Queens Park Rangers fired coach Neil Warnock nine months after he led the club to promotion into English soccer’s elite Premier League for a first time since 1996.
“This decision has been made in the best interests of the club,” QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes told the club’s website. “This is not a decision that was made lightly.”
QPR has slipped to 17th in the Premier League, one spot above the three relegation positions, after a run of eight league matches without a victory. It was held to a 1-1 tie at third-tier MK Dons in the F.A. Cup third round yesterday.
West London-based QPR trails Norwich City and Swansea City, the two other clubs that were promoted to the top division, after it won the second-tier Championship last year. QPR’s last win was at Stoke City on Nov. 19.
Warnock, 63, joined QPR in March 2010 from south London team Crystal Palace and helped the Hoops avoid relegation before leading the team to promotion a year later.
Midfielder Joey Barton, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and fullback Luke Young were among high-profile additions to the squad since the club was bought in mid-August by Fernandes, chief executive officer of Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd.
Had Fernandes completed his takeover earlier it would have been easier to acquire players who may have “given us a better chance to succeed,” Warnock said in the club’s statement. QPR has won four of 20 league matches this season.
“Our recent run of poor form has seen us slip alarmingly down the table,” Fernandes said. “The board felt it was the right time to make a change.”
Assistant manager Mick Jones and first-team coach Keith Curle have also left the club.