Wednesday Diary – Hearing in full swing
Wednesday, 4th May 2011 23:04 by Clive Whittingham
The immediate fate of this QPR team and its supporters is currently being thrashed out by an FA hearing behind closed doors at Wembley.
QPR face the following charges:
Entering contracts with third-party organisations enabling them "materially to influence" the club's policies or its team's performance.
Entering contracts assigning rights to or making payments to a third party in connection with a player transfer.
Providing the FA with allegedly false information in later contract extension documents.
Bringing the game into disrepute.
Using the services of an unauthorised agent.
Charges Gianni Paladini faces:
Bringing the game into disrepute
Concealing or misrepresenting the reality and/or substance of matters relating to a transaction or contract negotiation.
QPR are being represented at the hearing by Ian Mill from Blackstone Chambers. Nick De Marco, another Blackstone silk as well as former QPR director and LoftforWords message board poster, is serving as the junior barrister on the case. Blackstone Chambers are also supplying Adam Lewis to prosecute the FA’s case. In a further twist it transpires that Mill represented Sheffield United in the Carlos Tevez case – he is widely accepted as an expert in his field. Mill also previously represented boxer Jo Clazaghe in his battle with promoter Frank Warren.
Gianni Paladini said: “We will fight all the way and justice will be done. We have not tried to cheat anybody. We have done everything in good faith. We have done everything right.”
Adel Taarabt said: “It would destroy me and it would destroy my team-mates,' said Taarabt on the possibility of a points deduction. We have not cheated. We have played every match with 11 v 11 players on the pitch. We never did anything wrong. If there are problems with things upstairs then surely that it is to do with them, not the team. It would be a disaster for every player. But what can we do? We have done our best. We have won the Championship. If the FA take that away, I will still tell people I am a champion.
“The first few days Faurlin was a little bit worried because he may have thought the lads would blame him, but we told him it is not your fault. He has been brilliant all season and you can't deny that. He deserves to be in the Premier League as well. We have done the job on the pitch so we deserve to be where we are. Every game we play 11 against 11 and we win games on the pitch; we don't do anything else. We didn't cheat or do anything wrong. I don't know what is happening upstairs but the FA will make the decision and we will see."
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan said: “The case they have got is flimsy. The FA and the Football League approved this transaction and were very well aware of what it was. The reason why this transaction has gone a little bit bandy is because QPR did something rather silly. It is often the case football clubs do this, they big up the cost of the player to appease their fans that they’re spending a load of dough. What QPR did was they had a certain figure attached to this player and they also had some additional figures if they wanted to take him longer term. The figures they quoted were nowhere near the figures they paid.
“The FA cleared the money, the FA received the money, but when QPR start going out saying they spent £3.5m on a player and none of that has been spent that’s when the FA came along and said ‘hang on a second, where’s this other money gone?’ That’s where the investigation came from. Now the third-party rule that they’re trying to apply was not in operation at the time they signed this player. They’ve got nothing. QPR are not going to get anything besides a slap across the wrist. I don’t think they did anything wrong.”
Former FA Chairman Mark Palios said: “Following the Carlos Tevez affair it is necessary for a statement to be made and, if QPR are found guilty, it should be ten points or more. There are precedents about fielding an ineligible player, ranging from a small points deduction for clerical errors around the transfer window to more serious situations. This is more serious than a minor clerical error so a points deduction is almost certain. QPR have also been charged with seeking to make illegal payments to unauthorised agents and Luton lost ten points for doing that."
Away from the hearing Adel Taarabt has urged the club to stick with Neil Warnock amid rumours that he may be replaced by a bigger name manager if QPR go into the Premiership. Taarabt told the Kilburn Times: “He has been great. My season is a lot to do with him because he has given me 100 per cent belief and trust. Even if I don’t play well for one or two games, he still plays me. He has done a lot for me. In football you have to meet somebody who gives you a chance, for me that person is Neil – nobody else.
“I signed when I was 17 at Spurs, and I didn’t make it, I know now that I am in the Championship, every game I give my best. I have nothing to prove. I am only 21, now and I don’t think about Spurs, I am at QPR, all the people here help me so I am very happy to be here. I know that with this manager we can achieve something. I don’t know what the target is for next season, so now we just have to enjoy this moment and in pre-season the boss will tell us what the target for next season is.”
And Tommy Smith says Rangers have nothing to fear in the top flight, if their promotion is ratified by the FA. Smith told the Kilburn Times “I don’t think [the Premier League] is a harder league than it was, I think it’s more even. A lot of the teams in the bottom half are similar to the teams at the top of the Championship. Certainly the top half of the table you can see there’s a bit of a gulf, but the likes of Blackpool who have gone in and done really well, shows if you don’t have any fear and just play, you can get results. Certainly for us there’s a lot to look forward to. It has been overdue. I think we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves over the last few games to get wins when we haven’t managed to do it, so it’s lovely to get three points, play well and seal our spot as champions.”
Saturday’s final game of the season at Loftus Road against Leeds United will be shown live on BBC1, kick off is at 12.45pm.
Joe Oastler will sign a permanent deal with Torquay United this summer after spending the season on loan at Plainmoor. Gulls manager Paul Buckle confirmed today that Oastler will stay on the south coast when his QPR contract expires this summer. Buckle said: “We have agreed a deal in principle. Joe wants to stay with us next year, and we'd like to have him. For the time being we won't be finalising any contract issues until the end of the season. We want to concentrate on Rotherham away on Saturday and staying in the play-offs."
Despite the fact that QPR may not actually be a Premiership club next season, it has not stopped the tabloid press linking the R’s with all and sundry ahead of the summer transfer window. For what it’s worth The Mirror says we are looking at Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra, the Daily Mail say we are trying to steal Jimmy Bullard from under the noses of Ipswich Town as Hull City try to get rid of his £45,000 a week wage packet, The Sun say we will offer £3m for Watford’s Danny Graham and the Caught Offside blog says we will try to prise £12m striker Marouane Chamakh from Arsenal and Tottenham’s Robbie Keane has also been linked. The Mail also says Spurs’ Kyle Naughton and Fulham’s Andrew Johnson are also targets while Real Madrid are allegedly giving consideration to offering £6.5m for Adel Taarabt who is also linked with Liverpool.
Damien Delaney has agreed a new two year contract at Ipswich Town at the end of what he has described as a ‘crazy’ season at Portman Road. Delaney said: “It's been crazy - massive highs and ridiculous lows. I've never known anything like it: the high of the Arsenal game, we got beaten by seven at Chelsea, we were turned over at home to our rivals. It's a bit mad. But I suppose in January if you'd have asked the fans 'would you take 12th?' they'd have said 'yes'. If we're anywhere near promotion next season, attendances would be near 30,000 I'd hope. If we can get it right at this place you'd be getting that every week. That's one of the main reasons I stayed. If you get this place right, there aren't many bigger clubs in the country."
Former Italian international midfielder Damiano Tomassi has been named head of the players’ union in his homeland – succeeding Sergio Campana who has held the position for the last 43 years. Tomassi, who once agreed to accept a youth team player’s salary at Roma for a year while out with a knee injury, has made helping lower league players achieve greater job security his top priority. Tomassi wants to find a system which protected the contracts of players in the lower divisions in the case of club bankruptcies.
- Cardiff say they will discipline a “small number” of their players internally after reports came to light of a squad drinking session before Monday’s 3-0 home defeat in a crucial home game against Middlesbrough that handed Norwich promotion to the Premiership. Cardiff players hit the town until the early hours of Sunday morning following the club’s Player of the Year dinner.
- Norwich sealed second spot in the division with a 1-0 win at Portsmouth later on Monday. Goalscorer Simeon Jackson said of manager Paul Lambert: “The gaffer's a magic man, he knows what to do and when to do it. What he's done since he's been here has been unreal, it's something special. The fans are definitely happy he's the manager of the club." Unlike QPR Norwich can safely make plans for the top flight next season. Lambert himself said: “We aren't going to compete with the money there, the Manchester Uniteds and that. You have to try and think of another way you can stay in the league. Time will tell, we've got a rough idea of what we want to do, I spoke with Ian [Culverhouse, assistant manager] and Gary [Karsa, coach] on Monday night and we'll do everything we can."
- Yakubu says he wants to sign permanently for Leicester this summer. The on loan Everton striker said: “I think I've had enough and I have to look for somewhere to go - I would love to stay. Hopefully I can settle things there and come back. If I could come and play for Leicester that would be great." Meanwhile Richie Wellens has been named the club’s Player of the Year.
- Leeds chairman Ken Bates says he has bought out the club’s mystery owners to bring an end to national media speculation over who owns the Elland Road club. A club statement read: “This change in ownership structure makes Ken Bates the controlling shareholder and delivers the transparency sought."
- Sheffield United are bracing themselves for a wave of player departures following their relegation from the Championship. Manager Mickey Adams said: “Certain players will be leaving the football club; I can't tell you who. In our position, you have to listen to any sensible offers for any player but we don't want to sell young players."
Photo: Action Images
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