Olympians? Celebrated cyclists knocked off their bikes? All major stories, all ignored by football, charging manically around sports-town like hyperactive children overindulged on E-numbers.

Redknapp’s back, so on with the show and farewell Sparky. Many critics bemoan the paucity of loyalty and morality in the modern game, the mad managerial merry-go-round, frothing incandescently that football is going to hell in an untaxed handcart.
Yet the game remains a modern broadcasting Klond***, finding gold in the carnage. Football can be going up in flames, yet everyone gathers around the bonfire, holding their hands to the warmth, enjoying the crackle and the spectacle.
Events in west London must be viewed through a broader prism. The world looks with fascination not alarm. Those closer to developments will react differently. Di Matteo’s departure contrasts markedly with Hughes’. Roman Abramovich’s callous sacking of Di Matteo rankles Chelsea fans so much that some plot a minor protest at the Bridge on Sunday; the 16th minute will be marked by applause for a past wearer of the No 16 shirt, a certain R Di Matteo. Understandable. Di Matteo made Chelsea champions of Europe.

A couple of miles away, sympathy can be found for the feelings of Tony Fernandes, the owner of Queens Park Rangers. Hughes had not stockpiled the emotional capital of Di Matteo, let alone the points, plaudits or trophies. QPR fans had clearly turned against Hughes, responding furiously to their supine surrender to Southampton at Loftus Road last weekend. Fernandes had to act, so little anger was stirred by Hughes’ latest exit.

When the Welshman was shown the door at Manchester City by Garry Cook there was widespread and understandable resentment. Hughes was attempting to build a team gradually, a reality appreciated by the more sensible fans. Cook was running too fast and was himself moved on by the club’s Arab-based owners, who eventually saw the need for evolution over revolution.

Hughes, this time, bought badly. He focused on pouring funds into midfield when QPR cried out for strengthening in defence and attack.
Redknapp’s first challenge must be to address the imbalance of the squad, the patent fact that there are players who commanded expensive fees, who are overpaid, and are of little use to the team.
Hughes is a good manager who turned into a bad buyer. QPR boast few centre-halves capable of actually heading the ball properly, of clearing incoming corners, a residual concern. Redknapp will surely note this flaw and get on the phone to his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, and see if they will sell him Michael Dawson in January.

Redknapp will also quickly see the split in the dressing-room between the handsomely-renumerated new arrivals and those underpaid, over-achievers who fought their way up through promotion.
He has plenty of work to do yet already English football feels a better, more colourful place with Redknapp’s return. In the year that the Football Association appointed Roy Hodgson (admittedly ahead of Redknapp) and opened the English coaching hub of St George’s Park, the English game needs home-grown managers to the fore.
Redknapp’s reappearance is a reminder to all those emerging from the playing ranks of the need to learn the ropes, doing their time, with smaller clubs such as Bournementh. Redknapp needed a few bites at the Cherries first. He really came to major prominence with his work at West Ham, demonstrating his man-management skills with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard.

His reigns at Portsmouth (twice), Southampton and Spurs indicated that Redknapp did not always appreciate interfering owners. The exact reasons for Redknapp’s controversial departure from the Lane in June 2012 have never been fully clarified but Spurs powerbrokers’ long-standing resentment over Redknapp’s loyalty to Robbie Keane is believed to have played a part.

Fernandes will not dabble in team affairs, so annoying his new charge. He just wants Redknapp to rescue his club, to stop Rangers being strangers. With Redknapp in charge, QPR have a chance of being a headline act in the soap opera.


Harry Redknapp takes on toughest task in rescuing Queen's Park Rangers
New manager asked for transfer funds in January if he starts to turn QPR around

Harry Redknapp has joined Queen's Park Rangers on the understanding he will be allowed to invest in his side this January if he can get the team up the table before the transfer window and demonstrate to the club's owners there is a glimmer of hope that they can avoid relegation.

The 65-year-old finalised talks yesterday to succeed Mark Hughes, despite misgivings that the challenge of keeping QPR in the Premier League is even more difficult than when he began his doomed attempt to keep Southampton in the division in the 2004-05 season. He will be at Old Trafford for the game against Manchester United today but will not take over running the team until Monday.

"You know what the game's like. I lost my job at Tottenham and Mark Hughes is a top, top manager and a great guy. Sometimes these things happen," said Redknapp, who is set to sign a two-and-a-half year deal worth £3m a year, plus a significant bonus if he keeps Rangers up. "QPR couldn't get the results they needed. You couldn't have too many worse starts but I'm ready to give it a go and see if I can change their fortunes around. If I can keep them up I'll be the happiest man around.

"There are some good players there but I've got to find a way of picking a team that can win some games."

The priorities for the side are a new centre-back and a centre-forward and, despite QPR's significant outlay on wages for new players this summer, there is a willingness to help Redknapp if he can show some form of improvement in the team.

Redknapp is expected to bring his assistant Kevin Bond with him and goalkeeping coach David Coles, although Joe Jordan, who also worked with him at Tottenham, is not a certainty to join. He remains in the frame to get the Scotland manager's job.

Redknapp was approached over the Ukraine manager's job this week. He was so keen to get involved in management once again that friends had to talk him out of considering the job, arguing that he would be completely unsuited to the demands of travelling to Ukraine regularly, as well as coaching a non-British national team.

Of the group of players Redknapp inherits, arguably the most influential is the attacker Adel Taarabt, an erratic but occasionally inspirational presence who was in and out of favour with Hughes. Redknapp sold him when he was Tottenham manager but has since indicated that was a decision he regretted and his arrival will by no means herald Taarabt's departure from the club.

As for Hughes' assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, they had, as of last night, not yet been told whether they had a future at the club. Given their loyalty to Hughes, with whom they have served for the majority of his managerial career, it is not certain they would stay on even if invited to do so.

After tomorrow, QPR have seven games until the transfer window opens in January, of which four are at home against Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Liverpool. The team are currently bottom of the Premier League table, five points from safety having taken just four points, all of them draws, from 12 games.

As it stands, Redknapp has no plans to bring Joey Barton back from his loan spell at Marseilles. His first challenge will be to heal damaging rifts in the squad between the players who survived from the previous Neil Warnock regime and the new players who joined the club in the summer. The atmosphere has been described as "poisonous" at times this season by those close to the club.

Redknapp added: "The players have got to start performing. If they do that we've got a chance... find a way to pick up points, be hard to beat and win some matches. It's all about the players."

Tweet goodbye: How Tony spells doom

* Queen's Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes was noteworthy in his support for Mark Hughes on Twitter – right up to a week before the Welshman's removal.

"Stop wasting your time and energy on negative tweets. QPR needs time and stability. We have great squad great manager great ceo. Takes time and a bit of luck." 21 October

"Mark has my backing and the shareholders. We need a little luck and no injuries. I honestly believe we have one of the best managers in the premier league. And we are in for the long term. Whatever happens." 29 October

"Won't be happening For the one millionth time. Hahaha. Stability." 16 November

* Fernandes' support for previous Hoops manager Neil Warnock also wavered in the days before his sacking. On 6 January he wrote:

"Its important to note no one job is safe. Results are key. If I don't deliver I would be first to step down as chairman. We owe it to all the fans. Good money is paid and results are key." Warnock was sacked two days later.

TELEGRAPH/Jeremy Wilson

Harry Redknapp set to sign £7.5m deal as Queens Park Rangers manager after sacking of Mark Hughes

Harry Redknapp will return to football at Queens Park Rangers after agreeing to replace Mark Hughes in a deal worth around £7.5m until the end of the 2014-15 season.

Hughes was sacked by QPR chief executive Phil Beard shortly before training on Friday morning and, having declined to continue for one final match against Manchester United on Saturday, had the remaining 23 months of his contract terminated.

Redknapp confirmed that he was in formal talks with QPR on Friday and, having reached a verbal agreement, the details on his 2½-year contract were being finalised on Friday night.
Barring any hitch, Redknapp will be at Old Trafford to watch QPR play United. He will then be unveiled to the media on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
After spells at West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham, Redknapp will join his fifth Premier League club. Kevin Bond, his usual assistant, is expected to join his backroom staff, as is goalkeeping coach David Coles.

QPR are yet to win any of their 12 league games, and are bottom of the table with just four points.

Tony Fernandes, the QPR chairman, had regularly said, via Twitter, that Hughes would be given time as manager. There was, however, a split among shareholders over the best way forward after last Saturday’s dismal 3-1 home defeat to Southampton.
The performance, more than the result, and also the way that significant sections of Loftus Road turned on Hughes, convinced other influential shareholders that a change was urgently needed to preserve the club’s Premier League status.

Fernandes had wanted Hughes to be given today’s match to provoke a reaction from his players but, with some of the squad also unconvinced that he was the right man to take the club forward, the chairman accepted the need for change yesterday.
Although very much the frontman at QPR, Fernandes owns his 66 per cent stake with two business partners, Kamarudin Meranun and Ruben Gnanalingam. The remaining third of the club is controlled by the Mittal family. The shareholders have already all put significant loans into QPR and, with the club believed to have accumulated even more 'soft’ debt – low or no-interest loans – over the past year, it is likely to have been crucial to keep major investors on board.
It is understood that the club did take soundings this week from senior players both on Hughes and also the prospect of Redknapp coming in as his replacement.

The change will be costly. Redknapp is understood to have agreed a £3 million salary and significant bonus if he leads QPR to safety. Hughes is negotiating his compensation, although it is understood that he may just continue to be paid a salary until either he finds another job or the expiry of his QPR contract, also worth around £3 million a year, in 2014.

The change is also likely to affect the club’s backroom staff, with many key appointments, notably technical director Mike Rigg, having been made in consultation with Hughes. Redknapp is also certain to want to make changes to a squad that, while containing plenty of proven Premier League experience, has been dysfunctional this season. Hughes recruited 13 players since becoming QPR manager in January and questions have been raised among fans about the influence on the club’s transfer policy of his agent, Kia Joorabchian.

Hughes’s departure was confirmed shortly after 11am yesterday. “Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect,” said a statement. “This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the board of directors.

“Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the board of directors with very little choice but to make a change.”

Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, the QPR assistant manager and first-team coach, will take charge against United.

Redknapp has been out of football for five months after missing out on the England manager job and then being controversially sacked by Spurs after leading them to Premier League finishes of fourth twice and fifth once during three full seasons at the club.

The 65 year-old has been advising Bournemouth and was also in talks this week about succeeding Oleg Blokhin as Ukraine manager.

Although Redknapp has masterminded notable relegation escapes at West Ham and Portsmouth, he was unable to prevent Southampton from going down in 2005.



Divisions between QPR players made demise

of Mark Hughes inevitable
With wages greater than turnover, relegation would be catastrophic


Mark Hughes was preparing to take training at QPR’s Harlington training ground this morning when there was a knock on the door.

When it opened, to reveal chief executive Phil Beard and Kamarundin Bin Meranun, a significant shareholder, the Welshman knew his time was up.

It was a shock. Despite the growing speculation over his future, and the changing tone of chairman Tony Fernandes’s tweets, Hughes anticipated taking his team to Old Trafford today. Reports that he had been asked to resign this week and refused are wrong. But for the club’s powerbrokers last week’s home defeat to Southampton was the final straw.

Since Fernandes took over in August 2011, QPR’s wage bill has mushroomed to levels that are unsustainable outside the top flight and hard to finance inside it. In the immediate aftermath of his buying out Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, wages of £60-70,000 a week were agreed to persuade players such as Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips to join a newly-promoted club. Another wave was sanctioned in January including Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cissé for a combined £9m. In the summer he invested again, taking Hughes’s net transfer spending to £23m with a wage bill to match after players including Adel Taarabt were given new contracts.

With Loftus Road holding less than 19,000, wages may well be in excess of 100 per cent of turnover. Relegation would thus be catastrophic; survival would provide access to TV income expected to be worth £5bn to the Premier League next year.

Hughes took over in January after Kia Joorabchian, his adviser, made contact with Fernandes, originally to negotiate the proposed transfer of another client, Chelsea’s Alex, for then-manager Neil Warnock. QPR failed to land Alex, but did bring in Hughes, who had been out of work since leaving Fulham seven months earlier.

He inherited a split dressing-room with members of the Championship-winning team resenting the salaries being paid to the newcomers, especially as some did not seem to be earning them. It was so divided one of the players warned Hughes early on it was “the worst he had ever experienced”. Nevertheless, Warnock had managed to stay outside the relegation zone; Hughes maintained that status, just, surviving on the final day after Bolton let slip a winning position at Stoke.

Hughes promised the club would not struggle again and spent heavily in the summer, but that only added to the dressing-room factions despite several players, notably Barton, being forced out. Also breeding discontent were the antiquated training facilities – owned by Imperial College and still used by students. Hughes and his staff, having been at Manchester City, were shocked and regarded them as “30 years out of date”. On one pitch the floodlights even face the wrong way.

The tense atmosphere was reflected in performances. The season began with a dire 5-0 home defeat to Swansea City after which Hughes, in an act of panic or decisiveness depending on interpretation, dropped Rob Green for another new signing, Julio Cesar.

Training-ground disputes continued, with the fractious mood betrayed by a surfeit of red cards – nine so far in 2012. Hughes felt his marquee signing Ji-Sung Park, wanted for his experience and Fernandes for his marketing potential, had performed poorly, but the captain was not alone; Hughes used 35 players in his first 24 matches, but whatever the combination results did not improve. Finally, Fernandes, who had been supportive in a one-hour conference call just a week ago, felt he had to act.



Harry Redknapp's link with Ukraine could have forced QPR's hand

• QPR could not risk losing Mark Hughes's replacement
• Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond to join Redknapp at Loftus Road

Harry Redknapp is poised to become the manager of Queens Park Rangers following Mark Hughes's dismissal by the Premier League's bottom club on Friday. The 65-year-old returns to work five months after being let go by Tottenham Hotspur, despite guiding the club to fourth in the table.

Redknapp told Sky Sports News: "Hopefully we can get it done tonight, there shouldn't be any problems." His appointment is expected to be confirmed after Saturday's trip to Manchester United, where he will watch his new club from the stands. He should be in charge for Tuesday's game away to Sunderland.

"There are a couple of bits to be sorted out but I've left it to other people and said I want it to happen because it's a club I want to manage," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's a big challenge and a tough job to take on – but I'm up for it.

"I'll watch the game tomorrow. I will probably travel up and watch the game in the stand. If everything gets sorted, and I'm sure it will, I'll be in Sunday morning, will have the team in training on Monday, then fly up to Sunderland."

Hughes's exit came as no surprise after he had failed to guide the team to even one league victory this season despite lavish investment during the summer, yet the timing of his dismissal was curious.

QPR's owner, Tony Fernandes, agonised long and hard over whether to give up on Hughes. Last Saturday's emphatic defeat by Southampton left the club with only four points from 12 matches.

Hughes appeared to have survived a board meeting on Monday but Fernandes, who is in Malaysia, spent the last few days on the telephone listening to the opinions of staff at Loftus Road – including several players – as well as his fellow shareholders, Amit Bhatia and Ruben Gnanalingam.

The manager's fate may have been sealed by the prospect of his replacement being unavailable. Overtures from the Ukrainian Football Association to Redknapp could have helped force Fernandes's hand. "Yesterday I was almost on my way to the Ukraine. It was something I fancied doing – but this has changed everything around," Redknapp said.

"You know what the game's like. I lost my job at Tottenham and Mark Hughes is a top, top manager and a great guy. Sometimes these things happen. QPR couldn't get the results they needed. You couldn't have too many worse starts but I'm ready to give it a go and see if I can change their fortunes around. If I can keep them up I'll be the happiest man around. There are some good players there but I've got to find a way of picking a team that can win some games." He added: "The players have got to start performing. If they do that we've got a chance."

Redknapp revealed he hoped Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond would continue to be a part of his background team. "They obviously want to get back into work as well but Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki are there at the moment and they are great lads as well. Let's hope they can get a result at Old Trafford."

Hughes may have feared the chop but was still caught off guard. He was scheduled to oversee training on Friday before hosting a pre-match press conference but instead he arrived for work and was told by the club's chief executive chairman, Philip Beard, that his time was up.

"Queens Park Rangers Football Club has terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect," read a statement on the club's website a short time later. "This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the board of directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days. The board of directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his 10 months in charge. Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the board with very little choice but to make a change. The board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible."

Within hours the club moved to begin negotiating with Redknapp to take over. The club want Redknapp to mount a similar rescue to the one he accomplished at White Hart Lane when he salvaged a talented squad that had sunk to second from bottom under Juande Ramos.

QPR are five points from safety already and have the worst goal difference in the league as they head to Old Trafford to face second-placed United. Relegation could be ruinous for a club that invested heavily in new players over the summer, offering tempting wages to attract the likes of Park Ji-sung and Fábio da Silva from Manchester United, the Brazil international goalkeeper Júlio César from Internazionale and Esteban Granero on loan from Real Madrid.

The Premier League television revenue is due to rise by 71% next season and missing out on that would be particularly galling for a club with lofty ambitions but a ground capacity of only 18,500.


Harry Redknapp steps forward at QPR, but it feels like a step down
In the context of recent seasons – his success at Tottenham and being favourite for the England job – Redknapp's imminent appointment at Loftus Road seems akin to a comedown

Dominic Fifield
The Guardian, Friday 23 November 2012 14.45 EST
Jump to comments (92)

The QPR owners see the firefighter in the 65-year-old Harry Redknapp and take reassurance from his achievements at West Ham United, Portsmouth and Tottenham. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Not that long ago, the salvage job at Queens Park Rangers would have felt made for Harry Redknapp. This is an ambitious London club, within daily commute of his home in Sandbanks, Dorset, who are money-flushed yet flailing at the foot of the table, and a team in desperate need of a spark who is not Sparky. There will be funds to be splashed in January and pedigree to coax from experienced players who have clearly lost their way, but all would not seem quite so hopeless with 'Arry in charge.

And yet, in the context of recent seasons, Redknapp's imminent appointment at Loftus Road feels like too much of a comedown. After all, it is little over six months ago since his Tottenham Hotspur side claimed fourth place in the Premier League, to be left crossing their fingers that Bayern Munich would win against Chelsea in their own stadium and claim the Champions League, thereby offering Spurs the route back into Europe's elite club competition their domestic form over the campaign had merited. Retreat a few weeks further and he was the favourite to take over the England national team. Now, as he returns to club management following his dismissal at White Hart Lane over the summer to oversee the only winless team in the country, he will feel the weight of the table heavy upon him.

The QPR owners will see the firefighter in the 65-year-old and take reassurance from his achievements at West Ham United, Portsmouth and even Tottenham. As Redknapp was prone to remind the watching world, Spurs were cast adrift at the foot of the table with two miserable points when he succeeded Juande Ramos in the autumn of 2008, his brief back then limited to retaining top-flight status, and he duly hoisted them to eighth and the Champions League two years later. He and his back-room team organised the defence, sharpened the front line and breathed life into an entire setup almost overnight, bringing structure and enthusiasm to a team who appeared dishevelled. That was the Redknapp effect. Survival proved a springboard to the kind of success Tony Fernandes, Amit Bhatia, Ruben Gnanalingam and Din Kamarudin so crave.

But there the comparisons with Spurs end. While Tottenham were in an inexcusable position when he took over four years ago, the squad Redknapp takes over at QPR are more akin to that he inherited in his second spell at Portsmouth. There he replaced Alain Perrin, who had managed 10 points from 13 matches – considerably more than Mark Hughes this time round – who had assembled a squad swollen in numbers but shorn of quality. The likes of Konstantinos Chalkias, Giannis Skopelitis, Emmanuel Olisadebe, Aleksandar Rodic, Collins Mbesuma and Zvonimir Vukic are instantly forgettable. "When I came back I took over the worst team you've ever seen in your life," Redknapp later said. "Dejan Stefanovic, who I'd brought in first time round, came up to me and said: 'Gaffer, you've got no chance here. You must be mad.'"

Yet he still succeeded in securing safety and QPR must hope history repeats itself. Their squad are bloated, a reflection of three periods of frenzied buying since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 under Neil Warnock. He had recruited either side of Fernandes's takeover, and Hughes did so again, heavily, last January and over the summer. The team's more consistent performers over the past few seasons, such as Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlín, have slipped from the radar, superseded by players on heftier salaries who have largely yet to justify themselves. The free transfer signing of Júlio César just weeks after Rob Green had been secured on a substantial wage rather summed up the haphazard nature of their transfer policy. That sense of chaos off the pitch has pursued the team on to the turf.

There is an imbalance to the squad, a lack of quality at centre-half and too many journeymen in the twilight of their careers who have proved injury prone or, judging by performances, simply lack the appetite for a relegation battle. Some are already nowhere near the first team. The player who would arguably have had most impact, Spurs' Michael Dawson, sensed the chaos and opted out early when a move across the capital was mooted in the summer. Clint Dempsey, too, chose White Hart Lane despite QPR apparently offering £10,000 a week more. A lack of relegation clauses written into many of the players' deals has added to the anxiety: this club, even backed by their current owners, cannot afford to slip out of the elite.

Perhaps Redknapp, if he can forget what might have been, can succeed in inspiring this mishmash of senior professionals and mould them into a team. There is quality there, if it wishes to show itself, though the task proved far too much for Hughes. Maybe the new man in charge can inspire the kind of revival that marked his spells at Pompey and Spurs, and this club can force its way safely into mid-table.

Yet Fernandes and Co must just hope the other scenario, the one played out at Southampton back in 2004 where the decline could not be arrested, does not come to pass. QPR may be bottom but demotion is unthinkable.


By John Cross

Lone Ranger: QPR squad is so split one star eats lunch in his car, not with team-mates
23 Nov 2012 22:02

As Harry Redknapp prepares to ride to the rescue of the Premier League's winless bottom club, we reveal the size of the job that is waiting for him
Queens Park strangers: Redknapp will have to try to unite three factions within the squad Queens Park strangers: Redknapp will have to try to unite three factions within the squad
Philip Harris

Harry Redknapp begins work at Queens Park Rangers on Monday with £10million to stop the rot and fix a broken club.

Former Tottenham boss Redknapp’s first mission will be to raid his old club for centre-half Michael Dawson to shore up the Hoops’ leaky defence.

But QPR’s problems run much deeper than just a dodgy defence – they are rooted to the foot of the Premier League without a win for six months.

Former boss Mark Hughes was brought in to try to unify QPR, a club which resembled a soap opera with so many bizarre goings-on the BBC filmed a behind-the-scenes documentary called The Four Year Plan.

Never mind four years. The last year has been dramatic enough.

Neil Warnock was axed just months after guiding the club into the Premier League.

Hughes, with experience of managing Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and Wales, was supposed to be the safe ticket and yet QPR survived by the skin of their teeth – despite losing at City on the final day of the season.

Won nil: Sacked Hughes hadn't delivered a league victory all season
Scott Heavey

This campaign has been even worse as we are nearly at the end of November and QPR are still without a win – in need of a miracle to stay in the top flight.

Redknapp, 65, will need all his renowned man-management skills to repair a divided dressing room, cope with a crazy boardroom full of egos and shake-up the entire squad.

Add to that, on-loan Joey Barton is still officially on the books.

Good old ’Arry used to remind us at daily intervals on Sky, when he leaned out of his car window, that Tottenham were bottom and four points adrift when he took charge there in October 2008.

But this appears to be a much tougher task.

The QPR squad is divided into three groups – the old guard, new big-money signings and those cast aside as forgotten men.

Training ground bust-ups had almost become a daily occurrence as the resentment between long-serving players on £15,000 a week compared to new £80,000-a-week signings became overwhelming.

The Professional Footballers’ Association were even called in for crisis talks with the players’ representative Shaun Derry and the squad as relations got so bad between the factions and some players felt frozen out by Hughes.

Marseille what? Redknapp will have to deal with Joey Barton too
Julian Finney

Training was often organised for the outcasts at 4pm so they would not come into contact with the first team.

But the atmosphere was poisonous and it was a situation with which Hughes struggled to get to grips.

It is so bad that one of the club’s best-known first-team players actually opts to eat lunch in his car rather than at the training ground with team-mates.

On top of that, there seemed to be no planning when it came to buying players as super-agent Kia Joorabchian – who also represents Hughes – did many of the big-money deals on big-money contracts. They have accumulated players like no tomorrow.

The worst example of all was signing Rob Green on a free and a sizeable contract.

Hughes lost faith with Green in pre-season and then the club signed Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar on an even bigger deal.

The one area that QPR desperately needed to strengthen was at centre-back and yet they failed to land their No.1 target, Spurs stopper Dawson.

Tottenham Go west: Will Dawson agree to join QPR if Redknapp is their boss?

But with Redknapp in charge, the feeling is that he will be able to tempt his former defender to Loftus Road and, on a broader level, work his magic to repair relationships and unify a disjointed squad.

Redknapp pulled off miracles at Portsmouth, but failed to keep Southampton up.

He took over at Spurs when they were at their lowest ebb, cut adrift at the bottom of the table – unthinkable now – and then led them into the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. He does not need to have a reputation as a media darling to get respect for his achievements at Spurs.

But he will really have his work cut out this time.

Redknapp drove down the Seven Sisters Road, put his arm round the shoulder of Gareth Bale and told him he could become the best in the world.

There are few players with Bale’s potential or natural talent along South Africa Road.

And Redknapp, of course, bombed out fans’ favourite Adel Taarabt from Tottenham and later called him “useless” and mocked him for being a “fruitcake”.

Redknapp had huge repairs to do in his last job but quality tools to fix the problem. This time, he lacks quality in defence and has a chronic striker shortage with Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson potentially out for the season.

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes will allow him to wheel and deal and spend around £10m.

It is one last throw of the dice as Fernandes knows that relegation would be even more expensive and Redknapp is seen as the best hope of survival.

Sadly, Hughes was also seen in the same light.



Joe Royle: Harry Redknapp will struggle to do what I did
Confidence will be low at QPR, but that is where Harry will come into his own

The Everton side of 1994-95 managed by Joe Royle are the only team to survive in the Premier League after taking four points from the first 12 matches, QPR's tally. Everton finished 15th, five points clear of relegation, and beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

"There are a lot of parallels between the situation Harry Redknapp will inherit at QPR and the one I found at Everton in 1994-95. The team had survived relegation on the last day of the previous season after a change in management, brought in new players in the summer, but struggled again. Confidence was low.

There are, though, important differences. With respect to the players at QPR, I don't think Harry is taking on a squad with the strength of character I did. I had Barry Horne, Dave Watson, David Unsworth, Duncan Ferguson and, in goal, Neville Southall. I also had good players who were not in the team, players like Andy Hinchcliffe, John Ebbrell and Joe Parkinson, who I was able to bring in. I'm not sure QPR have that strength in depth.

The key thing was we started well. My first game was Liverpool, at Goodison Park. It was one of those nights. An amazing atmosphere. We won 2-0 with a goal from Big Dunc starting it off, and then beat Chelsea and Leeds. They were three top sides at the time. That gave us confidence; we had eight points from 14 games when I arrived, we took 42 from the remaining 28 matches beating teams like Manchester United and Newcastle United. Even then we were only safe in the last few weeks.

Confidence will be low at QPR, but that is where Harry will come into his own. He is a good man-manager, players like him and want to play for him. He will get them smiling again. Harry has always liked talent, he won't be trying to dig out results. He will see a place for Adel Taarabt. There's also Djibril Cissé, who can score if you can keep him on the pitch. He could be the leader for them Dunc was for us.

I hope Harry keeps QPR up, he is a good man, but it will be difficult. He needs to invest in January as I don't think he has the players to call on I did."

www.independent.co.uk/sport/footb....d -8347632.html

KEVIN GALLEN "Harry Redknapp can to restore team spirit at Queens Park Rangers

Queens Park Rangers star Kevin Gallen has told talkSPORT that Harry Redknapp is the man to breathe life back into an inert squad at Loftus Road.

The Rs currently sit bottom of the Premier League without a win to their name and are now managerless following the sacking of Mark Hughes.
And with several players brought into the club by the Welshman failing to perform, Gallen reckons Redknapp is the right coach to help them survive what looks likely to be taxing relegation battle.

He told Drive Time: “When you bring in so many new players and you pretty much bomb out the players that got you there [promoted]. It can create a bit of a divide in the changing room.
“Commitment and passion and wanting to play for each other, togetherness and team spirit was massively lacking on Saturday [against Southampton].
“You have to have some sort of togetherness and team spirit especially when you’re in a position like QPR at the moment, bottom of the league. You need everyone pulling in the right direction. I’m sure Harry will get that and demand that and also get the team attacking.
“Everyone was talking, this time last year, about Harry Redknapp being the England manager. So he’s got a lot of pedigree. He did a really wonderful job at Tottenham, he plays attractive football and that’s what the QPR fans want.
“This season they’ve been starved of entertainment and QPR has been a club over the years that like attractive, free-flowing football.”

Click to Listenhttp://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/121123/exclusive-–-kevin-gallen-harry-redknapp-can-restore-team-spirit-queens-p-1860


SPARK OUT ... Hughes exited QPR yesterday
QPR had chance to get Harry – I can see why they did it

IT has not been a good week for managers in west London.
First, Roberto Di Matteo was axed by Chelsea on Wednesday morning and then Mark Hughes was given the boot yesterday by QPR.
I never like to see any manager given the sack — but I find it difficult to argue with either of the decisions.
I know I wrote in this column just seven days ago that winless Rangers should stick with Hughes — even if they lost their proverbial six-pointer at home to fellow strugglers Southampton last Saturday, which they did 3-1.
And I genuinely believed that. Then.
But the loss against Saints set alarm bells ringing.
It was not just the result, which left QPR anchored at the bottom of the Premier League with just four points and still searching for their first win after 12 top-flight games this season.
Far more worrying was the performance from a team in such a precarious position. It smacked of relegation. And if, as has been widely speculated, Hoops chairman Tony Fernandes has lined up Harry Redknapp as a replacement then I fully understand the decision to call time on Hughes’ reign after less than a year in the hotseat at Loftus Road.
If anybody can lead a club out of a crisis like the one that is facing Rangers at the moment, Redknapp can.
That is no reflection on Hughes, a man I signed as a player and a man I have huge respect for as both a person and a manager.
But in this situation I feel Redknapp may be better suited to this situation.
So I fully appreciate why Fernandes took the decision he did at Rangers to terminate Hughes’ contract — just as I can see why Roman Abramovich got rid of Di Matteo.... The Sun


Neil Warnock: Good luck to Harry Redknapp in my old seat – I'll be sad if QPR go down

It baffles me how England let Moses get away. We’re not blessed with strikers

I would like to wish Harry Redknapp the best of luck filling my old seat in the dugout at Queen's Park Rangers. It was one of the achievements of my managerial career getting QPR back into the Premier League after a 15-year absence and I would be very sad to see them go back down after all the hard work the players, staff and myself put in. Neither the fans nor the owners, Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia, deserve that.

Harry did a great job keeping Portsmouth up against all odds a few years ago and I'd back him to do the same with QPR. You can't fault the backing Tony and Amit gave Mark Hughes in the transfer market and I'm sure they will do their best to enable Harry to wheel and deal in January and enable the club to move on at last.

I have to admit there have been times this year when I have had to bite my tongue. I kept hearing the team were playing well without getting the results they deserved: so were mine but we did win away from home three times. There was also the comment at the end of last season when my successor said after coming 17th, the same position I left them in, "we won't be in this position again". Unfortunately he was proved right; QPR have not been that high since.

It was difficult to accept when I was replaced. Having met the mandate of keeping out of the bottom three we were about to make the signings in the January window we needed to head towards mid-table. Having kept QPR up I planned to retire and hand the reins over to someone else for a smooth transition. It is easy to look back in hindsight but I think Tony might now reflect and feel that would have been a better way to proceed....



 "...F1 and the English league are phenomenally successful sports watched around the world. That’s a huge captive market. Having AirAsia and Tune Hotels beamed straight into people’s homes is more powerful than putting out a print ad.”
“Sport helps to put the Tune out there. Branding impacts the bottom line, even if you can’t measure it. The aura of our brand has attracted a lot of partnerships and sports is a large part of that aura.” - QPR Chairman, Tony Fernandes on owning QPR and Caterham..."  "Fernandes Keeps Faith in QPR and Caterham"

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