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Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Tuesday, 3 May 2011 12:06 UK

Former FA chief Mark Palios expects QPR points docking

Alejandro Faurlin
The signing of Faurlin could cost QPR their Premier League status

Former Football Association chief Mark Palios believes QPR will be deducted points following the hearing into their 2009 signing of Alejandro Faurlin.

The hearing, which started on Tuesday, centres around seven charges relating to the initial deal arising from the Argentine midfielder's ownership.

Palios told BBC Radio 4 that if the club are found guilty they would be docked points based on set precedents.

QPR, who won promotion to the Premier League on Saturday, deny the charges.

On Saturday, Rangers boss Neil Warnock reacted angrily to media claims that the club could be docked as many as 15 points, which would scupper their elevation to the top flight. The FA has since moved to deny that any decision had been made.

The charges facing QPR concern the alleged existence of an agreement between them and a third party in respect of Faurlin's economic rights, and the alleged failure by the club to notify the FA of that agreement before the player was registered to play for them in England.

The club has also been charged with allegedly using or seeking to pay an unauthorised agent as part of the Faurlin deal, while both the club and chairman Gianni Paladini have further been charged with allegedly submitting false information in documents provided to the FA relating to a contract extension signed by Faurlin in October.

"There is a lot of precedent around playing an ineligible player and that ranges from the clerical errors around the transfer window, when they get small points deductions, to more serious situations," said Palios.

"I think following the [Carlos] Tevez affair it is necessary for a statement to be made. This is more serious than a clerical error, so deserves a points deduction almost certainly.

"The second charge with regard to illegal payment to agents, I think there is a precedent when Luton got 10 points deducted for doing that.

"Interestingly, the FA said they tried and didn't say they actually did make the payments to unregistered agents."


The FA has been investigating the case since September, when QPR first asked for permission to buy out the third party that owned Faurlin's economic rights.

The club was prompted to do this by the Football League's introduction of rules prohibiting the third-party ownership of players.

The League told QPR they would have to notify the FA of their plans and it then became apparent the club may have been in breach of FA regulations for more than a year.

Saturday's 2-0 win at Watford secured QPR's promotion to the Premier League as champions but any definite celebrations have had to be put on hold as the spectre of docked points hangs over the west London club.

If a points deduction is indeed deemed necessary, then Warnock's side could drop into the play-off places. The club would be expected to appeal if the FA rules against them.

BBC Sport understands the Football League has held initial talks with clubs likely to be in the play-offs, regarding potentially switching the dates of the semi-finals if QPR are docked points.

When interviewed on Monday's Late Kick Off programme on BBC One, QPR midfielder Shaun Derry agreed with his manager's assessment that the atmosphere around the club was "like a morgue" following Friday's press reports.

"It was upsetting to read," said Derry. "Especially when it could mean taking away promotion and taking away the fact that winning that game meant we were champions.

Points docking would be disastrous - Derry

"We were going into a derby against Watford and to read that on the Friday, it was hard for the boys."

Derry also underlined the impact a significant points deduction would have on the club.

"It would be disastrous," he said. "We have been the best team this year and we are up there on merit. What a hammer blow it would be to everybody connected with QPR - the players, the staff, the fans especially.

"But you can't even think about it. What we have said all along is to take away what happens this week and celebrate it because if nothing does happen, you don't want to miss out on the celebration."

The reason the case has been brought against QPR is because of rules that were brought in following the Carlos Tevez saga. That case dragged on for two years after Tevez helped West Ham stave off relegation from the Premier League in 2007, despite being owned by a third party.

Sheffield United, ironically then managed by Warnock, went down instead and lodged a legal challenge that ended with the Hammers owing the Premier League £5.5m for breaking the rules and the Blades £20m in compensation.

West Ham, however, avoided any points deduction that would have taken them down in Sheffield United's place.

QPR have led the Championship table since early in the season and have only lost five times in the league.

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see also
QPR ruling may affect play-offs
03 May 11 |  Championship
Joy as QPR are promoted
30 Apr 11 |  QPR
Watford 0-2 QPR
01 May 11 |  Championship
Rodgers hints at play-off delay
02 May 11 |  Swansea

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