The Hawks have been hit with misconduct charges after a seven-month investigation by the Football Association (FA).
The Blue Square Bet South club, their former vice chairman Jim Fallon and previous assistant manager Sean New have all been charged for their part in a proposed transfer deal for Tom Davis.
If the Hawks are found guilty, they could be docked points – a worrying prospect for boss Lee Bradbury, who is already attempting to stave off relegation.
Ex-Carshalton midfielder Davis alleged last summer he was offered illegal payments in a bid to get him to seal a move to Westleigh Park.
In a meeting also involving New, Davis said Fallon offered him a ‘private company and football-playing sponsorship agreement’ to be paid for by his company, Beaumont Water Heaters Ltd.
According to Davis, the deal included a four-figure signing-on fee, a family holiday every year, private medical insurance and an additional £200 on top of his salary that would go straight into a nominated bank account of his personal choice.
That is against FA rules and, after an investigation, English football’s governing body have acted.
A statement from the FA read: ‘Havant & Waterlooville FC, James Fallon, Sean New and Tom Davis have all been charged with misconduct.
‘The club, Fallon and New have all been charged under FA rules relating to players which state that “all payments made to players must be made by the club and fully recorded in the accounting records of the club,” and that “all salaried payments must be subject to PAYE and national insurance”.
‘Tom Davis has been charged under FA Rule E14 for allegedly failing to report an offer of payment from Fallon and New.
‘All parties have until 5pm on Wednesday, February 13 2013 to respond.’
Fallon and New are no longer involved with the Hawks.
New was dismissed a month after his appointment last summer – the club claiming he had not revealed details of previous convictions in his interview for the role of assistant boss.
Fallon resigned and walked away from the club in September. All of the parties involved have got until February 13 to respond to the charges – after which a hearing date will be set.
If found guilty, the punishments are severe, with the Hawks facing a possible points deduction, while the individual parties risk being suspended from the game.
The Hawks are determined to clear their name, though.
They have employed experienced football administrator Graham Bean – and his company Football Factors – to represent them.
Before forming his company, Bean was the first compliance officer at the FA – and as such was responsible for discipline investigations.
He has represented some of the biggest names in football, including Premier League bosses Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes.
‘The club will defend the charges robustly,’ he said.
‘They insist they had no idea what was happening.
‘As soon as they found out about it they put a stop to the whole process.
‘Every three years clubs go through a financial health check with the FA and for the past 10 years the Hawks have had a perfect record.
‘I have been working in football since 1996 and get a feel for the way things are done.
‘I have no doubt that Havant & Waterlooville is a club where things are done properly.
‘I genuinely believe the club will be cleared of the charges.’