Hearts have confirmed they are to go into administration with a hearing expected within the "next couple of days".
The Scottish Premier League club have lodged papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and have reportedly contacted accountancy firm KPMG to act as their administrators.
"We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators," a club spokesman told Press Association Sport.
After admitting they were unable to pay their players the club were issued with a transfer embargo by the SPL last Friday. The club were already subject to a temporary signing ban after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid tax bill, the majority of which has subsequently been paid.
Two Lithuanian companies hold large stakes in Hearts but uncertainty over their future has only increased fears for the Edinburgh club. UBIG, which owns a 50% stake and Ukio Bankas (29%), are both believed to be close to insolvency.
The club are now likely to face a 15-point penalty when the new SPL season kicks off on Saturday, August 3.
Top-flight rules state any club suffering an insolvency event will be stripped of 10 points or a third of their previous season's tally, whichever is the greater. Hearts finished the 2012-13 campaign in 10th place with 45 points.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.