Problems at one of Scotland’s most historic sides, Heart of Midlothian, deepened on Monday as it was revealed that they would go into administration yesterday.
Papers were lodged with judicial authorities in Edinburgh to formally begin the process.
It is the latest blow to hit the club after on Thursday last week they announced that all their players were up for sale as they sought to raise some money to alleviate their huge financial worries.
The club — four-time Scottish champions and eight-time Scottish Cup winners — face a funding crisis and daunting debt repayments. They were unable to pay the players last week.
That followed the threat of a winding-up order after Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid ￡100,000 (US$157,000) tax bill, although the majority of that sum has been paid.
Hearts owe ￡15 million to Ukio Bankas, which has been declared bankrupt.
Ukio Bankas was controlled by the club’s owner, Vladimir Romanov, until he resigned from the board after the company’s assets were frozen.
Hearts narrowly avoided relegation from the Scottish Premier League last season after league bosses decided that Romanov’s financial problems had not breached its rules.
The liquidator of the Lithuanian bank can sell the 29.9 percent shareholding it has in Hearts as well as Tynecastle Stadium, which was held as security for the debt.
In addition, another ￡10 million is due to the club’s Lithuanian parent company, UBIG, who have close to 50 percent of the shares and is claiming insolvency.
All the assets of UBIG have been frozen by the Lithuanian courts.
If Hearts remain in administration by the opening of next season in August, a deduction of 15 points would be incurred.