QUEENS PARK RANGERS may have lost £ 4.5 million in 2020-21, but given the previous year’s deficit of £ 16.4 million, there’s reasons to be cheerful at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Their loss was the lowest since 2006, which demonstrates the progress being made behind the scenes.
The club’s turnover for the year was £ 14.5 million, a drop of £ 3.8 million on 2019-20, largely due to the almost complete loss of matchday income during the height of the pandemic. In normal circumstances, QPR could count on gate receipts of around £ 5 million, although in their Premier days, £ 8 million was a more realistic figure. Thankfully, commercial and broadcasting income remained stable at £ 5.8 million and £ 8.6 million respectively.
Over the past five years, QPR’s revenues have fallen from £ 48 million in 2016-17 to the current level (a 70% decline) partly due to the expiry of their parachute payments after relegation from the Premier League. Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, QPR received £ 90 million from the Premier.
In that same period, wages have dropped from £ 31 million to £ 24.1 million, 23% down from their 2017 peak. Unsurprisingly, the wage-to-income ratio has rocketed from 64% to 166%, but the 2020-21 wage bill is in the lower half of the Championship. The club has come a long way in restoring sanity after allowing wages to touch £ 80 million in 2014. At the same time, QPR have worked hard on cost cutting and expenses were reduced by 33% in 2021.
Player trading remains an important source of income and the club’s profit on sales amounted to £ 17.6 million, thanks to the transfer of Ebere Eze to Crystal Palace for £ 19.5 million in August 2020. QPR made a number of acquisitions, spending a total of £ 8.3 million, notably on Lyndon Dykes from Livingston (£ 2 million), Macauley Bonne from Charlton Athletic (£ 2 million) and Oxford United’s Rob Dickie (£ 1.5 million). They were among the top six spenders in the Championship, but according to Transfermarkt, the value of the club’s squad is just £ 35 million.
The 2020-21 season was manager Mark Warburton’s second since being appointed in May 2019. He is QPR’s longest serving coach since Ian Holloway, who was employed between 2001 and 2006. Ninth place in 2020-21 was the club’s best finish since returning to the Championship.
The club needs to move from the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (Loftus Road) and there has been talk of a new ground for more than a decade. It is widely acknowledged that QPR is not a sustainable club without a new home. The current capacity of Loftus Road is just under 18,500. An important part of QPR’s future is also the new training ground at Heston, a project that will cost some £ 20 million. The club received £ 10.6 million of shareholder financing in 2020-21 and also completed a bond issue of £ 10 million, the latter being used for the purchase and development of the Heston ground.
Although the pandemic continues to influence football’s balance sheet, the future looks a little brighter for Queens Park Rangers. The question is, can they mount a challenge to win back their Premier League place any time soon?