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QPR Chairman hits back at suggestions they could be next Portsmouth


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Here's a question, what have Portsmouth and QPR got in common? Both clubs have turned to Harry Redknapp in a time of crisis. Some would say Redknapp worked miracles at Portsmouth, saving them from relegation and winning the FA Cup - others might be more circumspect in their assessment of his tenure at Portsmouth after he was allowed to bring in a whole squad on big money.

Given that Redknapp has been allowed to spend more than any other Premier League manager bar Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers this month, many are wondering if the West London club have gone a step too far.

But, chairman Tony Fernandes says the Premier League' bottom club 'will not become a Portsmouth'.He has strongly defended the club’s spending in the January transfer window and denied he has acted “recklessly” insisting there is a “sensible” business plan in place.

The Malaysian entrepreneur said that if QPR were relegated from the Premier League it would not lead to a financial meltdown.

“I’m an accountant, I run businesses. We are sensible with what we are doing,” Fernandes said, claiming that the club’s wage bill had actually been reduced in January, because of the number of players who had gone out on loan, and despite the arrival of high-earners Christopher Samba, for £12.5 million, and Loïc Rémy for £7 million. On the pair, Fernandes denied that Samba was being paid as much as £100,000-a-week and insisted that the defender would stay at the club should they be relegated – and did have a clause in his contract reducing his salary. Rémy, however, would be sold.

“If you analyse it we haven’t spent that much money on transfers and as for our wage bill, when I look at other clubs when they put their results out then ours is not too bad and there is now value in the squad,” Fernandes said. “I don’t think there is any recklessness there.” Nevertheless he conceded that owning a football club was a “gamble”.

“No one can guarantee anything in football,” he added. “But you try to minimise the risk as much as possible and that’s where the expertise of the management comes in and they say 'this is what we need to survive’ and you look at it and if it makes sense then the board and myself support it.

“Anyone who says we are gambling then, of course, we are.” It is the degree of that gamble that matters and Fernandes has been irked by the criticism he has faced – that he is playing fast and loose with the club’s future and its finances, that relegation from the Premier League could lead to a Portsmouth-style administration.

QPR remain bottom of the Premier League after a home draw with Norwich on saturday. QPR could have collected a vital three points but Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn's saved a second-half penalty from Adel Taarabt. QPR remain six points adrift of safety.


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