English Premiership

Fernandes admits naivety

2013-05-24 18:02
Tony Fernandes (AFP)

Monaco - Tony Fernandes pleaded guilty to naivety on Friday and said he had let his heart rule his head with Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League last season and paid the price with relegation.

Recognising that he had messed up - only in stronger language - the Malaysian aviation entrepreneur and club chairman accepted it could be years before the west Londoners returned to the top flight.

"You get excited and you get carried away and you throw away all the things you are very good at - planning and analysing," he told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix where his Caterham Formula One team are racing this weekend.

"I think I was naive," he replied when asked if he had been 'too nice'. "I don't think you have to be a bastard to be successful in sport but you need experience."

QPR ended up bottom of the table, despite spending millions in the January transfer window in a bid to stay up, but have retained the services of manager Harry Redknapp - so far.

Fernandes said that if a 'massive' club made Redknapp an offer, he would not stand in the way but hoped that would not be the case.

"I long for stability. I hoped it would come with Mark (Hughes), hoped it would be with Neil Warnock. You cannot build anything successful unless you have stability. I am an old-fashioned believer in that," he said.

How many of the highly-paid players will stay next season remains to be seen, although Fernandes said there was no financial pressure to get rid of anyone.

"There are other reasons...the squad hasn't worked and it needs refreshing and it needs players that Harry wants to bring in," he said.

"We are right back at the drawing board, and we are going to go back to my principles of life...we have to give more autonomy to our CEO at QPR, and Harry and the management team."

In other areas, QPR had what they needed to rebuild, he said.

"I am not predicting we will bounce up straight away but I am working hard to make sure we have the right culture and the right type of people in the club. If that means staying in the Championship for a couple of seasons to get it right, then that is worth it," said the Malaysian.

Fernandes, throwing expletives liberally into the conversation, said QPR had been playing 'like idiots' when they went down but praised the club's fans for their loyalty.

"I think the things we have done successfully is we have listened to the fans. Look at the kit next season, it is what the fans want," he added.

"We have four major companies bidding for our shirt when the Lotto deal finishes. We have done a lot of good stuff but screwed up with the major part."

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