QPR players ‘hope and pray’ that Faurlin hearing does not destroy promotion dream
SHAUN Derry admits that QPR’s players can only ‘hope and pray’ that their promotion dream is not shattered as they await the results of a hearing into the club’s signing of Alejandro Faurlin.
A 2-0 win at Watford on Saturday technically secured Rangers’ place as Championship winners, and promotion to the Premier League after an absence of 15 years.
But the celebrations at Vicarage Road were overshadowed by the hearing, which began on Tuesday and centres on seven charges concerning the ownership of Argentine midfielder Faurlin, signed in 2009.
The Rs should discover their fate tomorrow [Friday], and may face a points deduction if found in breach of the rules, which could plunge them into the play-off spots.
Midfielder Derry, who has played an integral part in a season which has seen Rangers deservedly crowned champions, says the squad would be devastated should they be denied promotion.
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“You hope and pray that nothing comes of it, because it would be absolutely horrible for everybody connected with the club,” Derry told the Times.
“You’d like to think it would be unfair to punish the players for something they have no control over.
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“All we can do is look forward to the next game where hopefully we’ll be lifting the Championship trophy.
“We can only do what we’re capable of doing and that’s putting in performances on the pitch. We’ve got to celebrate, we’re champions, the players have done their part, so it’s up to the football club and the authorities to sort that out.”
The charges facing Rangers concern an alleged agreement between the club and a third party over Faurlin’s economic rights, and the club’s failure to notify the FA of that agreement before Faurlin was registered to play for them.
Rangers have also been charged with using or seeking to pay an unauthorised agent as part of the Faurlin deal, while the club and chairman Gianni Paladini have been charged with submitting false information relating to a contract extension signed by Faurlin in October.
The FA have been investigating the case since September, when Rangers asked permission to buy out the third party following the Football League’s introduction of rules prohibiting the third-party ownership of players.
The club appear almost certain that they will avoid a points deduction, with striker Tommy Smith stating on Saturday that they are ‘really confident’ they will escape with a fine.
But on Tuesday, former Football Association chief Mark Palios said he believed that QPR would be deducted points, referring to the Carlos Tevez saga of two years ago, when the Argentine helped West Ham stave off the threat of relegation in 2007 despite being owned by a third party.
On that occasion Sheffield United, managed by Warnock, were relegated instead.
Everyone connected with the Loftus Road club will be holding their breath ahead of tomorrow’s verdict, and Derry insists that, on the pitch at least, QPR deserve their promotion.
“Days like Saturday become fewer and further between as you get older. You want to put it in a bottle and savour it,” he added.
“It’s been a long season, we were top of the tree for every game bar one really, I think we were second for one weekend only. For me that tells the story, we’ve been the best team in the league, and rightly, we’ve been promoted.
“We’re lucky that we’ve not lost a lot of games this season so we’ve not had to bounce back too many times. What we have done is been consistent.
“It’s not sunk in yet. Even though I’ve been part of a team which has been top of the tree, I don’t look too far ahead – it’s the here and now.”