QPR chairman backs Harry Redknapp but warns fans of long haul

• 'Nothing wrong with Harry,' tweets QPR's Tony Fernandes
• 'Takes time to rebuild – may take years to get it right'

Tony Fernandes has responded on Twitter to fans' concerns over the club's promotion struggle by backing Harry Redknapp. QPR have lost four and drawn two of their past seven Championship matches leaving them 10 points adrift of an automatic return to the top flight.

The QPR chairman tweeted: "Nothing wrong with Harry. Team playing hard. Some defensive lapses. Need to tighten up. And of course score goals. Playing much better.

"Takes time to rebuild. May take years to get it right. There was little to build on. Give support to team. And hope for Charlie [Austin] back."

Fernandes, who became the owner of QPR in 2011, hired Redknapp to lift QPR clear of the Premier League relegation zone. The former Tottenham manager was unable to do so, blaming the players purchased under Mark Hughes. He also cited a poor attitude and an apathy towards substandard results.

Despite signing 19 players this season – including Ravel Morrison on loan from West Ham – QPR have lacked consistency and promotion looks doubtful.

Fans were made aware recently of QPR's financial state that showed the need for promotion. Teams in the second tier next season not adhering to the Football League's financial fair play regulations will be subject to transfer embargos. A team promoted to the top flight will face only a fine, which could be a crucial factor for the stability of the west-London club.

Fernandes authorised Hughes and Redknapp to spend significantly, raising the wage bill by £20m. It led QPR to spend £78m on wages last year, which was £17m more than the club's entire income of £61m.

QPR's accounts revealed the largest loss (£65m) recorded by any club in England in 2012-13, while total debt rose to £177m.

The QPR chairman has stated that it is not necessary to win promotion, despite the losses. He said that "achieving promotion is not critical to our long-term strategy but remains our short-term goal". The club have no need for any more cash input to build a squad. "We are in a position where we can work with what we have, and raise capital to invest in the squad by selling players who are not part of the manager's plans."

Fernandes also said the club's debt is owed to shareholders. "It is important to understand that this debt is through shareholder loans. The debt in the club is owed to the shareholders by the shareholders." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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