Collateral Damage at QPR
The investigation currently being undertaken by the Football Association into the finances of Queen’s Park Rangers and in particular the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin from Instituto de Córdoba first came to my attention as a result of an article published by Two Hundred Percent on Wednesday. This morning, David Conn of The Guardian followed up with a devastating second salvo; the nuts and bolts of the story appearing on the front page of the Sport section.
Of these two missives, the first speculates as to the possibility of points being deducted from Rangers if the charges are proven, but its author Ian King feels that this is unlikely to happen, because the closest seeming precedent to this kind of case saw West Ham escape with a £20 million out of court settlement after the Carlos Tevez affair in the 2006-7 season – and let’s not make any bones about it, an escape it certainly was.
But Conn mentions that the rules have changed since then – not in the Football League which referred the case to the game’s national overlords – but more widely. He states: “Third party ownership was banned by the Premier League and FA after the Carlos Tevez affair” so QPR could well be liable for points dockage.
Either way, a quick decision is sorely needed. Calculating collateral damage in such situations can be labyrinthine and once the courts are involved, any number of permutations could result. On March 20, 2010, Faurlin featured in a 1-1 home draw with Swansea City. Had Swansea won that game, they would have finished on 71 points, thus pipping Blackpool to a play off spot and….
But those who may suffer from all this the most would be the fans, players and manager of QPR. As one emotive commenter on the Two Hundred Percent piece suggests, it would be a real shame to see the Super Hoops mess up a tremendous season, one I might add that has seen the Argentinian perform outstandingly.
As for Neil Warnock, the irony has not been lost on the twitterati. He, you’ll remember, vocally expounded on the outrageousness of West Ham’s fate after his Sheffield United side were so cruely demoted. Should he be denied a third shot at Premier League management, he’ll be incandescent – two wrongs do not a right make, but I think most of us will be uncomfortable if the book is thrown at QPR. For his sake and that of the supporters, and despite a disappointing performance at Millwall on Tuesday, perhaps the best scenario for everyone would be to see the current tally deducted, but the side to rally and be promoted anyway – they would be a mere 3 points adrift should this happen.