League chiefs query QPR financial recovery

 
Frank Dalleres
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QUEENS Park Rangers could still face a hefty fine and demotion to the Conference for breaking the Football League’s financial fair play rules despite declaring a huge drop in losses last season.

QPR said they lost just £9.8m in 2013-14, an improvement of £55.6m on the previous campaign even though they spent it in the Championship and missed out on lucrative Premier League broadcast payments. The west London club said they reduced expenditure by £22m but did not reveal any further details, other than that shareholders including chairman Tony Fernandes had written off £60m worth of loans.

If approved by the Football League, the financial results would see Rangers avoid an anticipated £40m sanction for breaking FFP rules and a row that risked seeing them banished to non-league football.

But the league, which represents clubs in the second, third and fourth tiers, said it was still in talks with QPR’s accountants over a number of potentially disputed items.

“The Football League notes the statement made earlier today by Queens Park Rangers regarding its annual accounts for the year ending May 31 2014,” it said.

“The club has previously filed accounts with the Football League in accordance with the requirements of the league’s FFP rules. The treatment of certain items in those accounts, and how the league’s FFP rules should be applied to them, remains a matter of ongoing discussion between QPR and the Football League. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Clubs who exceed the size of losses permitted under FFP but gain promotion to the Premier League, as QPR did last term, face large fines determined by the extent of their infringement.

Football League chairman Shaun Harvey warned in September that clubs who refused to pay their fines could be barred from re-entering the competition, effectively relegating them to the Conference. Fernandes responded at the time by vowing to fight any fine in court if necessary.

HOW IT WORKS

Football League Financial Fair Play

■ Championship clubs were permitted to lose a maximum of £8m during 2013-14 without breaking Football League financial fair play rules

■ Those who exceeded that amount face punishment depending on whether they stayed in the division or gained promotion League

■ Teams who stayed in the Championship are subject to transfer bans, while those who went up, like QPR, face a fair play tax of £6.7m for the first £10m lost, plus 100 per cent of any further losses