QUEENS PARK Rangers have released their 2019-20 financial report and like many clubs, revenues were severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic. QPR’s turnover, which no longer benefits from parachute payments, reduced from £ 34.6 million to £ 18.3 million, a drop of 48% on 2018-19. The club’s income is now in the lower half of the Championship.
QPR lost £ 16.4 million after tax, an increase of around £ 6 million on 2018-19. Over the past decade, the club’s annual losses have totalled around £ 250 million, although in recent years, they have been lower than the period between 2011 and 2015. Revenues peaked at £ 86 million in 2015, more than 4.5 times the current level. QPR’s loss for 2018-19 is relatively modest compared to their Championship rivals – Stoke City, for example, lost £ 87 million.
Although matchday cash predictably fell by 26% to £ 4 million ( 2019-20 gates averaged 13,721) and commercial revenues fell by 20% to £ 5.8 million, the biggest drop was the 72% decline in media income, from £22 million to £ 8.4 million, which was largely attributable to the termination of parachute payments. QPR’s TV income was their lowest from this revenue stream since 2011.
But QPR appear to be in better shape than a few years ago and they are currently free of Financial Fair Play concerns. But with losses continuing, the club is very dependent on the continued support of its key shareholders, Total Soccer Growth Sdn Bhd and QPR Asia Sdn Bhd, to ensure it remains a going concern.
The club managed to cut its costs, including a 16% reduction in wages to £ 20 million. QPR’s wage bill is one of the smallest in the Championship, the weekly average some 30% below the division’s overall average.
With the fall in revenues, the wage-to-income rate rose from 69% to 109%. This is still considerably below 2013 and 2014 when the rate was 129% and 195% respectively. It is also lower than the Championship average of 130%, a precarious figure if ever there was one.
Similarly, the club’s net debt is now around £ 52.3 million, way lower than the 2011-15 period when net debt climbed as high as £ 193 million, but still significant. Cash has declined, however, and stands at a rather low £ 1.1 million compared to more than £ 3.5 million a year earlier.
QPR generated £ 6 million in profits from the sale of Luke Freeman (fee £ 5m), Massimo Luongo (£1m) and Darnell Furlong (£ 1.53m). On the other hand, their total expenditure on players, at £ 55,000 , was the lowest in the Championship.
QPR’s future depends on a number of factors, but the club is still keen to move away from their current home. They finished ninth in the Championship in 2020-21, but the financials for the recently-completed season may be challenging given the fact that a whole season has passed with negligible matchday income. On the positive side, though, 2020-21 will include transfer income received for the sale of Eberechi Eze to Crystal Palace for a record fee of £ 17 million.