Date:Thursday May 1 2008
It has been confirmed that Leeds United will not be earning any extra points as the independent arbitration appeal has been rejected.
A statement on the official website goes on to show just how bizarre the whole procedure has been!
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.
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. Any request by the club to alter the wording of the agreement by the Football League, as the Tribunal recognised, would have been rejected by the Board in any event so to reiterate, we had no option but to agree. It is both noticeable and significant that the panel saw fit to suggest that the Football League should look to incorporate into its Insolvency Policy clear guidelines, objectives and procedures going forward so as to make sure no other club has to be subjected to what we have had to endure if they are unable to secure the completion of a CVA.
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.
If what football achieves out of this decision is clarity for clubs in the future (and there will undoubtedly be cases of insolvency again), 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 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.”
Playoffs it is then, marching on together!
Date:Thursday May 1 2008
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