Dundee have lost their second and final appeal against a 25-point deduction for going into administration.
Dundee, who play in the First Division, failed in an appeal to the Scottish Football Association after the Scottish Football League upheld their original decision last year.
Dundee's position at the bottom of the table is now confirmed, although they could yet challenge the decision in a court of law.
A Scottish FA statement read: "At a meeting of the Scottish FA's appeals sub-committee today, the following decisions were taken in relation to Dundee Football Club's appeal of sanctions imposed by the Scottish Football League:
"1. Dundee's appeal against a deduction of 25 championship points for season 2010-2011 was rejected
"2. Dundee's player registration embargo will remain in place until the club comes out of administration."
Dundee chief executive Harry MacLean said the Dark Blues would have to turn their focus to surviving on the pitch.
"Our initial reaction is severe disappointment, but we don't want to go into it too deeply at this point," he said. "We've been to the Scottish Football League, we've been to the SFA and as things stand we're just probably going to have to abide by the decision, pick ourselves up and get on with it and try and get up the season a little bit before the season finishes."
Dundee have dropped from second place on 32 points to 10th on seven. They are five points behind Stirling, who have won three of their 15 games all season, at the foot of the First Division table.
Morton are two points and a place better off, Ross County have 15 points and Cowdenbeath and Partick each have 16.
The Dark Blues, who have been denied a Scottish Cup run by last week's 4-0 loss to Motherwell, have won their last six league games and play league leaders Dunfermline at East End Park tomorrow.
MacLean added: "The manager (Barry Smith), the players, all the staff and the fans have responded magnificently to the challenges, but we've got to keep that going.
"We've got to focus on playing and putting points on the board. There's nothing that's going to get us out of the situation now, other than winning games and progressing up the league."
MacLean insisted no further jobs would be lost at Dens Park as a result of the points deduction, unless Dundee were relegated from the First Division.
Last week Dundee announced steps to come out of administration and MacLean's focus remains on that process, with the next creditors meeting expected to take place on February 4 with a view of agreeing a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement.