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Monday, May 09, 2011

QPR Report Monday: FA Largest-Ever Fine Aftermath...QPR FC Chairman Reasures re Warnock Staying...On This Day: QPR Stay Up With Final Day Win


- Flashback: QPR's Defiant 1968/69 Farewell to the First Division: We'll be Back (Thanks as always to "Bushman")
- 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

- Support QPR Ladies: Appeal for Contributions

- Former QPR Goalie, Peter Springett: Would Have Been Sixty-Five Yesterday

- Twelve Year Flashback: On This Day in 1999: In the Last Game of the Season, QPR Stayed up by Smashing Crystal Palace

- Saturday's FA and QPR Announcement - Guilty on Two Counts (with apparently the FA's Largest-Ever Fine Imposed on QPR

- QPR's 2011-12 Premiership Season Kicks off on Saturday, August 13, 2011

- Saturday's Match Reports

- Gerry Francis (Currently Stoke's Coach) Profiled and Interviewed

- Early 2012 QPR Odds

- Lakshmi Mittal, Still The Richest!

- Ali Russell Back in Football?

- Further Great Photos

- Pre-Season Flashback: Crushing Tavistock et al

The Business Desk/hris Barry - Sports lawyer Farnell hails QPR result

SPORTS law expert Chris Farnell of IPS Law advised Coca Cola Championship winners QPR in its legal action with the Football Association, which saw it escape a points deduction after the signing of an Argentine player.

London-based QPR was instead fined £875,000 after being found guilty of two out of seven charges relating to the third-party ownership of midfielder Alejandro Faurlin.

The club could have missed out on promotion to the Premier League if the FA panel had imposed a stiffer sanction.

Mr Farnell, who founded niche Hale-based practice IPS Law in 2006 after leaving Hill Dickinson, said: "I am pleased with what is a very, very good result for QPR.

"I have been involved in the matter since its inception last August and unfortunately it came to its conclusion much later than anyone wanted."

He said comments in the media from "so called experts" pronouncing QPR would be deducted 15 points had put "intolerable pressure" on the club's players, management and officials, but the independent panel had reached the right conclusion.

"They imposed sanction on two of the lesser charges and the club has been fined £875,000. We have not seen the detail on this yet, so we don't know if its is something we will appeal."

Mr Farnell is no stranger to legal cases surrounding the controversial question of third-party player ownership. He acted for Sheffield United players in the aftermath of the Carlos Tevez/West Ham affair in 2008. The Business Desk


IT was a miracle that the Springbok pub next door to Loftus Road was empty as the game kicked off.

One of the biggest roars of the season came from the boozer when it was officially announced that QPR were champions 45 minutes before kick-off.

Everyone would have been forgiven had they stayed celebrating for the next 90 minutes and did not bother with the match.

The noise from the pub could be heard at the ground, above the shrieks of delight from the matchday girls who controlled their emotions and did not cry - unlike those big hairy men in the QPR dressing room.

Almost everyone of them shed a few tears, including boss Neil Warnock, when the FA decided against docking Rangers points that could have wrecked their season and delayed a Premier League return.

Now, Warnock's own Salvation Army, a collection of freebies, cheapies and wannabes, who along with an army of more expensive lawyers, has led Rangers to the promised land.

Sure, they were fined £875,000 after Rangers were found guilty of two of seven charges that related to third-party ownership of Alejandro Faurlin.

But fans must have gone close to spending that in West London on booze as the party began.

Leeds won on the day - when goals from Max Gradel and Ross McCormack rubbed out Heidar Helguson's opener after 29 SECONDS.

Rangers fans cannot wait to witness some of the best talent on earth in next season's Premier League heaven.

And if there is a heaven, there must be a God and for the R's fans he is disguised as boss Neil Warnock.

"There's only one Neil Warnock," they cried. And if he cannot repeat the trick of walking on water, he can certainly strut around with a chest bursting with pride at his team's major achievement.

SUN STAR MAN - MAX GRADEL (Leeds). Goal hero. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/spo....l#ixzz1LnvUUUxM

Charles Sale/Daily Mail

FA comes under pressure over QPR inquiry after club is confirmed as champions

The fall-out from the FA’s collapsed third-party ownership case against Championship title winners QPR will heap more pressure on English football’s beleaguered ruling body.

Rangers are hugely critical of the way the FA waited until March to press charges, even though the club brought the matter to their attention in September, and then tried to rush the hearing date to avoid any end-of-season uncertainty.

QPR lawyer Chris Farnell out manoeuvred the FA because barrister Craig Moore, the tribunal chairman, agreed the club needed a proper amount of time to prepare their defence against such serious allegations, which included calling witnesses from Argentina, Spain and Italy.

The FA’s failure to convince a panel selected by themselves on five of seven charges also adds credence to Rangers’ claim that the matter could have been sorted out without the expense and disruption of such a high-profile hearing. There are also complaints about FA inter-departmental bureaucracy slowing down the process. Uncertainty over when details of the case will be published only adds to the shambles.

The FA say it was ‘right and proper’ to bring the charges and QPR’s fine of £875,000 is the biggest handed out by the organisation.


Former FA chief executive Mark Palios, who has become a lot more available to the media now than he ever was at Soho Square, has upset the FA with his rent-a-quote comments on the QPR saga, ranging from wrongly speculating there would be a big points deduction to calling for a more independent tribunal.

But Palios has a point about the FA-controlled make-up of the regulation commission, although it had no board members on it as he was suggesting. The quartet were barrister chairman Craig Moore, FA councillors Peter Hough and Brian Jones and former footballer Colin Murdock. The panel was put together by FA staff members Darren Bailey and Mark Ives and disciplinary committee chief Maurice Armstrong. Mail

Conrad Leach/Independent - Taarabt casts doubt over his QPR future

Now, perhaps, for the hard part. As many a promoted club has discovered, staying in the Premier League can be more difficult than getting into it.

This may be different at Queen's Park Rangers, for some of the world's richest men own the club, but since they have shown no sign so far of flexing that wealth, Neil Warnock is likely to be no better off in terms of team-building than last year's promoted managers were. Since two of that trio (Chris Hughton at Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion's Roberto Di Matteo) have subsequently been fired, and the third (Ian Holloway) finds Blackppol team in the relegation zone with two matches remaining, the omens are mixed, at best, but Warnock was not about to let that spoil Saturday afternoon's celebrations for what he called "the biggest achievement of my career".

Nevertheless, the team was still partying on the pitch when Adel Taarabt cast doubt on his own future. The Championship's player of the season (though not, interestingly, QPR's – that honour went to goalkeeper Paddy Kenny) was asked if the club was "big enough" for him. He said: "I don't know, I did everything for the club this year. The manager told me 'It is up to you, if you want to go I won't stop you because you did everything for me, but I would be very happy if you stay for me'. So he gave me a choice. So I have the summer to think about it."

The Moroccan, as Warnock observed in his Independent column at the weekend, has made or scored most of QPR's goals this season, and would be hard to replace. So, it might be imagined, would Warnock, who has taken the club from a relegation fight last year to the Premier League in 14 months. But when the question was put to him he could not guarantee that the owners would retain him.

Assuming he stays he will have to make changes. Players, such as Heidar Helguson, who scored after 28 seconds, are out of contract and he admitted he doesn't know if he will get another one deal or not. It is also hard to imagine QPR contemplating survival with the same back four, but they do have the talent of Taarabt – perhaps – and Alejandro Faurlin around which to build a forward line.

The latter was the focus of attention prior to Saturday's match, but not for his cultured midfield play. He was at the centre of the seven charges brought by the Football Association alleging contract irregularities. When, just 45 minutes before kick-off, the FA revealed the club would not suffer a points deduction, just a £875,000 fine after being found guilty on two counts, the knees-up started.

The match was incidental to Rangers and, once word spread that play-off rivals Nottingham Forest were racking up the goals at Crystal Palace, also to Leeds, though the visitors stuck to their task admirably to win with goals from Ross McCormack and Max Gradel. Promoted from League One last year, Leeds have had a good, if ultimately disappointing season, but Saturday was Rangers' day. Independent

Telegraph Arindam Rej at Loftus Road

Queens Park Rangers legal threat fails to dampen spiritsA legal challenge from Swansea City could yet give the Football Association another headache in the continuing saga over Queens Parks Rangers’ promotion push.

The Welsh club, who finished third in the Championship, have yet to decide whether to challenge the FA’s decision not to deduct QPR points despite finding them guilty of two breaches of transfer regulations.

They will wait until the publication by the FA later this week of the full judgement of the independent disciplinary panel before settling on whether to persue the matter.

But only the most mean-spirited observer would begrudge Neil Warnock his moment of glory after QPR were spared a points deduction by the panel, meaning his side are promoted while the Welsh clubs face play-off games this week.

Warnock spoke about how the past couple of months have been the hardest time of his career, but culminated in his greatest day as a manager as the FA’s decision confirmed their title win.

QPR’s board have given Warnock more reason to be cheerful by expressing their support for him amid talk that the rich owners might seek a new manager before the start of next season.

“The last seven or eight weeks have been the most difficult time ever in my career,” said Warnock, teary-eyed after the seventh promotion of his colourful 30 years in management. “I feel that this is the best job I have ever done in my life. It’s been an amazing journey.

“This is the best day of my career. I have brought a set of players to the club who thought they were finished, who thought they would never be involved with a promotion to the Premier League. But I said to them, 'If you stick with me, we can do it together’.

“It has been difficult for me at times but there have been people that I’ve been able to talk to, to get through.”

There had been incorrect speculation about a 15-point deduction for QPR – which enraged Warnock – as the FA investigated the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin.

Ultimately, the governing body chose to fine the club £875,000 for breaching regulations regarding third-party ownership and use of an unlicensed agent. QPR are believed to be considering an appeal against the fine.

Swansea finished third, ahead of Cardiff on goal difference, and have already indicated that they will seek more information on the matter. The club want to find out the basis for the decision and why it took so long to be made.

Now that the season is officially over, the Premier League – rather than the FA – faces having to deal with QPR’s off-field issues. But QPR feel that justice has been done already.

Bernie Ecclestone, the QPR co-owner, speaking from Turkey, said: “It would have been terrible if it had been anything else. It wouldn’t have been fair, so I think they have acted correctly with what they’ve done.”

QPR chairman Gianni Paladini said: “I never felt guilty,” before admitting he still had concerns. “I was not relaxed, 100 per cent, because you never know what can happen in life or in football.”

The decision, taken less than an hour before the 12.45pm kick-off time, roused the players – leading to them scoring within the first minute through Heidar Helguson’s tap-in. Max Gradel’s lob and Ross McCormack’s deflected strike later gave Leeds a 2-1 win, but there was only one set of fans celebrating at the end.

Helguson said: “We had a meeting and the manager told us there was an announcement due at 12pm. He went out and called us back within a minute. Then he said there was to be no points deduction — happy days.”

The striker admitted that Faurlin suffered in the weeks leading up to the verdict. “He was a bit down and, once he realised that everyone was on his side, it was brushed away until the hearing started,” said Helguson.

“Then it’s in everybody’s minds — it’s in the papers, it’s in the news. Obviously it plays on your mind as it’s all you can think about — 'is this going to be taken away from us?’ It was emotional when we got the news.”

Looking ahead to the Premier League – and the potential for heavy spending in the summer – Paladini added: “I don’t know how much money there will be to spend next season. Those decisions will be taken by the board.” Telegraph

The Sun - QPR chief: Neil is here to stay

NEIL WARNOCK has been told he will be manager at QPR for as long as the current board are in control.

Warnock admitted after the Hoops were confirmed as champions that he was not confident about keeping his job.

But chairman Gianni Paladini insists the boss has the backing of the entire board.

He said: "All this talk about Warnock not keeping his job is nonsense. While I'm here, Neil will not be going anywhere. All the investors want to keep him.

"I want this to go on record and if he does go, then you can all call me a liar.

"He is our manager and we want it to stay that way. We worked for two years to bring Neil to the club.

"It was difficult at first as Simon Jordan, owner of Crystal Palace at the time, wanted too much compensation.

"But we managed to bring him here. He's done a top job, why would we let him leave?"

Warnock hopes he will be backed in the transfer market.

He said: "I didn't think we spent enough at Sheffield United when we went up. The board know I won't spend stupidly."

By Sami Mokbel/Mail - Swansea demand answers from FA and vow to fight QPR ruling

Swansea will contact the FA on Monday as they vow to 'fight all the way' to make sure Queens Park Rangers have been sufficiently punished for breaking rules in relation to the signing of Alejandro Faurlin.

Neil Warnock's side avoided a points deduction and were instead fined £875,000 after being found guilty of breaching two FA rules in in 2009.
Facing a challenge: But Gianni Paladini confirmed he will keep the status quo

'Every club in our position would fight all the way,' said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.

'The build-up does not seem to have fitted the punishment and everyone is wondering what all the fuss is about. That's what I find strange.'

A nine point deduction would have been enough for Swansea - who are due to face Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-final first-leg on Thursday - to replace QPR in the automatic promotion places.

And Jenkins says the club want answers as to why Rangers were let off the hook ahead of a possible appeal.

'We are interested to see how the FA have come to their decision and we will contact them,' said Jenkins.

'It will be interesting if we can get a copy of the written evidence and documents and have a look to see what the panel's thoughts were. We'd like an explanation.

'Until we get some written confirmation of what has gone on, it would be wrong to rule anything out.'

Meanwhile, Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini last night gave Warnock a cast iron guarantee that he would not be dumped this summer.The FA's decision not to dock QPR points means Rangers can finally look forward to Barclays Premier League football next season.
Staying: Neil Warnock (left) will remain at Loftus Road after lifting the Championship title

But rumours continue to persist that the club's wealthy owners will look to replace Warnock with a more high-profile manager ahead of their top-flight return.

Warnock, himself, admitted on Saturday that he was unsure whether he would still be at the club next season.

But Paladini said: 'All this talk is nonsense. While I am here, Neil will not be going anywhere. All the investors want to keep him.

'I want this to go on record - and if he does go then you can call me a liar. There's no chance he will be going anywhere.' Mail

QPR 1-2 Leeds: Daily Mirror match report
By Neil Mcleman

Neil Warnock has been guaranteed he will be QPR manager next season.

On-field leader Shaun Derry insisted the club would be mad to sack the ­Yorkshire boss after his record-equalling seventh promotion was confirmed by the result of the FA commission.

And chairman Gianni Paladini yesterday added to the feel-good feeling around the club by insisting the manager will stay.

“All this talk about Warnock not keeping his job is nonsense,” said the Italian. “While I am here Neil will not be going anywhere. All the investors want to keep him.

“If he does go then you can all call me a liar.

“He has done a fantastic job – why would we let him leave?”

The ultimate decision will rest with majority owner Bernie Ecclestone, who missed the party at Loftus Road to attend Turkish Grand Prix along with Flavio Briatore.

But even by his ­standards, the owner of Formula One would have to show ­ridiculous ruthlessness to dispense with Warnock after passing the ­chequered flag and the players still wet with champagne.

Not only did the 62-year-old lead QPR to the title little over year after joining the relegation strugglers, he has been ­uncharacteristically ­dignified during the Alejandro Faurlin affair.

The news, released just an hour before kick-off, that QPR would only be fined £875,000 – while about to bank £90million in the top flight – made the Leeds defeat immaterial.

Warnock described the offences as “technical infringements” while QPR are considering an appeal.

Big-name Italian managers have already been linked with W12.

But Amir Bhatia, the son-in-law of Britain’s richest man and shareholder Lakshmi Mittal, insisted the same low-key, low-budget approach would continue after also backing Warnock. “We have to follow the same principle as in the Championship – build steadily and do it right in the long term,” said Bhatia, the vice-chairman of QPR Holdings.

“We must play a balanced game every time.”

With Ecclestone and Mittal worth a combined £20bn, it will be intriguing to see much is lavished in the transfer market this summer. As will the future of Adel Taarabt.

Warnock, who has yet to survive a season in the top flight, said: “When you talk about being in the trenches, I’d want all of the lads here in there with me.”

Derry, who escaped relegation with Crystal Palace on the last day of last season, added: “We have got an ­incredible unit and a respect for each other. And that comes from Neil Warnock.”

Leeds applauded the Championship winners onto the pitch and presented them with a goal after 24 seconds.

Kaspar Schmeichel fumbled Tommy Smith’s shot and Heidar Helguson tapped home. Max Gradel ­equalised before the break and Ross McCormack netted a deflected winner.

Still, QPR had already got the result they wanted. Mirror

Morning Star - QPR 1-2 Leeds United
Sunday 08 May 2011 by Lewis Jones at Loftus Road

Football: You would have been hard pushed to find a more relieved man in Loftus Road than Alejandro Faurlin on Saturday afternoon.

With locks that wouldn’t look out of place on a top London catwalk, Faurlin doesn’t exactly strike you as the typical midfield general.

But beyond the cosmopolitan demeanour, is a player that has the perfect combination of flair and tenacity and one who has played a huge part in QPR’s success this campaign.

He looked towards the sky just before kick-off here — both fingers pointing upwards, tears in his eyes. The packed Loftus Road crowd chanted his name, knowing that all the pressure over his transfer in 2009 had been lifted.

Rangers were finally confirmed as Championship winners half an hour earlier after the Football Association revealed that the Londoners would not be docked points for breaking third-party ownership rules when they signed the Argentinian.

They were found guilty of two of the seven charges facing them and fined £875,000, meaning the R’s are back in the Premier League for the first time in 15 years.

"Ali (Faurlin) has been so strong and kept producing one performance after another,” said manager Neil Warnock, who has turned the club from relegation candidates to champions in just over a year.

"He will set the Premier League alight. He's handled the situation fantastically. It's not been his fault at all. He's played very well the last few weeks given the situation.

"I don't think he took it personally, but it felt so cruel to us all. It's great to move on now.”

The action on the pitch mattered little in the grand scheme of things. Rangers fell to only their sixth defeat of the season despite taking an early lead through Heidar Helguson.

United levelled through Max Gradel and Ross McCormack hit a deflected winner in the second half.

However, the Loftus Road faithful cared little — this was their day and they are now back in the big time

Eurosport - Warnock tips Faurlin for big time

Alejandro Faurlin is ready to make headlines for all the right reasons in the Premier League next season, manager Neil Warnock said.

The Argentine midfielder has been at the centre of the storm which could have denied QPR their place in the top flight.

Rangers were finally confirmed as Championship title winners following the announcement from the FA - an hour before they kicked off against Leeds United - that they would not be docked points for breaking third-party ownership rules when they signed Faurlin in 2009.

They were found guilty of two of the seven charges facing them and fined £875,000, meaning the Hoops are back among the elite for the first time in 15 years. And Warnock is backing 24-year-old Faurlin to prove he was worth all the hassle next term.

"Ali Faurlin will set the Premier League alight," said Warnock. "He's handled the situation fantastically. It's not been his fault at all. He's played very well the last few weeks given the situation.

"I don't think he took it personally but it felt so cruel to us all. It's great to move on now. We've got some great players and I think we play some great football. We've gone out home and away to entertain.

Teamtalk - Derry hopes R's stick together

Sunday 8th May 2011 23:19

.Shaun Derry has urged QPR's owners to give the current squad a chance to prove themselves in the Premier League.

Rangers' promotion back to the big time was finally rubber-stamped on Saturday and the west Londoners, backed by the financial clout of billionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, are expected to splash the cash over the summer.

Expectations will be predictably high for the so-called 'richest club in the world' and Derry admits merely finishing 17th in the top flight will not be good enough.

But while 19-goal skipper Adel Taarabt has hogged the headlines all season, Rangers' promotion has also been built around the more workmanlike talents of Derry, Clint Hill, Paddy Kenny and Kaspars Gorkss.

And former Leeds and Crystal Palace midfielder Derry, 33, does not want to see a major overhaul of the squad.

"Nothing has been mentioned about what impact we have got to make next season but you can just sense it," he admitted.

"You walk around Loftus Road and you see the people who run the football club and I don't think fourth from bottom is going to be anything but a failure for this club.

"And as a player, that is exciting. There are going to be even better times around the corner.

"I think you have got to look at Blackpool - they have given themselves a great chance of staying in the Premier League.

"Look at two or three years ago, Reading made the transition, Steve Coppell kept the nucleus of the side and they had a really good first season.

"I think that is important - you have got to keep the nucleus of the squad and build around it and do it properly. There are no short cuts to success."

Striker Heidar Helguson hit his 15th goal of the season after just 27 seconds against Leeds on Saturday.

Goals from Max Gradel and Ross McCormack secured a 2-1 win for the visitors but could not take the gloss off Rangers' promotion, which had dramatically been confirmed before kick-off when the FA announced the club would not be deducted points over the Alejandro Faurlin affair.

Helguson is, however, one of many Rangers players facing an uncertain future.

"As of now I don't have a contract," he said.

"I am hopeful of signing one but there will always be rumours at QPR, about players and managers. I can't speculate what will happen.

"There will be players coming in and players leaving, which happens at every club."

- Seven Years Flashback: Seven Years Ago Yesterday -QPR Win Promotion at Hillsbrough - Our Last Promotion. Thanks Ian Holloway! - Flashback: The Parade/Celebrations!

Further Great Photos from Today

- AMIT BHATIA: "For as long as we are involved with QPR, Neil will be our Manager. He Will be Our Leader" QPR
- LAKSHMI MITTAL "...I'm very thrilled; very happy; very excited. I remember when we invested at this Club with Bernie and Flavio, it looked a very tough task. But under the leadership of Amit, Ishan, Neil and Gianni, the Club has made a lot of progress. The team has done a fantastic job...This means so much to me. It's a great satisfaction. More importantly though, it means so much to the fans and that means so much to me." QPR

David McIntyre Blog - Rangers have got it all back

Great scenes at Loftus Road yesterday. Let no-one say that ground isn’t fit for the Premier League.

The time for assessing QPR’s future and some aspects of the past will come, but for now all Rangers fans will be interested in is celebrating.

For the younger generation, promotion is magnificent for obvious reasons. For the older ones, in many ways this is as much the end of a journey as the start of one.

Ten years ago, with Rangers in administration and having just been relegated to the third tier after a defeat at Huddersfield, I stood on the side of the pitch listening to a hugely emotional Ian Holloway promise that the club would one day be back in the top flight.

Holloway said I could hold him to his comments, so I kept them, just in case they might seem poignant in the future.

I used a sentence or two for the local paper and a couple of the nationals, but other than that these words never saw the light of day. I stored them on file and always intended to reproduce them if the day arrived when Holloway’s words rang true.

Ten years on, that day has arrived. So, here they are…

“No words can do justice to how I feel. Devastated doesn’t even start to cover it. To have played for this great club in the premier division and see it now, in the third division for the first time since the 60s. It’s a tragedy. It breaks my heart. And to think how those QPR fans will feel, having come from what we had to this, here today. I feel sick. Absolutely sick. But let me tell you this: QPR will rise again. I promise you that. Like a phoenix, it will rise again. We’ve lost everything, but everything we’ve lost we’ll get back. Trust me on that. We’ll get it all back. Whether I’ll be the manager when that happens, I don’t know. I’d like to be. I can at least get the whole thing started. Believe me, I’ll be proved right. Remember me saying this. QPR will get back there again – back to how it was a few years ago and the years before that. Mark my words. Remember them. It will happen, I’m telling you. Everything we’ve lost, we will get back.” David McIntyre Blog

- QPR vs Leeds: Match Reports, Video of Presentation, Final Table

- Audio of Mittal and Bhatia Talking re QPR

- Video of Presentation

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