Port Vale are to go into administration for the second time in just over eight years. The League Two club was placed under a transfer embargo last month, which prevented Chris Birchall from making his return for his hometown club against Northampton on 25 February.
An unpaid income tax bill has led to a number of creditors contacting the Vale Park club, including Stoke City Council – who have a loan worth £1.8m outstanding with the club.
A statement on the club's official website yesterday said: "An application for an administration order has been made to the High Court in Birmingham today to appoint Bob Young, Steve Currie and Gerald Krasner of Begbies Traynor as joint administrators of Port Vale (Valiant 2001) Football Club Ltd from Friday 9th March 2012."
The statement continued: "Our first priority is to look at every aspect of the operation of the business in order to stabilise the business and allow the club to remain trading until at least the end of the season.
"This can only be done by reducing all outgoings and costs in a considered and organised manner until they are covered by the known income that will be generated by the club over the coming months until the season ends in May."
Vale have put themselves in contention for a play-off place in recent weeks on the strength of a seven-match unbeaten run. However, the 10-point penalty that accompanies administration would end their promotion hopes, although they would not be in any immediate danger of falling into the relegation battle.