Saturday 10 December 2016

QPR launch legal battle to challenge £50m FFP fine

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes will fight the Football League’s attempts to fine them £50m for Financial Fair Play breaches in the 2013-14 season
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes will fight the Football League’s attempts to fine them £50m for Financial Fair Play breaches in the 2013-14 season

Queen's Park Rangers' players seemed to meekly accept their relegation from the Premier League on Sunday but the club yesterday insisted they would fight the Football League's attempts to fine them £50m for Financial Fair Play breaches in the 2013-14 season.

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Losing 6-0 at Manchester City confirmed QPR's relegation to the Championship and therefore made them accountable again to the Football League for their financial results from last season.

The Football League believe that the club are in breach of their FFP regulations over £60m of loans written off by the club's owners.

That includes a loan of £53.7m from Tune QPR, the company through which chairman Tony Fernandes and others own a majority stake in the club.

If that injection of money is not accepted, QPR will be judged to have lost £69.7m in 2013-14. That is a sum far in excess of Football League's rules and would leave them liable to a fine in the region of £50m.

QPR, though, are legally challenging the Football League's FFP laws, with the hope of overturning them and thereby being able to play in the Championship next season without having to pay the fine.

Arbitration

The club's legal case will go to independent arbitration.

"Legal proceedings are ongoing between QPR Football Club and the Football League," said the club's statement issued yesterday.

QPR's legal challenge is a landmark case which if successful would fatally undermine the Football League's attempts to impose their own FFP framework.

The club's arguments are likely to focus on how the Football League's own FPP rules have changed, with the possibility of a competition law challenge on the basis that the League was abusing its dominant position in an anti-competitive manner.

If the challenge fails, and the FFP laws stand, QPR's owners will have to pay the fine - which would likely go to charity, despite the Football League's original wish that fines be redistributed to compliant clubs.

If QPR did not agree to pay then, hypothetically, they would be barred from playing in next season's Football League. Shaun Harvey, the Football League chief executive, warned at the SoccerEx conference last year that that was a possibility, with QPR relegated to the Conference if they refused to pay. The club, though, were absolutely insistent last night that they will be playing in the Championship next season.

Chris Ramsey is likely to continue as QPR manager next season and there is support for him from among the players.

(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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