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Feb 1, 2013

Redknapp dismisses talk of overspending

Harry Redknapp insists Queens Park Rangers are not "big spenders" and said chairman Tony Fernandes was the driving force behind the deal to sign Chris Samba.

• Blog: Samba the pick for QPR
• Odemwingie blames WBA for failed move

QPR have brought in a number of high-profile players in recent months, with the likes of Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa and Esteban Granero joining in the summer, while Redknapp has made further additions, including Samba and France forward Loic Remy, this month.

Samba cost £12.5 million from Anzhi Makhachkala and reports have claimed he is earning £100,000 a week, raising fresh concerns about the amount of money the club is spending. Relegation remains a significant threat - QPR are still at the foot of the table, four points behind 17th-placed Reading - and Loftus Road holds only 18,500 fans, but Redknapp does not believe the club is at financial risk.

"I don't think they spent big money in the summer," he said. "They spent about £12 million on players. I don't think [former manager] Mark Hughes spent big money on transfers. If you go through them all, I don't think you'll find any big signings. The top signing was about £5 million."

Redknapp said other clubs had spent "£20 million, £30 million or £40 million in the last year" and added: "I don't think QPR are big spenders. There's other players at other clubs, when you ring around, you find are earning that type of money."

Redknapp also insisted that he had not pressed Fernandes into spending big on Samba following the departure of Ryan Nelsen.

"It was the chairman's decision. I didn't say to him we've got to go out and get Chris Samba. Chris Samba was a complete surprise to me. He's a player that I've admired for a long, long time. The simple facts were - it's a true story - the chairman said to me a couple of weeks ago: 'If you had a choice of a centre-half to replace Ryan Nelsen, who would you like?' So I said: 'Rio Ferdinand, Vidic... John Terry, Chris Samba.' That was as far as it went.

"He said: 'Not that you're going to get any of them, but who would you like to have?' [Later on] he said to me: 'I might be able to get close to getting one of those central defenders.' It was completely off his own back. He just suddenly said to me: 'I've got you Chris Samba.' I said: 'Unbelievable.'"

He added: "The chairman did a fantastic deal in getting Chris Samba. I think he's a top player for us."

Redknapp also brought in Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend from Tottenham on deadline day and stressed that they had been brought in on a budget.

"You see the figures bandied around that we were going to pay £100,000 wages for these two lads from Tottenham - the players don't earn anywhere near half that in the first place, and we weren't going to pay anywhere near their wages," he said. "One player I think was about £3,000 or £4,000 a week so, when people start writing that you're paying £100,000-a-week wages, it's absolute nonsense."

He added: "I think you'll find the wages [for Jenas and Townsend] probably come to about £25,000 a week."

Redknapp has developed a reputation for doing business on the final day of the transfer window, but he said: "You don't want to be involved in transfers on deadline day. We had a situation where you're involved at the bottom of the table. Ryan Nelsen, who's been my outstanding player, has gone off to Toronto to manage a team out there, so we had to get a replacement."

Redknapp also confirmed he had been interested in signing Peter Crouch from Stoke City but that manager Tony Pulis had declined to sell.

"Tony didn't want to let Peter go, so it wasn't to be," he said.

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