Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has revealed the club are set to vote against a newco Rangers being accepted into the Scottish Premier League.
The 12 SPL clubs - including Rangers - will vote on the issue at a general meeting on July 4, with an 8-4 majority required for the newco to be included.
However, the Tynecastle chief has indicated they would vote against any plans to give the Govan club immediate access to the top flight.
New Rangers owner Charles Green had been hopeful a deal could be struck which would see the club avoid demotion to the lower leagues.
As part of a 500-word statement on Hearts' official website, Romanov said: "Supporters deserve a new beginning and have to accept the fact that their club has to start from the lower league, keeping order in the SPL and without creating unfair competition with other clubs."
While expressing sympathy for supporters of Rangers, Romanov - who pointed the finger of blame at various figures - was adamant the Glasgow club should be punished.
He added: "As regards the club itself, we can only express our deepest condolences to its supporters, who have been lied to for so many years.
"It had to happen sooner or later.
"They have lived beyond law and all morals, and should now be declared beyond the pale."