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QPR and Barnet savour final day to remember

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Paul Fletcher | 21:04 UK time, Saturday, 7 May 2011

Loftus Road and (eventually) Underhill

QPR waved goodbye to the Football League on Saturday with the same enthusiasm that Barnet celebrated being able to stay in it.

Rangers will play Premier League football next season after winning the Championship, while the Bees will be in League Two after ensuring survival with a dramatic last-day victory at Underhill.

The cash-rich, ambitious west Londoners and the modest outfit from the northern extremities of the capital might not have all that much in common, but they were unquestionably united by their collective sense of relief on Saturday.

QPR were the first to experience the highs the day had to offer, although in their case they had nothing to do with events on the pitch. Neil Warnock's team had already collected enough points to win the title before their game against Leeds; the question was whether or not they could keep them.

All the talk at Loftus Road on Saturday morning was whether Rangers would face a points deduction if they were found guilty of breaching regulations over the signing of midfielder Alejandro Faurlin in July 2009.

There were all sorts of rumours swirling around, many of them suggesting that the London side could be docked 15 points when the Football Association hearing - originally scheduled to finish on Friday - eventually concluded. An hour before the 1245 BST kick-off the answer, at least for me, came in the unexpected but undoubtedly emotional form of Rangers chairman Gianni Palladini.

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The Italian ran out from the directors lounge and into the South Africa Road Stand, shouting at the top of his voice: "We are promoted, we are the champions, Rangers are in the Premier League."

The Italian lifted his arms in the air as he did so, fists clenched. It was a spontaneous outburst that spoke volumes about the pressure he has been under.

Close by the Rangers supporter who normally spends the hour before a match waving a Moroccan flag while sporting a rather flamboyant blue and white hat stopped singing about Adel Taarabt for once and started chanting about promotion. Martin Keown, down on the pitch alongside Dan Walker and Mark Lawrenson for Football Focus, looked up and smiled.

The news rippled around the streets outside the ground and a roar went up. Everywhere I looked people were on mobile phones, trying to work out if it was true. When the Rangers players emerged from the tunnel for their pre-match warm-up they positively charged out. I doubt whether Shaun Derry has ever run faster.

Shortly before kick-off it was announced over the tannoy that the club had been found guilty of two of the seven charges but would not have points taken away from them.

A mood of triumphalism took hold as supporters finally started to celebrate a promotion that they now knew would not be taken away from them. It must have been like being released from purgatory. Rangers wrapped up the title at Watford last Saturday but many fans had been unable to fully let themselves go. I imagine that sometimes supporting Rangers is like riding a rollercoaster as highs are often followed by lows.

There were QPR flags on every seat and these were enthusiastically waved, turning Loftus Road into a blur of blue and white. It looked like there was some kind of rally going on. Grown men hugged and embraced. The last time Rangers were in the top flight, 15 years ago, some of them would still have been at school.

When Heidar Helguson put QPR ahead inside 30 seconds after Kasper Schmeichel failed to hold Tommy Smith's shot it felt as though Saturday's script was being written from up on high. There was almost a sense of disbelief inside the ground.

Leeds, to their credit, battled back to win 2-1 but QPR fans had what they wanted and by the time the final whistle sounded I was already in a vehicle trying to cover the 16 miles to Barnet (so said the satnav) as quickly as possible.

I arrived at Underhill 20 minutes after the 1500 BST kick-off and immediately saw the Bees come within inches of scoring but Mark Byrne's strike narrowly missed. His effort elicited a mixture of frustration and excitement from the crowd. Barnet were on top and still in with a shout of survival but they surely had to make the most of their chances against a Port Vale side that had scored seven in their previous game.

grazioli595.jpgCaretaker boss Giuliano Grazioli celebrates Barnet's great escape with the fans. Photo: PA

The Bees supporters had not been treated to any of the sort of pre-match news that ensured a carnival atmosphere at QPR. They were in for a nerve-shredding, nail-biting 90 minutes, pure and simple.

Barnet went into the final day in a two-way shoot-out with Lincoln. One of them would end the day relegated from League Two - and the Imps had a two-point advantage as well as a home game against an Aldershot Town lodged in mid-table. However, Barnet had a better goal difference and were in decent form.

The match at rickety but atmospheric Underhill was goalless at the break but that changed shortly after the restart when Izale McLeod scored from the spot after he had been fouled in the Vale area. Even so, the goal would be meaningless if Lincoln scored against the Shots.

At 1613 BST a roar went around the ground; Aldershot had been awarded and converted a penalty. Chants of "We are staying up" followed and the expectation increased when Aldershot doubled their lead 15 minutes later. The first I knew about Aldershot's second goal was when a man sitting several rows behind me started yelling out "Yes!" at the top of his voice.

"When the crowd started clapping and cheering I knew what was going on," said Bees boss Guiliano Grazioli. "With mobile phones and stuff we were always going to find out what was happening at Lincoln."

There is an intimacy at Underhill that connects the crowd with both the dug-out and the players on the pitch, but the Bees players retained their focus throughout. They played with incredible determination and thoroughly deserved their victory.

The final whistle - after six minutes of injury-time - prompted the inevitable pitch invasion but, unlike many I have seen recently, the players did not seem in any hurry to leave.

They looked happy to be patted on the back and, in some cases, lifted on the shoulders of supporters. The thought occurred to me that for some players the afternoon might in some ways be the highlight of their careers. Many gave away boots to young fans, while one older supporter that I saw lovingly kissed the centre circle.

After the players had briefly retired to their dressing room they returned for a lap of honour. Several cheekily sported police helmets (all later returned to their rightful owners) and Grazioli, who has only been in charge since early April when Martin Allen walked out on the club, was hoisted aloft by his players.

Chairman Tony Kleanthous wandered across the pitch shaking hands of players and fans alike. It felt like they were all in it together. As the crowd thinned out I saw players, stripped to their shorts by memento-hunting supporters, happily drinking a beer and chatting to fans about the events of the season.

"I have not slept for weeks," said Kleanthous afterwards. "And I won't tonight either because we will be having a big party.

"I was chairman when we were relegated from the Football League in 2001 and after that I asked myself if I could have done anything more. This time I made sure that I did absolutely everything I could.

"There is no doubt that here at Barnet we love a drama."

As I made my way out of the ground I realised I did not know the route to the nearest tube stop. I turned and asked a bloke walking past me. It was one of the Barnet players and he happily answered.

Supporters of both QPR and Barnet end the season with plenty to celebrate. They are doing so, of course, for completely different reasons but, as Saturday proved, in football victory can take many different forms.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Well done Bee's, I'm still in shock at the awesome comeback that has saved my club from relegation.

  • Comment number 2.

    Woooooooooo!!!! I shouted, sung and screamed at Underhill today. Verry verry happy at the result and verrrry relieved! Only just about to stop celebrating :)

  • Comment number 3.

    As a Forest fan, it makes no difference to us if QPR had been deducted points or not but I'm still not happy that they weren't.

    The FA's ruling has given a green light to any multi-millionaire to buy a club, break whatever rules they want and then get fined pocket change. QPR have the richest owner of any club in the whole world so a £875,000 fine hurts them as much as the average person being fined £10.

  • Comment number 4.

    I have some sympathy for gtwr's comment and understand where it's coming from - though one should note that the FA verdict was that QPR were "Not Guilty" on 5 of the 7 counts and "Guilty on a technicality" on the other two. To deny a club promotion when they have been far and away the best team in the league on those grounds would be harsh indeed.

    But the FA made their dilemma 100 times worse by their own crass incompetence. Why this was not sorted out far more quickly, well away from the end of season drama, I do not know. Of all the weeks to hold the inquiry and announce a verdict, the last one of the regular season was a strange one to choose.

    More fundamentally, the FA have singularly failed to find a punishment that fits the crime for clubs that transgress their rule book. Points deductions are simply not fit for purpose:

    - they are a blunt weapon which vary between irrelevant (if they merely move a club around mid-table) and draconian (if they result in clubs moving to different divisions) in a wholly capricious way;

    - they affect other clubs as well as the one in question (if a club is denied promotion or given relegation because of a points deduction, then one other club has at random been awarded either promotion or safety without any justification);

    - and above all they hurt the wrong people, the fans and players.

    The sooner the FA and Football League find a better, more targeted and fairer way of punishing directors who break their rules the better.

    PS Any truth in the rumour that the FA did not deduct any points simply because they could not face the resulting mayhem, appeals, counter-suits and chaos in the play-offs, not to mention the criticisms they would certainly get for leaving the decision to the very last day of the season?

  • Comment number 5.

    One last thought: why should breaking FA rules ever result in Football LEAGUE points being deducted? Spare a thought for the officials of the Football League who have also had their big day - the award of the FL Championship trophy - mucked about by the incompetence of the FA.

    I am sure they decided to go ahead with awarding QPR the trophy at Loftus Road because otherwise it would have happened in a boardroom somewhere with no publicity. Not good for the Football League or their sponsors.

    It is not only QPR who were affected by the FA's gross incompetence.

  • Comment number 6.

    It would be very unfair for Warnock had QPR been deducted points when West Ham had been given a fine for the same reason. Titles must be won on the pitch and QPR were the best team in the Championship this season by a distance.

    I'm not surprised the F.A. didn't create procedures to ensure the Tevez incident never occurred again. It's in their hands to set procedures before allowing a player to play for an English team. Yet, unsurprisingly, nobody asks them why.

  • Comment number 7.

    The BIGGEST whining and cry person of all when West Ham were not deducted points was Neil Warnock. Shock horror, he is very quite about losing points now.

    With this verdict it means you can cheat if you want because you will only be fined, which is of course peanuts to what you are going to recieve from promotion.

    Warnock should be ashamed of himself and publicly had back his winners medal or eat humble pie and say sorry to West Ham. And football in general.

  • Comment number 8.

    @ 7, Jay,

    are you serious?

  • Comment number 9.

    West Ham fans will like to know how before there were any rules brought in for third party ownership of players it ended cost our club £30 million.

    While Warnock's QPR walk away with hardly a slap on the wrist after the rules and have been written.


    That's a genuine question by the way.

    The silence by the media on this compared to their Tevez campaign has been truly golden.

    I wonder how clubs like Luton feel about this decision as well.

  • Comment number 10.

    As a Chelsea fan, I can't wait to get to Loftus Road next season for a proper derby!

  • Comment number 11.

    As a Leeds fan in Australia I watched the QPR-Leeds game last night and congratulate QPR on being promoted they have been far and away the best side this year. Leeds have done better than I expected to be honest and I hope they will go close to promotion next year.

    On the FA though, I have to be honest and say that if a club outside of London had done what QPR is supposed to have done I'm sure points would have been deducted. WHU got away with it now it's QPR's turn, one has to feel sympathy for Luton, Sheff Utd, Southampton and even Portsmouth (and I'm not even going to mention Leeds) when it comes to points deduction. Each of these clubs have suffered either directly because of misdemeaners leading to points deductions or the lack of the culprits being deducted points - look at poor Sheff Utd now as a direct result of the FA's ineptitude in dealing properly with WHU.

    I feel sorry for QPR's fans because like WHU's they are likely to be tarred by the ineptitude of the FA's decision on this matter for years to come along with the lingering jealousies these decisions (or lack of them) bring to fans of other clubs.

    Despite my comments above, I truly wish QPR and their fans the best of luck next season in the Premiership.

  • Comment number 12.

    There were no rules against third party ownership of players when West Ham were fined by the PL £5.5 million and had to pay £25 million in compensation to Sheff Utd.

    The FA brought these rules in post Tevez and the FA look to have bottled the decision with regards QPR.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am fed up with all these people saying that QPR have 'got away with it' and that because we are a 'rich' club that the rules are different for us. Have any of these people actually read the FA findings or even know what the club (as opposed to third party individuals) were charged with. Fair enough some of the charges were quite severe but the club were found Not Guilty of five of the seven charges and those we were guilty of were very minor. If I was charged with Murder, Armed robbery and forgetting to return an Asda trolley (in places that still dont have those annoying magnets) and the court said, 'oh sorry sir we made a mistake, the murder and robbery were not you but you will have to answer for that trolley!' Then by most people on these boards logic I would still be facing life imprisonment.

    The amount of resentment for a club which has just been proven to have done nothing wrong to any degree of severity is quite astounding. They have been by far the best team in the league this season and along with Norwich are truly deserved of their place in the EPL.

    As for Swansea now considering legal action, frankly its embarrassing and pathetic and screams of desperation, 'oh we were not good enough but still, we really want to be up there so bad'. Its like the weird kid at school eating worms to try and get an invite to the cool kids party.

    Richard (Congo)

  • Comment number 14.

    I full agree with gwtr at #3

    clubs have money - break rules and escape points deduction

    clubs dont have money and have points deducted - luton, southampton, plymouth to name just 3

    coincidence - i think not - maybe the FA are frightened of being tied up in court by the lawyers that QPR and before them West Ham could afford.

    i hope that West Ham are relegated otherwise in my opinion the premiership will be very tainted next year with 2 teams that are only there because the FA didn't fully enforce its own rules

  • Comment number 15.

    All the talk seems to be about the comparison between the QPR and West Ham decisions. A much more relevant comparison is with Luton who were docked 10 points for agent infringements. The effect on Luton can be seen from their current plight. It is a prerequisite of justice that there is consistency. Consequently, either the FA got it wrong in the Luton case or in the case of QPR. If it is the former, then Luton should immediately commence legal proceedings against both the FA and their directors individually (for breach of fiduciary duty). If it is the latter, then Swansea should commence similar proceedings. If Swansea fail to start such proceedings their directors should be investigated for failing to discharge their legal duties. The FA, by this inconsistency (and I make no judgement on which decision was right - only that both cannot be right) has shown it is no better than the dregs who run FIFA.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well done Barnet! Lets go for promotion next year!!

  • Comment number 17.

    As an Imps fan naturally I am disappointed, but well done Barnet. They did well to dig themselves out of the relegation zone.

    I am disappointed generally by the BBC coverage of my team. I often have a look at the bbc website to see what is happening in the football league (not anymore I suppose) and despite the rollercoaster ride we have experienced this year, hardly a mention has been made of us with it mainly being the more fashionable clubs. If it is not a big place then it seems to be forgotten or just pushed aside and in our case with a frankly less than revealing piece of journalism on a game last week.

    Well done Barnet and at least now I will be no longer surprised that it won't be written about when it comes to the Imps.

  • Comment number 18.

    The FA have handled this case extremely badly and to have it decided 45 minutes before the end of the season raises serious questions. It should have been dealt with earlier in the season, and then there could have been confidence in the independence and validity of the decision.

    Swansea are completely right in raising questions in how this was handled, and that questions do need to be answered. There is a real sense that if another club was involved the media attention would have been fair difference, and certainly I would think that if it wasn't for the rich benefactors at QPR, there might been a different decision.

    Such a paltry fine and no pts deduction (ensuring they remain as Champions) seems grossly unfair and disproportionate compared to penalties dished out to other clubs.

    However QPR deserve promotion as they have had more points on the pitch this season.

    I cannot really see any appeal as we do not have the resources of QPR, but there should be assurances as to how the whole issue was handled.

    As for QPR getting the trophy, when we were promoted 3 yrs ago, we never had the trophy to parade before our fans, because of the Lees fiasco (and we did end up 16pts clear), so QPR fans should count themselves lucky.

  • Comment number 19.

    As a Forest fan, I fully agree with Hoopsididitagain at #13. The facts are that QPR were not guilty of 5 of the charges, and guilty on a technicality for the other 2.
    Money has nothing to do with it. They were the best team in the league by a mile, haven't bought their way to the championship, and deserve to be going up. End of story.

    Good luck to them in the Premiership. Fingers crossed we can break our playoff hoodoo, and join them there.

  • Comment number 20.

    Those who are comparing the West Ham and Luton cases are way off the mark. There were no rules about 3rd party ownership when West Ham were 'charged', their 'crime' was lying about it to the inquiry. Luton had around 50 separate charges to answer relating to unauthorised agents, QPR had one (an agent who was FIFA registered).

    QPR were cleared on all 3rd party charges, guilty of the ubiquitous 'Bringing the game into disrepute' £800,000 and 'Using an unauthorised agent' £75,000.

    As Neil warnock stated, never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

  • Comment number 21.

    In reply to 13 do you honestly believe that if the situation was reversed, QPR directors would not be looking into the situation now, they would be wrong if they didn't do so.

  • Comment number 22.

    If Luton Town could afford to go to the High Court I'm sure they would but as it is they struggle to break even and if they were to lose the case that would probably be the end of the club.

  • Comment number 23.

    you can't compare the tevez saga with forlan at qpr.

    Most obvious is tevez played a direct role and there was an argument that without tevez west ham would never of stayed up. The same cannot be said for qpr, it's a totally different argument. This years achievement should not be susceptible to a technicality that took place, with little benefit tot the team, on a previous season.

    All of those crying for points deduction, bitter, jealous that cant ad
    it their team is not good enough!

  • Comment number 24.

    21. At 11:38am 8th May 2011, JACKTWO wrote:
    In reply to 13 do you honestly believe that if the situation was reversed, QPR directors would not be looking into the situation now, they would be wrong if they

    ---------------

    Does that make it right?

  • Comment number 25.

    re #23 - a points deduction for QPR would not affect my team so your final sentence doesnt apply.

    what i want is consistency - if rules are broken points should be deducted from each team that breaks the rules not just those that can't afford to pay a heavy fine or employ expensive lawyers. QPR and West Ham have both been unjustly spared points deductions that have been handed out (sometimes excessively) to other teams

  • Comment number 26.

    In reply to 23.

    One point the Swans Chairman also raised, which is entirely fair, if QPR essentially did not do much wrong, why on earth couldn't it have been settled earlier in the season.

    And Why did the FA make such of a mess of the investigation.

    This dragging on really hasn't helped anyone, least of all QPR fans.

    I wonder if QPR find themselves in a reversed situation whether their fans would have the same attitude.

    At least I have said consistently that QPR deserve to go up on the basis on their on the pitch performance.

  • Comment number 27.

    All the anti-QPR commentators here have clearly NOT READ what the club was found guilty of, which was (1) using an unlicensed agent (that agent was licensed by other football associations, however) and as a result of that, (2) bringing the game into disrepute, which brought the frankly ludicrous £800K fine. That's it. They were found not guilty of any charge to do with illegally registered or owned players. No "cheating", no gaining unfair advantages. So unless you've got a point to make that is actually relevant to the facts, as opposed to what you want to imagine happened, because of some anti-FA or anti-QPR grudge you hold – butt out.

  • Comment number 28.

    #27 - does that include Mark Palios who as ex-chief executive of the FA would know much more about what has gone on that any of us commenting here - seems he still thinks points should have been deducted

  • Comment number 29.

    From reading an awful lot about the situation over the last week, the alleged crux of the delay in settling the issue seems to have been that the FA simply didn't believe the answers that QPR gave them about the transfer.

    Again allegedly, QPR may have over-inflated the transfer fee in the press to make the signing look more ambitous than it actually was. The widely quoted figure at the time was for 'the deal being worth £3.5m' It seems this may have included so many add ons and possibly even Faurlin's wages and I don't think any Rangers fan was fooled at the time. However, upon investigation, it appears that the FA could see only £600k paid to Faurlin's previous owners and asked Rangers to clarify where the rest went. When told that the £3.5m wasn't accurate, it seems that the FA did not believe it; thought the worst and the rest, as they say, is history (or is that hysteria?).

    Whether the FA ever had any evidence other than a strong hunch is not clear, but they obviously did not have enough evidence to convict and I can at last celebrate our return to The Prem :-)

  • Comment number 30.

    Well done Barnet
    The players were excellent.
    Now Tony Kleanthos has to learn from his mistakes of this season and be aware not to appoint a manager who has a recent poor record, as he did with Mark Stimson.
    Do not release players before a manager is appointed, like last year. Take a serious look at appointing Guiliano Grazioli along with Lawrie Sanchez. A rookie manager needs expert back up. (Or Lawrie with Graz as his assistant) Graz will make a good manager if he is taught right and has the right team behind him. Also you have to keep the better players and try to get those loanees who have done the most to keep the team up.

    Well done QPR, as a Londoner I like to see our teams do well. It's mighty funny how a player signed in 2009 incites the talk of a points deduction in 2011 when the club is promoted. If you had finished 8th nothing would have been said.


  • Comment number 31.

    #28 Charlie:
    From reading about Palios, I think he allegedly has fewer friends left at the FA than you or I! Consequently, I think his (unhelpful) comments were wide of the mark and may reflect more on some unfinished business of his with the FA rather than any deep knowledge of the evidence.

    However, that's just my opinion from trying to take a balanced look at the events of the last week or so.

  • Comment number 32.

    My final word on this, this should have been dealt with a lot sooner, and none of this mess would have happened.

    Good Luck to QPR in the Premier League next season, apart from you play us. (crossing fingers for the play-offs)

  • Comment number 33.

    QPR should appeal the disrepute fine. If anyone has brought the game into disrepute it is the FA and Football League by their handling of this. Any QPR mistakes were sanctioned by that body and the Judgement leaves an implication of guilt with the warning about future behaviour. Either QPR were innocent of the other charges or not. The disrepute judgement is a spiteful response from the failure to prove the other charges. But it was a great day at Loftus Road and how the players kept themselves together in recent weeks is amazing. The result was unimportant. Some very sloppy journalism has also been in evidence. Looking for facts was not part of it. So roll on next season!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Anyone who bleats about QPR not being given a just punishment doesn't know the facts and reads too many toilet paper substitutes with red banners across the top and named after things in the sky.

    Palios knows about as much about this as anyone else that was not at the tribunal. OK he used to work at the FA but he knows nothing. He is basing his outrageous claims on assumptions, as are most of the whining clubs on here. It's the rich clubs, it's the London clubs (apparently Luton are too far away from London to be given favouritism even though an airport in the city has the London prefix), it's any bloody excuse for fans of under-performing teams to have a moan about something.

    Why not take your hate out on the FA, who took five months to muster up enough evidence on this case to charge us with, and then another two months to set a date. They well and truly screwed up the season run-in for about half the teams in the Championship as no-one knew what they were chasing. That, and they completely messed up the celebrations of a club whose fans have gone through hell in the last ten or fifteen years.

    The FA should fine itself for "bringing the game into disrepute" with the farcical way they went about this case. If there was a million pound fine at the end of it, why did they take seven months to get it? Absolutely ridiculous.

  • Comment number 35.

    I find it pathetic that people who know nothing about this are kicking up a fuss, as it turns out, what we were found guilty of was only a fineable offense! Swansea were happy to say nothing before the game as Cardiff complained about percieve injustices (gleefully forgetting they too are in heat about their own third party issues aswell as the fact they've had an unfair advantage with the Welsh FA letting them off the hook time & time again) and now the 2 have swapped positions Cardiff are now keeping shut and Swansea are kicking up a fuss, to me, this is just a desperate attempt to get in the premier league, which now, given that we are not guilty of "cheating", seems hugely ironic
    As for Mark Palios' comments, he knew about as much as the rest of us, he was not involved in the hearing or investigation, it was his opportunity for cheap publicity as Warnock has said. And talking of "poor" Sheffield United, i know the whole Tevez thing was hugely unfair, but they bottled it then and then further bottled attempts of return to the Premier League with the parachute payments and on top of that £30 million from the whole Tevez issue, the Blades blew it and it's no one's fault but theirs that they now find themselves in League 1, there's only so much sympathy i can have for them

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm confused, Paul. You went to Underhill by car, then took the Tube home?

  • Comment number 37.

    Paul - love that you didn't know where the tube stop was: it's as close as Arsenal station is to the Emirates! Cracking atmosphere at the ground and already looking forward to the start of the season warm up fixture between the Bees & the Gunners.

    Just next year, hope your visit isn't because the Bees have stayed up on the last day of the season!

  • Comment number 38.

    Im getting sick and tired of people saying things like rich clubs can do what they like re: cheating. QPR's owners are rich not the club themselves!

    Secondly, Southampton, Plymouth, Leeds etc were docked points because of the rule set up by the FA about administration.

    I agree with many supporters about timing but we know the FA are useless so stop whining its all over and done with now.

    Please allow us Rangers fans to enjoy our moment!

    Good luck to the play off teams!

  • Comment number 39.

    Now then,

    Thanks for your thoughts so far.

    First of all, my congratulations to Barnet, who did what they had to on Saturday. Lincoln had their fate in their own hands and, I guess, only have themselves to blame. Losing 3-0 against a team with nothing to play for says alot.

    Secondly, the QPR verdict is obviously very controversial. I imagine most Hoops fans want to put the whole episode behind them and move on (to the Premier League).

    It is difficult to be clear about what exactly went on because it was the subject of so much speculation. However, fans of other teams who have received points deductions in the past might want to know why Rangers didn't if they were found guilty of similar offences.

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't think any team has received points deductions for using an unregistered agent (but who has apparently since been registered and was apparently registered by FIFA at the time) and by doing so bringing the game into disrepute, it'd be petty to give a points deduction for those offences i'd have thought

  • Comment number 41.

    #39 ... and therein lies the point Paul; QPR were NOT found guilty of similar offences to either Luton, Swindon or West Ham, as they were cleared of all the issues surrounding 3rd party involvement and providing false documentation.

    QPR were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute (£800k fine) and using an agent registered by FIFA, but not by the FA (£75k fine).

    I have to laugh at accusations of 'big club bias', as I have spent the last 35 years with rival fans taking the mickey out of QPR for being a small club. I guess you can't win sometimes :-)

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    @6, 11 & 19.

    The best side by a distance? A very small distance - 4 points that would have been 2 had Norwich not been getting ready for the party at full time.

    I still can't help thinking the FA bit the bullet and 'pulled' the inquiry, just so it would be finished before the season finished, and that had the inquiry taken place in November or December we'd have had a different outcome and final points tallies.

  • Comment number 44.

    Are you joking me??????

    My post was removed because of?

    http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/Disciplinary/NewsAndFeatures/2011/queens-park-rangers-sanction-result

    So tell me why QPR have not been found guilty on the charges?

    Nothing published. Joke.

  • Comment number 45.

    Or you can say if it wasn't for the inquiry in the back of the players minds then the margin would be slightly larger
    And i'm not sure if they have gone to a quick conclusion, they took way to long to come up with a decision in my opinion

  • Comment number 46.

    Third Window (post 36) - yep, got a lift there, made my own way back!

  • Comment number 47.

    yeah 2 all u people slating qpr, is it really fair to dock us points after being the best team in the league all season? And wait plymouth and luton were deducted for completely different things! And anyway, we were only fined 'cause of the FA's petty rules. Does it matter if the agent's not registered with the FA? Can FIFA be that untrustworthy?

    Phew, now that's off my chest.

  • Comment number 48.

    #47 'Does it matter if the agent's not registered with the FA? Can FIFA be that untrustworthy?'

    So from that I guess the FA is bigger then the Football League? It was the 3rd party rules from the FA that were broken..............

  • Comment number 49.

    Jay #48 & #44. The judgement from the FA that you kindly linked to shows that QPR were found to have breached rule E3, which relates to bringing the game into disrepute and HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH 3RD PARTY OWNERSHIP. The link also shows that the second rule broken was A1; the use of non-licensed agents. Again, this HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH 3RD PARTY OWNERSHIP. The charge that relate to 3rd party ownership were among the other 5 charges that QPR were found to be NOT GUILTY of.

    I hope that has cleared it up for you.

  • Comment number 50.

    I believe there are two issues surrounding QPR and the FA's tendancy to give points deductions.
    1) QPR were found not guilty of virtually everything. Using an agent that was FIFA registered but not registered by the FA is verging on the pathetic. In essence, the FA made ill-informed charges and handles them so badly they brought the game into disrepute.
    2) Why do the FA deduct points from clubs in deep financial trouble? I would prefer to see the FA helping to sort out the problems rather than making matters worse by deducting points that can lead to relegation and increased financial difficulties.

    The QPR case has shown the FA in a very poor light. The FA should be paying fines to all the clubs involved in the Championship promotion race for clouding the issue for a rediculous length of time with virtually no basis.

  • Comment number 51.

    The FA have again shown how inept they are as an organization and almost ruined what has been a highly entertaining Football League season. I've come to enjoy following the highlights of the Championship games as well as some League 1 and 2 games in NZ - the standard isn't as great as the Premiership but similar to Australia's A-League over here. Disappointed that Leeds didn't go up this season but I think they'll do it next season under Simon Grayson albeit they'll have to contend with the Hammers and Latics.

  • Comment number 52.

    15. At 09:59am 8th May 2011, alb1on wrote:
    All the talk seems to be about the comparison between the QPR and West Ham decisions. A much more relevant comparison is with Luton who were docked 10 points for agent infringements. The effect on Luton can be seen from their current plight. It is a prerequisite of justice that there is consistency.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The problem is that you are assuming that QPR and Luton committed exactly the same offences.

    Luton were found guilty of 15 charges of misconduct, while QPR were found guilty of 2 different offences of the 7 charges laid against them.

  • Comment number 53.

    Anbody remember when Middlesbrough went down because of a points deduction after their no-show... instead of giving Blackburn 3 pts?

    The FA messed up then as well after providing the club with incorrect advice.

    Joke.

  • Comment number 54.

    So QPR didn't sign a player owned by a third party against FA regulations then?

  • Comment number 55.

    I think part of the problem with the QPR situation is that the timing of it means some fans can't help but feel that the enquiry essentially 'bottled it'. It's easy to suspect the FA found the club not guilty of the main charges so they could avoid the massive fall out that would entail, but slapped them with a decent-sized fine for the minor charges just so they could justify the whole storm they'd kicked up by having the enquiry in the first place.

    While I don't necessarily agree with this view, I can see why some fans are dubious about the not guilty verdict and why QPR fans think the fine they've been given is a bit harsh.

    Whichever view you take though, I can't help feel that the whole affair (which has nothing to do with the game on the pitch) brings the game into disrepute and that the football authorities need to take the lion's share of the blame for doing their dirty laundry in public with such atrocious timing.

  • Comment number 56.

    54. At 12:11pm 9th May 2011, beckton01 wrote:
    So QPR didn't sign a player owned by a third party against FA regulations then?


    No, Rangers were found not guilty of all charges relating third party ownership. Please read the rest of the posts and spread the word.

  • Comment number 57.

    No, Rangers were found not guilty of all charges relating third party ownership. Please read the rest of the posts and spread the word.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bingo!!

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    #43 Careful! By the same logic, QPR get all three points from that Leeds game, and when you consider the immense pressure on the players due to the wrongful accusations, and every Tom, Dick and Harry who knew none of the facts throwing in their tuppence about massive points deductions, surely Rangers' achievement is even greater than the story the table tells. We gained 1-2 points on the chasing pack per month between October and February, then when the wrongful accusations broke in early March we began losing that margin again. I - as a fan - couldn't sleep Friday night, so I don't know how the players ever did! Who knows how far ahead we could have finished?!
    And they fined US for bringing the game into disrepute...

    and #28 yes, that includes Palios. He who spent 2 days bleating about how we should be punished, then after Saturday, started bleating again - that he didn't know the facts all along. See above, re. Tom, Dick and Harry. Attention seeker.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    In my opinion i think that QPR were the best team in the championship, but as they broke the rules they deserved to get a bigger fine or get at least 5-10 points deducted. In the past Westham lost over £30million for the Tevez issue for surviving in the premiership, with that money they could of invested in to the team instead of selling their best players if the get the drop this season.

  • Comment number 64.

    Simple question, was Faurlin rights owned by a third party when he signed for QPR?



    If he was and and it was against FA regs, how were they found not guilty of the charge?

  • Comment number 65.

    #64 Simple question & simple answer; When Faurlin was signed in 2009, his rights were seemingly owned by a 3rd party, but this was allowed under Football League rules at the time. When the Football League introduced its own 3rd party rules last summer, QPR brought the Faurlin situation to the FL's attention and bought out the 3rd party interest to comply with the change in legislation.

    Interestingly, the FAW (under whose jurisdiction Cardiff and Swansea fall) still do not have 3rd party ownership rules and the team that would have benefitted most from a points deduction could not therefore be charged for the same offences that QPR were...

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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