Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Beard out to avoid relegation scrap

Mark Hughes has been a busy man in the transfer market

QPR chief executive Philip Beard has revealed the club are not prepared to accept another relegation scrap following their summer transfer spree.

Manager Mark Hughes bought enough players to field an entire new team before the August window shut after Rangers avoided the Barclays Premier League trap door by the skin of their teeth last season.

The recruits included several big-name players and Beard told London 24: "We haven't made the investment of this summer to simply compete at the same level as last season. The investment has been made so that we feel we are a club which can compete against - and beat - every club we play."

He added: "We all believe that the squad we have now should be able to get stability in the Premier League - not fighting for survival."

Beard played down fears QPR had spent beyond their means, especially on wages. He said: "Some clubs have spent £12million or £15million on one player. You would struggle to get that sort of number for all the players we have signed.

"What we have done is strike a balance. I have looked at it long and hard, and there are some very talented young players we have brought to the club who I think will be available for a long time to come."

The summer transfer window was QPR's third in a row that witnessed a huge influx of players but Beard was confident such a turnover would not be repeated. He also defended the decision to sign goalkeeper Julio Cesar from Inter Milan barely two months are recruiting England's Robert Green.

"The club now has two very strong goalkeepers, and Mark will decide which one plays when," he said. "It wasn't something in his mind, that Julio Cesar could come to the club a very sensible way, and we decided to take that opportunity. The best teams have strength in every position."

QPR's transfer activity included Joey Barton joining Marseille on loan. The controversial midfielder is currently in the midst of a 12-game ban for his violent conduct in the final game of last season but he has managed to charm his new team-mates.

Striker Andre Ayew told Marseille's official website, www.om.net: "He is truly a nice person. It's maybe the case that, on the pitch, he is different, with another kind of desire, another kind of commitment, another kind of aggression. But, away from it, he's truly a good person."

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