Maybe the Football Association woke up fearing a lengthy legal battle and possible humiliation by the fat cats from Formula 1. Maybe it was the criticsim they received overnight from the media after announcing they could not make a decision.
Whatever the real reason, the blundering FA finally did the right thing and confirmed Queens Park Rangers would not be denied promotion over irregularities relating to the transfer and contract renewal of Argentine midfielder Alejandro Faurlín.
The club was found guilty of two of the seven charges against them, but the FA tribunal decided not to dock any points. Why the FA should wait until just an hour before kick off on the final day of the season to announce their decision over an argument that began in September last year will always be a mystery. But the gesture brought tears of joy to Neil Warnock and his team in the pre-match dressing room.
Even the shock of losing their final match at home to Leeds United 2-1 could not spoil the party as the Hoops were presented with the Championship trophy that confirms their return to the Premier League after a 15 year absence.
An FA statement read: “The Regulatory Commission hearing charges brought by The FA against Queens Park Rangers FC wish to announce that although two of the charges have been found to be proved there will be no points deduction made from Queens Park Rangers FC in this season or the next.”
QPR manager Neil Warnock paid tribute to his team for managing to concentrate on playing rather than be distracted by the off-field affairs.
He told BBC1’s Football Focus: “How they have managed to focus with all the rubbish some of the tabloids report, people speaking out when they shouldn’t have done, didn’t know their facts…they coped well. We haven’t said anything, we just kept our counsel and did it on the pitch. I can’t praise them high enough although it’s not really sunk in at the moment, it’s just a great feeling.”