Queens Park Rangers in financial trouble? Nobody saw that coming! Oh wait…
Following last year’s exorbitant spending spree with the hopes of keeping QPR in the Premier League, the club has announced staggering financial numbers.
Chief owner Tony Fernandes is faced with a knee-buckling $296 million club debt, increasing from $152 million this same time last year.
Those incredible numbers are reportedly due to a massive $121 million loan from the owners that was injected to help save the club’s Premier League status.
Despite shelling out transfer fees of $20.8 million for Chris Samba and $14.6 million for Loic Remy, the attempt failed and they were unable to stave off relegation.
The wage bill also increased massively (from $97 million to $130 million) during that time, in part thanks to the acquisition of players such as Julio Cesar, Ji-Sung Park, Jose Boswinga, Esteban Granero, and Andy Johnson.
Rangers only reported earnings of $101 million, mostly from Premier League television payouts.
The news will not just have an affect on Fernandes’s wallet; according to the Telegraph, QPR would face a lengthy transfer embargo under the new Financial Fair Play rules if they remain in such massive debt.
In addition, they would reportedly be facing fines up to $83.6 million in addition to a possible embargo. The Financial Fair Play rules are meant to push clubs to sustain a relatively equal level of income and expenditure.
The situation reeks of the same red flags leading to Portsmouth’s untimely demise a few years back, a nightmare scenario for Pompey that has seen them drop from the Premier League all the way into the dangerous waters of potentially dropping out of the Football League altogether. Harry Redknapp was also the manager of Portsmouth during the spending spree that ultimately led their plummet down the leagues.
Redknapp has stated that the wage bill could be slashed this summer to get the club more in line with the Financial Fair Play rules. Many of the high earners at the club have since departed or been loaned out, but high-earners such as Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips remain.