I’m beginning to think Flavio Briatore has been the smartest QPR chairman over the last two decades.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the madcap racing car fan had Hoops tattooed on his ample Mediterranean bronzed chest.
I’m saying he made a personal financial fist of an organisation that has cut industrial swathes into smart men’s fortunes.
Line up Chris Wright, Briatore and Tony Fernandes, and it’s pretty easy to see who came away with the fattest pocket.
This week, the finger of blame for Rs second Premier League demise in three seasons is pointing in all directions.
Harry Redknapp is going to have wait for a due rap on the knuckles, but never more appropriate was the old joke about making a small fortune in football because you have just lost a big one.
Fernandes is a multi-millionaire because he made shrewd decisions in the airline industry. But just about everything he’s done at QPR failed to get off the ground excepting one lucky Championship play-off final.
Admittedly, he inherited a group of players not fit for purpose including the checkered QPR career of Joey Barton.
Even then the club made the mistake of listening to the likes of the current captain and other senior pros that did for Neil Warnock’s tenure as boss.
You can’t blame Mark Hughes for sticking his hand up next, but how did Fernandes then allow Sparky to sign Julio Cesar just after he secured Robert Green?
Dealing with the club just about every week for the last 15 seasons, the impression left is the Brazilian keeper was handed to Hughes rather than the other way round. While here, Ji-sung Park anyone?
And on it went.
List and reason away the poor signings since August 2011 after Rangers returned to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years, and this column would run out of space long before the last name.
Other clubs get it wrong of course.
But staring at the Premier League table, maybe, and even then Mike Ashley has kept a grip on his loot, only Newcastle compare in terms of investment over return.
Redknapp straight-faced opined the team relegated on Sunday was a ‘Championship’ team - not quite, Harry.
Fernandes allowed his former boss to spend £61million in transfers alone in Harry's two years with Rangers - never mind the wages for the likes of Rio Ferdinand and an ever revolving door of loanees, where one, Oguchi Onyewu, never set foot on a first-team pitch.
Fernandes is a decent bloke; good company, friendly, open, and down to earth.
You would want to sit down with him and share a glass and a chinwag. But only now, or maybe January might be more accurate, did he finally wise up.
He held on to the money and returned to steely business principles knowing like most of us that another decent set of blokes were not good enough for the Premier League. Surely better the drop than looking like financial mugs yet again?
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