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SBD Global/November 18, 2013/Franchises

League Championship Queens Park Rangers Facing Fines For Overspending

League Championship side Queens Park Rangers "are on course to be hit with the biggest fine in British football history, which, in a worse-case scenario," could top £60M ($96.7M), according to Nick Harris of the London DAILY MAIL. It will be "imposed because of the amount of money they are losing" -- believed to be a huge £80M for last season -- and will "compound their financial troubles, perhaps sparking meltdown." QPR has "racked up big debts and massive annual losses largely through signing dozens of players on huge contracts in recent seasons, including Chris Samba, Park Ji-Sung, Julio Cesar, Jermaine Jenas, Loic Remy and others," most of whom "remain on the club’s books, draining their resources" with contracts worth up to £100,000 ($161,100) a week. If QPR is promoted this season, the fine will be levied in January '15 by the Football League under its new Financial Fair Play rules, which will see "overspending clubs ‘taxed’ on their losses." Rangers "are currently favourites to go up to the Premier League from the Championship this season." They could avoid a fine -- "or at least postpone it -- if they fail to get promoted." In that case, QPR will be hit with a "lengthy transfer embargo." If QPR’s losses for the season are £80M ($128.9M), the fine will be about £62M ($100M). That would equate to "roughly all of QPR’s Premier League income (if they are promoted) for next season." Even if '13-14 losses are as "low" as £60M, a fine of more than £40M ($64.4M) would follow. A Football League spokesperson said, "This is the first season in which clubs will ultimately face sanctions [for over-spending]. Clubs have to submit their accounts for 2013-14 to us by December 1, 2014, with sanctions levied early in 2015. If a club being sanctioned are in the Premier League by then, the fine will need to be paid" (DAILY MAIL, 11/17). The HERALD SCOTLAND reported QPR Chair Tony Fernandes has "denied that the club are facing a possible £60 million fine from the Football League." Fernandes, who is also the club's majority shareholder, "later took to Twitter to claim the report was 'not accurate.'" Fernandes tweeted, "QPR fans please ignore Article. Shows how big our brand has become that people need to write stories that are just not accurate. Stay focused on getting back to the premier league" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/17).
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