Leeds will have to win promotion via the play-offs after losing an appeal against their 15 points deduction.
Leeds fail in bid to win back 15 points
Leeds United will have to win promotion via the League One play-offs after losing an appeal against their 15 points deduction.
The decision is good news for the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Carlisle United who now all remain in with a chance of gaining the second automatic promotion place.
Had Leeds won back the 15 points they were deducted at the start of the campaign for breaking insolvency rules then Gary McAllister's side would have guaranteed promotion back to the Championship.
Leeds have now confirmed the matter is now closed allowing everyone at the club to look forward with the hope of gaining promotion via Wembley way.
"The three man arbitration panel ('the panel') appointed by The Football Association in respect of the above mentioned appeal has rejected Leeds United's arguments that the 15 point deduction was unlawful," read a statement on the club's official website
"In making the decision the panel took into account the detailed submissions made by both parties (Leeds United and the Football League). The panel were critical of the length of time taken by Leeds United in bringing this action to have the 15-point decision overturned. We feel this finding is unjust as the club sought to oppose the imposition of the penalty from the 30th August 2007 onwards.
"We did accept the imposed condition of a 15-point penalty subject to an appeal to Member clubs. As at the 3rd August 2007 we had no option but to do so. If we had not the club would have been lost forever which was far too big a price for anyone to pay. It is galling therefore that we are criticised for the delay in bringing the appeal when it was delays by the Football League that effectively backed us into this corner in the first place.
"The appeal to Member Clubs was imposed by the Football League. We have been critical of this throughout and felt justified therefore that the Tribunal felt it was unsatisfactory due to the level of vested interest in the appeal body. Leeds United will be proposing at the forthcoming Football League AGM, a change to the regulations to this effect to protect other clubs in the future.
"The matter is now closed and the focus can now return to the pitch. The decision to remain in League One was always correct from the club's perspective. If the team are now able to progress through the play-offs to the Championship, then it would be the appropriate reward for the efforts of the club's fans and players in overcoming the penalty imposed on the club."
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