Cash-strapped Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that they have received a winding-up petition from HMRC over unpaid wages.
The Trotters failed to pay their staff for the month of November due to spiralling debts of £172.9m and around £600,000 in outstanding taxes.
Trevor Birch was brought in to act as a financial troubleshooter earlier this year, in the hope that he could help push through a takeover deal.
Four parties were thought to be interested in buying the Championship's bottom-placed side, but so far no move has come to fruition and Birch recently admitted that the situation at the Macron is looking "increasingly perilous".
A statement on Wanderers' official website read: "Despite requests from the club to HMRC to give it further time to either conclude a sale or raise additional funds, HMRC has proceeded with due process and duly served a petition."
Birch, who remains confident of easing the cashflow issue, added: "Quite clearly the club remains in a critical financial position. We will continue to try and finalise a sale or alternatively raise some short term funds needed to give the club a breathing space and time in which to consider its options."
Bolton face a 12-point deduction should they enter administration, which would take their tally down to exactly zero points and almost certainly mean relegation into League One.
Reports recently suggested that £10m would need to be raised if the Lancashire outfit were to avoid the risk of going bust.