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Friday, May 06, 2011

QPR in Purgatory/Limbo: Media Assessment of FA Panel Delay...Season Finale?: Leeds United..Buzsaky's Future?

- QPR Report Board Poster Haqpr1963 Encapsulates the Current Situation!
- FA/QPR Hearing: Stories, Rumours, Views, etc: Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Next: Leeds United

- FA Taking Jurisdictin of Cardiff and Swansea

- Premier League Clubs Discussed Salary Cap

- OTD: Four Year Flashback: Statement re the Blitz Loan

- A YOUNG Martin and Clive Allen! - Daily Mail Profiles "Mad Dog" Martin Allen

- Fifteen Years Ago: QPR Played their Last Game in the Premiership

The FA Commission Statement - QPR hearing: An updateThursday, 05 May, 2011
- Statement by Regulatory Commission hearing charges against QPR and Mr Paladini.
It was originally indicated that the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on the charges against QPR and Mr Gianni Paladini concerning Alejandro Faurlin and on any sanction, if appropriate, would be announced by 4pm on Friday 6 May if possible. This will not now happen. A decision will be made and announced as soon as possible thereafter. FA

Mail -Total chaos: QPR hearing delay is turning the Championship into a farce
By Sami Mokbel

The climax to the Championship season descended into farce after the decision was delayed on whether to dock Queens Park Rangers points over transfer irregularities.

The FA were due to announce on Friday if QPR had been found guilty of seven charges of breaking transfer laws over their £3.5million move for Alejandro Faurlin in 2009.

Sources have informed Sportsmail that the verdict could come as late as Monday, throwing the promotion battle into chaos.

A spokesman for Swansea, who could be promoted if Rangers are deducted points, said: ‘To leave the decision so late in the season was always ridiculous. But now it’s got even worse.’

Rangers are due to be awarded the Championship trophy at Loftus Road after their final game against Leeds and boss Neil Warnock said: ‘This does not help our preparations for Saturday. We are going into the game not knowing where we stand.’

If deducted points, Rangers could be forced into the play-offs to fight for a top-flight place. Cardiff, Swansea, Reading and Nottingham Forest are in the play-off spots.

A deduction could also lead to a number of legal battles, though the Football League insist that the play-offs will begin next Thursday whatever happens.

Plymouth Argyle, who are in administration and have been relegated to League Two, are considering legal action if QPR are docked points.

As part of the deal that took striker Jamie Mackie to Loftus Road last summer, Argyle are in line for a cash windfall, but that could be withheld if Rangers are stripped of promotion. Daily Mail


QPR seem certain to avoid a points deduction this season after the bungling FA admitted they won’t reach a verdict on the Alejandro Faurlin case until after the end of the campaign.

A statement from the FA yesterday afternoon said: “It was originally indicated that the decision on any sanction, if appropriate, would be announced by 4pm on Friday, May 6 if possible. This will not now happen. A decision will be made and announced as soon as possible thereafter.”

The Football League rule book states that the season ends “immediately after the completion of the club’s final fixture”.

Decisions can be imposed “immediately or may be deferred” – there is no scope for retrospective punishment against Neil Warnock’s team.

As a result, the Daily Express understands that when the full-time whistle blows at Loftus Road after their game against Leeds tomorrow, the Football League intends to wash their hands of the affair and pass the problem on to the Premier League. Express


THE FA and Premier League look set to become embroiled in a power struggle stretching into the summer after the FA’s four-man panel decided it would need longer to look into QPR’s case.

At a time when there is already plenty of jostling for position between David Bernstein and the Premier League powers of Richard Scudamore and Sir David Richards at the Football Governance inquiry, a verdict against QPR over the third-party ownership of Alejandro Faurlin could test who really calls the shots.

If, as suggested by former FA chief executive Mark Palios, a points deduction is imposed, the unarguable end to the Football League season seems set to lead to the authorities demanding the top clubs in the land admit an uncompetitive member into their midst.

The fear is that it will unbalance the self-styled “greatest league in the world” – although any vote on the matter would be skewed by those spotting an opportunity to avoid relegation next season.

The FA are obviously keen to avoid the embarrassment of their failure to rule on a situation they have known of for eight months.

The four-man panel includes two council members and a former player but it is the QC heading the board who is being held responsible for setting what he felt was an appropriate amount of time to prepare a case. Express

The Sun/Shaun Custis - Championship faces chaos

FOOTBALL was plunged into chaos last night as the QPR inquiry descended into farce.

There could even be the absurd prospect of the Championship winners being handed their trophy after the final game of the season tomorrow - and then being forced to give it back within days!

The inquiry's decision to delay their verdict, which was due today, means clubs fighting for a play-off place will have no idea where they have finished either.

Seventh-placed Leeds face QPR tomorrow and chairman Ken Bates raged: "This is chaos and an utter shambles. It's not fair on the other clubs and it's not fair on QPR."

The farcical scenario emerged after an independent inquiry announced it was delaying its verdict into whether QPR broke strict FA third-party ownership rules when they signed Alejandro Faurlin.

That means Rangers will play their final match still not knowing if they are going into the Premier League even though they won the Championship last week.

Warnock's team could be deducted points if they are found guilty of the seven charges against them and be demoted back into the play-offs.

While they are still expecting to receive the Championship trophy at Loftus Road tomorrow, the Football League insist they will not confirm that until today.

A Rangers spokesman, however, insisted: "The club will be presented with the Championship trophy on Saturday and intend to celebrate."

Manager Warnock added: "I love Loftus Road and I want the fans to enjoy the party on Saturday."

Adding to the confusion is a debate over whether the FA even have the power to take away QPR's trophy once it has been physically handed to them.

Sources at the club believe those powers cease to exist once the season is over - although FA sources doubt this is accurate.

Despite all the uncertainty, the Football League has confirmed the Championship play-offs will go ahead on the dates planned, starting next Thursday.

That means Rangers would not have the chance to lodge an appeal should they be found guilty.

Leeds chairman Bates was scathing of the FA.

He said: "What I can't understand is that they've known about this since September and it's taken eight months to put a hearing together.

"Now it's going on in the last week of the normal season and they can't finish it in time. It's not fair on the other clubs and it's not fair on QPR either.

"And how can they say the dates for the play-offs are happening without knowing the outcome of this hearing?"

Bates reckons the FA have opened the door for the Parliamentary select committee, which is currently looking into football, to rip them to shreds.

He added: "It's been a lightweight inquiry so far which hasn't discussed any of the issues which really matter in the game.

"But they've been wanting something current to latch on to and this could be it." The Sun

TELEGRAPH/Jeremy Wilson - Neil Warnock defiant as Queens Park Rangers hearing is delayed
As confusion descended on the finale to the Championship season on Thursday, there was at least some clarity to be found at the Harlington training base of Queens Park Rangers.

The hearing into QPR’s seven alleged breaches of Football Association rules is now likely to run beyond Saturday’s final round of matches but, according to manager Neil Warnock, there will still be a huge party at Loftus Road.

And, even with the threat of a points deduction lingering over his team, Warnock is adamant that the Football League must also allow the Championship trophy to be presented after their game against Leeds United.

“We have done it on the field of play; we’ve more than been the best team all season and, believe you me, we are going to celebrate,” said Warnock. “We are going to be presented with the trophy. They are the favourites pictures of my career. I think it is a fantastic and exciting moment for the kids. We’ve got kids at QPR who have never been to the Premier League, not had any success in their generation.”

The Independent Regulatory Commission had been expected to deliver its verdict by 4pm on Friday but, after the third day of evidence concluded last night, it became clear that would not be possible.

Asked if he would take second place and automatic promotion if it was offered now, Warnock said: “No, because we are champions. We are number one in the league and that’s where we are going to be.”

Warnock was also bullish enough to openly pontificate about the challenge of keeping QPR in the Premier League next season, as well as the prospect of “Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal getting changed in our little Loftus Road dressing rooms”.

For those who have been predicting a points deduction — such as former FA chief executive Mark Palios — there was short shrift. “Mark is talking without knowing the facts really,” said Warnock. “I call it cheap publicity but he’s had enough of that, hasn’t he?”

Palios, of course, resigned from the FA after revelations of an affair with Faria Alam, an FA secretary who had also had an affair with England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

On the detail of the case, Warnock was circumspect but rejected comparisons with the Carlos Tévez saga, when West Ham United escaped a points deduction that ultimately condemned his Sheffield United team to relegation four years ago.

“I know that it is nothing to do West Ham-Sheffield United,” he said. “It is nowhere near in the same league. I’m quite happy to let the commission look at all the evidence and make their decision.

“The players were very low a couple of weeks ago. Having spoken to the barrister, I came away and said to the players, ‘right, let’s get on with winning the Championship’.”

Since the tribunal started, Warnock said that he has spoken only briefly with the assistant to Ian Mill, the club’s QC. As much as possible, he has tried to prepare his players as normal for Saturday’s match although Alejandro Faurlin, the player whose transfer has caused the charges, was on Friday required to give evidence.

Warnock expressed his admiration for the way Faurlin has maintained his focus this season but likened his job to starring in a soap opera.

“QPR is an unusual club,” he said. “It’s probably a little bit like Coronation Street in the Football League. You don’t know what is in the next episode. Probably on the outside it’s looked as though it has all gone smooth but nothing is like that on the inside at QPR. First of all, to survive a year has been as much an achievement as anything hasn’t it? I don’t look beyond trying to keep these up next season which will be difficult.”

Whatever happens, Warnock is already marking this down as his seventh promotion and the greatest feat of a managerial career that has spanned 31 years and 12 clubs.

“I was determined to try and equal Graham Taylor’s record of seven promotions,” he said. “I’m a big admirer of Graham. I think it is the biggest achievement I’ve got because of the revamping of the team. At Sheffield United I had seven years. It’s been the most exciting and most difficult.”

Still, after everything that happened with Tévez, you have to wonder whether Warnock is asking himself: why me again? “I think my wife has mentioned it on the odd occasion,” he said. “Life throws these things at you and you have to deal with it. I don’t think there’s any comparison with the charges that we have had [to the Tévez case].

“I’ve concentrated on football and let you guys in the media deal with people like Mark Palios. I will be asking one or two questions myself next week. You’ll have to wait and see what the verdict is and then come and interview me because it’s not like me to keep quiet like this, is it?”

Q&A: Why Rangers are still fighting for promotion...

What are QPR alleged to have done?
There are seven charges arising from the transfer of the Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlín to QPR in July 2009. The allegations include entering agreement with a third party over his economic rights and using or seeking to pay an unauthorised agent. QPR and chairman Gianni Paladini have been charged over allegedly false information submitted to the FA.

What are the possible punishments?
QPR could be fined or suffer a points deduction, which could deny them the title or move them into the play-offs. It has also been suggested that the commission apply a points deduction from the start of next season. QPR believe they acted properly. The matter only came to light when they went to the League and asked to buy out Faurlin’s contract.

Why has it all taken so long to resolve?
This is the issue that is causing most frustration. It is now almost eight months since the Football League first referred the matter to the FA. “Murder trials get to court quicker than this,” said one club insider.

What happened yesterday?
The FA and QPR confirmed that the commission would not be announcing their decision by 4pm today. The four-man commission will now meet over the weekend to try to get the hearing concluded as quickly possible. The final round of matches is due to kick-off at 12.45pm tomorrow.

Will the matter be resolved when the verdict is announced?
Not necessarily. QPR have the right to appeal any sanction and could also still try to take any case to an outside court. There is also the potential of other clubs pursuing their own legal action in response to the decision. The League is determined to press ahead with the play-offs which begin next Thursday and Friday. Telegraph


A verdict in case of QPR's Alejandro Faurlin delayed

The Football Association has delayed its verdict in the case of QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin due to the quantity of evidence being considered.

The decision on the Argentine's ownership was originally due before 1600 BST on Friday.

But an FA statement read: "This will now not happen."

The Championship's league winners may be deducted points if they are found guilty on some or all of the seven charges against them.

Asked whether the verdict will be delivered on Monday, a QPR spokesman said: "that's an assumption to make."

However BBC Sport understands the tribunal could remain sitting through the weekend if required and that a decision could come at any time.

While the panel continues its deliberations, QPR intend for the Championship trophy's presentation to take place on Saturday when Rangers entertain Leeds.

Manager Neil Warnock echoed those sentiments by telling QPR's official website: "I love Loftus Road and I want the fans to enjoy the party on Saturday."
Continue reading the main story

It is a nightmare, a logistical headache and potentially a legal minefield

Ian Dennis BBC 5 live senior football reporter

But the celebrations could turn sour if the tribunal imposes a points deduction significant enough to shake up the positions at the top of the table, where QPR are currently nine points clear of third-placed Cardiff.

That could have a knock-on effect on the make-up of the Championship play-offs, which are scheduled to be played on 12 and 13 May, with the second legs on 16 and 17 May.

"It is a nightmare, a logistical headache and, potentially, a legal minefield," said BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis. "Earlier in the week I was under the impression that the play-offs could have been moved back five or six days.

"Discussions had taken place but I think that was if a decision had been reached enabling QPR to, if required, lodge an appeal.

"Now my understanding is that the play-offs remain on the original dates, which depending on the outcome of the hearing, means problems for the clubs if the positions are forced to change, and logistical issues with ticketing arrangements and the police."

The hearing at the FA's headquarters in Wembley began on Tuesday, with an announcement on the findings and any possible sanctions originally due to be made on Friday.

The charges facing QPR concern the alleged existence of an agreement between them and a third party in respect of Faurlin's economic rights, and the alleged failure by the club to notify the FA of that agreement before the player was registered to play for them in England.

The club has also been charged with allegedly using or seeking to pay an unauthorised agent as part of the Faurlin deal, while both the club and chairman Gianni Paladini have further been charged with allegedly submitting false information in documents provided to the FA relating to a contract extension signed by Faurlin in October.

If found guilty of some or all of these charges, QPR could be punished with anything from a fine to a points deduction.

Former Football Association chief Mark Palios told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday that if the club are found guilty they would be docked points based on set precedents.

Warnock accused Palios of "cheap publicity" and said it was business as usual at Loftus Road.

"We are just concentrating on beating Leeds [on Saturday]. We have been the best team in the league by a mile all season and nothing is going to detract from that.

"It is probably the best job I have ever done in the past 13-14 months and the celebrations are going to be as good as any celebrations could be."

The full FA statement read: "It was originally indicated that the decision of the commission on the charges and on any sanction, if appropriate, would be announced by 4pm on Friday 6 May 2011 if possible.

"This will now not happen. A decision will be made and announced as soon as possible thereafter."

The outcome of the hearing could also affect Plymouth Argyle.

BBC Sport understands that the west country side, relegated from League One, have taken legal advice because they are entitled to a six-figure sum of money if QPR are promoted from a player they sold to the Londoners." BBC

Ian Wright/The Sun - The FA are an embarrassment
IT was an absolute joke that the FA planned to give their verdict on the QPR disciplinary case today... 24 hours before the final game of the Championship season.

Now they have made it even worse by postponing their decision.

They knew there was something wrong with the signing of Alejandro Faurlin last September.

But they didn't charge the club until March and then waited until May to hold the hearing.

Why have they been dragging their feet for so long? What have they been doing for the last eight months?

The FA brought in new rules specifically banning third-party ownership after the Carlos Tevez fiasco four years ago.

The minute they knew QPR had broken those rules, they should have been punished there and then. Why do they even need to have an inquiry?

By allowing this case to drag on for so long, they are punishing thousands of innocent QPR fans who still cannot celebrate the promotion they've dreamed of for years.

It just confirms my belief that the FA don't give a t*** about the supporters who pay their wages but are completely ignored when it comes to the running of the game.

This QPR case is just the latest in a long line of terrible decisions from the game's governing body which are, frankly, an embarrassment.

Look at the recent Alex Ferguson case. Instead of being told to sit in a slightly different seat for five games, he should have been banned from the stadium and fined £250,000.

That's a proper punishment. If the FA are serious about managers respecting referees, that would have made Fergie think twice.

And which genius at the FA decided to give Fabio Capello a new contract before the World Cup shambles?

Was it the same bloke who gave Sven Goran Eriksson a new deal after he was caught talking to Chelsea?

While we're at it, why are we not allowed to know the identity of the four-man panel currently dealing with QPR?

There's more secrecy at the FA than the old Russian Communist Party.

Who are these faceless old blokes in blazers who travel all around the world with England?

What are they doing to change football for the better? In the modern world of microchip technology, the FA is still being run like an old gentlemen's club.

I should know. I was up before their disciplinary committee often enough during my playing career.

If you didn't wear a tie they'd look at you as if you'd committed a murder. So how can they possibly deal with the likes of Paul Merson or Joey Barton when they are so out of touch?

I'd happily sit on the FA disciplinary committee. At least today's players would be able to identify with me and know I'd experienced what they were going through.

But it's not just the disciplinary committee that needs an overhaul.

The entire FA needs to start employing younger people in positions of authority.

That's why we have to start a campaign here and now to get rid of the old farts, as Will Carling once said, running the FA and drag the organisation kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

I know I'm biased but the FA really missed a trick when they failed to make David Dein their chairman at the start of the year.

Dein is a football visionary who understands how the modern game works and what needs to be done to take football forward.

The problem with the FA is that they seem to change their chairman or chief executive every few months.

But no one knows how these guys are ever appointed in the first place. Why don't the clubs, the players and even the supporters get a vote?

At the moment no one is sticking up for English football. What happened with our World Cup bid last year was a national disgrace.


Why should we listen to anything Sepp Blatter and his cronies have to say after they voted to take the biggest competition in sport to Russia and Qatar.

It's blatantly obvious they didn't get the World Cup finals on merit alone.

The FA say they want to bring in goalline technology but FIFA won't allow it. Well, b***s to FIFA. Let's go it alone and do what is best for English football.

If we want to bring in our own rules to tackle cheats and divers, let's not wait for some FIFA sub-committee to give its blessing in 10 years time. Let's do it now.

The FA have ignored the wishes of the fans for far too long.

We don't want to be ripped off to watch any more turgid England friendlies at Wembley. We want a bloody revolution." The Sun

Telegraph on the Ken Bates Comments
Leeds chairman Ken Bates calls QPR's FA hearing delay 'chaos and an utter shambles'

Ken Bates has criticised the delay in announcing the verdict of the FA's investigation into Queens Park Rangers' purchase of Alejandro Faurlin.
Ken Bates - Leeds chairman Ken Bates calls QPR's FA hearing delay 'chaos and an utter shambles'

FA farce: Leeds chairman Ken Bates says that dragging out the QPR hearing is unfair to Championship clubs Photo: PA
By Thom Gibbs 9:26AM BST 06 May 2011

Bates, the former owner and chairman of Chelsea who is now in charge of Leeds, has said that the way the investigation is being handled is unfair on QPR and their Championship competitors.

A verdict was expected to be announced on Friday, so that any sanctions against QPR would be known before the final round of games on Saturday afternoon. The hearing is now expected to announce its findings after this weekend.

"This is chaos and an utter shambles," Bates told The Sun. "It's not fair on the other clubs and it's not fair on QPR.

"What I can't understand is that they've known about this since September and it's taken eight months to put a hearing together.

"Now it's going on in the last week of the normal season and they can't finish it in time.

"And how can they say the dates for the play-offs are happening without knowing the outcome of this hearing?"

Bates believes that the FA's handling of QPR's case may also mean further scrutiny by the Parliamentary select committee, which is currently looking into football.

"It's been a lightweight inquiry so far which hasn't discussed any of the issues which really matter in the game," Bates said.

"But they've been wanting something current to latch on to and this could be it." Telegraph

CNBC/Patrick Allen - How Cruel Can Sport Be to a Fan?
There is a small football (or soccer for our US readers) in West London called Queens Park Rangers.

During the 1970s and 1990s the club enjoyed relative success playing attractive football without ever really converting style into trophies.

With a small support QPR’s success has in the past been driven by good management and rich owners willing to fund that management on the pitch.

Having been a founding member of the Premier League in the early 1990s, disaster struck in 1996 and the club where relegated from the top tier of English football.

For over 10 years the club lurched from one disaster to another.

The list is long and the luck bad. Relegation to the third tier of English football, being put into administration and surviving after players where bought by a couple of fans.

There was also a takeover attempt involving a gun being put to the head of the then chairman.

The loss in a cup game to the works team of GM-owned Vauxhall Motors.

There was an international incident with China following a mass brawl with China’s under 23 team in a friendly game.

Then tragically, the death of a highly rated teenager who could now be a leading star of the game.

Now I must make an important disclosure, I am a long-suffering QPR fan.

Having grown up with my team being relatively good for the majority of my life QPR have been a laughing stock, forced to accept the scorn of fans of Chelsea, Arsenal and virtually anyone who bothered to have a laugh at our expense.

A couple of years ago things began to change.

The club was bought by Italian millionaire Flavio Briatore and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

If that was not exciting enough Indian Steel magnate and Britain’s richest man, Lakshmi Mittal and his family took a stake in the club.

With billionaire’s now backing the club the good times had to be just around the corner.

But despite spending some money Flavio Briatore could not stop meddling in team affairs, sacked numerous managers and led fans to believe the club was jinxed.

With the results disappointing and Briatore public enemy number one the Italian was forced out with the Mittal family all but taking control of running the club despite being minority stake holders.

With the hire of an experienced manager called Neil Warnock and the signing of a talented young Moroccan player called Adel Taarabt, results began to improve before in the current season the team played some of the best football in years to be crowned champions with a ticket back to the highly lucrative Premier League the prize.

Sounds like a win, so why are you boring us with this story about soccer?, you might ask.

The problem is that we signed an Argentinean player called Alejandro Faurlin when Briatore was still running the club in a deal that could very well have broken the rules on third party ownership (Soccer players are owned by their clubs and can be bought and sold by clubs but the rules in the UK mean a third party cannot hold the rights to a player).

On Monday, 48 hours after the last game of the season at which at which we should be celebrating a brilliant season, soccer’s governing body the Football Association could decide to dock up to 15 points from the club in a move that would rob us of promotion, force us into a play-off which we would surely lose knowing our luck and result in the loss of our star player.

This might not happen, QPR could just be fined and slapped on the wrists, but being a QPR fan has made me fear the worst.

With QPR I get an answer on Friday the May 6, I am expecting the worst, but ready for a cruel decision that could mean another 15 years of hurt.
© 2011 CNBC.com

[Published Before yesterday's "Deadline Extension"

The Guardian/Owen Gibson
QPR preparing for points deduction verdict: the 10 key questions
• Club will discover on Friday if they face sanctions
• Losing points could threaten promotion to Premier League
1. What are QPR charged with?
The west London club, five points clear at the top of the Championship and nine points clear of the play-off places with one game to play, face a total of seven charges arising from the transfer of the Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlín to the club in July 2009. The club itself faces five charges, including entering into a third-party contract, providing the Football Association with allegedly false information and bringing the game into disrepute. The QPR chairman Gianni Paladini faces a further two charges: bringing the game into disrepute and concealing or misrepresenting the reality and/or substance of matters relating to a transaction or contract negotiation.

2. How are QPR alleged to have broken the FA's rules?
Faurlín was signed from the Second Division Argentinian side Instituto de Córdoba in July 2009 in a deal that was reported on the QPR website as being worth £3.5m. But the Argentinian club claim never to have received a penny of the fee, which is alleged instead to have been paid to a third party. Such arrangements are common in South American football but are strictly forbidden under FA rules introduced in the wake of the Carlos Tevez affair. The charge of using an unauthorised agent is believed to relate to the fact the deal was handled by Peppino Tirri, who has acted on behalf of several big-name European players and holds a Fifa licence but at the time was not registered by the FA so was not authorised to conduct business in England. QPR later gave Faurlín a new four-year contract, in October 2010, to which the allegations about false information relate.

3. Why is third-party ownership forbidden?
Because it is considered that a player could come under undue pressure from an outside influence that may upset the sporting integrity of the game. The belief is that every player's only loyalty should be to the club, which should be his sole employer. Most other countries do not have rules against third-party ownership, leading to a boom in the practice.

4. Was Faurlín owned by a third party?
There seems little doubt that the player's economic rights were held by a third party, because QPR were given permission to buy out Faurlín's registration in January to make him eligible to play under FA rules. The issue is whether the rules were broken in good faith. QPR claim they didn't know about the existence of the FA rule until the Football League introduced its own ban on third-party ownership, introduced as part of the move to harmonise its rulebook with the Premier League under a deal over parachute payments. One key factor that will be examined by the FA will be the transfer fee paid at the time, which would have been logged with it under its role as a clearing house for all transfers. It has been suggested that the transfer was logged as a free transfer at the time, perhaps with a promise of a fee further down the line, despite QPR saying publicly that it was worth £3.5m.

5. Is there any precedent?
The closest thing to a precedent is the convoluted and highly controversial Carlos Tevez affair that led to West Ham escaping a points penalty but being hit with a £5.5m fine and a later £26.5m compensation payment to Sheffield United, the club relegated in their place following the Argentinian's heroics in keeping the London club up. But it is not a direct comparison because at the time there were no explicit FA or Premier League rules dealing with third-party ownership.

6. Who will decide QPR's fate?
The four-person tribunal is comprised of a QC, two further legal counsels and a football representative (typically a former player or manager). The FA has said it will not reveal their identities.

7. Who is representing QPR?
QPR's case is being presented by Ian Mill QC of Blackstone Chambers, a hugely respected sports lawyer who has acted in a string of high-profile cases. He has acted for just about every sports governing body, Chelsea, Formula One teams McLaren and Williams, plus individuals such as David Beckham, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. It was he who won Sheffield United their £26.5m compensation payment and he has also served on FA disciplinary panels in the past.

8. What are the possible penalties?
QPR could be fined or suffer a points deduction that could deny them the Championship title or move them into the play-offs. It is understood that another option open to the independent tribunal would be to apply any points deduction from the start of next season – allowing QPR to be promoted but starting the Premier League season on a minus total.

Some FA sources are keen to see QPR heavily punished if they are found to have broken the rules, viewing the charge of providing misleading paperwork particularly seriously. QPR, on the other hand, remain confident about their case and believe a fine more likely.

9. What are the implications for promotion and the play-offs?
The Football League has indicated there could be some flexibility around the dates of the play-off semi-finals if required but is increasingly minded to plough on regardless. QPR would have 14 days from the date they receive the written judgment to appeal and have suggested they will take that entire period to consider their case. The Championship play-off final at Wembley on 30 May cannot be moved for logistical reasons. Either way, the Football League will wait for the verdict before taking a view.

10. What will happen next?
The verdict will almost certainly be delivered . If QPR are hit with a points penalty, they are almost certain to appeal. Legal action could also follow, either from QPR or their Championship rivals, and drag on through the summer. Guardian

Paul Warburton/Fulham Chronicle - QPR midfielder's future in doubt

AKOS Buzsaky's QPR future is hanging by a thread.

We exclusively revealed yesterday that Rangers boss Neil Warnock is set to axe a massive 15 players in the summer, and Buzsaky appears to be one adding to the manager’s headache.

A catalogue of injures has cost the Hungarian international any real chance of forging his way into the Champions-elect set-up.

The midfielder has made only eight starts this campaign with 10 more as a sub, including Saturday’s 75th minute appearance to cement the 2-0 away win at Watford.
Fulham Chronicle

- "Spot The Ball, #7"

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