Queens Park Rangers, one of London’s many professional soccer teams, finds itself in a very peculiar situation going into next season. Having been promoted to England’s top division just two seasons ago after dominating the Championship league, they made it immediately clear that they did not belong with the super-clubs of England. A dismal campaign in which QPR lacked a major goal supplier saw them barely miss the relegation zone at the end of the 2011-2012 season, as the Rangers desperately clung to 17th place and prayed for a better start this year.
Then something interesting happened, and it seemed as if their prayers had been answered. The club was taken over by millionaire Tony Fernandes and was injected with massive amounts of funds. (This is becoming more and more common these days, with many tycoons wanting to get involved in the world’s most popular sport and a potential business opportunity. ) The question is, how did the team spend its new found wealth? The answer: boy did they do a terrible job. It was as if an impoverished young child who hadn’t eaten in a week had just walked into an all you can eat buffet. Blinded by their wealth, they began a series of transfers in which they replaced most of the squad that had gotten them into the Premier League.
In soccer, there is a very important factor in how well your team plays, which QPR management never figured out. It’s called chemistry! This represents the communication and understanding that a group of players have with each other, and if none of the players speak the same language, guess what? Their chemistry will suck. Possibly my favorite statistic of the past season is that for most of the season, QPR had a chosen starting lineup that featured 11 players from 11 different countries. Most of the players couldn’t even have a conversation with each other, let alone play soccer. That my friends, is a catastrophe. When you have Taarabt from Morocco dribbling down the middle with his teammate Park shouting for the ball in Korean, confusion and chaos is the only possible result. The odd thing is though, the team is full of incredibly talented players because of the enormous wealth of the team. The result of the season, however, was relegation. This brings us on to the real disaster that QPR will have to deal with as they prepare to start next season back in a lower division.
As it stands now, QPR has at least six or seven very talented players with the likes of Remy and Mbia heading into the summer transfer window. They have invested millions and millions of dollars in these players in the hopes that they will catapult their team to mid- table of the Premier League. But what happens when a group of talented players finds their team headed down a division? They all leave! All the money the team spent investing in these talents could very well go to waste this summer, as no great player wants to play out of the top division. Analogy time: Most of the time, when people hit the jackpot in the lottery, they get caught up in their wealth and they go broke. This is exactly the situation that QPR has put itself in. After spending so much money on players, they forgot to account for chemistry and now all those players will want to leave.
My prediction: After a season drowned in spending, most of the top players will realize they still have enough talent to be playing in the top level of soccer and request transfers. There is just no way that a player like Remy is going to stay with a team destined for the Championship division. QPR could very well find themselves empty handed and hopeless come the start of next season.