Procrastinating Over The QPR Affair Has Done The FA No Favours

By on May 4, 2011 in English League Football, Latest | 8 comments

By the end of this week, we will know what – if any – sanction has been levelled against Queens Park Rangers with regard to the Alejandro Faurlin affair. The club itself (and by this we mean the senior management and/or the owners of the club) will get whatever it deserves, should it be found to be guilty. This, however, is not  the place to discuss what sanctions may or may not be levelled against the club just yet. It’s a subject that we can return to at a more appropriate time. It is also worth remembering that, although many different people have made claims stating that they can look into a crystal ball and predict exactly what will happen at the end of this week, no-one knows at present and those that run our game can be somewhat flighty in their decisions. Queens Park Rangers could be deducted fifteen points. They could merely receive a fine. All stops between these two extremities are possible, if not likely.

Certain sections of media have already pronounced the club guilty of the charges brought by the FA and, while it is fair to say that there is a certain degree of presumption going on here, not many people or organisations that are charged by the FA are completely exonerated of said charges. These particular rules, however, have not been tested before (it is somewhat ironic that the Football League passed the case to the FA because it currently has no rules regarding the third party ownership of players), so assumptions of guilt or otherwise would appear to be misplaced until the verdict has been given. Reports that the Football League have already advised Championship clubs that the play-offs may be delayed by a week, however, are hardly likely to settle the nerves of the club’s supporters over the next couple of days.

None of this, however, answers a somewhat more pressing question, which is that of why it is to take until a couple of days before the end of the season for a verdict to be reached over this matter. This is not a matter of whether QPR have done anything wrong or not and, if they have, what punishment they should receive. It has been reported that the FA first became aware of irregularites regarding Faurlin’s transfer to the club several months ago. If we presume this to be correct (and it hardly seems unlikely – after all, the FA’s charge against the club was first publicised more than two months ago), why could this not have been dealt with at the time? Whatever happens to Queens Park Rangers – the ownership and senior management thereof, at least – should they be found guilty of the charges lain at their door seems unlikely to be something that too many people will shed many tears over. It would seem, however, profoundly unfair on the supporters of the club and the rest of the club’s players – all innocent parties to whatever may or may not have been going on at the club – that they should be treated in this way.

It seems fairly universally acknowledged that Queens Park Rangers have been the best club in the Championship this season, and what has been notable about the reaction of the supporters of other clubs has been, broadly speaking, supportive of the supporters of Queens Park Rangers. It seems – and this, of course, is merely anecdotal – that there are relatively few that will be furious should the club be promoted to the Premier League at the end of this season. There were one or two quizzical looks at the Southern League a couple of weeks ago when a points deduction set up – whether accidentally or deliberately – a championship deciding league match in one of the league’s divisions on the last day of the season. There are similarities with between that case and this and, to an extent, delaying the verdict until this point in the season has shot the FA in the foot. No matter what verdict is reached later this week, certain assumptions will be made concerning the motives for whatever decision is reached and those responsible for the lengthy delay in reaching a verdict will only have themselves to blame for whatever conspiracy theories are thrown around once it has been announced.

In one respect, the FA are in a fortuitous position. Queens Park Rangers’ lead at the top of the table is big enough and the rewards of promotion into the Premier League are sufficiently great for a large points deduction and a hefty fine to be administered without any significant damage being done to the top of the Championship table. Alternatively, sanctions may be suspended until next season. However, their tardiness over making a decision and – if appropriate – passing down a punishment which may or may not fit the crime means that it is quite possible that any of Queens Park Rangers’ misdemeanours will be dwarfed by discussions regarding the failure of the Football League to have any meaningful rules regarding third party ownership and of the FA to be able to reach a conclusion over the matter before the very last possible moment. Queens Park Rangers may well come out of this affair badly, but that the Football League and the Football Association may do as well is not a very positive reflection upon the governance of English football at the moment, either.

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    8 Comments

  1. Great article. Perhaps the fa and footbal league can be charged with brInging the game into disrepute – again!

    Don

    May 4, 2011

  2. There has been much talk of the possible precedent of West Ham, but Boston United in 2002 is more apposite. There, the FA found the club guilty of illegal payments, but the club waited until day 13 of their 14-day window to lodge and appeal. As a result, the appeal considering whether the club would attract penalties which would keep them in the Conference would be held the day before the Football League programme containing Boston was due to begin. The penalty was suspended until a future point when the club would be in the Conference, and kicked in when they relegated some years’ later.

    I can see a similar situation here; to impose a penalty on QPR from next year would tend to be a confirmation of their relegation; every other Premiership club will doubtless be pleased to know 33% of the relegation issues have been resolved before a ball is kicked, but that’s not what the PL would want for their brand.

    I can see them getting similar – they get a big penalty (15-20pts etc) , so QPR don’t get off scott-free so clubs in the FL can’t claim there’s been no real punishment. The penalty is delayed so it is dealt with another day.

    Dave

    May 4, 2011

  3. I feel very sorry for the QPR fans as they have been the best team all season.

    But isn’t it ironic that the Manager was going on and on about West Ham getting points deducted when he was at Sheffield utd, but now HIS team has done nothing wrong in a very similar situation.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the West Ham affair, and this one, it just seems to make me smile!

    jamie

    May 5, 2011

  4. The FA should concentrate on World Cup Bids…..ooooops

    Simon

    May 5, 2011

  5. “None of this, however, answers a somewhat more pressing question, which is that of why it is to take until a couple of days before the end of the season for a verdict to be reached over this matter.”

    The Football League has form for this though, going back a long way. Swindon were allowed to take part in the 2nd Division Play-Offs back in 1990 & after they won them, were relegated back again when it would’ve been far easier to disqualify them beforehand from taking part in ther Play-Offs.

    Roy Ebsary

    May 5, 2011

  6. As a Rangers fan I can’t help but feel a little anxious, but also that the tabloids have blown this out of all proportion. The FA have once again put themselves in to a corner where the right decision is impossible.

    Is there any reason they didn’t act 2 years ago when we told them about the issue?

    Oh that’s right they’re useless b$^$tards.

    arazis

    May 5, 2011

  7. > Queens Park Rangers’ lead at the top of the table is big enough and the rewards of promotion into the Premier League are sufficiently great for a large points deduction and a hefty fine to be administered without any significant damage being done to the top of the Championship table

    That’s part of the problem though, isn’t it? A points deduction which has no effect on the league table has no effect full stop. It positively encourages teams to cheat not merely enough to edge out on top of their rivals but enough to leave them trailing behind, such that the resultant penalty can’t topple them.

    Chris Cunningham

    May 5, 2011

  8. simple answer to the qpr scandal if u from london u can do what u want when u eant and get away with it scott free for some strange reason but never mind hammers coming down this year and rangers nxt lol

    curtis

    May 11, 2011

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