Championship club Leeds United have gone into administration to clear debts totalling around £35 million.
The club is now likely to be bought outright by current chairman Ken Bates after the Elland Road outfit's complex finances are rearranged.
In accordance with league rules, the move to call in the administrators means the club will be docked ten points and will consequently be relegated to League One – although this outcome was highly likely at the end of the season anyway.
The administrators, KPMG, said Leeds' total debt was too large for the club to sustain at its current income levels and this situation would only be exacerbated by playing at a lower level in the football pyramid.
Without administration, officials confirmed, the club could have faced a winding up order from HM Revenue and Customs and gone into liquidation.
It has already sold most of its main assets, including its famous Elland Road stadium and the youth academy and training complex at Thorpe Arch, in order to stave off administration in the past.
The club had originally faced administration as a result of relegation from the Premiership two seasons ago, gross mismanagement of the club's finances and commitments to unrealistic long-term player contracts.
However a move to limit the club's debts, which reportedly ran higher than £80 million, kept the business above water for a little longer.
The takeover by Mr Bates is yet to be ratified by the Football League, as is the points deduction and relegation resulting from administration, but there is not expected to be any serious opposition from members or from the club's many creditors.
Today's announcement marks a dramatic fall from grace for Leeds United, as the club were competing in the semi-finals of the most prestigious European tournament – the Champions League – only six years ago.
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