Premier League

Fernandes admits QPR mistakes

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Sat, 04 May 2013 10:12:00

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is delighted the team have a chance to finish the campaign on a high.

The Blues remain in the hunt for a top four finish and also have a Europa League Final against Benfica to look forward to.

And Ivanovic is relishing the prospect of the challenges ahead after a troubled season at Stamford Bridge, which has resulted in manager Roberto Di Matteo being replaced by interim boss Rafael Benitez.

Ivanovic said: "This season has been a very long, very difficult season for us. To have the opportunity to finish the season with a trophy is great and huge motivation for us.

"It's a great opportunity for the manager to win a trophy with us, for us and especially for our fans. The trophy is only what the fans remember."

And Ivanovic reckons Chelsea will know their fate regarding next season's Champions League after their matches with Manchester United and Tottenham.

"For us the next two games in the league are deciding games," Ivanovic added.

"We need points for our aim for Champions League next season. We have to be ready."

Rangers chairman Fernandes estimates he has sunk ?50million of his personal fortune into the club since he took over in August 2011.

Despite that, QPR will return to the Championship next season with Fernandes, who has made his wealth in the airline and music industries, admitting he has paid over the odds.

The 49-year-old is determined not to make the same mistakes again despite admitting he has had to learn to deal with people inside football who would "sell their grandmother to do something".

"I don't think I will be exploited any more," he told various newspapers.

"I think I allowed myself to be exploited but that's my choice.

"Agents are trying to get the best contracts and there's no two ways about it, I had to pay premiums.

"I've seen all of the parts that make football quite - maybe immoral is a strong word but they would sell their grandmother to do something.

"It's all part of the football ecosystem."

Fernandes highlighted letting controversial midfielder Barton join French club Marseille on a season-long loan as one of the club's major mistakes this term.

"We missed Joey," he said.

"We needed a workhorse midfielder and we tried to get Scott Parker.

"We missed a real leader. We tried to get Michael Dawson. To be fair to (former manager) Mark Hughes, he said we needed two centre-halves.

"This has been a tragic season in many ways. It is a Shakespearean play in the making."

Fernandes also revealed that boss Harry Redknapp and "60 per cent" of the squad would be forced to take a pay cut following relegation.

"Do we have relegation clauses? Yes. Do all the players have them? No. But at least 60 per cent do," he said.

Asked about Redknapp, who the club confirmed last week will stay on, he added: "Yes. His salary goes down as well.

"We have been made out not to be sensible, stupid. Guys on TV have torn me apart. We are not stupid."

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