Tearful Warnock hails champions
QPR boss Neil Warnock was crying with joy after learning his side could finally celebrate promotion.
Last Updated: 07/05/11 6:58pm
Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock was crying with joy after learning his side could finally celebrate promotion to the Premier League.
The Hoops finally got their hands on the Championship trophy, a week after they clinched it, following the Football Association's announcement they would not be docked points over the Alejandro Faurlin affair.
The club were instead fined £875,000 after being found guilty of two of the seven charges facing them surrounding the alleged third-party ownership of the Argentine midfielder.
A belated promotion party began once fears of a potential 15-point penalty were allayed and could not even be spoiled by a 2-1 defeat against Leeds United.
"Over the last seven weeks or eight weeks I have never had such a tough task, so to steer us through is the best job I've done," said Warnock, toasting the seventh promotion of his career.
"To deal with it without being able to comment has been difficult, especially for me! A lot of the lads, myself included, were in tears in the dressing room when we heard.
"Everyone, one by one, went up to Alejandro and hugged him. It was great."
The FA has been heavily criticised for not hearing the case until the final week of the season - leaving the club sweating on the outcome long after they had secured promotion.
Yet somehow its timing was impeccable as the news of the delayed verdict filtered through an hour before kick-off to get Loftus Road rocking.
Midfielder Shaun Derry said: "When we heard it was more relief than anything else, it gave us such a lift.
"We were worried but we were given assurances, although when it's nagging in the back of your mind it's awful."
Despite all the off-field drama there was still a football match to be played at Loftus Road.
Leeds are rarely a sideshow and they had travelled south still harbouring slim hopes of a play-off place.
It looked even more unlikely after just 27 seconds when Heidar Helguson tapped Rangers ahead before Max Gradel and Ross McCormack turned the game around.
However, Nottingham Forest's win at Crystal Palace means another season outside the top flight for the Whites.
Leeds manager Simon Grayson said: "Obviously we are disappointed not to make the play-offs.
"We have beaten the champions twice this season which is a testament to my players, but congratulations to QPR."