James Lawton: Harry Redknapp must hold his nerve, and take his share of blame for Queen's Park Rangers' relegation

 

Harry Redknapp is not so short of achievement it is necessary for him to side-step any blame in the disaster of Queen's Park Rangers, which is something even his warmest admirers have to admit was the thrust of his comments after Sunday's dismal denouement of a campaign which came to represent all that is worst in English football.

Redknapp suggests that he can revamp the club, put its house in reasonable order and make a serious challenge for a swift return to the Premier League.

This is fair enough if you manage to skip over the fact that his hands were left in something less than pristine condition by his own lurch into the transfer market in January. The signings of Loïc Rémy and Christopher Samba were ostensibly good ideas but the deeper problem was that Redknapp had to create the beginnings of a new culture.

He failed, of course, but those who appreciated his work at Tottenham, who saw an old football head with the capacity to get the best out of some very accomplished players, have reason to believe that he may have more success at Loftus Road second time around.

This, though, will only be possible if his nerve holds – and chairman Tony Fernandes understands that heavy financial losses will have to be absorbed if QPR can indeed begin to resemble a reasonably well-ordered football club.

Meanwhile, the Premier and the Football Leagues need to face up to the need for reform that runs far deeper than those of the Financial Fair Play regulations imposed by Uefa.

QPR, Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth, and now the free-falling Wolves, are painful examples of what happens at clubs when the devil has so much scope to make free with the hindmost.

Across the Atlantic, where professional sport has the uncanny knack of providing competition which offers opportunity for more than just a few centres of power, there are so many lessons to be learned. They start with the basic requirement of salary and budget caps.

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