Queens Park Rangers, bottom of the Premier League, have spent huge sums over the last three transfer windows to bolster their squad and establish themselves in the top flight.
With the club bottom of the Premier League, losing their best defender Ryan Nelsen, and with wheeler dealer extrordinaire Harry Redknapp at the helm, they did the obvious thing – signed anyone and everyone. Chris Samba was the major signing on a crazy day at Loftus Road. The former Blackburn man returned to the Premier League from Russia after a spell with Anzhi Makhachkala. Redknapp described him as a “monster”, although in a good way, and Samba certainly is an excellent player. But the pressure is on to make sure it works, otherwise that is another highly renumerated player on the wage book in the Championship. Given that Samba did not agree to move last summer because no agreement could be reached on his wage demands, that QPR have caved into those now is a bad sign.
Others coming to the club included Jermain Jenas, whose career has never really taken off. The Tottenham man was reunited with Redknapp, as was Andros Townsend, arriving from White Hart Lane on loan. Loic Remy had already signed for £8 million, Peter Odemwingie alienated himself from his employers at West Brom and the football community by showing up in his car in west London, but that move never happened. David Bentley was surprisingly linked with the club in spite of his previous poor relationship with Redknapp at Spurs.
It is a huge investment on top of what is already there. Ji-Sung Park, Robert Green, Junior Hoilett, Ryan Nelsen, Andrew Johnson were signed under Mark Hughes, joining a squad already including Kieron Dyer, Joey Barton, Luke Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, Nedum Onuoha, Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora.
The club have done well to get rid of Barton, Ferdinand, Dyer and Cisse, but there is far too much deadwood eating up Fernandes’s finances. It is therefore a little surprise in one way, although not so much in another, that they have spent the way they have. They say a sign of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. QPR should be closely monitored.
If they survive, it will literally have paid off for the club, but if it does not, then it is an almighty gamble that will end in tears. This is a team that could be the next Portsmouth or Leeds. If Fernandes walks away, as he indicated he might if they fail, the club simply cannot afford to keep up payments on their costs. It is an extraordinary risk.