Astonishing reports of mayhem at Loftus Road.
QPR’s training camp in Dubai last month descended into a “joke” and resembled a “stag party”, as players from the Premier League basement club ran up huge bar bills and got so drunk they were unable to train.
These astonishing claims were made to the Daily Mirror by severals members of the Hoops squad and will embarrass the club’s hierarchy and particularly boss Harry Redknapp, who is said to have been aware of the players behaviour.
The R’s are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, with just two wins from 27 games.
Along with Swansea, Sunderland and West Ham, the London club visited the gulf state for a mid-season training break and stayed in a £300-a-night 5-star beach resort – with Redknapp and wife Sandra reportedly in a different hotel to the players.
“Dubai was a week when we had the chance to sort out the problems. Everybody wanted to do that,” one player told the Mirror.
“But we ended up going there for a holiday. It would have been better if we’d stayed here in London.
“We had training very early in the morning. We’d start at 8am and be finished, every day, by 9.30 at the latest.
“It was very warm and after that we would just go out.
“Then in the evening some players were out, until 3am, 4am, 5am – and then went to training at 8am. It was like a stag party.
“Some looked at it as if we had a five-day holiday. It wasn’t one or two of us. That’s the problem.”
Another player, described by the newspaper as ‘senior’ said: “I’ve never known anything like what happened in Dubai.
“We had all day to ourselves. That meant shopping, the pool, nightclubs. We were on holiday, it was just a party.
“Some of the bar bills were enormous, huge, in the tens of thousands of pounds for one night.
“Two or three players couldn’t train the next day. It was that bad.
“We have to take the blame for what we did. We know that.
“But some of us think that if the manager had been in the same hotel he could have controlled what was going on.
“What sort of club allows a team with 17 points and only two wins all season go and do this?
“It’s impossible to survive like that and so this club isn’t going to survive.”
Both Redknapp and QPR’s head of media and communications, Ian Taylor, have commented on the claims.
Taylor tweeted on Saturday morning: “The club is aware of the article in today’s Daily Mirror but the club’s entire focus is on today’s fixture against Southampton. We will be making no further comment at this time.”
Former Spurs boss Redknapp banned Tottenham’s Christmas party in 2010 and has been vocal about his disapproval of footballers drinking.
The 65-year-old denied the allegations and refuted claims that some players were too hungover to attend training.
“The players trained harder on this trip than on any trip I’ve ever been on,” said the ex-Portsmouth boss, whose team travel to Southampton today.
“We worked the maximum, man for man, worked our socks for an hour and a half, every day,” he added.
“No one was ever late. I was the first one on the training ground.”
The Rangers boss said he was puzzled by the drinking allegations, adding: “If it happened, they must have done something I didn’t see.
“I don’t believe what you are saying. I can’t see it.”
The training camp was preceded by a 4-1 defeat at Swansea and followed by a 2-0 defeat at home against Manchester United.
Another player claimed the trip was the worst possible preparation for the visit of the league leaders.
“Given that sort of preparation, after a week like that, it was almost impossible for us to play against United.
“Fitness-wise, it was a disaster. When we played United, they didn’t play – they didn’t have to.
“They have some great players, but some aren’t 100 per cent fit and have had injuries – and they were running past us like we don’t exist. That just shouldn’t happen.”
That defeat left Rangers seven points adrift of safety with just eleven games left to play. According to another player, too many of the squad believe they are already doomed.
“There’s a feeling from some of us that other players don’t give a s***, that they’re just here for the money,” said the player, a regular starter.
“Some are going around saying they can’t wait for the end of the season so they can move.
“When you hear that, you know the trouble you’re in – 50 per cent of any team is having the right team spirit.
“The manager is supposed to be the leader, but a lot of us think he’s going to leave in the summer as well. If that’s the case how is he going to get the players going?”
Redknapp insisted only last week he would stay, even if relegated, but the player added: “There’s resentment between the players who have clauses in their contracts which will see them take wage cuts if we go down, and those that haven’t.
“At the moment, the foreign players are in one section and the English players in another. There is not enough bonding, no atmosphere where we fight for each other.
“We all feel bad for the chairman and owner, but they don’t see what’s happening to the club.
“The training ground is like a free-for-all, a million people who shouldn’t be there because they are friends of someone or another. There’s no structure, things are a mess and I’ve never known that at a club before.
“You can’t hope to survive with that chaos. No one wants to be part of a team relegated in disgrace and winning only two games in the season, but that’s the way it’s heading.”
Redknapp is known for his hands-off approach to training but the player criticised the manager, claiming he is rarely at the club’s training complex.
“During the January window he was barely there,” said one of the players. “A lot of us thought he was concentrating on trying to buy one or two players and forgetting about the 22 already here.
“Our problems aren’t going to be solved by one or two players. It’s a joke.
“The club is in a mess. How can any club like this hope to be in the best league in the world?
“We all have to take responsibility, but what’s happening isn’t right.”