It has been the annoying undercurrent to this League One season; like a whining child on a bus, whenever you’ve tried to shut out the whole Leeds debacle it jsut seems to become more prominent and more irritating. Well now, thankfully, but for more foolish yelps to the press from Ken Bates, the whole sorry affair of these fifteen points is finally over. The Football League may have had its integrity knocked, but it has just about hung onto some authority as the arbitration panel has upheld its original ruling. With just one game to go League One will after all be settled the old fashioned way… on a football pitch.
Leeds United were deducted fifteen points by the Football League at the start of the current season after they failed to enter a Compulsory Voluntary Agreement with their creditors as they came out of administration. Despite this breach of rules the League offered Leeds a place in League One if they accepted a fifteen point penalty. Leeds accepted, took their place in League One, and then set about appealing the decision they had previously agreed to.
And from that moment on the whole sorry affair has lumbered on for forty-five League One matches from appeal court to the press before finally reaching a three-man arbitration appeal panel. Today, after a week’s deliberation that panel finally announced its verdict, the original penalty stands, Leeds get nothing back and everything can go back to the way it was before Ken Bates appeared in League One.
The decision will be greeted warmly by at least four other League One clubs. For ourselves, Nottingham Forest and Carlisle it means we can throw ourselves at the remaining promotion place, whilst for Swansea City it means they can finally properly celebrate a deserved League One Championship trophy.