Salford Red Devils will face a season-defining moment on Monday when they come in front of a judge to defend their alleged salary cap breach.
Owner Marwan Koukash was told by the RFL on 4 March that he would being charged with breaking the £1.825m Super League wage ceiling.
Gifts, cash and wages: Koukash blasts RFL for salary cap claims
A letter by Bradford Bulls chairman Marc Green outlining serious concerns about the Devils’s dealings was leaked to the rugby league press, which led to the RFL investigation.
The club will face judicial review in a tribunal today, Monday 25 April.
Koukash has consistently defended his team and said publicly that they were being “made scapegoats”.
He told a hastily-called press conference that he believed the gift of a car to Niall Evalds was under scrutiny, as well as a rent payment to an unnamed youth player.
But Koukash said former Salford players were bring “strongarmed” by the RFL to come forward with allegations against the club.
When the racehorse magnate took over Salford in 2013 – a move that came with £3m of debt from the John Wilkinson administration – he lobbied hard to raise the salary cap so he could pack his squad with big name players.
Tony Puleta, who joined Salford from St Helens ahead of the 2014 season, launched legal action against the Red Devils after quitting the side.
Kevin Locke resigned from the AJ Bell in June 2015 after alleging Salford had failed to pay his wages.
If Salford are found to have paid more than £1.825m in salaries over the last two years they could face a maximum 20-point reduction.
That is unlikely, however: the only successful prosecution of a club for breaching the salary cap came in 2007 when Wigan were deducted four points.
A statement is expected from the club later today.