(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Alex Beard
Former Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has expressed his disappointment at the club’s £40m Financial Fair Play (FFP) fine, claiming that the powers that be are ‘picking on’ QPR.
It was revealed this week that the London club had been hit by a world-record FFP fine, having been accused of spending far beyond their means during their Championship promotion-winning campaign in 2013-14.
Football authorities have stated that QPR spent more than the permitted amounts during this time, and then manipulated their accounts to make it look like they hadn’t broke FFP rules.
The Loftus Road outfit claimed that the Football League’s 2012 FFP guidelines were unlawful, however this has now been dismissed making it almost certain that they will have to pay the entirety of the fine.
Redknapp was quick to downplay his own part in proceedings, as well as criticizing the ruling: “This is crazy,” he told ESPN FC.
“Why they would pick on QPR, of all the clubs that have overstepped the rules, I just find that amazing,” he said at a Swing Against Cancer golf event in Dubai.
The experienced manager, who recently left second tier side Birmingham, also defended his own spending as Rangers boss: “I didn’t sign 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, Nedum 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.
“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.”