QPR spending risks financial calamity, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United manager warns players' wages and agent fees will cause meltdown if Rangers are relegated

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned ahead of Manchester United's match at bottom-of-the-table Queen's Park Rangers that the lucrative contracts being paid by clubs desperate to stay in the Premier League risk financial calamity after relegation to the Championship.

Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, was the biggest spender in the January transfer window with the £12.5m signing Chris Samba, for whom previous manager Mark Hughes refused to meet £100,000-a-week wage demands, considered crucial to the survival fight. The Rangers owner, Tony Fernandes, has insisted that Samba is not earning a six-figure weekly sum at Loftus Road, though it will have been a lucrative deal to entice him from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and his wage level will remain the same if Rangers are relegated, which may make it difficult to move him on.

"The players' contracts is where the [real spending] issue lies [for struggling clubs]," said Ferguson, for whom Phil Jones is a major doubt today. "Some will be on very good contracts in the Premier League and dropping into the Championship, how the motivation starts is very difficult I would imagine. Clubs have to pay their contracts. The only place you want to be is the Premier League and that's reflected in QPR spending the money they have done and other clubs also."

Rangers' dependency on agents to bring in players prompted the former United captain Gary Neville to argue, in a thoughtful newspaper column this week, that the individual wages of players and their agents should be published. Ferguson said he agreed with Neville, though was not convinced such a system was workable. "I don't see it doing any harm," the manager said. "It might highlight to the public how ridiculous it can be for some agents to make the money they do. But I don't think that will ever change. Once there's a transfer window, agents will make money. They are there and they are not going away I'm afraid. We'd like to see them go away but that won't happen."

Neville questioned the practice of agents "hanging round youth games" in order to gain influence on players and expressed concern the game was heading for a crisis he likened to the banking scandals. He argued for greater transparency. "Firstly, publish the wages of players, as they do in the US sports, so there is no mystique about salaries," he said. "Secondly, as well as publishing how much a club spend on agents – as the Football League and Premier League do every year – break down those fees to the individual agents and their companies.'"

Ferguson did not hold out huge hope that Redknapp can rescue Rangers from the drop. "It might have helped them if he'd gone there a bit earlier but they are where they are and it's not easy down at the bottom," he said. "Harry would be the first to admit that. But with his experience and his ability to judge players then he will have a better chance than most in that situation."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola, writes Ian Herbert
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Zoë Ball says having her two children was the best thing ever to happen to her
voices Thank you Zoë Ball for saying what all parents are afraid to admit...
Sport
Tim Sherwood celebrates after Aston Villa open the scoring against West Brom
football
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn