Saturday, 7 May 2011

Second guessing Queen's Park Rangers' fate.

As QPR face Leeds United in the final game of their Championship-winning season, we're still no nearer knowing whether they'll be playing in the Premier League next season.

Despite the transgressions of West Ham, who it was decided had benefited from the purchase of Carlos Tevez at the expense of Sheffield United, there's no precedent for the alleged transgressions that Rangers have committed.

QPR are promoted as champions and will be awarded the trophy today, but face seven charges relating to the £3.5million registration of midfielder Alejandro Faurlin in 2009. The club deny everything.

They're represented by Ian Mill QC, who acted for the Blades during the Tevez affair which saw the rules on third-party ownership clarified.

The four-man three-day hearing began at Wembley on Tuesday and it's impossible to guess the outcome of their decision. So I'm going to try. The verdict was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but I think by delaying it they're boxing clever.

Faced by Mill, the QC with the fearsome reputation and the combined ownership of Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal, the Commission needn't draw on anything similar previously and can be seen to look tough without materially changing QPR's promotion.

Therefore, I predict a points deduction which keeps them above third-placed Cardiff, and a six-figure fine. It'll rob them of the title but won't stop the promotion party. The playoffs won't be moved and life will go on.

Governing bodies are running scared in the era of multinational ownership, financial muscle and legal henchman, and this affair will no different.