QPR face points penalty threat over FA charges

QUEENS PARK RANGERS top-flight promotion bid was thrown into turmoil last night after they were charged by the Football Association with seven breaches of rules banning third-party ownership in relation to their midfielder Alejandro Faurlin.

If found guilty by a three-man independent panel, the runaway Championship leaders would be open to a number of punishments including a points deduction, a transfer embargo or a heavy fine.

Sources close to the FA told City A.M. that a points deduction would be the least likely outcome. However the governing body is understood to be seeking a quick conclusion to the matter to prevent promotion and relegation issues from dragging on beyond the season’s end in case of a deduction.

The Argentinian joined QPR from Institute FC in July 2009 for £3.5m, but it is alleged that when he did so an unnamed third-party retained a stake in his economic rights.

The FA stress that this case is without precedent, having only brought in laws to deal with third-party ownership in 2009 following the controversy caused by Carlos Tevez’s move to West Ham and the role he played in keeping them in the Premier League at Sheffield United’s expense in 2007.

West Ham were hit with a £5.5m fine rather than a points deduction and Tevez was permitted to continue playing. The Hammers later settled out of court with United for around £18m after the Yorkshire side sued them, claiming £45m.