Capturing Hughes is a coup for QPR
Mark Hughes walked away from Fulham and left behind a message from his trusted representative Kia Joorabchian. Their aspirations and ambitions simply did not match those of his client.
Chelsea was mentioned as the sort of destination that might suit Hughes with Joorabchian saying on departure in June: "He wants to go to a club where he can fight for titles and win championships."
Quite whether Queen's Park Rangers was the club Hughes had in mind when he cleared his desk at Craven Cottage is purely guesswork.
They fought, and won, the battle for the Championship last season but the idea of a title challenge a tier up is, to put it politely, fanciful.
Can Hughes guide QPR into the upper reaches of the Premier League? Photo: Getty
And yet Hughes has made Loftus Road the next stop on his managerial journey, presumably with cast-iron guarantees from owner Tony Fernandes that he can at least try to fulfil his elevated ambitions.
No title this season or for the forseeable future, indeed avoiding relegation will be the priority as he succeeds sacked Neil Warnock with QPR in a precarious 17th place in the league, without a win in eight games.
The appointment is being lauded as a coup for Fernandes while Hughes, having enjoyed the riches at Manchester City before his sour departure, is now moving in circles more akin to his time at Blackburn.
He will not be operating at the top end of the scale, but former Wales team-mate and friend Barry Horne insists this does not mean his targets will be downsized.
He told BBC Sport: "QPR will have had to convince Mark they are for real. The owners will have had to convince Mark what their ambitions are, where they see the club going, whether they are looking to go big, spend money and be a serious player. If they are, then he ticks every box.
"In my opinion it would have been Mark interviewing QPR rather than QPR interviewing Mark. They will know exactly what he brings and it would have been a case of him ensuring they tick all his boxes when it comes to ambition and what level they wish to operate at."
Horne added: "Mark has had a rounded career as a manager. He arrived at a good moment with Wales as he took charge of a good squad that was hugely underperforming, but he still had to do what he did and did it successfully.
"He then had a team that showed remarkable resilience at Blackburn. I watched them so many times when they were a team transformed after his half-time team talks, then at Fulham he did another great job even though their fans were unsure at first.
"Mark was questioned in some quarters for walking away from Fulham but he had his reasons and never broke his contract. It was not some sort of fit of pique or a row - it was his right.
"And at Manchester City he definitely played his part in ensuring they made that quantum leap from where they were to where they are now.
"QPR will get a fine team behind the manager in Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki. I know them well and preparation, attention to detail and all the meticulous work that the modern level of football requires will be brought to bear."
Hughes, Horne believes, will also bring the winning mentality Fernandes desperately needs to drag QPR away from the margins of the relegation zone.
"He will come into the dressing room and be calm but very authoratitive," said Horne. "This authority comes from his personality. In every respect he will command respect.
"Mark is known as a winner, a man decorated in the game, so this will give him a headstart with his group. He will get a longer honeymoon period with his players because they know of his stature."
And QPR's players can expect a tough taskmaster on the training ground according to Michael Gray, who played under Hughes at Blackburn.
When asked to outline his methods recently, he told me: "He is out on the training ground every single day and knows exactly what he wants from his players.
"Mark would work players like they have never been worked before. He would hit the ground running because that is the way he works.
"We finished sixth in the Premier League under him at Blackburn and a large part of this was because he had us so well prepared and so fit. In the last 15 minutes we used to overpower teams and we didn't fear anyone."
Lee Dixon, an old Arsenal adversary of Hughes when he was a striker to be feared at Manchester United and Chelsea, believes Loftus Road may be a neat fit for the 48-year-old Welshman.
He told BBC Sport: "QPR, with the owners' situation, looks like a club that has potential to spend in transfer windows.
"It is a club I always liked playing at, with a really good atmosphere, so maybe he has looked at all of that. The main thing is whether he will get money to spend and presumably he will have sought those assurances.
"He did very well at Blackburn. It is a very difficult proposition going into a club like Manchester City, with the resources they have got.
"It is probably every manager's dream but expectations are high and you are not given long to sort things out because everybody wants instant success.
"From that point of view he may even have wanted to shy away from another job that would be similar to City.
"He's jumping back on the horse if you like, but he clearly feels the potential is there given the way the club is run under its new ownership."
Now Hughes is back on the horse, the ambitous Fernandes will be hoping his new manager can make it gather enough strength to clear the hazardous obstacles ahead.