The Football Association have rejected Thurrock FC's appeal against playing an ineligible player last season and upheld the Ryman League's subsequent decision to deduct three points from their 2012-13 record.
The dismissal of their appeal at Wembley on Tuesday means that the club's points deduction and fine of £75 imposed by the Ryman League in the wake of the FA's ruling after the season ended stands. As a result, the club will start next season in Ryman North.
Thurrock appealed after playing Joel Barnett last season while he was under a sine die suspension, breaching Rule 6.9.
Barnett also played for Ryman North Tilbury in the last campaign and they were deducted 18 points by the Ryman League and fined £75 after the FA ruled that he was also ineligible when he turned out for them.
The Dockers also appealed against the FA's ruling on Tuesday. Like Thurrock FC's, it was dismissed. As a result, the points deduction and fine subsequently imposed by the Ryman League also stands.
The FA’s ruling on Thurrock FC settles the make-up of the Ryman League's three divisions next season. With the Thurrock club confirmed in Ryman North, Sittingbourne FC will be transferred back to Division One South and Carshalton Athletic FC will be reprieved from relegation and remain in the Premier Division.