Queen’s Park Rangers have entrusted Chris Ramsey with the task of taking them back up from the Championship next season.
Ramsey has been in charge at Loftus Road since Harry Redknapp’s surprise resignation in early February, overseeing three wins, two draws, nine defeats and Rangers’ second relegation in three years.
But the QPR chairman, Tony Fernandes, said on Tuesday what a good impression Ramsey had made during his three months in charge, and trusted that he was the man to turn the club around.
“When Chris took over the role we were already in a very difficult position,” Fernandes said. “Yet despite our relegation, we as a board have been impressed with the professionalism and attention to detail he has demonstrated since becoming head coach.
“He lives and breathes management and coaching, and I am sure he will flourish in this role as we look to bounce back from this season’s disappointments.”
Ramsey faces a difficult job at Loftus Road trying to prepare the squad for the challenge of the Championship in 2015-16. While he has impressed many of the players with his coaching methods so far, that is not likely to be enough to keep many of them at Loftus Road.
The core of this year’s team are keen to leave, with Joey Barton not signing a new deal, Richard Dunne considering retirement and Rob Green and Charlie Austin both likely to be sold to Premier League sides.
There is a new emphasis at QPR on youth development, especially under director of football Les Ferdinand. Ramsey is likely to field teenagers such as Darnell Furlong and Reece Grego-Cox next season.
Ferdinand’s comments on Tuesday suggested that long-term development was as important to Rangers as immediate promotion.
He said of Ramsey: “His coaching methods and techniques are second to none. With an opportunity to work with his own squad going forward, he is the ideal candidate for the role in terms of our new philosophy of nurturing young talent and promoting from within.”
“Rebuilding the club is our first target. If we can make an immediate return to the Premier League, then great, but we have to focus on re-establishing the traditions of QPR. That will take time, but in Chris we have a man who is relishing the challenge that lies ahead.”
Rangers face the added complication of the threat of a £50m fine from the Football League for breaching its financial fair play regulations for the 2013-14 season, in which Redknapp’s Rangers were promoted from the Championship via the play-offs. QPR are taking legal action against the Football League’s FFP rules, which is going to independent arbitration.
They are looking to have the punishment thrown out, but if they are not successful they will have to pay for the right to play in the Championship next season. There is no serious prospect, though, of the club not playing in that division next season.
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