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SBD Global/April 17, 2013/Finance

Queens Park Rangers Secure $23M Loan From Barclays Bank In Hong Kong

EPL side Queens Park Rangers secured a £15M ($23M) loan from Barclays Bank in Hong Kong last month, "charged against all the club's assets including Loftus Road, significantly borrowing for the first time" during Tony Fernandes' regime as majority owner, according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. Fernandes and his partners finalized the loan on March 18, "in agreement with QPR's remaining shareholders" -- the family of the Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. All parties insist they "remain wholly committed to the club's short, medium and long-term objectives." Following QPR's "spending spree during the January transfer window," with deals for Loïc Rémy, £8M ($12.3M), and Chris Samba, £15M ($23M), "fears have grown that the club will face serious financial difficulty" if it is relegated to the Championship at the end of the season. Fernandes recently denied that QPR "would be crippled by relegation" and claimed that reported figures regarding Samba's wages, said to be in the region of £100,000 ($154,000) per week, "were wide of the mark." Last month he insisted QPR's spending needed to be "closely monitored and controlled" and the club said that the Barclays loan "could be the first step in a future relationship between the two parties" (GUARDIAN, 4/16).

PLAY FOR PAY: In London, Gary Jacob wrote QPR plan to "introduce incentivised contracts for new players in the summer to overhaul their finances." The club "will offer relatively low basic salaries" which will then be supplemented "by extra payments for appearances," and "possibly linked" to the club's finish. The club expects to be relegated this season and believe the contracts "will be easier to introduce in the npower Championship." The expected problem "will be to persuade players to accept the contracts and to avoid a division with those squad members on existing deals" (LONDON TIMES, 4/17).
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