A judge threw out the league’s huge professional negligence claim – one of the largest ever – following the ITV On Digital fiasco. But he found just two small breaches of duty and awarded £2 for each one.
League bosses were also left to pick up the vast majority of costs for the three-week hearing, estimated at around £5 million.
The league, who represent teams in the lower divisions, were suing their solicitors, Edge Ellison, over the collapse of the pay-TV channel.
On Digital – later re-branded as ITV Digital and famous for the Monkey ad -went bust in April 2002 when they could no longer afford a £315million deal to show league matches.
Several clubs suffered serious financial problems after buying players and making ground improvements on the back of the expected money from TV.
The league tried to sue ITV Digital’s backers, Carlton and Granada and, when that failed, sued their own solicitors for failing to get guarantees.
Justin Fenwick QC, said the league lost £140million and wanted this amount in damages plus £10million interest.
But at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Rimer found there had been only two minor breaches of duty.
He said: “Is the solicitor supposed to review the range of commercial considerations, work out which ones he is concerned the client may not have given sufficient thought to and remind him about them? In my opinion, the answer is no.”