Oh NOT To Be A QPR Fan
Friday, 29th Apr 2011 10:13
The Sword of Damacles hangs by a single hair of a horse's tail according to the Greek legend. Queens Park Rangers Football Club sit where Damoclese sat, and the sword is the decision of the FA Disciplinary Hearing that begins on Tuesday, to reveal its verdict a week today.
The seriousness of the charges and the attempts to cover the offences up can only point towards a severe outcome that might punish the fans more than the club and the actual guilty parties.
There are stories circulating that QPR threw its hands up in admission when the offences came to light. Be that as it may, previous submissions of relevant paperwork regarding the playing of a non-registered player, and payments to a third party as well as a non-registered football agent, all tried to cover the facts up.
People are also quoting the West Ham incident as a precedent. The fact is that there were no specific rules on paper when the London club used Tevez unregistered. The FA wrote the ruling in the wake of that incident to make it abundantly clear to other clubs.
There is considerable speculation over what the FA might inflict on QPR. One writer, on a Welsh club's message board, claimed to have second-hand inside knowledge, and suggested that QPR might be facing charges of fraud. Whether or not those suggested charges will be waved under the club's nose if it threatens to appeal against any decision, is pure speculation at this time.
One thing is clear; the FA are likely to hand down a deterrent, along with punishment. This incident, after the furore made by Neil Warnock, then Sheffield United manager, as he objected to West Ham's "cushy" punishment, has done nothing to stop clubs from trying to pull a fast one. By "clubs", in this case, read QPR.
One writer today guesses at a fifteen point deduction, leaving QPR still in the play off places. QPR must be hoping that the four man panel of a barrister, two members of the FA Disciplinary committee and a "football expert", doesn't include anybody with affections towards Swindon Town.
For those that don't recall this 1989 incident, Swindon Town had won promotion to then Divison One, now the Premier League. Financial indiscretions that later led to then chairman Brian Hillier being given a six month prison sentence and a three year ban from football, and the manager at the time of the offences, Lou Macari, being forced to resign from his managerial post at West Ham.
Swindon were relegated two divisions, which meant that, instead of promotion to Division One, they would end up in Division Three. A later appeal reduced the relegation to one division, so Swindon, effectively, went nowhere.
As the FA decide their verdict they must consider the fact that, despite punishments to save the fans from suffering for their club's indiscretions, some boardroom members still think that they can get away with cheating. As such, QPR are very likely to be made an example of.
Perhaps, as well as heavy financial impositions, QPR will face a huge points reduction that will, in effect, result in the club staying in the Championship. Even then, the possibilty of another assault on promotion might just see them relegated to League One.
Of course, the FA so often does exactly the opposite of what anybody expects; however, if QPR can gain promotion to the Premier League after committing the offences, many Championship clubs will be looking for a legal compensation package from tjhe FA of substantial amounts, I imagine.
All in all, this must be one hell of a time to be a QPR fan.
Photo: Action Images
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