London - Premier League Queens Park Rangers have been told they risk being refused entry back into the second-tier English Championship if they refuse to pay an anticipated fine for breaching financial fair play rules.
Some estimates put a potential fine at as much as £40 million but the situation for west London side QPR, owned by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, could be even worse if they are relegated from the Premier League according to Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey.
QPR have been reported to have had losses of around 60m last season, when they were promoted from the Championship and that would incur a Football League fine of £40m for breaching financial fair play rules designed to prevent clubs spending more than they earn.
Harvey said Tuesday that Football League rules would still apply to QPR despite their promotion and said it was still possible that, should they be relegated, the club could be refused entry back into the second tier if they did not comply with a December 1 deadline to submit accounts or pay the fine.
Asked if exclusion was the "nuclear option", Harvey, speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, said: "Theoretically that is the position, but I would hope there would be resolution long before that option even had to be considered.
"We are satisfied we still have the ability under our regulations to charge them for a breach of our rules whilst they were in membership.
"The one thing for certain is that most clubs (in the Premier League) will become a Football League club again.
"Now QPR will of course be hoping it does not happen for some considerable number of seasons. But the chances are they will need to return to the Football League fold at some point in the future.
"Certainly, three of the current 20 clubs that are in the Premier League will be in the Football League next season," he added.
Clubs who were in the Championship last season have until December 1 to submit their accounts for last season, with the Football League announcing any action a month later.
All money from FFP fines will go to charity after the Premier League blocked a move to redistribute the money among the rest of the Championship.
In May, Fernandes insisted the club would fight any fine, saying at the time: "Will we fight the fine? What do you think? After all we've been through, it's my middle name - 'Fight It' Fernandes.
"My view has been consistent, that it is very unfair for a club that has been relegated as the wage difference --- between the Premier League and the Championship -- is impossible. There should be a time period for clubs to rectify their salaries.
"If we were in the Championship in two years with that wage bill it wouldn't be right. I'm in favour of FFP but it is unfair for a club coming down."
QPR recorded losses of 65.4m during the 2012/13 season and are forecast to have lost a similar figure last term.