Who’s robbing the bank at QPR?

Queens Park Rangers are currently a club lacking a sense of direction. The club and its supporters alike are unsure as to whether they are heading for an immediate fall back into the Championship or Premier League survival. The club still haven’t filled the void left by Harry Redknapp and there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Loftus Road club.

One aspect the R’s are well-known for is overpaying sub par talent. QPR have competed in the Premier League in three of their last four campaigns and in every one of those seasons they’ve found themselves bogged down near the foot of the table. It might not be a bad idea to use a bet365 free bet on them going down again. Now, when you take a look at Rangers’ wage bill, you’d expect them to be doing much better.

I happened to tip toe across an article on Google and I learned from this that the wage bill at Queens Park Rangers last season was more expensive than the AC Milan equivalent. With all due respect to QPR, AC Milan are a much larger club.

Milan may not being enjoying the best years in their esteemed history right now, but they are seven times the champions of Europe, only Real Madrid can boast more than that tally. Did I mention that QPR were in the Championship last term? These figures are truly astonishing.

 

Part of QPR’s ongoing problems are simply down to the fact that they are purchasing and paying players based on name value alone, without analysing how these players are going to add to the team. A prime example would be Jose Bosingwa.

Mark Hughes saw the Portuguese right back on the free agents list and immediately thought to himself “Chelsea forked out £20 million for this guy a few years back and he just won the Champions League. He must be good, right?”. Wrong, Bosingwa was terrible in every way and Harry Redknapp put the full back and his £130,000 a week wages in their place when he took charge.

More examples would be, Esteban Granero and Ji Sung Park. The transfer committee at Loftus Road saw that the two played for two massive clubs in Real Madrid and Manchester United respectively and were under the assumption that they’d make top class signings. Once again, they were wrong.

They say when you assume, you are making an ass out of you and me. In QPR’s case with these signings and wage bills this cliché happens to apply.

As previously stated, this is part of an ongoing issue for Rangers and it must change if they are to become the established Premier League club they aim to become.

It’s nearing the weekend again, which means it’s time to look at which players are earning too much dough at a club of our choosing. This week, we will divert away from the bigger clubs as such and focus on a lower table side. It is now the turn of Queens Park Rangers and their overpaid stars to be exposed.

As you may have guessed from some of the writing above, Tony Fernandes happens to be very generous when it comes to paying his employees. It would not be an overstatement by saying, this made my job slightly easier this week.

Adel Taarabt: £65,000 a week

Taarabt just can’t seem to catch a break with any gaffer he plays under, can he? Harry Redknapp even branded him “fat and lazy”, while also claiming the Moroccan was three stone overweight.

On the pitch, the attacking midfielder has had one season of significance in a Queens Park Rangers shirt. That season was in 2010/2011, the season where QPR topped the Championship to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. Taarabt was a gem for QPR in their title-winning season, popping up with 19 goals in 44 appearances to guide the R’s to the top flight.

 

Unfortunately, Taarabt has never reached these heights whilst plying his trade in the Premier League. He has only managed seven strikes in three Premier League seasons with Rangers. Couple that statistic and two lack luster loan spells at Fulham and AC Milan respectively and it is quite clear to see that Taarabt’s career has gone miles downhill.

He is also notorious for being a difficult player to work with. Although he is a very skilful technician with the ball at his feet, he is very greed and often reluctant to pass the ball, leading to plenty of wasted opportunities for his side.

His role in the squad, unsurprisingly, has been quite limited this season.

Rio Ferdinand: £50,000 a week

Well, Ferdinand cannot be accused of being greedy. He did take a substantial pay cut in order join QPR and Harry Redknapp from Manchester United. He was believed to be on £200,000 a week at Manchester United!

Despite the massive drop in revenue, Ferdinand simply isn’t worth it. This is another prime example of QPR signing players based on their merits and not what they can bring to the table in the present day. Yes, Ferdinand had a highly successful career at Old Trafford, winning Premier Leagues, Champions Leagues, FA Cups and the works, but he is now 36 years old and his best days are nothing but a distant memory.

 

The English centre back has spent the majority of his stay at Loftus Road on the bench, only making nine league appearances to date and looking rather sluggish in these rare cameo appearances. Besides, supporters opinions are split when it comes to Ferdinand’s past abilities.

Some fans believe he was truly a great player, while others believe he is the most overrated defender England have ever had. Football fans have gone as far as saying that he was made look good at United playing alongside Vidic and likewise for England with John Terry. I’ll let you be the judge of that though.

Bobby Zamora: £70,000 a week

In May, QPR fans looked upon Zamora with plenty of awe as the big front man netted the goal to send Rangers back to the top flight in the dying seconds of the Championship play off final at Wembley. Lets be honest though, Zamora is not worth £70k a week.

 

Zamora does turn in the odd good performance here and there, like the draw with Manchester City at Loftus Road this season, but he does not do near enough to justify the large income he rakes in. In three years at QPR, the striker has bagged a grand total of 13 goals in 82 appearances for the R’s.

This is an insufficient return for a striker on such a salary. Zamora could prove to be a good player for a club like QPR, but if this is to happen it is pretty vital that the 34 year old’s pay is slashed. If he was on a about £30,000 less he would be considered more of a solid player at Loftus Road.

Shaun Wright-Phillips: £60,000 a week

In order to justify a wage of any size, whether it is £100 a week or £100k a week, you have to be playing football matches. In the last two years or so, this seems to be something that former Chelsea and Manchester City star, Shaun Wright-Phillips knows little about.

Ever since QPR were relegated from the Premier League in May 2013, Wright-Phillips has only featured on 15 occasions. While watching Gillette Soccer Special on Saturday 7 February, I learned that the 34 year old’s substitute appearance versus Southampton was his first league outing in 18 months. This is coming from a reliable source too.

 

It is astonishing that a club can pay someone £60k a week to basically sit on their backside on the couch at home. When Wright-Phillips has been on the playing field during his time at QPR, he has looked a mere shadow of himself from his Manchester City and early Chelsea days.

The Englishman just isn’t the frightening winger with lightning pace any more. Like quite a few players at the Shepard’s Bush club, he is a player certainly not getting any younger and to be quite frank, the more he sits out on the sidelines, the more rusty he’ll be when he does get to play.

Wright-Phillips rejected a loan move to Blackburn Rovers during Redknapp’s tenure. Perhaps, that potential move would have been for the best for all parties involved.

Joey Barton: £70,000 a week

From lashing out at and kicking opposition players to mocking the club over Twitter following their relegation to the Championship, what has Barton done right at QPR? Barton is the skipper at the club and young Rangers fans are supposed to look up to him, at least show some responsibility man and stop getting your name on the news headlines for the wrong reasons every week.

The controversial English man signed for QPR on a free transfer in 2011 and was immediately handed the captain’s armband by Neil Warnock upon his arrival. Following an average début season, Barton was shipped out on loan to Ligue 1 side, Marseille. This came about after Barton’s infamous kicking of Manchester City forward, Sergio Aguero  on the final day of the 2011/2012 campaign. Of course, Barton was sent off for his actions.

 

A year later, QPR were relegated while Barton was in France on loan. Joey took to Twitter as Joey does to blast whoever he feels like running down. In his series of tweets, Barton put the blame on gaffer, Mark Hughes and his stupid signings for the clubs demotion to the second tier.

Barton branded these players “maggots” and put the relegation on their shoulders. Many called Barton a hypocrite for his tweets as only a year earlier, he very nearly cost the club its place in the top flight with his own foolish antics.

At a later stage, Barton would take to Twitter again to state that his heart was with Marseille and that he would not be playing Championship football the next season, implying that he is better than that level of football. In the end, the midfielder made himself appear like an awful mug as only a matter of months later he was playing second tier football.

Barton continues to captain Rangers on a weekly basis and to be fair to him he has cleaned up his act in recent times. However, the 32 year old’s displays this season have been average at best and the once capped player for England needs to experience a pay cut.

Samba Diakite: £45,000 a week

Another player with Shaun Wright-Phillips syndrome and not featuring in many fixtures is Samba Diakite.

On 29 January 2012, Diakite made the move to Loftus Road from Nancy. The deal was originally a loan deal but it was turned permanent at the season’s end. But that’s where proceedings began to take a turn for the worst for the Malian holding midfielder. Since putting pen to paper on a full-time deal, Diakite has only made 14 club appearances for Rangers. The 26-year-old is yet to register a sole appearance this season.

 

There has not been an awful lot of Samba for the QPR faithful to see and there doesn’t look like there is going to be either. He has either been unavailable to play or just not in the manager’s plans. Diakite took time off two seasons ago, rumoured to be a result of a bout of depression, and has been on loan with Watford and more recently, Ittihad FC.

He is now back with the QPR squad but doesn’t look like he is going to be taking part in Premier League matches any time soon.

It may be in the Mali midfielder’s best interest to part ways with the club on a full-time basis in search of some regular playing time.

There were indeed a few other QPR players that were in contention to make this piece, but I’ve decided to go with some of the more obvious ones in my opinion.

QPR currently find themselves sitting in 17th place and just above the relegation zone, ahead of Aston Villa on goal difference. Rangers and their fans alike would kill to be in a more comfortable position, as far away from the relegation zone as realistically possible. A run of good form any time in the next few weeks certainly wouldn’t tarnish their chances of beating the dreaded drop.

In my opinion, an overhaul is needed at QPR. The club need to start bringing in more youngsters with potential and less fading stars who are living on past glories with bigger clubs. In hindsight, there needs to more of a balance between youth and experience.

At the moment, the older legs are outweighing the younger ones and it is showing, especially near the end of the games when the team appears to be tiring out quicker than the opposition.

And lest we not forget, lower the wage bill until you at least make a reasonable stab at finishing mid table at the bare minimum. Overpaying a bunch of washed up stars isn’t going to cut it any longer.

Author Details

James Nolan

I love to play football, coach football and most importantly write about football. I ply my trade for Wicklow Rovers in the Leinster Senior League and coach a team in the same club. I write for my local newspaper, the Wicklow/Bray People where I provide coverage of local soccer, as well as BackPageFootball.Com.

10 thoughts on “Who’s robbing the bank at QPR?

  1. Points are better backed up with examples. I used Bosingwa as an example to back up my point that QPR have been and continue to buy and pay players based on name value and what they’ve achieved at other clubs. No an update is not needed. As for Zamora’s wage, plenty of research tells me that is what he is earning on a weekly basis. Thanks for your comment though

  2. Why would you even bother writing an article describing what QPR was like 2 years ago, and then not describing the change that has since been starting to happen is beyond me?.

    As I said, this article covers our situation 2 years ago perfectly – not a problem with that. The players you’ve mentioned as currently at the club earning high wages, apart from Ferdinand, have all been at the club before, or during Mark Hughes reign. But there’s no mention of how Redknapp stripped our team of most of our deadwood, including most of the players you’ve mentioned above such as Boswinga, Granero and Park. In terms of transfers, in the summer we brought in young players who had performed admirably in the league last season for teams that were unfortunately relegated. Players such as Jordon Mutch (aged 22), Steven Caulker (aged 22), Jack Robinson (aged 21) Therefore, statements such as “In my opinion, an overhaul is needed at QPR. The club need to start bringing in more youngsters with potential and less fading stars who are living on past glories with bigger clubs.” are actually redundant. These changes in policy have already happened.

    Couple this with the fact you failed to report on how the club is in fact changing. Actions such as bringing in Les Ferdinand, and our now manager Chris Ramsey, who have immediately stated that the club do not focus enough on our youth players and that they are currently trying to give the club that identity which will help us to sustain PL status and push on, rather than importing players such as the players I mentioned above, we are re-moulding the club the produce players through our EDS system. This not only helps us “manufacture” ourselves some young, talented, profitable players that can step into our first team already knowing our philosophy, it also lowers our wage bill. I believe that addresses your final point of the article, that we should “lower the wage bill until you at least make a reasonable stab at finishing mid table at the bare minimum.” Well that is our latest aim through this method. Has clearly been so since December, arguably before then.

    To conclude, I agree fully with all of your points on how the club should change how we acted 2 years ago. What I disagree with is the blind, lazy reporting the general media seem to so enthusiastically stick with, in that we are a club that throws money at old players and that we’re in a crisis. I don’t mean to come across overly harsh, but the truth of that matter is, we are sorting this crisis. Please report on that, rather than outdated news.

  3. Hi Harry, thanks for your comment. I did state in the early stages of the article that the so called “outdated” news of Rangers signing and paying older stars large amounts of cash is an ongoing issue and actually the Ferdinand signing is an example. Yes, Harry did do better regards signing younger talent, but look at the names you’ve listed; Robinson is on loan, Mutch has departed the club after only six months. Caulker is the only player of the three that can be rated right now.

    Basically, the whole point of these pieces are to state which players are earning too much money and why I feel they’re earning too much. I just use where the club is at now for the introduction. Now, if I was doing a full piece solely on today’s QPR, I would be listing positives and negatives. As with opinion pieces, not everyone is going to agree, especially fans of the team in question.

    However, I respect your opinions and I don’t believe you were harsh. I don’t mind when people disagree once they can express their opinions in a civil manner, like you did.

  4. Very fair response.
    Its tough for a QPR fan at this present time because no matter how hard the club tries to change, the media still want us to be portrayed as our 12/13 team.
    Clearly though, through your article, you can see that although Redknapp did a fantastic job in clearing out a lot of the overpaid rubbish, there are clearly some that remain. Our wage bill is a lot, lot lower now though, can assure you of that

  5. Zamora is on £15k per week. He had been on £60k but that deal ended in the Summer. He spoke to Millwall but decided to stay with the super hoops (presumably because £15k is more than Millwall offered). No idea if he is earning more if he plays or how his bonuses work out.

  6. James, I’m a bit disappointed that you haven’t seen fit to publish my response to your article.
    Journalism in the UK is based on the principle of free speech and it’s not good form to block responses unless they are inciting some kind of violence or are personally insulting. Mine was neither of these. In fact it was a measured response almost identical to Harry’s response above highlighting similar flaws in your argument.
    Can you explain why you have blocked it’s publication?
    This isn’t China. You should be encouraging debate, not stifling it.

  7. I happened to have read your comment before it was removed Stewart and it wasn’t exactly the friendliest of comments. “Poorly written article. Must try harder”. That’s just being all out bitter for no reason. There is nothing wrong with how the article is written and it reads quite well in fact.

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