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QPR were the champions of the nPower Championship last season
QPR spent almost all of last season at the top of the nPower Championship table, and it was there that they finished as the Champions of the league. Automatic promotion to the Premier League followed, where they will compete for the first time since 1996.
As is often the case with sides from the Championship, however, their success was far from a foregone conclusion. Almost no one had them pegged to win the league last season.
The mid-noughties proved a very difficult time for QPR, and included boardroom scandals, the surprise death of talented young players, and near-financial meltdown. Salvation arrived in the form of the wealthy Formula 1 owners Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.
Taking ownership of the side in 2007, there was a great sense of expectation around the club with such wealthy businessmen now at it's helm. Through to the present day, supporters of other clubs will often mention the great wealth of QPR's owners, as if it provides some great advantage to them.
The reality, however, is somewhat different.
The transfer funds to meet the expectation of "big spending" never materialized, with one rare exception signed in 2009.
The club did find itself under sound leadership, however, and in coming out of a tumultuous period, enjoyed mid-table mediocrity through to the appointment of manager Neil Warnock in March of 2010.
During last season, however, everything seemed to fall into place for the West London side. The summer saw the signings of players the like of midfielder Adel Taarabt and goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, who would play vital roles in the side's fortunes.
Middlesbrough were hotly tipped as the favorites to win the league prior to the start of the season, with a significantly-strengthened Bristol City joining them, Nottingham Forest, and Cardiff City. Mention of QPR was simply an aside.
As is often the case with Championship football.
They opened the season with a resounding 4-0 win against Barnsley, however, putting them at the top of the table where they were hardly removed from all season.
The first half of the season saw QPR's stiffest competition from Cardiff City, who looked to be title contenders themselves before waning around the new year. Consistently rising sides Norwich City and Swansea City came to be the team's only competition for the title in the latter half, but by their arrival into second and third place respectively in March, the title already seemed destined for QPR's Loftus Road.
That was confirmed following a 2-0 win over Watford on the last day of April.
With the league won, QPR turned to face the grey cloud looming over the side's victory for the latter half of the season—issues with the record signing of midfielder Alejandro Faurlin for £3.5 million in 2009.
With a hearing scheduled over questions of third-party ownership and how the player was signed, there was great discussion on whether QPR would be docked points for a breach of Football League rules. Would it prevent them from being promoted, or having them start their Premier League season with massive point deficit?
In the end, however, the discussion proved to be null, as the Football Association chose to simply fine the side rather than deduct any point.
Since that decision, the question that has followed is just how much the team would have to spend on players for the coming season. This has been further clouded by discussions of new ownership for the side, with an airline tycoon and fellow F1 owner interested who (may) have more money to spend on the playing staff.
In the meanwhile, however, QPR have currently spent less than £1.5 million on new players, mostly relying on free transfers for their coming campaign.