Leeds United have missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League - estimated to be worth almost £200 million ($367 million) - as Marcelo Bielsa insisted fair play was more important than a victory for his team on an crazy afternoon against Aston Villa at Elland Road.
A 1-1 draw meant Leeds' Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United secured promotion, but Bielsa will draw praise for his actions after Mateusz Klich put the Whites in front in hugely controversial circumstances.
The home side played on as Villa's Jonathan Kodjia lay injured and Klich turned the ball in. But after furious Villa protests and a mass melee, which included a red card for Villa defender Anwar El Ghazi, the visitors were allowed to walk in an equaliser and Albert Adomah obliged.
Leeds defender Pontus Jansson almost intervened to stop Adomah scoring, as he appeared to disagree with his manager's decision.
The draw halted Villa's 10-game winning run, and the sides could yet meet again in next month's play-off final. Bielsa, seen bellowing "give the goal" to his team, later explained his extraordinary decision.
“We just gave the goal back. The facts are what everyone saw," he said.
“English football is known for sportsmanship, so I don’t have to comment on this kind of thing.”
Villa manager Dean Smith praised Bielsa's sense of fair play.
“The referees missed a foul on Jonathan Kodjia in the centre circle and what happens then, Tyler Roberts should probably put the ball out," Smith said.
“Everybody stops, he doesn’t. We’d just done it for their lad when we were attacking in the corner.
“Klich has just apologised to me after the game. He said he shouldn’t have done that, it’s wrong.
“Every credit to Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa for giving us the opportunity to put that right.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder also lauded Bielsa.
"Full respect to Marcelo Bielsa in terms of the way he handled today," Wilder told the BBC. "I think it was right, correct and proper.
"I think he comes out with an enormous amount of credit and shouldn't take any criticism whatsoever."
Villa served early warning of their excellent current form with Andre Gray and Kodjia both heading narrowly off-target.
Leeds should have taken a ninth-minute lead though. Luke Ayling's cross found its way to Jack Harrison in the penalty area and the winger mis-hit his shot from six yards.
Ahmed Elmohamady put in a timely block to deny Harrison at the far post soon after as Leeds began to hit their stride.
Adam Forshaw lashed a shot from the edge of the area over the crossbar, but Villa responded through John McGinn's flicked header, which was well saved by Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
Referee Stuart Attwell incensed the home crowd and the Leeds bench with several contentious decisions, with skipper Liam Cooper and later Bielsa both booked.
Stuart Dallas crashed a low shot wide after another spell of concerted Leeds pressure before the break, but the first half ended goalless.
Leeds picked up where they left off in the second period after injured defender Dallas and Harrison were replaced by Gaetano Berardi and Tyler Roberts.
Forshaw fired inches wide, while Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was wayward with a free-kick before Kodjia spurned a golden chance for Villa when he blazed over from inside the box.
Pablo Hernandez went close after trying his luck from 25 yards but both sides lacked composure with the goal in sight.
The game's key talking point then occurred, with El Ghazi's red card looking extremely harsh as replays suggested his elbow barely made contact with Leeds' Patrick Bamford.
Leeds were unlucky not to snatch a winner in the closing stages as substitute Roberts' shot was blocked before Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer brilliantly saved from Hernandez's shot.