FC Twente face relegation to the second-tier Jupiler League for "repeatedly and deliberately misleading" football authorities and other clubs about their finances.
Twente could have had their professional playing license revoked, but the Dutch football association's licensing commission has instead given the club a "second chance" because of recent efforts to restore order and proposed they be relegated.
In December, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) banned Twente from European competition for three years for a deal to sell player transfer fee rights to an outside investor.
Twente, who won the Eredivisie under Steve McClaren in 2010, were twice deducted three points last year because of financial mismanagement.
"We feared the licensing commission would pull the plug completely," said KNVB director Bert van Oostveen.
"Luckily the commission has found a way out. FC Twente is a big club with a lot of supporters and the KNVB is pleased the club has been given a second chance."
Twente interim director Onno Jacobs said the club's management was "shocked, disappointed and full of disbelief" and would carefully study the written decision before deciding on the next step.
"This feels ... like a hammer blow," Jacobs said, while appealing to the club and its fans to remain calm.
A Dutch professional players' council has two weeks to consider the proposal and issue a non-binding opinion before the decision is finalised.