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QPR agree to pay €47m on top of January transfer ban for breaking spending rules

The settlement relates to the 2013/14 campaign, when the Rs won promotion to the Premier League.

QPR's home ground, Loftus Road.
QPR's home ground, Loftus Road.
Image: EMPICS Sport

CHAMPIONSHIP SIDE QPR have reached a settlement worth almost £42 million (€47m) with the English Football League and accepted a transfer ban in January after a legal battle over the club’s breach of spending limits.

Last October, an arbitration panel ruled that QPR’s fine of £41.9m for over-spending during the 2013/14 season, which saw them promoted to the Premier League, was not disproportionate.

The London club lodged an appeal against the decision but, in a joint statement, the two parties have announced they have reached an agreement to effectively restructure the fine.

QPR will now pay the league £17m for the Financial Fair Play breach and £3m for the league’s legal costs.

The balance of the original fine, £21.9m, will be swallowed by QPR’s owners by converting outstanding loans to the club into shares.

It is understood the payment schedule is over 10 years.

None of the payments to the EFL will be taken into account when calculating the amounts QPR are allowed to spend on players and wages in the coming seasons but manager Steve McClaren will not be allowed to register any new players in this season’s winter transfer window.

“The outcome vindicates the approach of the EFL board in defending the challenge to our rules,” said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

In agreeing to the settlement above, the board was conscious that the financial burden placed on the club had to be manageable.”

Earlier this year, Bournemouth and Leicester agreed to pay smaller fines for overspending during their promotion seasons.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle United - Loftus Road QPR owners Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal. Source: EMPICS Sport

The QPR case hinged on the belief of their owners, airline tycoon Tony Fernandes and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, that they had circumvented the rules by writing off a £60m loan to the club, an “exceptional item” that brought QPR’s losses for the season below £10m.

The EFL rejected this, believing it would set a precedent that would undermine its attempts to control spending.

“QPR felt it was best to put this matter behind them to enable all parties to have certainty and allow us to continue focusing on running the club in a sustainable manner,” said QPR chief executive Lee Hoos.

© – AFP, 2018

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