EXCLUSIVE: QPR facing player-wages crisis
Published 22:31 13/03/12 By John Cross
Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes will have to brace himself for a huge financial hit if the club lose their battle against the drop.
That's because ambitious QPR signed up most of this season's big-name arrivals on lucrative deals which DO NOT include relegation clauses.
It is understood Norwich and Swansea - who went up to the top flight with QPR last summer - put clauses into player contracts that would see wages reduced by between 33 and 50 per cent if they return to the Championship.
But when QPR went for big signings, they struggled to persuade the likes of Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand to gamble on such deals, which might drop dramatically in value if things go wrong on the pitch.
Barton was accused by Wolves midfielder Karl Henry early in the season of bragging of being on £80,000-a-week following his move from Newcastle - a figure that dwarves the earnings of players at Swansea and Norwich.
But Fernandes has already stressed his big ambitions for the club and wanted to bring in players to ensure QPR were going places.
They signed Nedum Onuora from Manchester City in January, but the England Under-21 defender admitted he took persuading to come to London and it's understood he is on around £60,000-a-week.
QPR are now trying to renegotiate the contracts of some players - including Jamie Mackie - to ensure their pay goes down if the club makes an instant return to the Championship.
Airline tycoon Fernandes is confident of beating relegation though, and manager Mark Hughes insists he believes his squad is strong enough to stay up.
to keep their top flight status as, even including the parachute payments they would receive in the Championship, they will struggle with such a high wage bill - just as West Ham have done in the current campaign.