QPR director of football Les Ferdinand remains confident the club are now moving in the right direction again having taken the time to develop valuable home-grown assets.
The Hoops continue to manage the fallout from a breach of the English Football League’s Financial Fair Play regulations for overspending during the 2013-14 season which saw them promoted to the Premier League.
Having reached a settlement worth almost £42million, which included a repayment schedule as well serving a transfer ban and outstanding loans being converted into shares, QPR are slowly looking to the future – and one based around talented youth.
Earlier this week, the club announced Ryan Manning, 23, and Bright Osayi-Samuel, 22, had both extended their contracts.
Midfielder Eberechi Eze, 21, has enjoyed a standout campaign for Mark Warburton’s side, scoring 11 goals, and 22-year-old Moroccan Ilias Chair is another to have caught the eye.
Former England striker Ferdinand, who spent eight years at QPR as a player, accepts there had to be a dramatic shift in focus after the club suffered relegation from the top flight for the second time in three years when they went down in 2015.
“We have not really contested going up and getting promoted, and I think people understand the reasons for that,” Ferdinand told the PA news agency.
“There are some supporters who won’t understand it, because they want us to compete, but there are a lot of people who understand we had to take a couple of steps backwards before we go forwards again.
“We would like to think we are taking steps in the right direction again now.
“We have got rid of all the high earners, we have players who have become assets rather than coming here, earning (wages), then walking out the door and we have got nothing back in return.”
Ferdinand continued: “With the Financial Fair Play regulations which everyone in the Championship has to abide by now, most clubs are the same – you have to bring managers in who can coach to get the best out of the young players, because at times you are going to have to sell some of your assets.
“That is just the reality of where all the clubs are now in the Championship.
“For us to move forwards as a club and be progressive, you are going to have to sell one or two assets.”
Despite understanding the harsh reality of needing to “balance the books”, Ferdinand, 53, feels there are plenty of positives ahead, with the club still holding onto ambitions for a new training ground.
“We are bringing in these young players to first and foremost help QPR progress and to do well, but at the same time we are trying to create assets for the football club, which historically we always had,” Ferdinand added.
“We are certainly hoping in the short-term, not the long-term, that we can give Mark a squad which he looks at and thinks, ‘yeah, I can have a real good push this season.’”
:: Les Ferdinand is a Prostate Cancer UK ambassador, helping to support the charity’s Football to Amsterdam bike ride which will take place from June 5 to 7. For more information, go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam