Post by Football News on May 19, 2015 16:20:39 GMT
QPR have learned lesson from previous relegation, says Tony Fernandes
• Chairman says it is not doom and gloom at QPR despite drop to Championship • Relegation clauses were inserted in contracts and FFP fine is still in balance • QPR could face further relegation if they don’t pay fine
The Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes knows the club must again cope with relegation from the Premier League.
The Queens Park Rangers chairman, Tony Fernandes, believes the club will depart the Premier League after a season-long stay in a far stronger position than when they were relegated two years ago, with lessons having been learned from that painful previous demotion.
The west London club are expected to promote their interim manager, Chris Ramsey, to the position on a permanent basis, potentially before Sunday’s final game at Leicester City, with a summer of rebuilding ahead. QPR have nine senior players out of contract at the end of next month and another four loanees destined to return to their parent clubs, and attempts will be made to move other fringe personnel on.
There is also the threat of a significant fine to be imposed by the Football League if they are found guilty of breaking rules over financial fair play during their campaign in the second tier in 2013-14, with legal proceedings ongoing to challenge those regulations. QPR are confident they will emerge from those discussions having avoided the £58m penalty that could technically apply, allowing them some leeway in the transfer market given the £25m parachute payment they will receive.
“We’ve always been chasing and desperate to get back up, but this time we will just stick to our guns and get players who have longer-term vision,” said Fernandes, who appointed Les Ferdinand as director of football in February to oversee a more long-term strategy. “We’ll see how it goes from there. We’re feeling good, actually. It’s strange. We feel like after four years we are finally in the groove.
“Last time we went down I was a lot more tense about it. I was worried about a lot of things. And yet we still got through it, we got back up. This time we go down in a much stronger position, with a better structure in place and better solutions to pursue with what we want to do in the long term.”
The most obvious lesson QPR appear to have learned is to insert relegation clauses into long-term contracts offered to their players since the team’s demotion in 2013 – the club’s annual wage bill in the second tier was £75.3m, almost double their turnover, hence the potential FFP fine – with those pay cuts now due to take effect from 1 July on the vast majority retained by the club.
“Apart from the legacy players – and most of their contracts have finished – every player has relegation clauses,” said Fernandes. “We’re wiser every time. We are in a much better position. The doom and gloom that everyone has been predicting is not that great [within the club].”
Bobby Zamora, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Rio Ferdinand, Richard Dunne, Karl Henry, Brian Murphy, Joey Barton, Clint Hill and Alejandro Faurlín are out of contract this summer. Hill may be offered a role on the coaching staff, and players such as Dunne and Barton may want new deals.
Faurlín is recovering from a long-term knee injury, and a new two-year deal has been agreed with the young full-back Darnell Furlong. Regardless, the summer will require the building of a new squad with the club likely to be receptive to offers for Adel Taarabt, Armand Traoré, Samba Diakité, Sandro – who has run into visa problems lately – and Nedum Onuoha.
Asked about the financial fair play situation, Fernandes confirmed: “I’ve always been very confident that a positive resolution will come out of the FFP case that is fair to everyone. I’d rather not comment any further.” Discussions between lawyers working on behalf of QPR and the Football League remain ongoing.