The Australian soccer players' union has slammed Central Coast Mariners' management for not paying their squad on time as negotiations continue to sell the A-League club.
The Mariners failed to pay their players this week - one of several times this has happened in recent seasons at the Gosford-based outfit.
It comes as new ownership is expected to take control of the club in the next few days, with at least two outside groups and one of the current shareholders - Mike Charlesworth - expressing serious interest in a takeover.
But while negotiations drag on, the Mariners' players were not paid on time this week - Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) saying some have been unable to afford groceries because of the delay.
And the PFA has not ruled out strike action in coming weeks, though the Mariners have agreed to play their away match against Adelaide United this weekend at least.
"Despite been (sic) assured on a number of occasions that payment of their salaries would be imminent, these promises have failed to materialise, placing the players under enormous financial pressure and hardship," the PFA said in a statement on Thursday.
"In some cases, the players have been unable to pay for their families' groceries.
"The players have acted in good faith however there is a limit to their goodwill.
"The players have agreed not to take any industrial action at this time but the PFA does not rule out this possibility in the coming weeks."
The Mariners, who sit second in the league, admitted on Thursday they were experiencing "ownership and financial issues".
But coach Graham Arnold said the players had spoken to club owner Peter Turnbull and Charlesworth, and were feeling buoyed by what they had to say.
"It's been a tough week for the players," Arnold said.
"Before training, the chairman (Turnbull) and board member (Charlesworth) had a chat to them over loudspeaker on the phone to inform them what's going on and I think that's relaxed a lot of the players.
"There has to be a resolution and I am pretty sure that it will be sorted out quite quickly."