Melbourne Victory have officially ended their shirt sponsorship deal with "Kaishi Entertainment" after it was exposed as a front for online betting firm Kashbet.
Fans blew the whistle on the deal within minutes of it being announced on the day of Victory's opening Asian Champions League clash against Korean side Daegu earlier this week.
Victory at first dismissed the criticism and insisted their deal was with "Kaishi" which they said was a media entertainment agency.
But the announcement of the launch was made by Trent Jacobs from behind a pedestal with Kashbet's own logo next to Victory's and their trademark slogan in Chinese logograms.
Victory still insisted the logos and slogan were just "similar" to Kashbet's but Kaishi was a totally different company.
However a link they provided to Kaishi's homepage led to a series of broken links – and a profile of their "chairman" which fans discovered was just a stock image pulled off the internet.
Kashbet are also the "official betting partner" of European clubs Roma, Ajax and Bayer Leverkusen.
But a picture of Bayer Leverkusen revealing their new Kashbet logo-sponsored shirt featured the same woman as was pictured in Melbourne Victory's shirt presentation (with exactly the same logo/slogan) – but who had been called "general manager of Kaishi" instead of Kashbet.
The row also erupted just days after the club proudly boasted of having no ties with the betting industry and backing the Responsible Gambling Foundation.
More seriously though, advertising offshore gambling sites is prohibited by both Australian legislation and the rules of the Asian Champions League, with anyone breaching the Australian law risking a massive $1.8m a day fine.
After the Kashbet row erupted on social media, the Government's ACMA looked into the situation too and warned they would come down hard on anyone breaching the law.
At the eleventh hour, just minutes before the opening ACL match against Daegu was about to kick off in Melbourne, Victory did a temporary U-turn on their sponsor and opted to wear blank away shirts instead.
They issued a statement at the time say ing the decision was to give the club time to make more enquiries, but stressed Kaishi still insisted they were a separate company and the slogans were just "similar."
Today Victory admitted they had been duped and were cutting all ties with Kaishi/Kashbet.
"Melbourne Victory wishes to advise after further investigation and consideration, it will not be entering into an agreement with Kaishi Entertainment during the AFC Champions League or in any other capacity," said a statement this morning.
"The club’s concerns remain that this company has links to online gambling, thus sits outside AFC guidelines and our internal policies, despite their representations otherwise.
"The club would again like to thank the FFA and AFC for their support and assistance on the matter. A new AFC Champions League front-of-shirt partner will be announced later today."
An ACMA spokesman added: "We note media reports that Melbourne Victory did not wear shirts displaying their Asian Champions League sponsor in their last match and that the club and company will look to revisit the partnership.
"A link to information about the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 including prohibitions on advertising is here."
The club later revealed Chinese TV firm TCL would be the replacement ACL shirt sponsor, adding to their current A-League and W-League short sponsorship deal.