The potentially fatal cash crisis engulfing Scottish champions Rangers took a new twist on Tuesday when British tax chiefs applied to place the club into administration.
The move just came 24 hours after Rangers said they wanted to enter administration themselves.
But Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the British tax authority, fear they could be placed well down the list of the club's creditors if Rangers are allowed to declare their own administration.
Rangers are awaiting a tribunal verdict which could leave them with a bill of up to £75 million ($118 million, 90 million euros), should they lose their dispute with HMRC.
Duff and Phelps, the restructuring firm engaged by Rangers to assist in their talks with HMRC, said Tuesday the club remained hopeful of a "consensual" solution, even though, in the midst of all the courtroom drama, that now looks increasingly unlikely.
The firm said they were issuing a statement to "provide a moratorium against potential creditor actions", saying Rangers were "continuing to trade as usual".
If Rangers do enter administration, they are set to be hit with a 10-point penalty from the Scottish Premier League (SPL) that would all but end their title hopes this term.
Whyte, who bought the club from Sir David Murray for £1 in May and pledged to pay off its £18 million debt to Lloyds Banking Group, blamed the previous regime for the current problems on Monday and said administration represented the best hope of long-term survival.
"There is no realistic or practical alternative to our approach because HMRC has made it plain to the club that should we be successful in the forthcoming tax tribunal decision they will appeal.
"We should not forget the tribunal relates to a claim by HMRC for unpaid taxes over a period of several years dating back to 2001 which, if decided in favour of HMRC, the club would be unable to pay."
Rangers draw an average home gate at Ibrox of 46,000 -- higher than leading English clubs Liverpool and Chelsea -- yet are still facing the prospect of financial meltdown.
Whyte tried to explain their predicament Monday by saying: "As I have said before, Rangers costs approximately £45 million per year to operate and commands around £35 million in revenue."
Rangers were forced to sell star striker Nikica Jelavic to English side Everton on last month's transfer deadline day in a bid to bring in cash.
But deadline day also saw Whyte admitting that under him Rangers had borrowed more than £20 million in lieu of season ticket sales.
Rangers and arch-Glasgow rivals Celtic are Scotland's two most successful clubs and their rivalry, anchored in sectarian hatred with Rangers a largely Protestant club and Celtic a Catholic one, is arguably the most bitter in all British football.
Celtic currently lead the SPL by four points from Rangers, who are a huge 19 in front of third-placed Motherwell.
But while the duo dominate Scottish football, they've struggled to make an impact upon the lucrative European Champions League.
Source: AFP Global Edition