Gretna have resigned from the Scottish Football League, the League confirmed today.
An SFL spokesman said: 'I have this morning received intimation from the Gretna FC administrator of their resignation from the Scottish Football League with immediate effect.
'I have accepted this resignation on behalf of the Scottish Football League and accordingly, we now have a vacancy in the Third Division and are seeking applications.'
Gretna's resignation promises a busy summer for the SFL and potential applicants for the vacancy in the Irn-Bru Third Division.
The SFL have set a deadline of Thursday June 12 for prospective new clubs to apply for membership.
The SFL Management Committee will then visit each applicant club by Friday, June 27.
Applicant clubs will then be invited, following assessment, to present their business and football plans to all 29 members of the SFL at a Special General Meeting to be held at Hampden Park on Thursday, July 3.
The 29 SFL clubs will then vote on the day to decide which club has been invited to join the SFL as a Third Division club with effect from the 2008-09 season.
East of Scotland side Spartans are early favourites to become the latest members of the SFL.
General manager Derick Rodier said earlier in the week that the Edinburgh side were waiting for Gretna's demise to be made official.
He said: 'We are making early preparation in case there is an application process. It is tentative but nevertheless we are looking at various things.
'We are moving in to our new Ainslie Park ground in the summer and the pitch will be ready for the end of August.
'The ground is SFL-standard, it has a 500-seater stand and a capacity of between 2500 and 3000.
'We have Third Generation Astroturf pitches for training on and which will also used by the Spartans Academy.
'Our long-term aim was always to get in to the SPL but we are not be counting any chickens.
'I'm not sure if we would be favourites to get in, I don't know which other clubs would be interested.
'But what we have to do is make sure we are ready to apply.'
East of Scotland League rivals Annan are also interested in taking over from Gretna but floodlights need to be erected at their Galabank ground.
Annan embarked on an upgrade of their ground after Peterhead and Elgin beat them to the two extra SFL places on offer in 2000.
Club secretary Alan Irving said: 'We have a new 500-seater stand and concrete terracing right round the ground.
'The only stumbling block might be the floodlights.
'We have planning permission to erect them and we were in the throes of trying to get funding before all this blew up. That was planned to happen this calendar year.'