A prudent approach By Mikey Howard
Having been a Rangers Fan for the best part of my life it really hurts me to write the following. Having said that, if we as supporters didn't `t voice our opinions, there would be no progress in the sport.
The sad reality is that the "beautiful game" has been ruined by Agents (whom I hold mainly responsible), prima donnas from abroad and players (foreign or domestic) who think they are something they are not! I admit that certain foreign players like RVP, Remy, Michu and a host of others bring an element of technique and excitement to the English game. Having said that, there are far too many players that use our shores as a fast-track way of earning big money for doing very little on the pitch! Such is the case this season at Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
Our beloved club has been usurped by a group of players who don`t give a toss about the badge, the tradition or the deep-rooted love that us supporters have for the club. Fact! Do they care that the majority of supporters who work their arses off day after day just so they can go to "Church"? No! Fact! Do they care that supporters travel all over the country to see their beloved Hoops? No! Fact! If they did, we wouldn`t be in the position we are in now or, at least, would be going down with a fight with all guns blazing! But, no. How many times this season have we seen a team of players only turning up for 45 minutes whether it be the first or the second 45 minutes? Far too many times. Fact!
So where did it all go wrong?
A lot of people I know in and out of the sporting world have levelled the blame at Mark Hughes' doorstep. And, rightly so. What that man did to our club is unforgivable in my opinion. He was offered a lot of money by Tony Fernandes and went out on a shopping spree that my ex would have been proud of. (And that`s saying something !) In retrospect, was that panic buying or just a solid belief that those certain players would actually bring something to the club ? I I fear (as now has been proved) it was the former rather than the latter ! But, why ? The nucleus of our Championship winning side was virtually intact. And how proud of them were we when we secured promotion to the top flight ?!!! They gave everything for the badge and the fans. They were sublime. Anyway, exit Warnock...enter Hughes. And down the slippery, grassy slope we went.
As we all know, things got no better from Hughes and his new band of merry men ! Defeat after defeat. Supporters struggling in a domestic financial crisis and yet still showing their loyalty to the club by (somehow) finding the money to get into W12 or travel away on top of paying their bills and feeding their families. They are the real heroes of Queens Park Rangers Football Club in the 2012/13 season.
Enter Queens Park Rangers v Everton at W12. Felaini was suspended for that match and Pienaar was red-carded. Everton down to 10 men - missing their mid-field general and their top striker. We still couldn`t win ! That was the point I personally had a Twitter debate with TF saying that MH should go with immediate effect otherwise we COULD suffer the ultimate penalty. A few months down the line...well, we all know the consequences.
Whilst on the above subject, I would like to point out something with regards to some fans having a go at Phil Beard. TF was at the Circuit of the Americas for the American Grand Prix on the weekend that MH got sacked. Instead of flying direct to London to sort out the turmoil at W12 he, instead, elected to fly home to Kuala Lumpur and even tweeted saying: "I`m on the plane with a lot of thinking to do." Phil Beard and the rest of the board acted and sacked MH. So, those levelling blame at Phil should maybe get the facts right. To be honest, if TF had gone direct to London from Austin, Texas, would Hughes have been in charge for even longer?
We all know that `Arry is the Gordon Ramsey of the footballing world. He is a genius at saving teams. His past record proves that. But, he was brought in too late and expected to do something that even Moses parting the Red Sea would have found difficult! There again, look at his results at W12. He came into a club that had a split dressing room,; players left and right who had axes to grind due to the wages of certain players. Talk about the loyal Rangers players being given a right kick in the boll*cks! He turned us into a unit. And then, the inevitable happened: The position of the club at that time made certain players think, "We are not Rangers at heart so we will just go out, kick the ball around, display a couple of skills, then go home and put our feet up because at the end of the day, I`m only here for the money so who gives a f**k!" Most Rangers supporters will agree with me on the that if their FB comments are to be taken seriously.
So, what is the way forward ?
In my opinion, forget the new stadium unless we are CONVINCED that we will get automatic promotion next season ! Like Cookie says in his excellent video, "A club the size of QPR cannot afford the wages that are in place," A good point. An even better point is, if we go down to the Championship how the hell are we going to fill a 35,000 all-seater stadium when we only averaged 13/14k at W12 in the Championship ?
My advice - and it is just my advice - hold onto W12, See how we fair next season and if we do go back up, we have the fortress of W12 as a nucleus to build on a new stadium should we stay in the top flight come 2014/15. To me that is the prudent approach !