A four-day Football Association hearing that could yet scupper QPR’s promotion to the Barclays Premier League gets under way later today.
Rangers were confirmed as the winners of the npower Championship following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Watford but their place among the elite remains in the balance with the club facing a possible points deduction over seven counts of wrongdoing relating to the signing of Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin in 2009.
An Independent Regulatory Commission will hear the charges brought against the London club, with its verdict due to be delivered on Friday – just one day before the final round of Championship fixtures.
Rangers celebrated promotion on the pitch at Vicarage Road at the weekend after goals from Tommy Smith and Adel Taarabt secured a victory which put them out of reach of the chasing pack.
Neil Warnock’s men are due be presented with the Championship trophy after their match with Leeds at Loftus Road this Saturday, but that could all change depending on the outcome of the hearing.
Sections of the media last week claimed QPR could be hit with a 15-point deduction, which would condemn them to a place in the play-offs, although the FA was swift to distance itself from those reports.
Were a points deduction to be implemented, the play-offs would then run the risk of being thrown into turmoil should QPR elect to appeal against the ruling.
Yesterday, the Football League declined to comment on reports that they have warned teams who have reached the play-offs that the competition may be delayed pending the outcome of the disciplinary case.
The charges facing QPR concern the alleged existence of an agreement between the club 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 in England in July 2009.
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.
QPR and Paladini have denied the charges, which will be put before the commission’s four-man panel.