Sam Allardyce could face a penalty ranging from a fine to anything as much as a total ban from football, Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn said after allegations made by the Daily Telegraph against England's shortest-serving manager.
Glenn's comments come as Allardyce left his role as England manager by mutual consent after just 67 days this week.
The Telegraph claimed that they had filmed Allardyce telling journalists posing as businessmen from the Far East that it was possible to "get around" FA rules banning third-party ownership of players, and struck a £400,000 deal to represent the fake company.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Glenn said Allardyce could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, the punishment for which "could range from a fine to a ban. That's what the history shows. That's for a tribunal to decide", Glenn added.
Glenn said the decision had not been easy to arrive at and that "the easy decision was to keep him and tough it out". Glenn also added that the FA had been clear with Allardyce about his responsibilities and caution around who he discussed FA matters with.
"It wasn't the case that he was left like an innocent in the woods. Which is why the thing was ever more a surprise," Glenn said, as well as adding that questions about Allardyce's past were acknowledged during the recruitment process.
Referring to allegations made by a BBC Panorama programme in 2006 about Allardyce's involvement in transfer irregularities made in a BBC Panorama programme, Glenn said: "We knew he was a man of the world, we knew there had been a Panorama inquiry a few years ago.
"We referenced him widely. He's Sam, he's loud, he's brash but he is in the middle of the fairway in terms of behaviour. So I think that the reason I felt let down was, I guess, the surprise factor of it."
Allardyce is one of a number of figures in football accused of wrong-doings by the Telegraph in a series of articles published over the last week. Others implicated in the undercover investigation include former Aston Villa caretaker manager and assistant manager at Southampton, Erik Black, as well as former Spurs and West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp.
However, if he were to receive a ban from football, Allardyce would not be the only senior figure in international football to suffer this fate. Former-UEFA president Michel Platini was found guilty of ethics violations in December last year and was banned from football for six years.
Addressing UEFA's congress earlier in the month, having been given special dispensation by FIFA's ethics committee to do so, Platini told the congress: "Football is a game before a product, a sport before a market, a show before a market."
However, Platini warned in the wake of recent scandals that undermined FIFA that "serious abuses" are still undermining the sport, and urged members to "continue to balance sports realities and economic interests".