As you may have heard, QPR are currently being taken through the ringer to the tune of around £40million after being found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
The club were accused of spending way, way beyond their permitted limit in their attempts to secure promotion to the Premier League, which they duly did at the end of the 2013/14 season, before manipulating their accounts to make it appear otherwise.
The world-record fine marked the end of a three-year legal battle wagered by QPR, who argued that the Football League’s FFP rules were “unlawful” and the punishment “disproportionate”, only to see their claims dismissed by an arbitration panel last week.
The Hoops have since vowed to appeal the decision, with the man in charge at the time of the aforementioned financial breach, one Henry James ‘Harry’ Redknapp, insisting that the authorities are unfairly picking on the Championship side.
Redknapp was informed of the ruling by ESPN FC while participating in a charity golf event in Dubai (because of course he was), to which he replied:
This is crazy. [I’m] shocked and devastated. Why they would pick on QPR, of all the clubs, that have overstepped the rules, I just find that amazing.
‘Arry’s trusty auto-denial mode then kicked in, as the 70-year-old went on to absolve himself from any and all blame (not that any has specifically been levied against him, you understand).
I didn’t sign [those] players. Julio Cesar and others were all there when I arrived at the club.
The team I got promoted with, people like Bobby Zamora, Joey Barton, [Armand] Traore, Clint Hill, Rob Green in goal, Nedham Onuoha, they were there already.
They weren’t players that I brought in. They got promoted with a team of players that were already there. It was only one or two signings [that I made]. When we got back to the Premier League, we took loans.
We certainly didn’t overspend for a Premier League club. Definitely not.
For the record, the two signings Redknapp made in QPR’s 2013/14 promotion season were Matt Phillips from Blackpool (£6million), Charlie Austin from Burnley (£5million) and Karl Henry from Wolves (£1.2million); Danny Simpson, Gary O’Neil and Richard Dunne on free transfers, plus loan deals for Niko Kranjcar, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Kevin Doyle, Modibo Maiga, Will Keane, Ravel Morrison and Tom Carroll – several of which presumably commanded fees of some description.
I don’t want to criticise anyone who bought Julio Cesar and others. That’s not fair. What I had to do was to try and get them off the wage bill.
It was a cutting-back process when I was there and taking people on free transfers and, in lots of cases, having to pay a percentage of their wages to get them off the wage bill.
That’s why you’ve got six teams on a different level to the rest in the Premier League.
The top six teams have got the biggest budgets, the best players and the strongest squads. That’s why every year – apart from one year when Leicester won – every other year it’s the same six teams.
Then came the line you’ve all been waiting for – the one where ‘Arry claims that he couldn’t possibly be at fault anyway, because he don’t really know what all this F-F-P is all about anyway guvnor, no sirree he don’t:
I don’t know what the solution would be. I don’t know how it all works out and what the guidelines to fair play are. That’s up to people who run the football club. Managers have very little say in transfer dealings and transfers these days.
QPR is a great club with great support. I’m sure this will drag on and I don’t know the jurisdiction of it all.
I don’t know how it happened and how it was allowed to happen.
Like bloody clockwork.