A proposed takeover of Widnes Vikings has fallen through, leaving the club's players and staff unpaid.
The Vikings defeated Halifax 40-16 at the Halton Stadium on the opening day of the season but are now facing huge financial problems just three rounds into the campaign.
A consortium of investors was due to take control of the club yesterday.
However, Widnes confirmed that a "key member" of the group withdrew from the process, leaving the Vikings looking for investment from elsewhere.
"Widnes Vikings have been facing a significant cash-flow gap, which must be resolved in the coming days," read a club statement.
"Throughout the past three months, Widnes Vikings’ Board of Directors and senior staff members have made extensive efforts to engage business leaders and individuals to secure investment to stabilise the club and overcome the potential threat of administration.
"This has included the Board writing off more than £370,000 worth of loans that they had provided to the club throughout their tenure.
"It had appeared likely that a consortium of investors would take ownership of the club today, providing the necessary investment to secure the club’s future stability.
"However, at a late stage, a key member of this consortium have withdrawn from this process.
"As a result, the club has, as yet, failed to secure the necessary investment and is unable to make its payroll commitments for all employees tomorrow.
"Efforts to secure investment remain ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available avenues."
The Vikings have stated that their clash against Sheffield Eagles this weekend is scheduled to go ahead.