David Gold, co-chairman of West Ham United, today explained that the East London club are pursuing legal action against The Football Association after they refused to accept West Ham's appeal against Andy Carroll's sending off.
Carroll was dismissed by referee Howard Webb after 59 minutes of last Saturday's 2-0 win against Swansea City, after a flailing arm smacked Chico Flores in the face.
West Ham lodged an appeal against Webb's decision to red card the former Liverpool forward, claiming the decision was "obviously wrong".
On Tuesday afternoon, an independent regulatory commission decided that West Ham did not have grounds for appeal and upheld the original charge.
As a result, Carroll will be unavailable as Sam Allardyce's side face Aston Villa, Norwich City and Southampton in the coming month.
West Ham currently occupy 18th spot in the Premier League and are deeply embroiled in a relegation battle.
It is West Ham's league position, Gold claims, that has left the club with "no option" but to pursue legal action, report The BBC.
"There is nowhere to go other than to seek some kind of legal redress. It's not ideal, the last thing I want to do is going to some kind of legal issue because I think it is a footballing issue," Gold said.
"But we are fighting for our lives. If we were mid-table we would probably get on with it but we are fighting for our lives to retain our Premiership status and we owe it to our fans, we owe it to ourselves."
This kind of action is unprecedented, but football clubs do have the right to take decisions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, if they feel that a ruling is unfair or incorrect.
It remains unclear whether this action would lead to Carroll's ban being temporarily suspended until a final outcome is achieved.
Howard Webb continues to state that he believes his initial judgement to be correct and refuses to accept Gold's stance that his decision was wrong.
The three members of the independent panel all backed Webb's decision.
"We are a club that understands there are rules and we abide by them. But you have every commentator and 80 per cent of the media saying it wasn't a sending off," the former Birmingham City owner added."
"Yet Howard Webb reviews the situation afterwards and says he stands by his judgement and when it goes to appeal and three guys stand by Howard Webb you feel 'how can this be right'."
Gold also believes that The FA need to review the process for the appeal of suspensions, claiming that a three-man committee is not representative and cannot provide a 'fair' decision.
"Most judgements are not made by three people, they are made by 12 - that's why they are called juries. I believe if you had gone to the FA Council and asked the 100 members 75 per cent would have said it was not a sending off, but if you just take three people it may not be representative."
Carroll's suspension threatens to further derail West Ham's season, which has already been hampered after injuries to key men, including Carroll.
The Geordie striker has played just four Premier League games this season.
The Football Association have refused to comment on the matter.
image: © Ben Sutherland