10 Things You Could Buy with QPR's Staggering Wage Bill
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain's spending has brought Financial Fair Play regulations to the forefront recently, but Queens Park Rangers also appear to have breached UEFA's "break even" regulations.
According to The Guardian, QPR's wage bill in 2012/13 was £78 million, which was 128 per cent of their turnover. That was the seventh-highest wage bill in the league, 30 per cent higher than Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid.
And they were still relegated.
Here's 10 things you could buy with the sky-high wage bill Tony Fernandes sanctioned.
15 Years of Christopher Samba
One of the biggest disasters of QPR's relegation campaign was the bizarre acquisition of Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala.
At the age of 28, the Congolese defender was offered a four-and-a-half year deal paying him £100,000 a week. He also cost £12.5 million.
Manager Redknapp was full of enthusiasm at the time.
"Chris is just what we need," he said. "He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper centre-half."
Except he didn't play like a proper centre-half. Samba had a disastrous error-strewn campaign and was sold back to the Russian side for half a million less than they paid for him.
QPR's £78 million wage bill would pay for Samba for 780 weeks, or 15 years. Who knows, maybe he would get a bit better after 10 years or so.
220 Routemaster Buses
"Parking the bus" is the de rigueur tactic for all discerning clubs in West London, so QPR would be wise to invest in a few themselves.
A new London Routemaster bus costs £354,000, meaning QPR could afford 220 of them with last year's wage budget. At that price, they could park a fresh one across the goal in every game for the next three-and-a-half seasons.
12.4M Copies of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Autobiography
QPR could afford to pay The Mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic's £230,000 weekly wages for six-and-a-half years with their 2012/13 wage bill, but why opt for the man himself when all his wisdom and wit is contained within the pages of his seminal autobiography I Am Zlatan?
At Amazon's current price, QPR could have bought up 12.4 million copies of the book or 22.3 million copies of the Kindle edition.
6 Formula 1 Cars
If there's a better way for a billionaire to squander his cash than buying a football team, it's buying a Formula One team. Tony Fernandes has both.
The cost of competing in Formula One is absolutely astonishing. Last year, Eurosport estimated the cost of a Caterham car to be around £11.7 million, but that excludes lofty design and development costs, staff, fuel and plenty of other associated expenses.
So, with his 2012/13 QPR wage bill, Fernandes might have instead purchased around six new cars for Kamui Kobayashi to tear around in like a madman.
An MLS Franchise
All the cool teams are getting their own MLS franchise. Well, it's just Manchester City at the moment, but at the rate the American soccer league is expanding, everyone will have one soon.
Tony Fernandes would surely be able to wangle a franchise for his £78 million. The Atlanta Rangers definitely has a ring to it.
107,734 QPR Season Tickets
In 2012/13, the highest season ticket price at Loftus Road was £949 and the lowest £499, per The BBC.
Taking an average price of £724, the club could have used their wage budget to subsidise 107,734 season tickets for their fans.
That's enough to fill Loftus Road nearly six times over.
10,400 After-Dinner Speeches by Chris Kamara
There's a huge market for after-dinner speakers who will impart their knowledge on your celebration or corporate event—for a price.
Former Leeds and Stoke defender and current lovable Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara falls within the £5,000 to £10,000 fee band with one particular agency.
Assuming he falls in the middle of that range, £78 million would buy 10,400 speeches from the big man, good enough for more than 28 years of daily entertainment.
After that amount of time, there's a chance you might hear the same story twice.
1,529 Range Rover Sports
Premier League footballers are known to be fans of unnecessarily expensive cars, and the most popular choice for many years has been the Range Rover Sport. No sophisticated professional player can be without one.
The latest Rangie costs around £51,000 per Auto Express, meaning QPR could have spent their money on a fleet of 1,529 of them. That's more than three each for every player in the Premier League.
35 Per Cent of an Incomplete World Cup Stadium
The Arena Corinthians in Sau Paulo will host six World Cup games, including the opener and a semi-final. One month ago, however, the stadium that was supposed to be completed in December 2013 still looked like this.
The BBC estimates the construction cost of the venue will be £218 million, meaning Fernandes could have paid for 35 per cent of it with his 2012/13 wage bill.
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By spending 47 per cent less than the Hoops on wages, the Saints still managed to finish 14th.