As Harry Redknapp prepares for the January transfer window that will make or break Queen's Park Rangers, two of his senior players have warned that wild spending is precisely what has brought the club to its knees.
Clint Hill has been at Loftus Road for two years, a time in which QPR have changed managers, divisions, owners and personnel at a giddying pace. Last summer, Mark Hughes signed a dozen players, including two goalkeepers, that has provoked an internal club inquiry into how it came to spend £6.8m on agents' fees. Almost 30 players joined or left QPR in the 12 months to September and only five of those summer signings started a frenetic 2-2 draw at Wigan on Saturday, as Rangers still seek their first league win this season.
"I have seen loads come and loads go," said Hill. "Constant upheavals in the transfer market are not the way to do it. Throwing money right, left and centre sometimes doesn't work. You have got to stick with people and try to get the best out of their ability."
Rob Green was one of those 12 brought in by Hughes only to learn from television that he was to be replaced by the vastly expensive Julio Cesar, whom Internazionale were offloading to reduce their wage bill. "It hasn't helped having so many new players, even though I am one of them," said Green whose heroics earned Rangers their third straight draw under Redknapp. "I don't want to sound like a member of Ukip but with so many different nations, cultures and languages, it takes time to gel." Hughes' sacking was, Green said, "something that had to be addressed".
Redknapp admitted that salvaging the club would be his greatest achievement, better than rescuing Ports-mouth in 2006. "They were cut adrift and they were a really poor team," he said, but Pompey had won two games when he took over in December 2005. Redknapp has no truck with those like Julio Cesar and Esteban Granero, a £9m signing from Real Madrid, whose performances have not matched their reputations.
Redknapp may look to bring in Robbie Keane on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy. "You need lads who are going to roll their sleeves up for you," he added. "Some of this squad may have won the Champions League but they obviously haven't performed to their potential – you don't go this many games without a win if you have. I am not under pressure and people ain't stupid."
They know where the blame lies.