The other shoe finally dropped in the English Football League’s case against Queens Park Rangers regarding Financial Fair Play.
QPR on Friday agreed to pay a $55 million fine to the EFL, with payments spread out over the next ten years, for breaching Financial Fair Play rules in 2014 as the club made its push to return to the Premier League. QPR also agreed to pay all the court costs – as part of the $55 million settlement – and are banned from signing new players in the January 2019 transfer window.
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Ahead of the 2013-2014 season, QPR spent lavishly, signing the likes of Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Karl Henry, in addition to a first-team squad that already included Loic Remy, Ji-Sung Park and Adel Taraabt (all three would go out on loan). Ultimately, QPR’s nearly $100 million wage bill represented 195 percent of of the club’s revenue. Over a three-year period, Financial Fair Play regulations in the Championship state a team cannot lose more than $17 million per season.
Of course, while Financial Fair Play rules were put into place to keep clubs from overspending and harming their future, if QPR’s board and group of owners could afford to write off the costs and cover it from their other business assets, then as long as the club is in good shape, perhaps there shouldn’t have been a penalty.
In any case, it was probably worth it for QPR. Austin’s 18 goals helped drive QPR back into the Premier League, and despite lasting one season, the television and parachute payments are still keeping the club afloat.
Former Arsenal prospect Jay Simpson is landing on the shores of the U.S.A.
In a move that Philadelphia hopes will replicated Bradley Wright-Phillips’ arrival in New York, the Union have landed the 28-year-old striker from Lleyton Orient.
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Simpson was Arsenal property from 1997-2010, but only managed three League Cup appearances and two goals. He went on loan to West Brom in 2008-09, accumulating his only 13 Premier League appearances and scoring once.
The bulk of his experience has been in the Football League Championship with Hull City. He nabbed 12 goals in 78 appearances. He also played for QPR, Millwall, and most recently Leyton Orient.
“Jay brings goal-scoring prowess to our team, in addition to a valuable veteran presence, as he has demonstrated with multiple clubs in England,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He has played at the highest levels of club soccer, including in the Premier League, and we are excited to add a forward of his quality to our squad.”
The signing comes hot on the heels of defender Giliano Wijnaldum, the brother of Liverpool attacker Georginio Wijnaldum.
Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers opted to make a switch at the manager position.
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The club announced that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will not return to coach the squad after only winning 14 of his 48 matches in charge with the Championship side. QPR currently sits 17th in the Championship table on 20 points, just six above the drop zone.
QPR didn’t reveal who would take over the club’s managerial duties in the interim, however, it’s expected that assistant manager David Oldfield will coach the team for the time being.
The 44-year-old took over at QPR midway through the 2015/16 season, and previously managed English side Burton Albion and Royal Antwerp of the Dutch second division.
We don’t write a ton about QPR U-21 players signing their professional deals, but this particular prospect has an American connection.
Born in Florida, Niko Hamalainen was part of the FC Dallas set-up before moving to Europe to try his hand abroad. That’s obviously worked, as the 19-year-old has a new deal with QPR.
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Hamalainen has represented Finland 12 times at the U-18 level, but is not cap-tied to the Scandinavian side. He was named the Most Promising Young Player in Finland by the country’s FA in 2015.
He made two appearances on loan to Dagenham and Redbridge of League Two this season. Digging through his Twitter, he travels back to the U.S. on occasion and it’s fair to guess he could be on the radar of U.S. Soccer.
“Niko’s a long way from home but has adapted well to the English game,” Technical Director, Chris Ramsey, told www.qpr.co.uk. “He’s already done well out on loan and has earned his contract through hard work and determination.”
QPR midfielder Leroy Fer has sealed a transfer Deadline Day move to Swansea City.
Fer, 26, has arrived at Swansea on a loan deal until the end of the season and makes the jump up from the Championship to the Premier League after spending last season in the top-flight with the R’s.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
A Dutch international, Fer shone and scored some spectacular goals for the Hoops but missed plenty of the season through injury as the west London club were relegated.
Fer has the ability to play both in a central and wide position, but he does have the unwanted record of being relegated from the Premier League in each of the the last two seasons with first Norwich City in 2013-14 and then QPR in 2014-15.
Swansea — who currently sit four points above the drop zone — will be hoping lightning doesn’t strike three times.
The acquisition of Fer, a player who has proven himself in the PL with 10 goals in 63 appearances, will soften the blow of Jonjo Shelvey‘s departure earlier in the January window to relegation rivals Newcastle United.