Motherwell are considering issuing a winding-up order against Cardiff City to recoup a £175,000 debt owed by Craig Bellamy's new club.
Cardiff failed to pay Motherwell £100,000 due in January for the transfer of right-back Paul Quinn and a further £75,000 summer payment has also not been forthcoming.
The Scottish Premier League club issued a writ against Cardiff at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday but they have revealed in a statement that City did not attend or submit a defence.
Motherwell say they pursued the claim "firmly but courteously" but failed to receive a "business-like response".
The club initially issued a statement on July 22 expressing their frustration at the situation, but no solution has been found.
And Motherwell chairman John Boyle is understood to be furious after the npower Championship club agreed a deal to sign Bellamy on loan from Manchester City.
Fir Park chief executive Leann Dempster said in a statement: "It is critical that clubs work constructively with each other to ensure we can manage a very difficult financial climate for the game.
"We have given Cardiff every chance to do the right thing. The board now believe that Cardiff's position is untenable given their activity in the transfer market acquiring Jason Koumas, Tom Heaton, Danny Drinkwater, Seyi Olofinjana, Martin John and, today, the loan signing of Manchester City's Craig Bellamy.
"Given all these circumstances and with legal and moral weight behind us, Motherwell FC have no option but to immediately pursue all legal routes to ensure this significant sum paid to us as quickly as possible.
"These may include issuing a winding-up order, arresting assets or physically sending bailiffs to their ground on match day to take possession of cash. Every option will be fully considered and implemented as soon as possible."
Motherwell accepted an offer of about £300,000 from Cardiff for Quinn in July last year with an initial instalment being paid up front.
The 25-year-old former Motherwell captain made 27 appearances for the Bluebirds last season and Motherwell have urged Cardiff chief executive Gethin Jenkins to pay the remainder of the fee in order to prevent "embarrassment".
"We want Cardiff fans to know that we appreciate the concerns this will give them," Dempster added. "We can only urge them to look to how they would feel in our position and urge them to put pressure on their own board to ensure the excellent long-term reputation of their club is not diminished by the leadership of one board.
"We have a job to promote and protect the interests of our own employees, fans and shareholders and we will. We would also suggest to the Championship and the English FA that they look with great care at the conduct of Cardiff in handling this matter.
"Even at this very late stage, I would urge Gethin Jenkins of Cardiff to pay this money plus costs and interest by return in order to save his club acute embarrassment and the football community in general unwarranted bad publicity."