After a disastrous return to the Barclays Premier League, Queen's Park Rangers are beginning a major overhaul of their first team squad - six players have already left, with others expected to follow, while two signings have been completed and others are in the pipeline.
Having been promoted to the Premier League at the end of 2013/14 thanks to Bobby Zamora's last minute winner against Derby, QPR are set to return to the Championship, escaping the Football League ban threatened after breaches of financial fair play rules.
With 30 points from 38 games and a goal difference of -31, the worst in the division, which left them 20th in the league, QPR's management board have unsurprisingly been considering the future of the squad. Action has been taken already.
Six players have been released in order to cut down the wage bill (Joey Barton, Rio Ferdinand, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bobby Zamora, Richard Dunne and Brian Murphy. Meanwhile, Karl Henry, Alejandro Faurlin and Clint Hill are out of contract, although the club has told them they are still welcome in the team.
Additionally loanees Eduardo Vargas, Mauricio Isla, Mauro Zárate and Niko Kranjčar are have returned to their respective clubs.
Ins and outs
They are also likely to lose several in-contract players; star striker Charlie Austin has been heavily linked with a £10m move to Southampton, Rob Green is a reported target for arch-rivals Chelsea, Matty Phillips has been linked with a transfer away from Loftus Road and there has been some speculation that Dutchman Leroy Fer desires to play in the top flight. So, that's up to 17 players who could leave Rangers in the summer. It's clear that something of an overhaul is underway.
However, there are reasons for QPR fans to be positive regarding transfers. They have already finalised the signings of promising Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo and winger Ben Gladwin, they are set to complete the signing of classy forward Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and have confirmed interest in a deal for Swansea full back Jazz Richards as a potential replacement for loanee Mauricio Isla.
As if those deals weren't enough, manager Chris Ramsey is said to be targeting a monumental eight new signings before the transfer window snaps shut. So, while they may have just endured one of their worst seasons to date (although it can't be as bad as 2012/13, can it?), and are in severe danger of losing their best players, Chris Ramsey certainly isn't hanging around with the transfer business.
One of the main reasons for this could well be because he knows the opportunity to spend may be taken away before the end of the window. This is, of course, because QPR have been threatened with a £58m fine for breaching financial fair play regulations. It's perhaps wise to get the most important deals done before these demands are issued, should QPR's legal action not prevent it.
So, if QPR can keep some of their best players (I've given up on Charlie Austin, but Rob Green, Matty Phillips and Leroy Fer are persuadable), keep injury-prone players like Raniere Sandro, try to finally get some good football out of Adel Taarabt, avoid a huge financial crisis and continue this spending spree, it may not all remain doom and gloom for the R's.
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