THE AFL has intimated that Melbourne has a case to answer over the serious allegations the club tanked in order to gain better draft picks in 2009.
The league has asked the Demons to respond to evidence gathered over the past few months, which could lead to the club being charged with tanking, potentially resulting in huge penalties.
The AFL said charges, if any, could be laid in late January - after the Demons have had time to respond to the evidence.
''Evidence gathered during the investigation will this week be provided to relevant parties to give them an opportunity to comment,'' the AFL said.
The careers of Melbourne chief executive Cameron Schwab and football boss Chris Connolly would be in jeopardy if the investigation concludes Melbourne deliberately set out to lose games.
Reports on Wednesday suggested Connolly does not come out of the investigation in a good light.
Fairfax Media revealed last month that Connolly allegedly told football staff that they would all lose their jobs if the club failed to gain the priority draft pick.
A costly legal stoush looms after Demons president Don McLardy said last month the club would defend itself against the claims. ''I can assure you we will use every resource available to us to defend the integrity of the Melbourne Football Club in the strongest possible way.''
The long-running investigation was sparked by comments made by former Melbourne midfielder Brock McLean.