Football: Owners committed to QPR despite losses

LONDON (AFP) - Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes insisted on Friday that the club's owners are committed to the Championship side despite suffering the biggest losses by any English club last season.

QPR lost £65.4 million (S$138.2 million) last season, when the club were relegated from the Premier League, while their debt almost doubled to £177 million.

They risk fines totalling tens of millions of pounds due to the Football League's financial fair play rules.

"We are committed and here for the long term," Fernandes said in a statement on the club's website.

"Relegation wasn't part of the plan and it has cost us financially and emotionally, but I and my fellow shareholder are fighters."

Fernandes also insisted that promotion back to the Premier League this season was not vital, with QPR currently sitting fourth in the Championship table, nine points adrift of second-placed Burnley with a game in hand.

"Achieving promotion this season is not critical to our long-term strategy, but it remains our short-term goal," he said.

"If we fail in our bid for promotion, the support is there and there is no need for any more advances to build a squad.

"We are now in a position where we can work with what we have, and raise capital to invest in the squad by selling players who are not part of the manager's plans."

Fernandes also stressed that the club's debt was mainly in the form of shareholder loans.

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