QPR await an FA decision on whether the Football Association will deduct the runaway Championship leaders points for seven charges relating to the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin. A decision to do so could throw the Championship title race wide open.

With that in mind, we take a look at the charges QPR face and the likely outcome of the FA investigation.

The charges
  • Four charges of fielding an unregistered player: The FA claim that QPR fielded Faurlin for the entirety of the 2009-10 season, despite being owned by an unrecognised third party. This is in breech of a rule introduced following the Carlos Teves affair stating no club can field a player that is owned fully, or partly, by a third party.
  • Using an unauthorised agent: QPR are also accused of using an unregistered and unrecognised agent to bring Faurlin to Loftus Road. Agents must be registered with FIFA to conduct business with English clubs.
  • Falsifying documents: Both the club and the chairman have been charged with falsifying documents when Faurlin signed a contract extension in 2010. It is believed these charges also involve the unregistered agent.
The precedent

The obvious precedent here is West Ham United, who were charged £5.5m for their part in the Teves saga. Ironically, Neil Warnock (now QPR manager) was one of the most outspoken individuals in this case as he felt Teves had single-handedly kept West Ham United up in place of the team he then managed, Sheffield United. The club successfully sued West Ham for loss of revenue.

However, the West Ham and QPR situation differ because the rules in place now were set in hindsight of the Carlos Teves case. The Football Association added the afore mentioned ban on clubs fielding players owned either in part, or fully, by a third party in light of the Teves saga. This means that QPR have violated additional rules from the ones that West Ham United did in 2009.

Past precedent for using unlicensed agents comes from Luton Town, who were docked 10 points in 2008 for breeching this rule on four occasions.

Likely outcome

The real test for QPR will be the new rules that the FA brought in after the Carlos Teves transfer. This is the first time any club has been charged with breaking this rule, so the case will act as future precedent meaning the Football Association could be overly strict to ensure it sends a clear message to other clubs.

Factoring in the punishment handed down to Luton Town, and the fact QPR have to defend themselves against two sets of charges that could incur a points deduction, the Loftus Road outfit have cause for concern.

However, the chairman and manager of Queen’s Park Rangers seem strangely apathetic about the whole situation, with both of them suggesting they don’t expect a points deduction. Having challenged all the charges put against them, this could mean they know something we don’t. Alternatively, it could just mean that they fancy their chances against an FA board that will have to conclusively prove all charges.

For me, the likely outcome is a fine – something QPR won’t be too concerned about, but heavy enough so other clubs would wish to avoid it. I’d be very surprised if The FA handed QPR a points deduction because of the position they currently find themselves in.

If QPR fail to get promoted because of a points deduction handed down by The FA, and there is any remaining dispute over the punishment that could be challenged independently, this could lead to a lengthy legal battle between QPR and the Football Association on the grounds of lost income.

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