It’s nil points for Leeds United..

The appeal for the fifteen points saga has come to an end today, with the arbitration panel announcing just moments ago that Leeds United will not regain any of the fifteen points deducted this season.  On a purely selfish level, this is a relief to me as it keeps our hopes of automatic promotion alive – as before when I’ve discussed this (except when it happened), I’m not going to get into the whys, wherefores and justification, because frankly, I don’t understand it enough.

It will be of bitter disappointment to Leeds fans, who several I’ve spoken to over recent weeks and were hopeful of a return of some if not all of their points.  Of course, Leeds still have the opportunity to attain promotion thanks to the points they’ve amassed this season – were it not for the deduction they would be in second place now, just a point behind Swansea with the opportunity of nicking the title at the weekend.

Whilst I was fearful of the potential announcement, I’m not surprised at it – the Football League would have opened up the floodgates potentially of other appeals – and whilst I would argue they have been made to look somewhat foolish by this entire process, it would have shown them up to be a very weak organisation if they had relented so late in the season.  Not to mention the legal actions that Carlisle and Doncaster had already spoken of launching should all the points be returned.

Forest remained conspicuously silent over the whole affair – and I think this was the most appropriate way to deal with it.  There is little point in fretting and bitching in the press about a decision that is out of our hands, it is much more prudent to concentrate on things within our control – ie, our own games.  So I think the club are to be congratulated on their restraint on commenting upon an issue that must have been concerning them.

This does offer an extra motivation for nicking that automatic promotion spot – I wouldn’t fancy facing Leeds in the playoffs.  Whilst it’s impossible to quantify, having witnessed (from afar) the manner in which the original deduction was leveraged to unite the board, management, players and fans to a fantastic start from the season, I can foresee a rage-fuelled Leeds having – in their eyes – suffered another injustice, being strong contenders for promotion through the playoff lottery.

It’s still game on this saturday for us, currently Leeds are in sixth and we’re in third – which would mean should things stay the same we’d meet in the semi-finals of the playoffs.  So all the more we must overcome Yeovil and hope that Cheltenham can confound Donny this weekend…