LEEDS have no more than a 30% chance of getting their 15-point penalty overturned by an independent tribunal, according to sports law specialist Richard Cramer.
A three-man arbitration panel were to begin considering the validity of the sanction imposed on Leeds by the Football League at the start of the season with the tribunal due to get under way behind closed doors in London today.
Leeds’ lawyers will attempt to convince the panel the League acted outside their jurisdiction when docking the points as punishment for allegedly breaking competition rules on insolvency.
Cramer, of Leeds-based solicitors Cramer Richards, said Leeds had effectively waived their rights of appeal when they agreed to return to the Football League back in August.
“Leeds signed a legally-binding document effectively waiving any entitlement to challenge for the 15 points,” said Cramer.
“It was signed off by Leeds United who knew full well that if they wanted to participate in League I and remain part of the Football League, they had to accept the 15 points (deduction).
“So Leeds have got to demonstrate early on to the three-man panel that there is a very good reason why this 15 points can be challenged. I put their chances at about 30%.”
If the sanction is overturned and Leeds are given all their points back, the consequences in League I could be far-reaching.
Leeds would be thrust into the second automatic promotion place at the expense of Carlisle with three matches 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 Leeds’ League I clash at Millwall on Saturday.