QPR plan to party despite promotion uncertainty

LONDON - Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock has urged fans to celebrate winning the Championship and reaching the Premier League this weekend - even though they could be stripped of promotion.

They clinched the title last weekend and face Leeds United at their Loftus Road ground in the final match of the season on Saturday with a Football Association (FA) regulatory commission hearing hanging over them.

The commission is probing seven charges of potential wrongdoing relating to the transfer and contract renewal of Argentine midfielder Alejandro Faurlin.

The commission was originally set to announce a decision by 1500 GMT on Friday, but the deadline has now been postponed by the FA.

If found guilty, QPR could have points deducted and may lose the title or promotion but plans are still in place for them to be awarded the league championship trophy on Saturday.

"I love Loftus Road and I want the fans to enjoy the party on Saturday," Warnock told the club website.

There has been widespread speculation in the media about QPR's fate, ranging from a points deduction this season, a deduction next term, or a heavy fine.

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios said this week he expected QPR to be deducted at least 10 points, which could put them in the playoffs rather than the two automatic promotion spots.

But at a news conference on Friday, Warnock said Palios should not have said QPR would definitely lose points, saying: "Mark is talking without knowing the facts, really."

QPR currently have 88 points followed by Norwich City (83), who have also clinched automatic promotion.

Cardiff City (79), Swansea City (77), Reading (74) and Nottingham Forest (72) occupy the four play-off places while Leeds, fifth on 69, retain a tiny mathematical chance of pipping Forest.

If QPR do lose a host of points, it would pose a huge problem for the League as it could disrupt the play-off positions.

QPR have, for now at least, secured a return to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years.

They were founder members of the Premier League in 1992 but were relegated in 1996. They have climbed back to prominence in recent years with the backing of motor racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone, former Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore and Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.