London:West Ham United were fined a record 5.5 million pounds by an English FA Premier League panel on Friday on charges of breaching ownership rules by their signings of Argentines Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano last August.
West Ham were not deducted any points from their Premier League tally.
The case centred on the issue of third-party ownership of the two players, who were signed by the relegation strugglers from Brazilian club Corinthians, and also the club's failure to disclose details of the deals.
The Premier League said in March their Board believed the transfers breached a rule that no club should enter into a contract enabling another party to influence its policies or performances.
Three months after the pair moved to Upton Park, the east London club was bought by an Icelandic consortium led by businessman Eggert Magnusson, now the chairman.
Tevez is still at West Ham, while Mascherano has blossomed since joining Champions League semi-finalists Liverpool on loan in January.
West Ham pleaded guilty in the case and as a result were not docked points.
After the verdict, West Ham said in a statement on their Web site: "West Ham United Football Club was given an opportunity to present its case and received a fair hearing. The club's submission that the contracts gave no actual influence to any third party was accepted by the commission.
"The club has not been found guilty of fielding an unregistered player and speculation about a likely points deduction has proved to be unfounded."
"The club regrets the fact that they fell foul of the FA Premier League regulations, but the new owners of the club now want to focus on matters on the pitch and remaining in the Premiership. The threat of a points deduction has now been removed and the club's fate remains in its own hands."
"The club believes that promotion and relegation issues should be decided on the pitch and we are pleased that the commission agree with that view."
"The club will reflect on the financial penalty that has been imposed and will take advice before commenting on the possibility of an appeal or any further steps that might be taken."
The fine is the biggest handed out in English football history, dwarfing the old record of 1.5 million pounds imposed on Tottenham Hotspur for financial irregularities in 1994.
West Ham are 19th in the 20-team league with three games remaining. They have 32 points from 35 matches and play in a critical relegation battle at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.