Hartlepool have lost their appeal against a three-point deduction imposed by the Football League for fielding an ineligible player.
Midfielder Gary Liddle appeared in April's 2-0 win against Brighton despite being suspended for two games.
The League also handed the club a suspended £10,000 fine, while the Football Association imposed its own punishment with a £3,500 fine.
The League One side, who avoided the drop on goal difference after losing the points, saw their bid to have the penalty overturned rejected.
A club statement said: "Hartlepool's appeal to the Football League in response to the deduction of three points for fielding an ineligible player has been unsuccessful.
"As soon as the original decision was made by the Football Disciplinary Commission and, prior to the last game of the season, the club lodged its intention to appeal with the Football League and Pools have now received notification of the outcome.
"The Football League has ruled that the penalty issued for Gary Liddle's appearance in the game with Brighton on Monday 5th April was correct and the club's appeal was dismissed."