Tim Sherwood path to QPR job smoothed after Les Ferdinand is named director of football

The pair worked together at Tottenham and look to be re-united at Loftus Road following the departure of Harry Redknapp

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The Independent Football

Tim Sherwood being named manager of QPR looks to be a step closer after it was announced Les Ferdinand had been made director of football at Loftus Road.

Ferdinand was already at the struggling club but a re-structuring of the coaching team is taking place following the shock departure of Harry Redknapp.

The club's former striker returned to Loftus Road last October as head of football operations but has been given a new position that appears to pave the way for Sherwood coming in as manager.

The departures of Glenn Hoddle and Joe Jordan have also been confirmed.

Former Tottenham head coach Sherwood worked alongside Ferdinand and another existing QPR coach, Chris Ramsey, during his time at White Hart Lane.

Bookmakers have Sherwood down as the favourite for the role.

Redknapp gave extensive interviews yesterday in which he cited his upcoming knee surgery as the key reason behind his decision to leave the club who are 19th in the Premier League with 15 games left to play. The Independent understands that he had been mulling over the decision for more than a month as the team has struggled badly.

Redknapp denied that the club’s failure to agree a single permanent deal for a new player in the last transfer window – they signed Mauro Zarate on loan and Ryan Manning from Galway United on a free – was a major factor in his decision. Yet, by the time of the deadline on Monday night the club’s reluctance it make any major signings had spelled out to him their attitude on his future.

Ferdinand’s power at QPR is considerable. As well as his input into appointing the new manager he is charged with building a better infrastructure for the club including the academy which has failed to produce a single player for the first team in some time – Raheem Sterling was sold before he could make a senior debut – despite an excellent catchment area.

Owner Tony Fernandes said in a statement announcing Ferdinand's change of job: "I've been really impressed with the job Les has done in his short time here and as such I am keen for his role to evolve, with the clear mandate of assisting us in developing and evolving the footballing department, from the academy to the first team.

"This is a new strategy for us. Our recruitment policy at QPR is changing.

"We want to develop a philosophy of buying young, hungry players, who can go on to forge decent careers with us.

"Premier League survival is our priority in the short term, but in the medium and long term we want to make sure everything is in place, from the academy upwards, to create a culture and philosophy within the club that QPR fans can be proud of.

"Les bleeds blue and white and working closely with the first team and academy management, particularly in recruitment, he is going to play a key role in moving us forward over the coming months and years."

Former England, QPR, Tottenham and Newcastle striker Ferdinand is relishing his latest challenge.

"Everyone knows what this club means to me and if anything the last few months have only enhanced the feelings I have for QPR," the 48-year-old said.

"Working closely with Tony and the Board, I can assure QPR fans that they are desperate to create a lasting legacy at Loftus Road and the role of Director of Football will be hugely important in terms of where we want to take this club in the future.

"Some of the management courses I've taken over the last few years were with a role like this in mind, so I couldn't be more delighted."

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