The Parramatta Eels have been handed a 12-point penalty and fined heavily over salary cap breaches.
The high-flying Eels are fifth in the NRL table, but they have lost all the points they have earned this season.
However, they can accrue points during the 2016 campaign once they comply with the salary cap.
The club were also fined one million Australian dollars - with 250,000 AUD potentially suspended.
Eels chairman Steve Sharp, deputy chairman Tom Issa, director Peter Serrao, chief executive John Boulous and football manager Daniel Anderson have been issued show-cause notices, needing to show why their registrations should not be cancelled.
In a statement, NRL chief Todd Greenberg said: "As the governing body, we have a responsibility to act in the interests of the game for the long term.
"At times, it gives us no pleasure to have to do so and this is one of those. But we have to take a stand on behalf of the fans, the club and the game."
Greenberg said the Eels had breached the cap in five of the past six years and had a system designed to cheat.
Also among the Eels' penalties was the club being stripped of the Auckland Nines title they took out earlier this year.