Bradford Bulls have had their appeal against their six-point deduction rejected by an independent panel.
The Bulls received the deduction from the Rugby Football League in February after going into administration for the second time in two years.
The decision means Bradford stay in the drop zone, six points from safety.
In a statement, the Bulls said: "We are naturally disappointed with the panel's decision in finding we did not meet the necessary threshold."
It added: "Prior to the appeal hearing, we had already taken initial legal advice on our options should the appeal fail. We will now pursue those options with a view to making a decision on how to take matters further forward in the belief that the decision made was wrong.
"Inevitably, there will be upset amongst our players, supporters and sponsors who have throughout been supportive - both on and off the field.
"As a club, we are doing all we can to repay the faith shown by our supporters. We are hopeful that ultimately our efforts will bring success."
Their win over local rivals Wakefield in their last league match moved the Odsal side back into positive points for the first time since the deduction but they are six behind the Wildcats with 12 games to play.
Francis Cummins takes his side to Salford on Sunday.
Chief operating officer of the RFL Ralph Rimmer said: "The RFL accepts the decision of the Sporting Sanctions Appeals Panel and would like to place on record its thanks to the panel members for their professional and thorough approach.
"The unique nature of this panel, and the forensic nature of the investigations that have taken place, have made for a very complicated process which is now at a conclusion
"The time has now come to move on and put this chapter in the history of Bradford Bulls behind the sport.
"Bradford Bulls chairman Marc Green and his fellow directors have acted in a proper and dignified manner throughout this process and their continuing commitment will ensure the club's future success."