An arbitration panel has today dismissed Queens Park Rangers’ claims that Financial Fair Play rules were unlawful.
The English Football League have been found to be well within their rights for imposing a large fine – the amount of which has never been disclosed – despite the R’s insistence that the rules breached competition law.
Under the formula which the EFL set out for fines of this nature, QPR should be fined £58m, however, that may have been reduced, although it is likely to be north of £40m.
The club have confirmed they will appeal the decision and are ‘disappointed’ at the outcome.
It all stems from Rangers’ excessive spending between 2011 and 2014 on both transfer fees and player wages.
The R’s were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2012/2013 season and thus fell under the Championship’s fair play rules for the following season.
But they had numerous players on inflated wages – such as Jose Bosingwa on a reported £70k a week.
They posted huge losses, - their wage bill was £78m in the 2012/2013 season, more than a number of Europe’s top clubs – and were subsequently fined by the EFL.
The reason it is has reared its head again now is that the appeal process has been rejected by the league’s arbitration panel.
GetWestLondon have had a look at some of those players who were reported to be on HUGE wages at the time.
Joey Barton joined in 2011 and was reported to be on £70k, alongside Bosingwa.
Players such as Loic Remy and Anton Ferdinand all took home a hefty wad of cash too – around and north of £50k.
Bosingwa, Ferdinand and Remy were all left out of the 2013 pre-season tour as Rangers tried to get rid of their high-earners, as were Adel Taarabt and Samba Diakite. Bosingwa and Ferdinand left by mutual consent with Remy going on loan to Newcastle United.
Junior Hoillett was another said to be on £40k, whilst Rob Green was on a similar amount and so was Luke Young – another one left at home in the summer of 2013.
There was Julio Cesar, the Brazilian goalkeeper who said QPR could win the league, Park Ji-Sung and Djibril Cisse too, who all left after relegation to the Championship.
Not all of them were still at Rangers by the time the transfer window closed in 2013, but they are symptomatic of the issues QPR faced at that stage – trying to meet, or not trying you could say, the Championship’s FFP rules, rather than Premier League which they had spent so wildly to try and stay in.
Those who did remain and carried on earning heavily included Green, Armand Traore, Nedum Onouha, Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermaine Jenas, Hoillett, Barton, Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora.
Danny Simpson, Richard Dunne, Karl Henry, Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips, Yossi Benayoun and Aaron Hughes all joined the club that season.
They signed the likes of Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Tom Carroll, Niko Kranjcar, Kevin Doyle and Ravel Morrison on loan and would have been paying a contribution in wages, leading to a total in the region of £70m.
It all paints a fairly bleak picture of a time when the R’s lived beyond their means and now, unless their appeal is successful, they will pay a potentially heavy a brutal price.