Newcastle Falcons have been relegated from the Aviva Premiership.
The Falcons will be replaced by London Welsh.
Welsh had initially been denied the step up after it was deemed their proposed ground share with Oxford United to use the Kassam Stadium did not meet the 'minimum standards criteria' laid down by the Professional Game Board.
The Falcons finished bottom of the Premiership last season despite a late resurgence.
They had been given hope of a reprieve after Welsh were denied promotion having beaten Cornish Pirates in the Championship playoff final.
A possible legal challenge has been mooted but the Falcons cannot appeal the decision, taken by an independent panel compromising James Dingemans QC (chairman), Ian Mill QC and Tim Ward QC.
On taking legal action, commercial director Ducan Edward said:
"We will obviously take stock over the weekend, speak to our representatives and make a decision early next week."
The panel upheld London Welsh’s appeal that they should be allowed to ground share.
They had based their application for promotion on Saracens, Sale Sharks, London Irish and London Wasps, teams that all shared their home grounds with football club landlords, which the panel accepted.
The panel also rejected Newcastle’s claims that the Exiles’ agreement to use the Kassam Stadium had come too late.
Next season will be their first outside the top flight since they were promoted in 1997.
The new campaign will also be the Falcons' first under new director of rugby Dean Richards who joins the club on August 1 after the end of his two-year ban.
They will begin their season in the Championship with a game away at Bristol Rugby on the weekend of September 1.
Do you think relegation is fair on the Falcons?
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