Harry Redknapp says he’s shocked and devastated that Queens Park Rangers are facing a heavy fine for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
Redknapp, who was sacked by Birmingham City last month, feels QPR have been picked on, after the London club failed in their bid to overturn the charge levied against them by the Football League.
The former Rs boss was at the club between 2012 and 2015 and in that time they suffered relegation from the Premier League but returned at the first attempt by beating Derby County in the play-off final at Wembley, with a team that included Nottingham Forest defender Armand Traore and former Red, Clint Hill.
Forest’s Championship rivals were accused of spending beyond the permitted amounts in the season they won promotion in 2014, and then manipulating their accounts to try and avoid being seen to break the rules, something the club dispute and say they will appeal against.
“This is crazy”, said Redknapp, who also admitted he was “shocked and devastated” after hearing his former club could face a fine of around £40m.
“Why they would pick on QPR, of all the clubs, that have overstepped the rules, I just find that amazing,” he said, speaking to ESPN at the Swing Against Cancer golf event in Dubai.
“I didn’t sign (those) players. Julio Cesar and others were all there when I arrived at the club.
“The team I got promoted with, people like Bobby Zamora, Joey Barton, (Armand) Traore, Clint Hill, Rob Green in goal, Nedham Onuoha, they were there already.
“They weren’t players that I brought in. They got promoted with a team of players that were already there. It was only one or two signings (that I made).
“When we got back to the Premier League, we took loans. We certainly didn’t overspend for a Premier League club. Definitely not.
“I don’t want to criticise anyone who bought Julio Cesar and others. That’s not fair.
“What I had to do was to try and get them off the wage bill. It was a cutting-back process when I was there and taking people on free transfers and, in lots of cases, having to pay a percentage of their wages to get them off the wage bill.
“That’s why you’ve got six teams on a different level to the rest in the Premier League.
“The top six teams have got the biggest budgets, the best players and the strongest squads. That’s why every year – apart from one year when Leicester won (Premier League title) – every other year it’s the same six teams.
“I don’t know what the solution would be. I don’t know how it all works out and what the guidelines to fair play are. That’s up to people who run the football club.
“Managers have very little say in transfer dealings and transfers these days.”
The EFL said: “An arbitral panel has dismissed Queens Park Rangers’ claim that the English Football League’s 2012 financial fair play rules were unlawful under competition law, and also found that the fine levied by the EFL on the club was not disproportionate.
“The decision of the three-man panel was released to the parties on the 19th October. QPR has indicated that it intends to appeal the decision.”