July 27 (Reuters) - Queens Park Rangers have agreed a settlement of almost 42 million pounds ($55 million) with the English Football League (EFL) to end a Financial Fair Play (FFP) dispute, the Championship club said on Friday.
The settlement includes a 17 million pounds fine, paying 3 million pounds of the EFL’s legal costs, while the club’s shareholders have also been ordered to write off 21.965 million pounds of outstanding loans.
The agreement comes after an arbitration panel decided last October to dismiss the club’s claim that the EFL’s Financial Fair Play rules were unlawful.
As part of the settlement, QPR have also accepted a transfer embargo during the January window.
The case relates to a breach of EFL spending limits that occurred in the 2013-14 season when the West London club earned promotion to the Premier League by winning the second-tier Championship playoffs.
They spent only one season in the top flight before coming straight back down the following year.
QPR’s appeal against the arbitration panel’s ruling was due to be heard in London on July 2.
The panel had dismissed QPR’s claim that the EFL’s 2012 financial fair play rules were unlawful under competition law and also found that the fine levied on the club for exceeding spending limits was not disproportionate.
QPR chief executive Lee Hoos said the settlement was in the “best interests of football as a whole”.
“Whilst QPR felt it had a very strong case on appeal, we felt it was best to put this matter behind us to enable all parties to have certainty and allow us to continue focusing on running the club in a sustainable manner going forward,” Hoos added.
QPR co-chairman Tony Fernandes was pleased with the settlement terms, adding the club remains in a good financial position.
“Good to close a chapter,” he wrote on Twitter. “FFP resolved and now a cloud hanging over the club is over. Very good payment terms which are fair.
“The danger of FFP is big clubs get bigger and small clubs get smaller. These things needs to be looked at. But @QPR we are moving forward and excited about the future.”
($1 = 0.7644 pounds)
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis