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SBD Global/March 7, 2014/Finance

League Championship Side Queens Park Rangers Reveals Net Debt Of $296 Million

QPR's attempt to stay in the EPL has resulted in a $296M debt.
League Championship side Queens Park Rangers has revealed net debts of £177M ($296M) "as a result of trying to stay" in the Premier League last season, according to Jacob & Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. The club on Thursday announced a loss of £65.7M for the financial year '12-13, "mainly as a result of paying more in wages" than it earned in TV, sponsorship and marketing income. The club’s owners contributed £73M in loans and the club also took out a £15M "short-term bank loan at the end of last season." As the number of playing and coaching staff grew to more than a hundred, "the upshot of the spending" is that the club’s net debt rose by £86M. Perhaps" most worryingly," the club’s overall turnover was only £60.6M -- most of that coming from Premier League TV money -- which does not even cover its wage bill (LONDON TIMES, 3/6). In London, Roger Blitz wrote QPR Owner Tony Fernandes’ "expensive but failed attempt" to keep the club in the Premier League "was graphically revealed in the club’s accounts which showed a near-trebling in losses and a mounting debt burden." The Malaysian entrepreneur admitted the '12-13 season, which ended in relegation to the Championship, was “a difficult one." Fernandes said, “When ... I purchased a majority shareholding in the club in August 2011, my goal was to turn QPR into an established Premier League club. Being relegated was obviously not part of our plans" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/6). Also in London, Ben Rumsby wrote the club’s signings in '12-13 "included Andrew Johnson, Julio Cesar, Samba Diakite, Robert Green, Stephane Mbia, Park Ji-Sung, Estaban Granero, Junior Hoilett, Jose Bosingwa, Ryan Nelsen, Christopher Samba, Loic Remy, Yun Suk-Young, Jermaine Jenas and Tal Ben Haim, while Fabio da Silva and Andros Townsend also joined on loan." If QPR repeats its "massive" losses this season and fails to secure promotion, it "will be hit by a lengthy transfer embargo under Football League Financial Fair Play rules that kicked in last summer." Perversely, "those same rules could see them hit with a record fine" in excess of £50M ($84M) in Jan. '15 were they to return to the Premier League in May (TELEGRAPH, 3/6).

QPR COULD FACE FINES: In London, Glenn Moore wrote clubs breaching FFP "are subjected to a sliding scale of fines," the FFP Tax. QPR’s penalty is estimated to be around £47M ($79M) "although Rangers are thought to be one of the clubs preparing a legal challenge to FFP." Next year’s figures "are likely to be little better." Deals "which are not included in these figures are those made since relegation," such as Matt Phillips (£5M) ($8.3M), Charlie Austin (£4M) ($6.7M), and Karl Henry (£1M) ($1.7M), with Richard Dunne, Danny Simpson and Yossi Benayoun "coming in on free transfers" (INDEPENDENT, 3/6).
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