Leeds to hear points appeal fate on Wednesday
An independent tribunal to consider the validity of a 15-point penalty imposed on Leeds by the Football League gets under way behind closed doors in London tomorrow.
Leeds' lawyers will attempt to convince a three-man panel that the League acted outside its jurisdiction when docking the points at the start of this season as punishment for allegedly breaking competition rules on insolvency.
If the sanction is overturned and Leeds are given all their points back, the consequences in Coca-Cola League One could be far-reaching.
Leeds would be thrust into the second automatic promotion place at the expense of Carlisle with three games remaining and several clubs, Doncaster among them, have already threatened legal action.
The League's sanction will be reviewed by a three-man panel, consisting of retired High Court judge Sir Philip Otton, former Premier League chief executive Peter Leaver and experienced lawyer Peter Cadman.
The tribunal could last for up to three days and the ruling is expected to be made public before the Yorkshire club's League One clash at Millwall on Saturday.
Leeds were deducted 15 points before the start of this season for failing to exit administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
A majority of more than 75% of fellow Football League clubs then voted to uphold the sanction.
Leeds chairman Ken Bates had been forced to put the club in the hands of administrators last May due to debts of around £35million.
Leeds have denied any wrongdoing and agreed to an arbitration hearing after initially serving the Football League with a High Court writ.
Should the tribunal uphold the League's 15-point penalty on Leeds, Bournemouth and Luton could start next season with a similar handicap after both recently failed to exit administration via a CVA.
Leeds currently occupy the final play-off spot and could stretch their advantage over seventh-placed Walsall to seven points with their first win at West Yorkshire derby rivals Huddersfield tonight since 1963.