The QPR chairman, Tony Fernandes, centre, and other directors at the club have written off £60m in loans between them. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters
The Football League and Queens Park Rangers remain locked in discussions over whether they face a fine under financial fair play rules after the owner of the club posted a huge cut in losses but wrote off £60m in loans.
The figures, made public on Monday by the club, show that losses were cut from £65.4m in May 2013 to just £9.8m a year later. If those figures are accepted by the Football League, QPR could expect to receive only a minimal fine under the FFP rules.
It is understood that talks are continuing over how £60m in loans, written off by Tony Fernandes and other shareholders, should be accounted for under the rules.
QPR said they were able to reduce expenditure by £22m during their season in the Championship, which ended in a return to the Premier League via the play-offs.
“The club has previously filed accounts with the Football League in accordance with the requirements of the League’s Financial Fair Play rules,” said a League spokesman. “The treatment of certain items in those accounts, and how the League’s FFP rules should be applied to them, remains a matter of ongoing discussion between QPR and the Football League. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
If QPR’s losses had been comparable to their £65.4m loss in May 2013, they would have faced a fine of more than £45m. Clubs still within the Football League that fall foul of FFP are punished with points deductions and transfer embargoes, but those who have been promoted and exceed the maximum allowable loss are fined.
The Football League has been examining the accounts since 1 December and liaising with QPR’s accountants. Ever since, there has been conjecture over the size of the fine that QPR could receive.
Fernandes has said he will appeal any fine, while the Football League has said that if QPR fail to comply with its decision they could theoretically be refused re-admission and would be forced to play in the Conference if they were relegated from the top flight.
“The club’s shareholders and directors are of the opinion that the club is moving in the right direction and on track with its mid-term and long-term business plans,” said a QPR statement.
“The impact of relegation and promotion inevitably has a material impact on the short-term financial results of clubs but the shareholders are comfortable that the medium-term outlook is positive with Premier League revenues growing and the club’s costs continuing to fall.”
The club said they had been able to reduce expenditure by £22m by reducing player costs during the season in question.