QPR’s stint in the Premier League between 2011 and 2013 is arguably best remembered for the part they played in one of the top flight’s most iconic moments, as Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic last minute winner past Paddy Kenny to snatch the league title from under the noses of rivals United.
While City’s title triumph was largely thanks to some lavish spending courtesy of their UAE owners – Sheikh Mansour, member of the illustrious royal family of Abu Dhabi – QPR were being bankrolled by Tony Fernandes – CEO of illustrious, no frills, budget airline AirAsia.
Fernandes bought a majority stake in the club shortly after their promotion to the top flight, and immediately splashed the cash.
His scouting technique was quite basic, with new arrivals predominantly falling into the category of Ageing Premier League Players You Have Heard Of Who Aren’t As Good As They Once Were.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and have a look at the weirdest signings QPR made during their first two seasons back in the Premier League.
Don’t forget, despite all of these outrageous signings, they still couldn’t sort out an acceptable offer for Peter Odemwingie in 2013.
The real villain of the piece during Manchester City’s title triumph, Barton was famously sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the face, then kicking Sergio Aguero…and then attempting to head butt Vincent Kompany.
The incident looked to have spelled the end of his QPR career, but it was a blessing in disguise for the neutral as he was shipped out on loan to Marseille and treated us all to that sweet, sweet French ‘accent’.
Remarkably, Barton managed to rebuild bridges at Loftus Road, helping the side gain promotion from the Championship during the 2013/14 season.
He eventually left QPR in 2015, and following spells at Rangers and Burnley, he’s now in charge at League One Fleetwood – and is proving to be pretty decent at the whole management gig.
The former Chelsea and Manchester City man, and 36-time England international was a staple of mid noughties Premier League football – a common trend from the QPR scouting network.
However, Wright-Phillips’ appearances for Manchester City had become more and more sporadic in the 18 months prior to his deadline day move to QPR.
He only ever managed one Premier League goal for the club – in three seasons – and was released in 2015, before seeing out his career in the MLS.
This was absolutely trademark QPR. Of course they brought Champions League winning French international Djibril Cisse in January.
Cisse enjoyed a real rollercoaster opening six months at Loftus Road.
He played eight times, scored six goals and was sent off twice.
Cisse left the club a year later, and retired in 2018. However, in May in this year, the 38-year-old announced his intention to come out of retirement in order to reach 100 Ligue 1 goals. Cisse is currently on 96, and even offered to play for free in his quest to reach triple figures.
QPR paid £5m to bring in Cisse’s new strike partner Zamora – who had earned national acclaim with Fulham during their surge to the 2010 Europa League final.
He only scored 14 times in three and a half years at QPR, one of which was fabulous curling finish in the 2014 play-off final.
Zamora was released a year later and returned to former club Brighton, before retiring in December 2016. He now enjoys fishing apparently.
That’s definitely his WhatsApp picture.
In May 2012, Jose Bosingwa played the full 120 minutes as he helped Chelsea win the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.
13 months later, he had been released by QPR.
The Portuguese right back’s time at Loftus Road was not a glittering one: he was fined two weeks wages for refusing to sit on the bench against Fulham, and when QPR were relegated at the end of the season, he was pictured smiling as he walked off the pitch.
One smile can hide a thousand tears?
In 2012, Julio Cesar left Serie A giants Inter, where he had won the nine major trophies, to join QPR.
He kept his feet firmly on the ground after his arrival, saying [via the Daily Mail]: “I have many dreams at QPR. To play well for the fans, the manager, the chairman and myself. And eventually finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League and then one day win the Premier League.”
QPR were relegated at the end of the season.
Cesar was frozen out of the side during the 2013/14 Championship campaign and replaced by Robert Green as QPR’s number one, but still deemed good enough to be Brazil’s first choice keeper at the 2014 World Cup.
QPR had four Champions League winners in their 2012/13 squad, but still only collected 25 points all season.
Long-term Sir Alex Ferguson favourite Park Ji-sung left Old Trafford after a hugely successful seven years, and was brought back down to earth with a bump.
Despite being made club captain – the role Joey Barton had occupied last season: big boots to fill – the midfielder only featured 20 times in the Premier League, and left for former club PSV Eindhoven the following season.
Free: £9m (from Real Madrid)
From training with Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria, to Jamie Mackie, Shaun Derry and Clint Hill in the space of a few days.
Esteban Granero trod the path that very few had before when he swapped the Bernabeu for Loftus Road in 2012.
However, he only managed one goal as the Rs suffered the drop, and not fancying trips to Bolton and Blackpool the following season, he swiftly moved to Real Sociedad.