LONDON ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Lukas Jutkiewicz (front) of Coventry battles for the ball with Alejandro Faurlin of QPR during the npower Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Coventry City at Loftus Road on January 23 2011 in London England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Queens Park Rangers Will Not Face Points Deduction

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Queens Park Rangers Fined £875,000 By FA

£875,000 might sound like a lot of money for a fine, but it's nothing compared to the potential of not being in the Premier League this season, so Queens Park Rangers will be delighted that that's the extent of their punishment by the FA for the illegal acquisition of striker Alejandro Faurlin in 2009. It was revealed earlier that QPR would face no points deduction over the transfer, which appears to have violated the Football League's third-party ownership rights. Any deduction in points would almost certainly have seen the Championship title handed to Norwich City, and a particularly severe punishment might have seen QPR drop into the playoff spots.

Whether or not this is a fair punishment is an open question. Promotion rivals Swansea City are the hardest hit - if Rangers had been deducted nine points or more the Swans would have been automatically promoted to the Premier League. Instead, they have to battle against Cardiff, Reading, and Nottingham Forest in the playoffs. However, chairman Huw Jenkins has said he's perfectly fine with the decision to fine the London-based club rather than issue a points deduction:

At least this puts an end to it. We can all move forward. Nobody knows what the ins and outs were. They've obviously gone through that process and we've got to accept what's come our way...

I suppose it's good to get something finalised and we can all move on and get on with what we need to do over the next few games and concentrate and focus on the play-offs.

It's a healthy attitude to take, but one wonders if he'll be signing the same tune should Swansea exit said playoffs early. Still, the FA have made up their minds, and it's not going to do anybody much good whining about it.

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No Points Deduction For Queens Park Rangers

Queen Park Rangers will not face a points deduction (although they will be fined an undisclosed amount) after being found guilty of two of the seven charges the FA was investigating related to third-party ownership of players. The FA made it illegal for clubs to field players whose rights were not solely held by that club several years ago in light of the West Ham United Carlos Tevez/Javier Mascherano debacle, and a points deduction was widely expected.

This result from the FA confirms QPR as Championship champions, which is the most unweildy phrase in the world, and perhaps more importantly also confirms their automatic promotion to the Premier League alongside Norwich. The two clubs will be joined by the winner of the Championship playoffs. Manager Neil Warnock reacted emotionally to the news:

There have been a few tears in the dressing room. It's been a hell of a time and how they [the players] have been able to focus I'll never know.

I can't praise them high enough. It hasn't sunk in completely. It's just a relief to know we are the champions.

People have been speaking out who didn't know their facts. Our barrister said to me we have breached a couple of regulations but he didn't see a points deduction.

The threat of losing their place in the Premier League to a points deduction had been the only shadow over a hugely successful campaign for QPR this season, and now that that's finally off the table they can celebrate. It must be very odd to only really win something after an FA tribunal, especially one whose verdict had been delayed by several days. Nevertheless, Queens Park Rangers are champions.

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Queens Park Rangers May Face Points Deduction After FA Charges

The Championship table may soon be looking at a major shakeup. Leaders Queens Park Rangers are currently seven points clear of second place Swansea City and were looking like easy favourites for automatic promotion to the Premier League at the end of the season - until the Football Association stepped in over allegations that the London club have, amongst other less serious offences, fielded an illegible player in midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, submitted false information, and dealt with unlicensed agents. QPR have been charged with no less than seven violations of the FA rules, and if any of them come through we could be looking at a major points deduction and a sea-change at the top of the Championship.

The last club to be docked points for even one FA violation (rather than going into administration) was Luton Town in 2008, who lost ten points. Considering the importance of Faurlin to the shape of the Championship title race and the sheer number of charges levelled against QPR here, a ten point deduction would seem like a rather light punishment. Anything more than that, though, would see QPR fall out of the automatic promotion spots in to the rather more murky world of the playoffs, which would be very good news for the likes of Norwich, Cardiff, and Burnley, all of whom would be poised to take advantage of the vacancy at the top of the table.

For their part, QPR deny any wrong-doing. A statement on the club's website says that they'll fight the charges, presumably tooth and nail:

Queens Park Rangers and Gianni Paladini can confirm that they have received charges from the Football Association.

Having co-operated fully with the FA's investigation, QPR and Mr Paladini shall be denying all of the charges and requesting a formal FA hearing to determine them.

If QPR's legal team can delay the FA hearing until after the conclusion of the current season, a points deduction will have far less of an impact, as promotion to the Premier League will have been secured. The FA, meanwhile, will be doing its best to close the matter as quickly as possible.

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