by Adam Boxer
A question of priorities is a question that Queens Park Rangers simply don’t seem to have an answer for at the moment, whether it is getting excited over a new media suite or extending the commentary gantry by a few yards, it’s not necessarily top of the fans’ wish list at the moment.
That is not to say that fans are always correct, as supporters we can be somewhat single-minded in our view of the club’s financial policy. Evidently as a support we would rather see Neil Warnock’s transfer plans backed over the comfort and infrastructure of Loftus Road.
The question currently lies with the club’s priorities at present. There is little question that Warnock is working feverishly behind the scenes to make additions to his squad, but quite how much backing he has from the hierarchy to do this is open to debate.
You only have to listen to the ramblings of Barry Fry – not for too long mind – to discover that something is going amiss behind the scenes in W12. When you consider that Craig Mackail-Smith snubbed Premier League football for Brighton & Hove Albion.
That is not to detract in any sense from a tremendous job that Gus Poyet has done with the newly-promoted Seagulls, but moreover it seems disappointing that QPR as a Premier League club couldn’t match the same levels of ambition.
So we move back to the question of priorities, where does the loyalty lie for the Loftus Road hierarchy and is there any pragmatic financial sense in continuing down the path of financial prudency when it comes to strengthening.
No QPR supporter is suggesting an entire overhaul, the team spirit that carried the champions over the line last term could be the deciding factor in how the R’s keep their Premier League place, but nevertheless fresh faces and extra quality are required.
Later last week we posed the question of whether selling Adel Taarabt would improve Rangers’ activity in the transfer market, but in truth any amount of compensation from a multi-million pound sale would have to go a long way to replace what is in essence a game changer in Taarabt.
So it begs the question therefore, why are the present owners holding back on spending money that is deemed universally necessary. Are they expecting a formidable take-over bid? – Then why would they make plush additions beyond what is mandatory for the country’s media?
The obsession in previous seasons under a Briatore regime has been with prestige and a penchant for glamour, and only when this image was dispelled did QPR start to truly make headway on the field. On the face of things it would seem that the club is in a spell of regression.
This glitz and glamour is once again appearing to take precedent over the core basics that QPR did so well executing next season. The right manager, the right tactics, the right calibre of players – but now it appears that was a fast-track vehicle for Briatore to dine at football’s top table.
Should Warnock be backed in the transfer market over the coming weeks then that would help soften the blow on him missing out on top targets – but the highly-documented loss of targets such as Danny Graham and the aforementioned Mackail-Smith rather suggests that the clock is ticking.
Whether or not the board with stretch to meeting Jay Bothroyd’s wages are open to debate, and from a point of view of a supporter it is difficult not to be cynical about the introduction of any players of note prior to the window closing.
The most disappointing scenario about the whole equation is that I feel deflated as a fan, when I should be excited about the first season in the top flight since 1996. Knowing that the club’s hierarchy don’t share that enthusiasm and relish the challenge as much as I did in April is a marker of where I believe the club to be at present.
Spending a little of the income created by promotion, regardless of the club’s actual turnover, would be a calculated gamble and would give QPR a fighting chance of safety, but at present pessimism appears to have gripped a fanbase that should be bursting with excitement.