Neil Warnock can now look forward to managing QPR in the Premier League
By Laurie Fitzgerald
There was relief all round Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon as Queens Park Rangers‘s promotion to the Premier League was finally confirmed.
Having secured the Championship on the pitch at Watford the previous weekend, Neil Warnock’s side had to wait until the outcome of an FA hearing off it to see if any point deductions were to take place.
The hearing centered around charges relating to the signing of Alejandro Faurlin in 2009.
The Football Association discovered irregularities over the ownership of the Argentinian midfielder, with potential third-party ownership of Faurlin in breach of rules introduced following the Carlos Tevez scandal in 2007.
The hearing got underway on Tuesday, with many expecting the verdict to be announced on the Friday, a day before the climax of the Championship season.
However, Friday came and went with no decision reached as the Football Association deliberated over the evidence provided during the four days.
Eventually, the FA announced on midday on Saturday that although QPR were found guilty of two of the seven charges they faced, it was not sufficient enough to warrant a points deduction.
There’s no doubt that on the pitch, QPR fully deserve promotion to the top-flight.
Warnock has assembled a squad of quality and experience, the best defence in the division, as well as having the player of the season in Adel Taarabt to inspire them.
There’s no question they deserve their status as champions, but many will be wondering how they can be found guilty but escape punishment, even though there have been precedents set in the past.
Luton Town faced similar charges regarding illegal payments to agents – one of the charges that Rangers faced - in 2009 and were deducted 10 points for their actions.
The confusing issue in this outcome is that the FA haven’t announced what charges QPR were found guilty of, and therefore it’s difficult to make comparisons to other cases.
But it shows how questionable it is in terms of how well the FA have handled the whole situation.
When the club was charged in March, English football’s governing body pushed for a quick ruling on the matter.
But having to wait until the final week of the season to deal with the case made it more difficult not only for QPR but also for clubs that could prosper from the decision, such as Cardiff City and Swansea.
Then to delay the verdict of the hearing made the situation worse. While they wanted to make sure the right decision was reached, they had four days to study the evidence and come to a conclusion.
To announce the decision less than an hour before the final round of fixtures added to the perplexity of the saga.
Worst of all, not announcing straight away what charges QPR were found guilty of meant that there were question marks over the escape of a points deduction.
What will not be questioned is the outcome of the charges, as the FA studied all the evidence involved and came to a decision based on this.
But it will not stop the questions being asked of the FA and how they let this week unfold.
So what do you think? Have the Football Association handled the issue well? Was the decision not to deduct points the right one? Let us know your thoughts.