Championship side Portsmouth have confirmed that they are to enter administration for the second time in two years.
Pompey face a winding-up hearing next week over an unpaid tax bill and have not been able to pay their players and staff for January. They could face the prospect of a ten-point penalty in the league.
A club statement said: "Portsmouth Football Club today made an application to the High Court to go into administration. The club will not enter administration until the court endorses the application and appoints an administrator.''
Portsmouth chief executive David Lampitt said the fresh blow to the club was difficult to accept.
Lampitt told BBC Radio Five Live: ''It does beggar belief, for everyone associated with the club: the supporters in particular who have been through so much, my staff who have been through so much and have fought so hard since the club emerged from administration in 2010, and it's a very, very hard pill to swallow.
''It wasn't me personally, it was the board of directors, who today made an application to put the club into administration. The date for that hearing is going to be this Friday, February 17, so we'll find out on Friday.''
Describing events as ''an incredibly sad state of affairs'', Lampitt added: ''The best outcome for all sides is there is a clean break and the club goes into new ownership and puts all of that behind us.''
Peter Kubik, of the club's financial advisors UHY Hacker Young, said: ''They are in the process of seeking an administration order - an application to court seeking administration is due to go in any day.
''The club's bank accounts have been frozen due to the winding up hearing and they are finding it very difficult to trade. Once the administration order is in place the bank accounts will be made accessible again. We are aware that administration carries an automatic 10-point deduction by the Football League.''
Pompey were plunged into another financial crisis after their parent company, Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), went into administration in November. UHY Hacker Young are the administrators for CSI.
The tax bill is for between £1.2 million and £900,000 but Kubik said there were many other outstanding bills to pay. Among these, the club needs to pay their electricity supplier in order to avoid being cut off.
''There are lots of bills they need to pay,'' added Kubik.
In February 2010, Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to enter administration and were deducted nine points, condemning them to relegation.
A ten-point deduction from the Football League would put Pompey on 25 points, outside the relegation places on goal difference alone.