There is one name that will send shivers down the spines of Derby County fans but never fail to delight Queens Park Rangers.
That is of course, Bobby Zamora or, *clears throat*, ZAMORAAAAAAAAAAA!
Just a season after their relegation from the Premier League, Harry Redknapp’s QPR side found themselves in with a chance of bouncing straight back to the big time.
They faced Derby County in the Championship play-off final at Wembley and despite being reduced to ten men when Gary O’Neil was shown a straight red just before the hour mark, they won.
After being under the cosh for a much of the match, Rangers broke with just minutes remaining of the match and with a slip from Rams defender Richard Keogh, Zamora slammed home a dramatic late winner.
But what if Keogh did not slip? What if that shot slammed off the post and back into play?
These are questions that Derby fans will have pondered many times since that fateful day.
So let’s have a look at what could have happened had the shot played out differently.
Let us be honest straight away. If Zamora’s shot had not found the back of the net, there is a 99% chance that Derby County would have won that final instead.
Having defended with ten men for 30 minutes the odds of them doing that throughout added time were almost zero.
With the reckless spending that accompanied their relegation from the Premier League in 2013, this immediate promotion back to the top-flight was essential for their relative financial health.
Had they remained in the Championship the following season they will have been drained by returning loan players such as Stephan M’Bia and Loic Remy who would have been hard to shift on the wages given to them by the Rs.
Points deductions in a similar fashion suffered by Portsmouth would not have been far off in the following seasons as they grew financially weaker and a relegation into the third tier would have been extremely likely.
From there, a rebuild could take place but it is a level that the club would never want to be playing in but it would most likely be without Tony Fernandes who would have cut his losses by that point.
Luckily, the promotion meant they were able to get their house in order from a position of financial stability thanks to the television money and the huge windfall from winning the playoffs.