West Ham have vowed to "vigorously defend" themselves after being charged by the Premier League over the transfer of Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano
The Hammers could be fined, docked points or even face expulsion from the Premiership after being hit with a charge of breaching league rules over acquisition of the South American duo last summer.
The Upton Park club have 14 days to respond to the charges which relate to a breach of rules forbidding the ownership of players by a third party.
Tevez and Mascherano are alleged to have been part-owned by Kia Joorabchian of the Media Sports Investment group.
The news comes as a further blow to the Hammers, who are staring relegation from the Premiership in the face following a disastrous campaign.
However, a club statement has confirmed they will defend themselves in light of the charges.
"West Ham United has been notified of a disciplinary charge by the Premier League relating to the transfers of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez and asked to respond within 14 days," confirmed the statement.
"In light of the legal advice received, the club will vigorously defend itself against the charge and provide a detailed response as requested by the Premier League within the time allowed."