Widnes Vikings face the threat of liquidation if new investors are not found in a hurry after the financially troubled club were placed in administration on Friday.
Following the collapse of a last-minute takeover by a proposed consortium, Widnes' board of directors confirmed in a statement that administrators have been appointed to help secure their "long-term future".
The Vikings had already confirmed they were facing a "significant cash-flow gap", while on Thursday they announced the postponement of Sunday's scheduled Championship fixture with Sheffield Eagles.
"The board wish to convey their sadness and disappointment at this course of action but, having made extensive efforts in recent months to find investment opportunities, we have been unable to avoid this situation," the board of directors said via the club's website on Friday.
"The administrators have extensive experience in supporting businesses with the same challenges faced by Widnes Vikings and have a strong understanding of rugby league. We believe that they are the right appointment for the club and sincerely wish them success in their endeavours.
"We wish the very best for Widnes Vikings, its players, staff, supporters and partners, and hope that this matter can be positively resolved soon for all parties."
The statement concluded by revealing that members of the board had received "sinister" threats, including to property and families, which have been passed on to the police for review.
Widnes - who won the World Club Challenge in 1989 - were relegated from Super League last season after finishing seventh in the Qualifiers, ending their seven-year stay in the top tier.
They have won two of their three fixtures in the Championship in 2019 but face a 12-point deduction after entering administration, as confirmed by reporters who attended a press conference on Friday.
Peter O'Hara and Chris Brooksbank from O'Hara's are the administrators placed in charge, with the latter announcing to the media that discussions had already taken place with potential investors.
However, Brooksbank added: "It has to happen sooner rather than later or otherwise this great club will have to go into liquidation. That is the reality of the situation."