Free-sy Does It
QUEENS Park Rangers are reportedly eyeing several targets - most of which a free transfers, what are the merits and motivators of such a strategy?
The recent history of players taken in on free transfers has been littered with success stories and the occasional damp squib.
One should look no further than the success stories of Shaun Derry and Clint Hill to note that a free-transfer bargain can certainly work to your favour.
It seems that QPR are embarking now on a different calbire of free transfer deal altogether - dispelling with those deals for players coming supposedly to the end of their usefulness and focusing their approach instead on free agents with more miles to run.
The latter seemed rather apt to describe the deal of one of the perhaps less successful free-deals of recent times, Joey Barton. The oxygen of publicity for this particular player combined with high wages and inconsistent displays have made this deal somewhat of a controversial one.
This brings us to today and developments of potential transfers to poised to pen their deal at Loftus Road. Rob Green, Ryan Nelsen and Andrew Johnson have all been linked with the club with a view to a big-money move, if not in terms of transfer fees, then in wages.
Barton in particular is on a bumper deal at Loftus Road - spreading the cost of his lucrative signing on fee over the cost of his contract - and it seems this is the approach being taken for a few of the potential incoming players.
With Samba Diakité the only player being linked to the club for money, is it the case that the club are looking to improve their appearance on the balance sheet along with the field of play.
Spreading the cost over five years in terms of a signing on fee as opposed to a seven-figure sum up front, looks far better on the books and should hopefully give a sense of some improvement on the end of year accounts.
If the sole aim is to primarily dip into the free transfer market, the scope is limited to say the least. Players that either other clubs are not interested in keeping (a la Barton), or players that believe they are deserving of more lucrative contracts elsewhere - also not a fine quality.
Reading the thoughts of supporters regarding the names linked to the club - the word 'experience' is the kindest overriding word afforded to some of the talent poised to sign, particulary in light of some of the reported wage figures bandied about.
Can the calibre of free transfer reported ultimately lift Rangers from their season of struggle - many believe those already in the squad can help challenge for a mid-table position given the form at the latter end of the season - so in essence what will the new 'free transfer' clientelle add to the fold this coming campaign?
Shopping in the bargain basement, there will always be just that, a bargain. But for every bargain out there, there is always an Eric Sabin and a Leon Clarke for your thoughts.