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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 17:08 UK

Leeds points appeal unsuccessful

Leeds boss Gary McAllister
McAllister's side head for the play-offs after Thursday's verdict

Leeds United have failed in their bid to claim back the 15 points they were deducted by the Football League.

The decision by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators means Leeds will not win automatic promotion from League One, though they are in the play-offs.

An independent three-man arbitration reached its verdict behind closed doors in London, ruling the League had not acted unfairly when docking the points.

The penalty was a punishment for breaking competition insolvency rules.

Leeds had already been docked 10 points for entering administration at the end of last season, while still in the Championship - although they were virtually guaranteed to be relegated anyway by then.

The Yorkshire club felt the additional penalty during the current campaign had been unduly harsh.


Any return of points would have upset Leeds' League One promotion rivals, with Doncaster and Carlisle likely to have taken legal action - but the failure of the appeal means that leaders Swansea are confirmed as champions.

Leeds chairman Ken Bates confirmed he would accept the tribunal's findings, but was aggrieved at its criticism of Leeds for delays in bringing their action.

A club statement said: "We feel this finding is unjust as the club sought to oppose the imposition of the penalty from 30 August 2007 onwards.

"We did accept the imposed condition of a 15-point penalty subject to an appeal to member clubs.

1 Swansea 89 (+39)
2 Doncaster 80 (+25) _______________________
3 Nottm Forest 79 (+31)
4 Carlisle 79 (+18)
5 Southend 75 (+15)
6 Leeds 73 (+33)
All teams have played 45 games
"As at 3 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 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."

The statement continued: "If what football achieves out of this is clarity for clubs in the future then that can mitigate some of our disappointment as we want all clubs to survive through what are very difficult times.

"The matter is now closed and the focus can return to the pitch.

"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."

The panel has found that the actions we took were reasonable and appropriate in these unprecedented circumstances

Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney
Meanwhile, Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said: "On behalf of the board and the League, I welcome the panel's findings in their entirety.

"It has found that the actions we took were reasonable and appropriate in these unprecedented circumstances and that we had the power to act as we did.

"Now I believe we should draw a line under the whole process. Leeds United are a valued member of the Football League family.

"We should all now get back to the business of football and enjoy the climax to what has already been an exciting season."

Leeds were fifth when previous boss Dennis Wise was recruited by Newcastle United to be their executive director of football.

Former Leeds favourite Gary McAllister replaced him, and the team booked a play-off spot last Friday with a 1-0 win over Yeovil.

see also
Leeds verdict before season end
18 Apr 08 |  Leeds United
Doncaster believe Leeds will fail
17 Apr 08 |  Doncaster
Leeds deduction must stand - Ward
16 Apr 08 |  Carlisle United
Lawyer rates Leeds' points battle
14 Mar 08 |  Leeds United
Leeds fight set for arbitration
27 Feb 08 |  Leeds United
Leeds continue points loss fight
19 Dec 07 |  Leeds United
Leeds demand High Court hearing
23 Nov 07 |  Leeds United
Leeds hit with 15-point penalty
04 Aug 07 |  Leeds United
Bates unhappy with Inland Revenue
06 Jun 07 |  Leeds United
Relegated Leeds in administration
04 May 07 |  Leeds United

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