Socceroos defender edging closer to QPR switch
SOCCEROOS defender Trent Sainsbury is a step closer to joining Queens Park Rangers after the English Championship outfit settled their financial dispute with the English Football League.
The Hoops have reached a settlement worth almost $66 million following a four-year legal battle with the English Football League over a breach of spending limits.
Under the agreement, manager Steve McClaren will be banned from registering new players in this season's winter transfer window.
This may open the way for QPR to act now for Sainsbury, who has been in talks with the club after the departures of first-choice centre halves Jack Robinson and Nedum Onuoha.
The club's No.5 jersey has been left vacant, giving the biggest hint yet that the arrival of the Socceroo may be imminent.
If the deal does go through, Sainsbury will join close mate and fellow Australian Massimo Luongo at the Hoops.
Last October, an arbitration panel ruled QPR's fine of $74 million for overspending during the 2013-14 season that saw them promoted to the Premier League was not disproportionate.
The west London club lodged an appeal against the decision and a hearing was scheduled to start earlier this month but, in a joint statement, the parties have announced they have reached an agreement to effectively restructure the fine.
QPR will now pay the league $30 million for the Financial Fair Play breach and $5 million for the league's legal costs, and a payment schedule that the Press Association understands to be 10 years has been agreed.
The balance of the original fine, $39 million, will be swallowed by QPR's owners by converting outstanding loans to the club into shares.
Crucially for the club, none of these payments to the EFL will be taken into account when calculating the amounts QPR are allowed to spend on players and wages in the coming seasons.