Queen's Park Rangers' manager and chairman, Harry Redknapp and Tony Fernandes, went on the defensive yesterday to justify the club's transfer window spending. Both insisted the club's future was not being placed in jeopardy even should the relegation battle be lost, a possibility which grew after Saturday's goalless draw at home to Norwich left them six points adrift of safety with 13 matches remaining.
Since promotion in 2011, QPR have brought in 31 players spending around £50m in fees. A large chunk went last month on Christopher Samba and Loïc Rémy but Redknapp argued: "They are good players. The club's invested, but at the end of the season, if it doesn't go well, they will get their money back on those players. I have not bought players who are crap, that we can't give away.
"Everyone is going on about Samba. If you want to sell Samba at the end of the season you can. He should be playing for a top-four team. He is a monster of a player. He is as quick as lightning. Fantastic in the air. He can play. That £12m could be £14m at the end of the season. So they have not done their money on Samba.
"We got Rémy for £7m. If he can score a few goals here, he will be worth £12m. I tried to buy him for £18m [for Tottenham] last year." Redknapp added of the two players he had taken from his old club, loanee Andros Townsend is on £3,000 a week and Jermaine Jenas "doesn't come to a lot of money". That probably applies to Tal Ben Haim too while South Korea's Yun Suk-young should pay for himself through marketing.
Nevertheless, there is a slight air of desperation. Fernandes said QPR tried to buy Samba in the last two transfer windows – but that is primarily because they made smaller bids then.
Samba, added Fernandes, is on 'around £65,000-a-week' not the £100,000 reported, though there was no mention of what bonuses he may be in line for.
The chairman added: "A seven-year plan has been put in place. If we go down we are prepared and know what we have to do to come back up. We are businessmen and passionate about the club and we are not going to risk its future."
All the same, it was hard not to compare and contrast when Norwich's Chris Hughton spoke of how impressed he was at how his directors run their club, and never forgot City were close to administration a few years ago.
Redknapp began with Samba and Townsend but was unable to call on Remy who has suffered a groin injury, the extent of which will be determined today. That was significant because while Redknapp has shored up the defence they are struggling to score which is why a seven-match unbeaten run has produced just two wins. On Saturday they coud not even score from the spot, Mark Bunn denying Adel Taarabt.
Substitutions: QPR Zamora 7 (Wright-Phillips, 54), Jenas 6 (Mbia, 69), Ben Haim (Fabio, 74). Norwich E Bennett 6 (Pilkington, 24), Becchio (Hoolahan, 87).
Bookings: QPR Mbia, Hill. Norwich Garrido, Bunn, Tettey, Turner, Bassong.
Man of the match Townsend. Match rating 6/10.
Possession: QPR 50%. Norwich 50%.
Attempts on target: QPR 5. Norwich 6.
Referee J Moss (West Yorkshire).