Fernandes: Warnock not guilty

Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes has told Sky Sports News he does not blame former manager Neil Warnock for relegation from the Premier League.

Last Updated: 03/05/13 at 08:26 Post Comment

Warnock led the R's to the Championship title and promotion in 2010/11 before bolstering his squad with high-earning players such as Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand.

However, he was sacked by Fernandes just four months after the entrepreneur bought the biggest shareholding in the Loftus Road club (66%) and was replaced by Mark Hughes.

Hughes himself was axed in November after surviving relegation by the skin of his teeth and winning just four points in the opening 12 games of this campaign.

"We still have a good relationship," Fernandes said on Warnock. "Not for one second do I blame him for any of this mess. I've not blamed anybody apart from myself.

"I'm sitting here being interviewed by you and being asked some pretty tough questions along with other TV interviewers today and I don't need to do that if I didn't want to take the responsibility.

"So it's not Neil, Neil put his heart and soul into this club and we felt it wasn't right going forward but he's not to blame for this, how could he be blamed, he was only here for four months?"

When asked whether Hughes was still being paid his compensation owed by the west London club, Fernandes said: "Yes."

And pressed on if it was a good financial position to be in, the businessman added: "We either play him the lot in one go or every month.

"The press throughout the whole season has been making, I'm afraid to say, incorrect decisions. We know what the wage bill is. We know what each individual player is on."

Fernandes was also asked what would be the highest wage at the club, and revealed: "In terms of wage, £65,000 (per week). That's our highest. And many of the players on those wages came in on a free."

Clauses

And pressed on whether he had negotiated relegation release clauses in any player contracts, he said: "A large proportion, but not all."

Warnock defended his record at Loftus Road and told Sky Sports' Footballers Football Show: "If you look at the facts. I think my record in the Premier League is better than Harry's and as good as Mark's.

"We were told keep out of the bottom three until January and then you can bring in three or four players. Which we did and then we get to January, then to not have the opportunity to do that was disappointing.

"But it's your club and you're entitled to go in whatever direction (you want) and they would have got a lot of advice, a lot of people outside saying you know 'it's time to change your manager', all sorts of things and they listen to that.

"Then only time tells if it's the right decision and I don't think it was."

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