Collateral Damage at QPR

Posted by on Mar 11, 2011 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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 Cà³rdoba 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.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Stanley
    March 11, 2011

    I think you have been too kind to the Hoops, LR. Yes, they have generally shone on the pitch and the fans would be made to suffer. But if the club has indeed contravened FA/FL regulations, any punishment would be fully justified. And, having listened to their oh-so-humble following sing 'we'll never play you again' on Tuesday night, it would be difficult to muster much sympathy.

  2. Ben
    March 11, 2011

    Though I would feel for QPR fans were their promotion to be derailed by this, as someone with both feet firmly in the anti-Warnock camp I'd be only too happy for that fate to befall him. Not ashamed to say that the thought of his reaction to the news brought a smile to my face.

    The irony really is delicious. The main reason that the FA are so determined to mete out any punishment before the end of the season (and thereby avoid any disputes over promotion and relegation) is purely because of the fallout from the Tevez affair – and as one of the most vociferious critics of the system back then, Warnock would have to be seen as at least partially responsible for inflicting the damage on his own club now, if a points deduction is indeed forthcoming. You get what you ask for…

  3. Lanterne Rouge
    March 12, 2011

    Not responsible but has still benefitted from the player's not inconsiderable services of course – Faurlin was the best QPR player when I saw the Super Hoops at Reading the other week.

  4. Ben
    March 13, 2011

    Anonymous: I wasn't suggesting he was in any way responsible for bringing Faurlin in – merely that he'll be partially responsible for the sanctions taken against QPR if they're found guilty. Doh.


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