Date: 1st May 2008 at 5:01pm
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Leeds United have failed in their bid to get a 15 point deduction overturned by an independent arbitrator.

The verdict had been known to the Yorkshire club and the football leauge at around 2.00pm. Officials from the club had deemed the penalty “Unlawful” and appealed against the football league`s decision. It was thought that other clubs in the promotion mix were preparing legal challenges should the Elland Road club have secured a favourable outcome. Ratification of Swansea City as champions of leauge one for the 2007/08 season was signalled as soon as the decision was made.

Giving in full the main factors why the appeal had failed, the 30 paged report into why the panel had ruled against the club.

The Time span of the club implementing an application of appeal to the relevant bodies was highlighted. Secondly the consequences on other leauge one clubs pushing for promotion would suffer. Thirdly the crucial document signed by a club official that the club would accept the 15 point penalty imposed on them.

Leeds United have released a official press statement was released seconds after the ruling had been known.

The Statement Read::

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.

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.

Swansea manager Roberto Martinez and club captain Garry Monk have been angered in recent weeks for the Football League`s decision not to award the trophy to the club last week against Leyton Orient. Martinez was left reeling after the decision and did not hold back in his criticism of the governing body of league football.

Martinez told the SWEP:

‘I am disappointed that the players have had what should have been one the best memories of their careers taken away from them. To lift a trophy in front of your own fans is special, and I am disappointed about that.’.’

Swansea City`s resurgent captain Garry Monk, who has been through it all with the South Wales club has echoed his managers sentiment. Launching his own assault on the powers that be the former Southampton man has shown.

Monk told the SWEP:

”So to get to a stage where you think you’ve earned the chance to do it and then find out you can’t is hard. How many things do you win in football? Not many. To win a league title is incredibly hard and yet they’re practically taking it away from us.

That’s hurtful to the players, and it’s a shame that we’re going to miss out on lifting the trophy in front of our fans because that’s what it’s all about. It`s a ridiculous situation. You name any other league or any other time where this will happen,” he added.

We are probably the only team who have ever won their league and can’t celebrate it properly.’

It is unclear if the league one trophy will be awarded to the Squad and Staff on the pitch at the Withedean Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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