Troubled 1. FC Kaiserslautern have been docked three points after being found guilty of licensing irregularities.
Troubled 1. FC Kaiserslautern have been docked three points, which will take effect next season, after being found guilty of licensing irregularities.
The German Football League (DFL) has also given Kaiserslautern a fine of €125,000 after uncovering evidence of breaches of licensing rules dating back to the 1997/98 season. The club have until next week to appeal against the ruling.
'Contracts were withheld'
"In particular, considerable contracts were withheld from the German Football Association [DFB] and subsequently from the DFL relating to the personal rights of Kaiserslautern players," said a DFL statement.
The points deduction has been held over until next season to prevent the club from slipping back down into the Bundesliga relegation zone, but the fine - which must be paid in the next four weeks - is more of a pressing concern for a club already €30m in debt.
Failure to pay their debts could result in the four-times German champions losing their professional licence. This could mean a ban from the top two leagues in Germany and relegation to the amateur leagues.
Unbeaten since the restart of the German season and through to the final of the German Cup, things have been looking up for Kaiserslautern on the pitch, but the loss of revenue following the collapse of Bundesliga TV rights holders KirchMedia has crippled the club financially.