Widnes are facing the potential threat of administration, the club has revealed.
Wages due to be paid tomorrow will not be met, according to a statement issued by the club, after a planned takeover fell through.
The club has been up for sale since the back end of last season, when the board of directors revealed they would hand over their shares to any interested party.
After a couple of public expressions of interest came to nothing, there has been a long period of discussions with a consortium – though a leading player in the consortium pulled out on Tuesday, reportedly due to further debts being revealed.
A freedom of information request to Halton Borough Council last week revealed that the club owes £386k to the local authority, though sources say this figure has now reduced.
A club statement said: “Widnes Vikings have been facing a significant cash-flow gap, which must be resolved in the coming days.
“Throughout the past three months, Widnes Vikings’ Board of Directors and senior staff members have made extensive efforts to engage business leaders and individuals to secure investment to stabilise the club and overcome the potential threat of administration.
“This has included the Board writing off more than £370,000 worth of loans that they had provided to the club throughout their tenure.
“It had appeared likely that a consortium of investors would take ownership of the club today, providing the necessary investment to secure the club’s future stability. However, at a late stage, key member of this consortium have withdrawn from this process. As a result, the club has, as yet, failed to secure the necessary investment and is unable to make its payroll commitments for all employees tomorrow.
“Efforts to secure investment remain ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available avenues. The club continues to invite other expressions of interest from individuals or groups that may wish to support Widnes Vikings at this time.
“The club is taking advice in response to this matter. Widnes Vikings continue to trade and, at this stage, our scheduled fixture against Sheffield Eagles will be unaffected by these challenges.”
Widnes have won two of their opening three Championship games under new coach Kieron Purtill.