x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Lack of cohesion among teammates problem at relegated QPR

Plenty of cash but very little organisation proved disruptive for the English Premier League club.

Harry Redknapp took over a Queens Park Rangers side that was already in the relegation zone. Glyn Kirk / AFP
Harry Redknapp took over a Queens Park Rangers side that was already in the relegation zone. Glyn Kirk / AFP

On Saturday morning, the Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba tweeted, "Morning people hope we get the 3points we need."

It might have seemed like a nice way of connecting with fans and trying to generate some togetherness of spirit in what was already an implausible fight against relegation had it not been that QPR weren't playing on Saturday.

It was a minor slip - he wasn't, surely, under the impression he was still at Blackburn Rovers, who drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace on Saturday as they fight relegation from the Championship - but it seems indicative of the confusion that surrounds a club that feels like a morality play about how not to spend money.

"I woke up so excited to play I forgot it was 2mo, sorry my mistake," Samba tweeted a little while later, but was then omitted from QPR's squad altogether before Sunday's final, pitiful goalless draw against Reading, a result that relegated both sides.

Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, then suggested Samba had been ruled out on Friday with the combination of a virus and a knee injury. Was Samba, then, so excited, he forgot he was crocked?

None of it quite makes sense, hinting at a club where there are wheels within wheels, and where it doesn't take Joey Barton's comments on Twitter to see the faultlines between those players brought in by Neil Warnock and those by his successor Mark Hughes ("maggots", Barton called them, along with less printable epithets), most of whom are on far higher wages.

In retrospect, Redknapp's position was perhaps impossible. He took over a side that had picked up four points from 13 games and took 21 from his 22 in charge, which is still relegation form.

He cannot escape blame (and it was he who brought in the hapless Samba on £100,000 (Dh568,800) a week), but there is blame everywhere at a club that has been run in such a cavalier fashion that the wages to turnover ratio was 91 per cent in the last financial year and will be higher now.

To put that in perspective, Swansea City's is 54 per cent. That is a tremendous burden to carry into the Championship, even with parachute payments.

Reading may have gone down because of a lack of investment; QPR seem almost to have invested too much, destroying any semblance of team spirit with a scattergun approach that has merely agglomerated the mercenary, the bewildered and the frustrated.


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