Rangers have lodged legal papers signalling their intention to enter administration.
The Scottish champions lodged the notice with the Court of Session in Edinburgh at lunchtime on Monday.
It is believed the Ibrox club now has five days in which to declare formally that administrators have taken over the running of the club.
The firm prospect of administration, which would bring a 10-point penalty from the Scottish Premier League, will come as no surprise to Rangers fans or the rest of Scottish football.
The Ibrox club are awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal which could cost club around £49million.
The HMRC case centres around the use of employee benefits trusts (EBTs) which were in place before Craig Whyte took over from Sir David Murray last May.
The tribunal verdict is imminent but it looks like the Ibrox club have pre-empted any decision.
Whyte, who bought Murray's shares for £1 and pledged to pay off £18million of debt to Lloyds Banking Group, has seen his short tenure shrouded in controversy.
Last week former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston revealed he had asked the Government's Insolvency Service to clarify "certain financial arrangements" relating to the takeover of the club.
Whyte had earlier admitted securing funds from loan company Ticketus in lieu of future season ticket sales.
Johnston told the BBC: "Rangers' stakeholders are now demanding full transparency."
"I have had numerous approaches following the recent revelations in the press about the acquisition of Rangers Football Club and the use of future season ticket money.
"I am not in a position to answer all the questions put to me, but I do recognise the issue is causing much concern.
"I believe this is a prevalent view amongst Rangers' stakeholders who are now demanding full transparency about the funding of the acquisition of the club, its current financial status, and most importantly, the way forward."