Les Ferdinand: I see a long-term future for myself at QPR... unless the club tell me otherwise
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 December 2016
PA Wire/PA Images
QPR director of football Les Ferdinand has pledged his long-term future to the club – re-emphasising exactly what his role is to supporters who are suggesting otherwise.
Ferdinand has faced criticism from many Rs fans on social media, some of whom are of the opinion that he has too much control at the club, while others suggested he should have followed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink out of the Loftus Road exit door last month.
Ferdinand has quashed such rumours, telling the Times: “I see a long-term future in trying to get the club back to where it needs to be and we want it to be.
“I don’t care what people say. Everyone has their opinion. I was well liked because of the job I did as a player.
“If people see some stuff going on as my responsibility and have a go – they’re entitled to it.
“They pay their money, they come to the games. Some don’t and have an opinion from a distance on Twitter and make up their own ideas about what is going on.
“I’m the director of football, not the manager. If I wanted to pick the team then I’d put myself in a position to be a manager and not the director of football.
“The whole reason to bring a manager in is for him to manage your football team. He picks the players that play week in week out and he’s out on the training ground and he knows what the group is about.
“Has Ian talked to me about the players? Of course. When Jimmy was here, we spoke about football and the team’s performance. That’s what we do.
“I never have an influence over what players play. If that’s what I want to do then I’ll be the manager.
“You’d have to ask the owners whether they think I’m doing a good job or not. I know we have a vision – they set it and we’re trying to fall in line with what they want.”
He continued: “I put myself in this position and it means you’ll take stick at times and you have to be brave enough to take it.
“I could have stayed doing the TV stuff [that would have been easier] but I saw something that needed doing at a club I care about and I thought I could do it and I’ll continue to try until we achieve it.”
Ferdinand believes the role he holds is one which can help clubs as opposed to hindering it, pointing towards an improvement in communication with the board as one of the main positives.
He added: “We’ve got owners that live abroad so rather than them badgering the manager, they call me.
“I can be the mediator between them and the manager as sometimes when you’re watching from a distance, you watch it as a fan rather than being totally involved in it and if you don’t have someone who can explain it to you better, you can be at loggerheads with the manager.”
Ferdinand’s former colleague and close friend, Tim Sherwood, currently took over in a similar role at Swindon Town.
The latter has openly admitted that he picks the team and the tactics for matchday, something which Ferdinand admits has probably seen people jump to conclusions about his role at Rangers.
“I think what’s happened there is he’s gone in in that role because he doesn’t want to be seen as Swindon’s manager,” said Ferdinand.
“I know what the situation is there but he’s taken a hands-on role and said ‘I’m picking the team and doing this’.
“I’ve clearly told people I don’t pick the team. That’s why there may be confusion in how people see it and understand it.
“It may be different to other people. When I was at Tottenham Franco Baldini was the director of football there and he identified players he felt were good for the club and whether they signed them it was down to them and the manager.
“He never influenced who played on a Saturday. When you’re looking at most teams on the continent they’ve all had a director of football – it’s seen as part and parcel of helping the team.
“I’m learning every day in this role but I think I’m helping the club and hopefully we can continue to work together and be a success.”
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