x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Premier League new teams: Frugality is a rich word at QPR

The winners of last season's Championship have been much the lowest spenders of the three promoted clubs.

With their owners including the richest man in the United Kingdom (the Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal) and the majority shareholders being the motor racing moguls Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, money and Queens Park Rangers are inextricably linked.

But not, this summer, in the way that might have been expected. Some ticket prices have gone up by almost 40 per cent for their first top-flight season since 1995/96, and there have been rumours of a lucrative takeover and an injection of cash.

But the winners of last season's Championship have been much the lowest spenders of the three promoted clubs.

Indeed, the only big-money deal on offer in west London was a potential outgoing move. Rangers have spent the summer repelling interest from Paris St Germain in the captain and creator Adel Taarabt.

In comparison, the largest - and indeed only - fee paid by the manager Neil Warnock is the £1.25 million (Dh7.5m) required to lure DJ Campbell south from Blackpool.

Rather than seeming the springboard to success, promotion appears to have heralded an age of austerity.

The other three additions are Kieron Dyer and Danny Gabbidon, both out of contract at relegated West Ham United, and Jay Bothroyd, whose Cardiff City deal had also expired.

It means Warnock's reliance on a core of senior professionals, which served him so well in the Championship, must be maintained at the higher level, pitching lower-league stalwarts into a different environment altogether.

It also leaves the ever-quotable manager in a position to which he is all too accustomed but that he rather enjoys: as an underdog.

sports@thenational.ae