Scottish champions Rangers went into administration on Tuesday after running into financial problems, the 140-year-old club effectively surrendering the league title to Glasgow rivals Celtic as they fight for their future.
Rangers, one of the best supported clubs in Britain, are in dispute with Britain's tax authorities and could face a bill of more than 50 million pounds.
Corporate restructuring specialists Duff & Phelps have been appointed by the club to run its affairs, and cost-cutting to try to balance the books is now inevitable.
Rangers will be docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 adrift of Celtic.
The crisis facing such a big club, champions a world record 54 times, has sent shockwaves through British soccer where many smaller teams face a precarious existence.
The Scottish club had warned on Monday that it was likely to go into administration over the next few days but the tax authorities hastened the move when they took court action on Tuesday.
The focus for the tax authorities is believed to be unpaid payroll taxes, rather than the larger dispute which is due to be settled by a tribunal.
The Old Firm of Rangers and Celtic dominate the game in Scotland, with one of them having claimed the title every year since Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen won it in 1985.
However, the 12-team Scottish Premier League is a poor relation of its English counterpart in terms of television revenue and sponsorship.
Rangers chairman Craig Whyte, who bought the club for a nominal one pound last year, vowed on Monday that they would emerge as a stronger and financially fitter organisation.
Rangers sold Croatian international striker Nikica Jelavic to English Premier League club Everton last month and a prolonged period of turbulence would add to the root problem of Scottish soccer -- a lack of genuine competition.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)