QPR must win the play-offs to save themselves from financial meltdown

by Back Page Football

Harry Redknapp QPRRelegation from the Premier League is the reoccurring nightmare that every top flight football club will do almost anything to avoid, but sometimes those moves backfire, leaving the whole future of the club is put into jeopardy.

Queens Park Rangers are a prime example of this.

Harry Redknapp’s side were relegated from the Premiership last season finishing bottom but that fact doesn’t tell the story.

After being sold to millionaire Tony Fernandes the club invested heavily in their battle against the drop, surprising many with transfer coups including the signing of Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Esteban Granero from Real Madrid and beating some of Europe’s top clubs to the signing of striker Loic Remy.

These signings came at a cost though, with many of the squad on massive wages the club was spending more than Borussia Dortmund who were Champions League finalists that season.

The debts soared and in February this year losses of £65 million were announced as a result of the relegation, taking the overall debt at Loftus Road to around £177 million. All this of course spells big trouble for Rangers after the new financial fair play regulations were introduced this season.

These regulations permit QPR to make losses of up to £8million pound a figure the club are currently miles away from and sanctions are likely to be applied with an incredible £25-£35 million fine likely should they go up.

Promotion would not take all the problems away but it is vital for the financial future of the London based side.

The consequences for the side not making an instant return to the top flight would be disastrous. They would be unable to remove the masses of debt within the club and if anything would experience similar losses when they next announce their financial accounts. Add on top of that the likely financial fair play sanction of a transfer embargo, the club would be in major trouble.

With the club already struggling to offload high earners like Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Julio Cesar, an embargo would remove all hope and keep that wage bill miles above many current premier league teams.

Leicester and Burnley have already secured the automatic promotion spots ahead of the pre season title favourites meaning that the play-offs is the only route left.

That leaves three massively important play-off games standing in the way of Redknapp’s team and that achievement but fans have no reason to be confident of their chances.

QPR’s recent form has been inconsistent to say the least, with the side having lost five of their previous ten league fixtures and have struggled against nearly all of their promotion rivals in 2014. Losing against Derby, Reading, Bournemouth and Blackburn.

Harry Redknapp must be feeling a sense of Déjà Vu at the moment having experienced all these similar problems when in charge at Portsmouth. They also spent heavily on trying to save the club making losses of £40 million in the process and the club never recovered.

Portsmouth have been plagued with point deductions and winding up orders ever since, sending the club from FA cup winners to League 2 mid-table mediocrity in only a few seasons.

Rangers Chairman Tony Fernandes has reiterated all season that promotion is not vital for the club this year, but the case for the prosecution is mounting and QPR look in real trouble at the moment. Everyone at the club should be praying for all the help in the world to sort out this mess they have found themselves in.

By Sean Caulfield

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