Macclesfield Town have been relegated to the National League after the English Football League won an appeal against a points deduction.
The decision means a reprieve for Stevenage, who will retain their League Two status.
Macclesfield had been given a suspended four-point sanction, but that will be applied immediately, dropping the Silkmen to the foot of the table.
The EFL said an independent panel’s decision was “final and binding”.
Macclesfield appeared to have escaped relegation in June, after coronavirus ended the League Two season early, when they were docked two points, with four suspended, for breaches of regulations relating to non-payment of wages.
It left them one point above Stevenage in the table, but the appeal decision means they finish three points below their rivals, having been deducted 17 points in total over the course of the 2019-20 season, across three disciplinary cases.
The EFL statement in full;
An independent Arbitration Panel has upheld the EFL’s appeal in respect of the outcome of an independent Disciplinary Commission who in June 2020 had considered misconduct charges brought against Macclesfield Town.
The charges related to failing to pay a number of players on the applicable payment dates due in March 2020, failing to act with utmost good faith in respect of matters with the EFL and for breaching an order, requirement, direction or instruction of the League.
The Arbitration Panel confirmed that the two-point suspended sporting sanction activated on 19 June 2020 from previous proceedings will stand and in addition the four point deduction, originally suspended in the latest proceedings and only to be activated in the event of a further breach of Regulation 63.7 during season 2020/21, will be activated immediately and applied to the 2019/20 table.
Today’s outcome leaves Macclesfield Town in 24th position in the table on 19 points with a points per game (PPG) total of 23.62, resulting in the Club’s relegation into the National League.
The Arbitration panel’s decision is final and binding.
The EFL will be making no further comment.