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Tony Fernandes and Neil Warnock in war of words following QPR’s relegation

May 2, 2013, 6:20 PM EDT

Tony Fernandes looks on at Loftus Road during a QPR match this season. Getty Images

Ever since Queens Park Rangers were assured of relegation following their 0-0 draw with Reading last week, owner Tony Fernandes has been looking for others to bear the brunt of the blame for their failed season.

It appeared Fernandes had selected former manager Neil Warnock as his scapegoat du jour, and despite later clarifying that he never meant to blame his former conductor for their misfortune this season, the damage had been done.

Yesterday, many believed the owner was hitting out at Warnock for his failed deals at the beginning of the season.  Fernandes was quoted by The Mirror as saying, “At the time when we arrived (in the Premier League), we were offered a lot of players, many on free transfers. We questioned a few of these and it wouldn’t be fair for me to name names, but we weren’t long in the business and we deferred to the footballing side of the business.”

Fernandes was most likely referring to the high-wage additions of Shawn Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton, Armond Traore, Anton Ferdinand, and Luke Young all in the final stages of the 2011 summer transfer window under the direction of Warnock.  Fernandes later fired Warnock in January of 2012.

Fernandes, also the owner of Air Asia, attempted to clarify his statements today saying he never meant to blame Warnock for starting QPR’s slide, but it was too late in the former boss’s mind.  Warnock fired back, saying, “Tony Fernandes came in with no experience. They brought in Phil Beard with no experience either and Mark Hughes brought in Mike Rigg. There’s nobody in between the ownership and the manager. When things go wrong, everybody starts throwing things and unfortunately it’s my turn to be hit now.”

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