The biggest gamblers - West Ham or QPR ?


QPR sit just outside the automatic promotion places in the Championship, as West Ham's poor run of form continues and the club is deep in Premier League relegation trouble.

Aside from being London clubs, one other thing both have in common is that they have both taken a punt in recent times to ensure their Premier League status.

QPR, of course, failed dismally in their bid, spending millions on underperforming players who contributed nothing to their ultimately futile attempt at Premier League survival. And while many of these players have moved on from Loftus Road, the implications for the club of the huge losses it incurred in the process could yet have far-reaching consequences - several press outlets reported last week that QPR may face the biggest fine in football history under the Football League's Financial Fair Play rules, a massive £60m depending on the size of recent losses (figures for last season are not out yet).

Although QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes has dismissed the fine speculation as 'just not accurate', the club clearly has invested heavily in recent times, and fans will be hoping that this doesn't come back to haunt it in the future.

Then there's West Ham. Now this club's 'gamble' was in no way as big as QPR's play (the club's owners are a cautious lot), but it could still result in near disaster. And it's the Andy Carroll saga. The play there, of course, was that this fairly injury-prone player would quickly regain fitness and score the goals that would fire West Ham to Premier League safety this season. £15m and a 6-year contract later, Carroll remains injured and has yet to start a league game this term. Even worse, no-one (including seemingly West Ham manager Sam Allardyce) appears to know exactly when he is likely to return.

In the meantime, West Ham are deep in the relegation dogfight, having scored just 9 goals in 12 league matches (which is hardly surprising as Allardyce has had to play much of the season so far without a recognised striker).

While QPR appears to have taken a scattergun approach to Premier League survival, West Ham's seems to have adopted an 'all your eggs in one striker basket' strategy. West Ham supporters will no doubt be hoping that their club doesn't emulate QPR this season, as visits to the Keepmoat Stadium aren't so appealing as going to The Emirates.


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