Harry Redknapp Stays but Queens Park Rangers Can't Afford Another Expensive Fail

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterApril 29, 2013

Harry Redknapp will stay on as Queens Park Rangers manager.
Harry Redknapp will stay on as Queens Park Rangers manager.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Queens Park Rangers officially tumbled out of the Premier League on Sunday along with Reading after the two sides drew 0-0 at the Madejski Stadium.

Neither side can complain about their demise after disappointing seasons in which a change of managers has not helped their cause.

The Royals removed Brian McDermott on March 12 in a desperate bid to lift themselves out of the relegation zone and Nigel Adkins, who had been sacked by Southampton for similar reasons in January, took over two weeks after his predecessor left.

Reading owner Anton Zingarevich claimed McDermott was axed for not spending enough money during the January transfer window (via The Sun).

That is not an accusation which can be thrown at Queens Park Rangers, where Harry Redknapp has agreed to stay on after relegation.

Figures announced in March revealed that wages had doubled in their first season back in the top flight (via The Guardian), even before their massive spending in January in a bid to remain in the Premier League.

The heavy spending in January ultimately came to nothing as QPR and Redknapp failed to hold on to their place among England's elite.

QPR have been at the centre of much controversy this season. One source of frustration for the team has been Joey Barton's season-long departure to Olympique de Marseille last summer after his 12-match ban for events at Manchester City on the final day of last season.

The midfielder has never been slow at voicing his opinions via his Twitter feed, @joey7barton, and referred to some QPR players as "maggots" after their relegation was confirmed.

Redknapp conceded before the game at Reading that splits in the QPR squad had not helped his team's fight against relegation (via The Guardian).

Those fractured relationships appeared in a story in The Mirror in March concerning a midseason trip to Dubai, which had been designed for sorting the team's problems out but ended up only severing the connections further.

Redknapp railed against the story after the team rallied to a 2-1 win at Southampton (via BBC Sport), but the wounds were now opened.

Neither QPR nor Redknapp can move forward with such fractious relationships in the dressing room, and there must be fear that unless several players are moved on, the spectre of Wolves' current demise could be repeated.

Greater concerns could be that QPR could follow the path of Portsmouth and their financial woes since dropping out of the Premier League after going into administration in 2010 (via Daily Mail).

The Fratton Park side will play in League Two next season after finishing bottom of the third tier in English football this season.

The signing of defender Christopher Samba underlines the malaise QPR have found themselves in. The former Blackburn man arrived in January from Anzhi Makhachkala in a deal worth £12.5 million (via The Guardian).

However, a day after the team dropped out of the top flight, Samba conceded he was not prepared for playing in the Premier League (via Sky Sports).

QPR will benefit from a parachute payment to help their drop into the Championship next season (via BBC Sport) but the club must move swiftly to offload the big earners in the squad to avoid financial problems further down the line.

So where does the blame lie for QPR's demise this season? Is it with Redknapp, former manager Mark Hughes or the club owners? A mixture of all three would be a fair summary.

There may be some cause for celebration with the news that Redknapp is staying on (via BBC Sport), but QPR fans must be questioning the wisdom of sacking Neil Warnock in January 2012.

The former Sheffield United and Crystal Palace boss had guided the club into the top flight just over a year after being appointed in March 2010. He lost his job with the club a point above the drop zone, but was not afforded the opportunity to turn their fortunes around.

Instead, Fernandes and the board turned to Hughes and the path of big spending in a bid to stave off the spectre of relegation last season.

Redknapp will be aware that such a financial gamble will not work in the Championship, where hard work and team spirit is the only way back to the top flight.