Mixed fortunes in The Championship

It’s a fact! Wherever Neil Warnock goes, he never seems to disappoint and once again those assumptions came true as the Yorkshireman steered his QPR side to two wins from two games, and he will be looking to continue his team’s rich vein of form as he travels to former club Sheffield United this weekend.

Warnock is just like ‘Marmite’, you either love him or you hate him. And I’m sure at this moment in time QPR fans love him. They love him for putting smiles back on their miserable faces that have masked them for so long. Last Saturday’s 3-1 victory over second placed West Brom was fantastic for the club. It brought a sense of relief around Loftus Road as fans and players start to believe that their club is finally in the right hands.

And that relief soon turned to confidence as QPR brushed aside a lacklustre Plymouth team which looks destined for League One. The players looked more confident on Tuesday night. Everyone wanted to get on the ball, if a player made a mistake he would work twice as hard to make up for it. Those are the kind of things that you wouldn’t have seen the players doing a few weeks ago.

I’m sure a lot of QPR fans would agree that appointing Neil Warnock as manager is the best thing that has happened to the club for some time. Although some may think that Flavio Briatore leaving through the back door is the best thing that has happened. Whichever was best, it was glaringly obvious the club was in a huge mess both on and off the field, but with Warnock at the helm, there is no doubt that QPR’s fortunes will turn around sooner rather than later.

A lot was expected of the West London club this season, with the finances that were available to them promotion was a distinct possibility. But too many managerial changes affected team harmony. Now though, with the right man in charge, I expect to see QPR make a late push for the play-offs, however, the push could just come a little too late. If only Warnock was available earlier on the season……If only.

In contrast, Cardiff City’s fortunes are going in the opposite way as the ice that Cardiff City was skating upon is becoming a little thin. This is a club beset by inconsistency on the field and financial woes off it. The season started with great promise in an impressive new stadium, but at the moment they seem intent on self-combustion.

On their day they are the most easy-on-the-eye team in the Championship alongside West Brom and Newcastle, but the goals of Michael Chopra have dried up and key players like Joe Ledley, Peter Whittingham and Stephen McPhail have been missing. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul,” has been their approach, according to the HMRC. They’ve repaid some of the PAYE and VAT due, but those are historic debts, and new ones are racking up.

But wait! There maybe hope for Cardiff fans. A Malaysian businessman promising £6m, according to Cardiff as they fought their corner, with Datuk Chan Tien Ghee the trump card in their quest for more time to pay. That wish is “opposed with some cynicism” by HMRC, whose motive was to point out there was no evidence of the money promised. This was a point taken up by Mrs Registrar Derrett who, in granting more time, described Cardiff as apparently, “a company unable to repay its debts as they fall due and now relying upon a third party investor”.

It’s hard to disagree. But thankfully they have been given a 55-day stay of execution to produce some funds and it seems Peter Ridsdale is never far away from financial difficulties. After his spells at Leeds and Barnsley, people will soon start to think he’s a bit of a jinx!

But if there’s no substance, Cardiff will be faced with going the same way as that sports car manufacturer, the import company and the property business – leaving the bewildered fans to pick up the pieces. So let’s hope they can sort their financial problems out and find some form on the pitch when they travel to Leicester tomorrow.

Written By Jonathan Moulds