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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 01:31 GMT 02:31 UK
Falkirk denied promotion
Motherwell will remain in the Scottish Premier League
Scottish First Division champions Falkirk have lost their appeal against a block on promotion, giving Motherwell a stay of execution in the top flight.

The Scottish Football Association appeals committee upheld the Scottish Premier League's decision to deny Falkirk promotion on the grounds they had not met the required stadia criteria.

The club's fate was sealed after more than 10 hours of discussions at Hampden Park where the SFA's three-man panel, headed by Lord Ranald MacLean, deemed that the SPL had acted legally.

SFA chief executive David Taylor said: "The appeal by Falkirk Football Club against the decision by the SPL has been refused."

Falkirk chairman Campbell Christie insisted he would be discussing with his legal team what further action could be taken.

He said: "We are highly disappointed with decision and we will consider our position and make public our statement on the website and I have nothing further to say.

"We will take stock of our decision with our legal advisers and see where we go from here."

Motherwell administrator Bryan Jackson said: "We were always fairly confident with the initial agreement and we wouldn't have signed the players and planned for next season had we not been.
I'm delighted a leading law lord has decided that our decision was a balanced and fair one
Lex Gold
SPL chairman

"We appreciate we have been the benefactors from the decision being upheld, but the club would have survived and there would have been no automatic winding up.

"However, we would have had to adapt and it would have been very difficult.

"It's a total relief. We were quietly confident but always anxious. This reflects the SPL directors behaved correctly at the time but we do have some sympathy for Falkirk."

Chairman of the SPL, Lex Gold, was relieved that his organisation had been supported but also felt for Falkirk.

"Falkirk are a good club with a fine board of directors and I sincerely hope they go on from this and that one day soon we will welcome them to the Premier League," said Gold.

"I do have sympathy with them but I'm delighted a leading law lord has decided that our decision was a balanced and fair one.

"These rules have been in place for five years now and they are the rules we have to operate under."



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