Hearts have failed in their bid to have their case against relegation heard in an open court.
Just after 2pm at the Court of Session Ann Budge was informed that the issue is for the SFA to decide on meaning that Hearts can now prepare for life in The Championship and the wrath of their fellow clubs.
More than 80% of the SPFL clubs voted to end the 2019/20 season based on average points per game with Hearts quick to bank the prize money for finishing in 12th place after a disastrous season masterminded by Budge.
Rather than look internally for the reasons for failure Hearts mounted a media campaign to overturn the decision led by Tom English every Saturday afternoon.
Dundee United had their promotion to the top flight put under threat by the legal action but now Hearts must turn to Hampden for sympathy after winning just 4 out of 30 SPFL Premiership matches.
With Steven Naismith signing a four year deal worth £7,500 a week at the start of the season the Edinburgh side have the highest paid footballer in Scotland outwith Glasgow.
BBC Scotland, who have championed the case for Ann Budge throughout, reports:
Hearts and Partick Thistle’s case to have their relegations overturned will go to arbitration by the Scottish FA.
Lord Clark delivered his verdict after three days of arguments at the Court of Session via tele-conference. Hearts and Thistle wanted to case heard in open court.
A motion by the three clubs whose promotions could be scrapped – Dundee Utd, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers – to have the case dismissed was refused by the judge.
After pushing through wage cuts Budge has spent money compensating Dundee United for manager Robbie Neilson while also finding the money to give Craig Gordon a two year contract.
Hopefully the SPFL will get their legal costs paid for by Hearts.