West Ham's hopes of appealing against a possible £30m compensation payment to Sheffield United have been dealt a major blow.
The Hammers were drafting a "statement of appeal" to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, but CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb admitted the appeal may not even be heard.
"As things stand, CAS would not be able to hear this case," Reeb told BBC Sport.
"We would need agreement from Sheffield United and for Football Association rules to allow an appeal to CAS."
The Blades would be unlikely to give agreement to an appeal that could overturn the decision of the independent tribunal, whilst the FA actually have a rule which stipulates there cannot be an appeal from the verdict of an independent tribunal.
Rule K5c states that by signing up to arbitration, "the parties shall be deemed to have waived irrevocably any right to appeal, review or any recourse to a court of law".