Heart of Midlothian are likely to start the next Scottish Premier League season with a 15 point deduction after confirming their intention to go into administration.
The Tynecastle club are understood to have approached accountancy firm KPMG to act on their behalf after lodging papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
A Hearts spokesman said: "We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators."
The move follows a sustained period of financial tension at the Jambos, with the club last week served with a winding-up order because of an unpaid £100,000 tax bill, although the majority of that sum has been paid.
They were then hit with an immediate transfer embargo after admitting they could not afford to pay their players.
Michael Stewart made over 100 appearances for the capital club and was well acquainted with the club's problems.
"There's a certain level of inevitability that administration was coming sooner rather than later," he told Sky Sports News.
"There's a lot of excess surrounding the club and a lot of staff may be lost. The club needs to clear the decks. It's well documented the club is saddled with a huge amount of debt."