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Wednesday 25th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Club tried to overturn financial rules following £60m injection from owners

QPR are facing a multimillion-pound fine after failing in their challenge to the English Football League’s financial fair play (FFP) rules.

The Championship side posted a loss of £9.7 million in the 2013-14 season, during which they earned promotion to the Premier League.

The London team were under Harry Redknapp’s management and the chairmanship of Tony Fernandes.

QPR’s accounts showed a £60m injection from the club owners, classed as an “exceptional item” which was to write off loans. The league is understood to have taken issue with that injection of cash and considered the real loss figure to be £69.7m.

Such a sum would have left QPR liable for a huge FFP fine, and the club’s attempt and failure to have league rules on the matter ruled unlawful now looks set to cost them tens of millions.

FFP rules are meant to stop clubs from spending more than they bring in and set limits on total losses.

The league said that an arbitration panel had rejected QPR’s claims that the FFP rules “were unlawful under competition law, and also found that the fine levied by the [league] on the club was not disproportionate.”

The club was told about the decision last week and intend to appeal against it.

QPR were promoted via the play-offs in May 2014, beating Derby 1-0 at Wembley through Bobby Zamora’s late goal.

Twelve months previously they had been relegated from the Premier League, and their yo-yo progress persisted with relegation back to the Championship in 2015.

They have since remained in the second tier, currently sitting 17th in the table in their third consecutive season at that level.

It remains to be seen whether QPR are successful in their appeal, or how they might pay the FFP fine.

English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said their action was justified.

“This decision vindicates the approach of the EFL board in defending this challenge. The board will continue to enforce our rules on clubs to protect the interests of those that do comply.

“The board understand the challenges that this decision could create for our valued member club and will work with them, as and when the matter formally concludes.”