TONY Fernandes is feeling the heat. No, it's nothing to do with AirAsia, the successful Malaysian budget carrier of which he is group chief executive. Rather, it's because of the other prominent hat that the flamboyant 48-year-old entrepreneur wears.
He is chairman of Queens Park Rangers (QPR), the English football club that is presently rooted to the foot of the Premier League and in grave danger of being relegated.
It's been a disappointing time for Fernandes ever since he was unveiled as the West London club's majority shareholder back in August 2011, having bought Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone's 66 per cent stake for about £35 million (S$66.2 million).
After escaping the dreaded drop last season by the skin of its teeth, it will take nothing short of a miracle to repeat the trick.
QPR is rock bottom in the standings and four points from safety, having won just four out of its 29 league games.
The string of defeats resulted in Mark Hughes getting the sack last November, with veteran Harry Redknapp installed as the new manager to try and steer the club out of trouble.
There's been a glimmer of hope in the past fortnight, with the Hoops (QPR's nickname) winning two games in a row - 2-1 at fellow strugglers Southampton and 3-1 at home to Sunderland - to give everyone at Loftus Road a much-needed lift.
The harsh reality, however, is that QPR is still the bookies' hot favourite to go down.
A quick glance at its upcoming fixtures shows difficult trips to both Merseyside clubs Everton and Liverpool, and tough home games against Arsenal and Newcastle still to come.
Should the Hoops fall out of the Premier League, its biggest problem will be settling the wages of a number of big earners on its payroll.
As things stand, QPR's wage bill nearly doubled to £56 million in the year to May 31, 2012. The club reported losses of £22.6 million and debts soared to nearly £90 million.
And this doesn't even include the latest spending on its new players that were brought in last summer and in this year's January transfer window.
Fernandes might well regret the decision to smash the club's transfer record twice in January, splashing out over £20 million on striker Loic Remy and defender Christopher Samba.
Fernandes is placing all his faith on Redknapp, who is believed to be drawing a not-too-shabby salary himself, to deliver the results that will ensure QPR continues to remain in English football's top echelon.
No one needs reminding of what happened with clubs like Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Portsmouth, who were all guilty of spending beyond their means and suffering the consequences after dropping out of the Premier League.
Sure, QPR's trump card is the deep pockets of its owners - the remaining 33 per cent is held by the wealthy Mittal family - but no one knows for certain if Fernandes will even be around next season should Rangers fail in its quest to stay up.
He has already gone on record to say that he will step down if QPR is relegated.
If he keeps true to his word, the club could face the point of no return unless it can find another sugar daddy to keep it afloat.