QPR chief Ferdinand hits back at critics

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand has hit back at his critics, insisting the way the club is being run is “not the Les Ferdinand show”.

Ferdinand has been the subject of strong criticism recently from some sections of supporters during a lengthy managerial search following the decision to part ways with former boss Mark Warburton.

Warburton was axed after a dreadful run of form to end the season, while a lack of opportunity for the club’s academy players under his management also played a part in his departure.

Michael Beale was named as the club’s new head coach earlier this week.

And discussing the managerial search, Ferdinand told the club website: “I’ve heard that it’s ‘Les’ agenda’. It’s not my agenda. This is not the Les Ferdinand show.

“Of course we’d all be happy if we had millions of pounds to spend but this is the way we simply have to operate.

“Financial fair play dictates what we’re able to do. For us, and the resource we have, being self-sufficient means we have to develop players.

“It’s about bringing the likes of Eze through the door. In an ideal world, we’d have loved to keep Ebere, but we couldn’t because selling him made the most financial sense for the football club.

“The facts speak for themselves. If I left this football club tomorrow, I’d like to think that it’s in a better place than it was when I came through the door in terms of the culture we now have here, the structure in place and the way we develop players.”

Establishing a wider pathway into the first team for the club’s young players will be a key part of Beale’s remit as QPR boss given his background in youth development at Chelsea and Liverpool.

But Ferdinand insists he is realistic about the involvement of young players in the first team, while he also wants the team to build on last season’s 11th-placed finish.

“We’re not saying we want a team full of homegrown players, however nice that would be,” he explained.

“You can have young players in a team but the important question is are they developing? Is there a pathway for them to make it into the first team?

“That’s all we’ve ever spoken about. We’re not unrealistic in that we think every player in our development teams are going to play in our first team. We know that’s not the case.

“We will try to improve on what we did last season. Everyone at the club felt we had a team capable of reaching the top six but we didn’t quite get there.”