QPR chairman Tony Fernandes should look at his own decisions rather than Mark Hughes’
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
I met QPR chairman Tony Fernandes for the first time in July and, when asked what I thought, I told colleagues that if he carries out everything he stated during the chat then the club is in good hands.
One of the last questions I asked was which games he was most looking forward to this season.
Chelsea was the first one mentioned for obvious reasons and, being a West Ham fan, the London derby with the Hammers on October 5 is another match that excites him.
Finally Fernandes said Stoke City, which suggests that, like some QPR fans, he still holds a grudge against Mark Hughes.
Hughes was never likely to be a success at QPR. He managed Fulham and played for Chelsea so he didn’t exactly have a background which had fans jumping for joy.
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He certainly didn’t excite much during press conferences and it was no surprise that his time with the club didn’t last too long.
A lot of the finger-pointing at Hughes was due to the crazy summer spending spree during the summer of 2012, when the Rs snapped up big-name players on massive wages, such as Jose Bosingwa, Julio Cesar and Park Ji-Sung, who all flopped.
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Hughes, who had kept the club in the top flight after taking over from Neil Warnock, made some horrific blunders in the transfer market but it was backed by Fernandes, who, after a run of 12 games without a win, decided to sack him.
His replacement Harry Redknapp came in and his mantra for the remainder of the season was essentially that it wasn’t his team.
It was hard to keep count of the number of times when he mentioned that, when he took over, Rangers had only picked up four points from the first 12 matches.
Redknapp joined the club on November 27 2012, leaving him with 26 games to turn things around. He failed – like at Southampton.
Despite arriving with a reputation for being a great man manager, he had no problem openly criticising players in public, and it appeared he was more concerned with trying to protect his own image than rallying the squad.
He went on a massive spending spree himself in January 2013 when he snapped up the likes of Christopher Samba and Loic Remy – and he has continued to recruit vast amounts of players ever since. But don’t dare refer to him as a wheeler-dealer.
Redknapp, who has won just the one trophy during his long managerial career – the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008 – managed to get QPR promoted last season and is on the verge of signing a contract extension with the club.
Fernandes says he wants stability and obviously believes the 67-year-old is the man to bring that to Loftus Road.
But Fernandes has also talked about building a high-tech new training ground and academy at Warren Farm and has since scraped those plans.
He stated that he wouldn’t allow the club to find themselves in a situation where Remy would leave just before the transfer window closed – which he did.
He also declared the team would be playing in a new stadium at Old Oak Common by 2018, which seems about as likely as Redknapp declining an opportunity to talk about the England national team, Gareth Bale or his time at Spurs.
Stability comes from the owner – just look at Swansea City, who have had their fair share of managerial changes themselves but continue to progress, having won the League Cup and played in Europe.
Why? Because there is a substance there – a philosophy that runs through the place.
The problem at QPR is the fact that, for too many people, this club isn’t the priority.
Rio Ferdinand was unveiled to the press wearing his own ‘No.5’ branded baseball cap and talked about how being back in London was a major part of his decision – not much about QPR in that.
Talk is cheap if the actions don’t match up.
Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82