Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and Burnley Football Clubs have been relegated to the English Championship after failing to survive their first season in the elite Barclays Premier League.
The fate of the struggling West London club were sealed on Sunday after a 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City at Etihad Stadium while Burnley’s relegation was confirmed on Saturday despite beating fellow struggler, Hullcity by a lone goal to bring their total points haul to 27 and 29 in 36 league games respectively.
A Sergio Aguero hat-trick, as well as goals from Alexandar Kolarov, James Milner and David Silva saw City was all that Manchester City needed to consolidate second spot behind champions Chelsea and seal the survival fate of QPR, a dejavu of the 2012-2013 season.
The their club-candidate to be evicted from the premiership could emerge next weekend or on the final day of the league with Hull City, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Liecester City still battling hard to escape drop.
Tough times for QPR
There are strong indications that the latest descent into the lower league could spell doom for the Loftus Road club still mired in financial dire strait. With a possible hefty fine as high as £58 million awaiting QPR, for a breach of Financial Fair Play rules, the club not only faces the prospecting of shedding its arrays of highly paid players but further drop down to the Conference next season if a deal cannot be struck with the Football League.
QPR reportedly ended the season in eighth spot in the English Premier League table with huge players’ wage bills, despite accumulation of least points during season and outspent a club like Atletico Madrid, which won the Spanish Primera Liga last season and played in the UEFA Champions League Final.
But Coach Chris Ramsey who led the team to two victories in 13 games since Harry Rednapp relinquished his role to undergo a surgery remains optimistic that the drop would not be as catastrophic as people presume. “I think we have very good owners and board members who will try and put something in place to make sure QPR don’t end up like other clubs, who have slipped down the divisions and ended up in the financial mire,” Ramsey said.
Burnley sees positive outlook
Unlike QPR, Burnley heads back to the championship with heads high and more determined to bounce back following what has been generally referred to as brilliant job done by Sean Dyche-led technical crew and club management in recent years.
For a club which started the season with the tag of ‘under -dog’, finishing above QPR is widely regarded as an achievement. Mr. Dyche was full of praises for his players, despite failing to beat the drop. “I’m delighted with the way the players performed. Statistically we knew it would be tough to stay up, but mentally the players have been terrific. To say they have been written off from the start by so many – their resilience has been fantastic. Our shape has been good, our energy and work-rate has been terrific,” he said.
On what lies ahead for Burnley next season in the Championship, the man referred to as ‘Ginger Mourinho’ also sees brighter future rather than the gloom picture hanging over QPR.
His words: “The players will grow from these experiences – so will I, so will the staff, so will the club. I believe we’re in decent shape to bounce straight back. There will be definite growth in the players. I can imagine we will be competitive in the Championship next season.”
The last time Burnley enjoyed the bright lights was 2009-10 when they only lasted one season before dropping back to the Championship.
By Olisemeka Obeche