Salford Red Devils have been docked six points by the Rugby Football League (RFL) for breaching the Super League salary cap.
The RFL charged the Red Devils last month following allegations of salary-cap irregularities in the last two years.
Salford were found guilty at an independent tribunal and the club have now been hit with a six-point penalty, which puts them level with bottom side Huddersfield Giants.
An RFL statement said: "Salford Red Devils have been found guilty by an independent tribunal of breaching the RFL Operational Rules and Salary Cap Regulations concerning contractual arrangements made with three players in 2014 and 2015.
"The tribunal, chaired by His Honour, Judge Peter Charlesworth, found that Salford had committed a serious breach of the rules including exceeding the finite salary limit of £1.825 million in 2014.
"As a result the tribunal decided that the club should be fined £5000 and deducted six points. The points deduction will be imposed immediately.
"The tribunal also found Salford not guilty of a number of offences concerning contractual arrangements with two players.
"The club have 14 days from receipt of the written reasons for the decision in which to lodge an appeal."
The RFL announcement came on a day when Salford confirmed the permanent signing of on-loan winger Justin Carney from Castleford Tigers on a three-year deal.