Portadown could start next season’s Danske Bank Premiership campaign with a 12-point deduction - following the decision tonight (Tuesday) of the Irish Football Association disciplinary committee.
The Ports were called to stand before the IFA body for a second hearing this season into player registration procedures.
IFA officials imposed the punishment due to issues over the contract status of Peter McMahon.
It is understand that club directors will take the next 24 hours to review the full situation, with an appeal under consideration.
McMahon, Gary Twigg, Tim Mouncey and Darren Murray were originally flagged for further investigation following a review by the Northern Ireland Football League of player payments.
The Ports were previously hit with a fine and transfer sanction on signing players under professional terms until June 2017 following issues connected to the status of Twigg.