Bolton chairman Ken Anderson has announced he will be forced to place the club in administration.
Wanderers had hoped to complete a takeover deal with Laurence Bassini, but the former Watford owner has failed to provide proof of funding, while the club will face a High Court winding-up order later on Wednesday.
"Mr Bassini, regrettably his continued time wasting and empty promises have caused a great deal of heartache and frustration for the staff and supporters alike and now leave the Eddie Davies Trust and I with little or no choice other than for one of us to place the businesses into administration, as any likelihood of finding any resolution (in) the High Court hearing (is) not possible," Anderson said in a statement on the club's official website.
"This had been a massive disappointment to me as I understand the serious implications administration will bring to the businesses. But I have been left with no alternative, as this course of action will preserve the football club and all of its proud history."
Bolton, relegated to Sky Bet League One, were granted a second stay of execution by the High Court earlier this month.
The Sky Bet Championship outfit faced a winding-up petition on April 3 over an unpaid tax bill but the case was adjourned until May 8 to allow the proposed sale of the club to proceed.
It was the sixth time in the last 18 months that Bolton have faced a winding-up order, which is now expected to result in administration. The latest one was issued in February by HMRC over debts of £1.2million.
The cash-strapped club were unable to fulfil their final home league game of the season against Brentford after the players went on strike in protest at unpaid wages.
Wanderers and the English Football League announced last Friday that Bolton Council's Safety Advisory Group had issued a prohibition notice preventing that contest from taking place and that it would not be played at a future date.
Brentford have been awarded three points on the basis of a 1-0 win, which moved them up from 15th to 12th in the table.
The EFL said Bolton were guilty of misconduct and that there would be disciplinary proceedings taken against them.