Redknapp admits split in QPR camp

QPR manager Harry Redknapp. Photo: PA

Harry Redknapp admits QPR's season has been hindered by a huge split between the squad's top earners and those who helped the club gain promotion to the Premier League.

Rangers' two-year stay in the top flight will come to an end tomorrow if they lose to bottom side Reading, and even if they win at the Madejski Stadium, they will be relegated if Aston Villa beat Sunderland on Monday night.

There has been much time for reflection at the club over the last few weeks after Redknapp came to realise that he would not be able prevent QPR from sliding to an embarrassing relegation.

One area which Redknapp concedes has been a big problem for the Rs this term is the disparity between the club's big earners who were signed after Tony Fernandes' takeover, and those who battled so hard to get the team promoted in the 2010/11 season.

Reports about a schism in the squad have been around all season, and Redknapp confirmed that that was the case at a press conference yesterday morning.

"I would be lying if I said there were not splits in the camp here," the QPR manager said.

"That has been obvious for everyone to see all year. It has been a big problem I think.

"I haven't had this too much anywhere else, but when we came it was obvious there was a problem."

Some of the 12 players who joined last summer, such as Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa, and Park Ji-sung, were given big pay packets in line with their reputation as experienced and successful players.

Yet players like Ryan Nelsen and Jermaine Jenas - both free signings from Tottenham - and Spurs loanee Andros Townsend, have made a bigger impact despite being on lower salaries.

Redknapp understands why some members of the QPR squad are aggrieved at the gulf in earnings.

"It is difficult with players earning differently," the former Portsmouth manager said.

"It's not a problem if you are playing with Robin van Persie or Steven Gerrard and they are getting £130,000 or £140,000 a week - but someone else is getting £50,000 - because you don't mind if they are worth it and are so good.

"So that's a problem if players look at others and think: 'he ain't that good'.

"That's when you get problems. People don't mind others getting good money if they earn it."

Knowing his team have only a minuscule chance of retaining their top-flight status, Redknapp has already started planning for next season.

The 66-year-old, who this time last year was favourite to land the England job, will meet with the Rangers board next week to discuss potential ins and outs during what promises to be a busy summer for the club.

Some big-name players such as Loic Remy and Julio Cesar are likely to leave while Redknapp will do his best to clear out those who he thinks do not have the stomach for a season in the npower Championship.

There are players in the Rangers squad who want to remain and help the club get back in to the top-flight, but Redknapp will only include them in his plans if he thinks they are good enough.

"I'm looking at people with next year in mind now. They've all got a lot of play for," the QPR boss said.

"We've got to keep going. It's a difficult situation but we've got to keep playing. We're not downing tools. It's important that we don't.

"It's difficult, but we want to pick up as many points as we can. The last few games have knocked us out a bit and it's been disappointing. "Now it's gone. But we've got to keep going."