Unfortunately for some, especially QPR and Anzhi, money can buy you a lot of things, but not common sense. The owners of these sides, Chiefly Tony Fernandes, came in full of the usual aspirations of Champions League football, and challenging for the Premier League. Fastforward two years, QPR are in the middle of a bad run in the Championship, and announce losses of £65m, with the clubs debt now reaching £177m. With Financial Fair Play rules now in force, a team cannot feasibly lose that amount of money, and now they are set to be punished.
Who is to Blame?
Jointly Fernandes and Harry Redknapp, the former should not have let it go this far, as for ‘Arry – The man drifts from club to club, wastes a fortune on average players, usually saves them from relegation, then moves on. He left Portsmouth in a mess, who now lie in League 2. He spent a fortune at Tottenham, taking them from the relegation spots to Champions League, and then went gung-ho for the England job, only to not get it. Now at QPR, he has wasted even more money on has-beens, and players purchased on reputation. Astonishingly, the club have continued to back him in an attempt to buy their way back to the big time. This is now failing, the team are not performing, and he could well be sacked. Here are the players he has spent millions on since the start of this season:
Danny Simpson, Richard Dunne, Karl Henry, Charlie Austin, Gary O’Neil, Matt Phillips, Chevanton, Yossi Benayoun, Oguchi Onyewu, Aaron Hughes, Coll Donaldson (Permanent)
On loan he has brought in:
Benoit Assou Ekotto, Tom Carroll, Niko Kranjcar, Guilherme Dellatore, Kevin Doyle, Will Keane, Modibo Maiga and Ravel Morrison.
Last season he managed to attract Loic Remy for £9m, Chris Samba for £12m and a few more such as Julio Cesar and Joey Barton.
On top of that he is now moaning that they didn’t sign Ishak Belfodil and Paul Georges-Ntep (Wonderkid from Auxerre). There are some very good players there, Premier League standard infact. How he cannot get that lot performing is beyond me. Maybe the fact he has purchased too many at once, no continuity as loanee’s are coming in and out at all points. The fact they are on massive wages for a Championship club. That is another thing – their wage bill is £65m, more than Borrusia Dortmund’s side that reached the Champions League final!
Aside from allegations of corruption, he is a very average manager. His reputation as a wheeler and dealer gets a good rap from the Media, but now people are seeing him for what he is. He does not plan for the future, he buys for the present (a point made by my Tottenham supporting brother…). No club will ever go forward under him, only lose more money. £20 of my money says that a good deal of the aforementioned above will depart this summer, because QPR simply cannot afford them. Financial Fair Play rules dictate that you can make a loss of £8m or so. At £65m wage bill, they are spending more on that than they generate through income. It was a model doomed to fail from day one.
If Tony Fernandes had employed a young manager with a great scouting set up, he could have purchased so many different talented youngsters and built a side for the next 10 years from what Redknapp has spent. But no, instead he brought in a manager with a bad reputation for wasting money, and gave him an open checkbook. No sympathy from us, I’m afraid. The fault lies, as it should, at the door of the owners. The only ones I feel sorry for are the fans. As a suffering Newcastle fan their pain is one I have felt. High spending, high wages, players who don’t care one iota. Relegation. But where they are failing Newcastle did well, keeping the mainframe of the squad together, with a core of English players dedicated to the cause. All I see there is a group of players who are happy with their bank balances.
What is going to happen next?
The outcome of all this is that QPR could be fined £50m for breaking the FFP laws, and face a Transfer Embargo that will not lift until they are in a position to meet the criteria set out in the FFP rules, which could well be several years, with them by that point probably ending up like Portsmouth. What worries us is that the league are going to punish the club, and not just the owners, who have mistreated the club, putting them in this position. The fit and proper persons test is put there to stop idiots coming in, but its not working. Venky’s got through the test, Massimo Cellino has passed it, the Portsmouth owners, such as Aleksander Gaydemak, also passed. It does not seem to be delving deep enough, and finding out what the intentions are. Something needs to be done, but what?