The biggest losers

As we sit waiting with baited breath to hear the verdict of the QPR third party ownership scandel, I can’t help but wonder who the real losers are in any case like this. When you speak to a QPR fan they are optimistic about the outcome. Neil Warnock has been upbeat, so why wouldn’t they be? Well I’ll tell you why – because the latest trend in the FA is slapping point deductions on rule breakers.

Today was supposed to be verdict day in this saga. This is another cock up by the FA as once again this is all being done very last minute at a critical stage of the season. If no decision is made before the play-offs begin and a points deduction is imposed, then this will surely be carried over to QPR’s first season back in the Premiership, giving them very slim chances of survival.

This scenario would also be unfair on Cardiff and Swansea who would then be in the running for second place and automatic promotion to the Premier League if a points deduction was imposed on QPR this season instead.

Whatever the scenario, the FA have plunged the Championship in to chaos. The teams are preparing for a final round of games on Saturday. The timing is also unfair on the teams affected by this saga as it could lead to distraction and dip in performance at this critical stage of the campaign.

Other than the teams involved in the race for promotion, League 1’s Plymouth Argyle are another club that could be worse off. Plymouth themselves have felt the wrath of the FA this season after going in to administration and being deducted the statutory 10 points that has ultimately led to their relegation. On top of this misfortune, if QPR are not promoted Argyle will lose out on a cash windfall that is part of the agreement that took Jamie Mackie to Loftus Road and Plymouth may then launch their own legal battle for compensation as this is money they desperately need.

The players as employees also stand to be affected. What happens at board level should never be a players concern. Players don’t get involved in the business end of football, their job is to concentrate on what happens on the pitch. For the players at QPR it must be a kick in the teeth that at the end of a long, hard, brilliant season, their work could all be in vain.

I also feel sorry for the QPR fans, because ultimately if they don’t gain promotion, what was the point of this season? Yes they have seen some nice football along the way, but they are striving to reach the Premier League. This was the year to get your season ticket, the year you near bankrupt yourself to travel home and away – a championship winning season.

Plymouth fans will also feel aggrieved at being kicked in the teeth by the FA’s rules on administration after a season of following their team around the country. But this is nothing in comparison to what Luton Town fans had to endure between 2007and 2009. In the 2007/08 season Luton were deducted 10 points for misconduct and they were relegated from League one. Preceding that they were then docked a further 20 points by the FA and 10 points by the Football League meaning they would start their season in League 2 on minus 30.

As a fan, knowing your team will start the season on minus 30 points, and therefore staring relegation in the face from the outset must hard to deal with. You have to go to games knowing that no matter what you do, the club you love, cherish, and support will be a non-league club next season. Do fans still go? Of course they do, because supporting your club through thick and thin is what the real football fan is about.

Rules are rules and if they are broken there must be consequences, but the FA need to pull their finger out and deal with things in a better way than they have. They let these things drag on without conclusion, they schedule hearings at massively important times of the season, they lay down the law on the rules of business to the clubs when they need to have a look at themselves.

The FA are playing God, to an extent. This is their role, but why can’t they do it with empathy? The money men at board level aren’t the losers here, they may take a hit in the pocket, but they have enough money and ultimately it will be the clubs finances, not their own affected. I feel sorry for the managers, players, and mainly the fans caught up in board level issues as they are the ones whose lives are affected and truly are the biggest losers.

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  1. Terry Fan says:

    QPR got lucky with the decision, if not it would be the fans potentially losing out again. Sod the players, they earn enough, I am sure they can live with it. Stupid decisions at board level can really effect people like me who go and pay every week to watch their side.

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