Wigan’s relegation to League One has been confirmed after they lost their appeal against a 12-point deduction for going into administration.
Wigan appealed against the punishment on the grounds of ‘force majeure’.
But an independent arbitration panel ruled against them, meaning Barnsley will stay in the Championship.
The Latics went into administration on 1 July when their new Hong Kong-based owners conceded they could not support the club financially.
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Force majeure events are usually defined as certain acts, events or circumstances beyond the control of the involved parties, such as natural disasters, war or a pandemic.
The timing of Wigan going into administration meant their penalty was applied following their 1-1 draw with Fulham on the final day of the season.
Without the punishment, the Latics would have finished 13th in the table, but once the points were deducted they ended up second-from-bottom.
Wigan said: “The club put forward a strong case and naturally we are disappointed at the decision. The first-team management will now prepare the team for next season’s League One campaign.”
Assistant manager Leam Richardson will take charge of the team when they return to training next week after Saturday’s resignation of boss Paul Cook.
In a statement, the English Football League added: “The decision of the arbitration panel is final and legally binding.
“The EFL will continue to engage with the administrators to provide its full support in all ongoing matters with the aim of achieving a long-term future for the club.”
Wigan’s relegation will feel particularly cruel to their fans as it comes after their side produced a remarkable run of form in a bid to avoid the drop.
The Latics won eight, drew six and lost just one of their final 15 games of the season, but with their points deduction enforced, finished 23rd, two points from safety.
That ends their two-year stay in the Championship after they won the League One title in 2018.
The club’s relegation is their third from the Championship in the space of six seasons – all of which saw them finish 23rd.
And it is the fourth time they have suffered relegation in their past eight campaigns, including 2013’s drop from the Premier League, which ended their eight-year spell in the top flight.