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ONE YEAR FLASHBACK: CLUB "DEBT FREE" ?
QPR would cope with relegation – Bhatia
by David McIntyre - West London Sport
Big-spending QPR would cope financially if they are unable to stay in the Premier League this season, Amit Bhatia has insisted.
The Tony Fernandes-led takeover at Loftus Road resulted in significant investment in new players before the transfer deadline – and added to the club’s already swelled wage bill.
With the likes of Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips having made an immediate impact – as demonstrated in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Wolves – Rangers now appear capable of comfortably avoiding the drop.
But QPR Holdings vice-chairman Bhatia, who describes the club as “debt-free”, says the new-look regime first discussed what would happen in the event of relegation before deciding to spend.
“The signings we’ve made mean we have every chance of staying up but of course we had to think about the alternative in case that did not happen,” Bhatia told West London Sport.
“For example, in some cases we have relegation clauses in the players’ contracts. In others we were not able to do so but I’ve spoken to Tony about this and we’re both happy.”
QPR’s accounts showed heavy annual losses throughout Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone’s four years as co-owners, during which a number of directors’ loans financed spending on and off the pitch.
An even worse situation developed during the Chris Wright era, when similar funding failed to deliver success and Rangers ended up in administration with Wright as their main creditor.
Bhatia says there is no question of a similar scenario developing under the current owners.
He said: “Let’s be clear, previously directors provided loans and those debts no longer exist. They have been wiped out. In fact I would go so far as to describe the club as being debt-free.
“Cash is now being provided by the owners with no burden being placed upon the club and we felt that was the best way.
“The main thing is that we’ve brought stability to QPR, which was badly needed. It gives us a chance to achieve what we all want for the club.” West London Sport
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