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Friday March 7, 2014 MYT 12:09:56 AM
Friday March 7, 2014 MYT 12:11:02 AM
LONDON (Reuters) - Championship club Queens Park Rangers' debts increased to 177.1 million pounds ($296.30 million) from around 91.0 million pounds a year ago, according to their accounts for the year to May 2013 published on Thursday.
The west London club lost 65.4 million pounds last season in its unsuccessful battle against relegation from the Premier League.
QPR spent 41.4m pounds on transfer fees and saw their wage bill increase by almost 17.0 million pounds to 68 million during the accounting period as they battled to avoid the drop.
QPR have the chance of an immediate return to the Premier League despite a recent loss of form.
They are currently fourth in the Championship and although they are nine points off second-place and an automatic promotion berth they remain in the playoff positions.
Unless they do get promoted they face sanctions from the Football League as Championship clubs losing more than 8.0 million during the course of this season will be subject to punishments under Financial Fair Play rules.
Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes said in a statement issued by QPR Holdings, the club's parent company and posted with Companies House earlier this week: "Being relegated was obviously not part of our plans, but our focus and determination to achieve our long-term goals has not diminished.
"When, alongside my business partners, I purchased a majority shareholding in the club in August 2011, my goal was to turn QPR into an established Premier League club.
"We are confident that the 2013-14 season will also see the club continue to make progress towards achieving its short, medium and long-term off-pitch target."
Rangers were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 after 17 years out of the top flight and finished 17th in their first season back.
Under manager Mark Hughes they invested heavily in new players in advance of the 2012-13 season but after the Welshman was sacked in November 2012 without a league win in their opening 12 matches, more money was made available in the January 2013 transfer window by which time Harry Redknapp was in charge.
He could not prevent them from the drop and QPR went down with only four wins from their 38 league matches.
The club have substantial financial backing in the form of the Mittal family who own 33 percent.
Lakshmi Mittal is listed as the 47th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $16.0 billion in October last year.
($1 = 0.5977 British pounds)
(Reporting by Mike Collett)
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