Leeds Ultimatum

Last updated : 29 November 2007 By Kevin Markey
Ken Bates plans to take the club's fight to arbitration unless the FA agree to go to the High Court for a judicial review.

The move will mirror the action taken by Sheffield United, who are now heading for arbitration in June after failing with a High Court challenge last summer to the Premier League's handling of the 'Carlos Tevez affair'.

The Blades insist that the Premier League should have deducted West Ham United points rather than impose a £5m fine for fielding the Argentinian ineligibly and this would have sent the Hammers down instead of them.

Leeds, meanwhile, are contesting the FA's failure to oppose the 15-point penalty imposed by the Football League for breaking rules when exiting administration.

"Leeds United can confirm that we have written to the Football Association inviting them to waive their right that the dispute should be determined through their arbitration procedures and allow the matter to be referred directly to the High Court for a Judicial Review," said a statement on the club's website. "If they refuse this request we will commence independent arbitration proceedings in accordance with FA regulations.

"An arbitration panel would consist of three members, one nominated by Leeds United, one by the Football Association, and an independent chairman, from a legal background, who would be approved by both parties. We shall continue to pursue this matter step by step."

Leeds, who were also docked 10 points before the final game of last season, have taken 41 points from a possible 51, lifting the club into the play-off zone.

Dennis Wise said: "You'll never forget what's happened because we would be 10 points clear at the top and not be so down about losing to Cheltenham. Unfortunately, we're not. We're five points adrift of top position and that's the difference. When we lose, it has a different kind of meaning to it."