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Les Ferdinand reveals he wanted Newcastle star but couldn’t afford him

5 years ago

Les Ferdinand has been talking about the frustrations of his current job as he approaches two years back at Loftus Road.

The former Newcastle striker went back to QPR as Director of Football but the reckless spending of the past has made his job so much more difficult/impossible.

When arriving in February 2015, Les Ferdinand wanted the owners to go for Brentford’s Andre Gray.

He was told that QPR couldn’t afford the forward, instead Gray was snapped up by relegated Burnley and the £10m investment was repaid with 23 goals in 41 Championship starts that fired the Lancashire club up as champions.

Moving a year on, Les Ferdinand says that he had a similar conversation about Dwight Gayle, but even though he could have potentially traded Charlie Austin as part of the deal, the Director of Football was told the club couldn’t afford the now Newcastle forward.

Instead Les Ferdinand says he has to try and find promising young players on a tight budget, whilst relegated Newcastle swooped and paid £10m for a striker who has so far scored 16 goals in 15 Championship starts.

Whilst QPR are a slightly different case due to their mad spending of the past, you have to have some sympathy for the inequality that means the average Championship club starts every season at a massive disadvantage compared to the ones relegated from the Premier League (QPR are still receiving parachute payments but they will simply be going towards filling the massive black hole in the finances left by the pre-Les Ferdinand arriving, running of the club).

Les Ferdinand talking to Get West London:

“We’ll still need to bring in experienced players but we can only afford younger players.

“We understand that – not because I want to do that, it is where we are at.

“Who knows? If we get some progression, the views of the owners may change and say here’s some money to go and spend.

“When I walked through the door (Feb 2015), I said go and get Andre Gray…couldn’t afford him.

“Last year I said, let’s do Dwight Gayle as Charlie Austin might have gone the other way to Crystal Palace.

“We can’t afford it. If I could buy more established players then we would do that, but it has got to be right for the club.”


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