TONY Fernandes has confirmed Les Ferdinand has been handed a new role as Director of Football at QPR.
R’s legend Ferdinand, who re-joined the club in October in the position of Head of Football Operations, will now be responsible for overseeing the entire footballing department at Loftus Road, with a mandate of building for the future.
The 48-year-old has already made significant improvements to the footballing philosophy of the club since his return – and the Board are now keen for him to have more of a hands-on role at all levels, particularly in the field of recruitment, working closely with the First Team.
Fernandes told www.qpr.co.uk
: “I’ve been really impressed with the job Les has done in his short time here and as such I am keen for his role to evolve, with the clear mandate of assisting us in developing and evolving the footballing department, from the Academy to the First Team.
“This is a new strategy for us. Our recruitment policy at QPR is changing. The recent addition of Ryan Manning to the Elite Development Squad is a sign of what we will be trying to do here.
“We want to develop a philosophy of buying young, hungry players, who can go on to forge decent careers with us.”
He added: “I’ve had many messages from supporters, of all ages, who aren’t – for one reason or another – satisfied with what’s going on at QPR at the moment, but I can reassure all Rangers fans that we are putting the building blocks in place to move things in the right direction for the future.
“We’ve made a number of mistakes in the transfer market over the last few years and it’s something we want to change. We don’t want to be a buying club – we want to nurture young talent and build a young, ambitious team.
“Premier League survival is our priority in the short term, but in the medium and long term we want to make sure everything is in place, from the Academy upwards, to create a culture and philosophy within the club that QPR fans can be proud of.
“Les bleeds blue and white and working closely with the First Team and Academy management, particularly in recruitment, he is going to play a key role in moving us forward over the coming months and years.”
Ferdinand, of course, flourished for QPR following a move from Hayes in 1987, and the former England front-man, after completing his Governance Course a St George’s Park – backed by the PFA and FA – recently, is relishing his latest challenge.
“Everyone knows what this club means to me and if anything the last few months have only enhanced the feelings I have for QPR,” he said.
“Working closely with Tony and the Board, I can assure QPR fans that they are desperate to create a lasting legacy at Loftus Road and the role of Director of Football will be hugely important in terms of where we want to take this club in the future.
“Some of the management courses I’ve taken over the last few years were with a role like this in mind, so I couldn’t be more delighted.”