Rangers lodged papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and said a final decision would be taken in the next two weeks.
Rangers chairman Craig Whyte, who bought an 85% stake in the club for a nominal one pound last year, said there was no ‘realistic or practical’ alternative course for the Glasgow giants, champions a record 54 times.
“It is extremely disappointing the club finds itself in this position but decisions have to be taken to safeguard the long-term survival and prosperity of the club both on and off the field,” Whyte said in a statement. “The harsh reality is that this moment has been a long time coming for Rangers and its roots lie in decisions taken many years ago. If we do not take action now the consequences and the risks to the club are too great.”
Rangers also face a race to prove to the Scottish Football Association that their finances are in shape before March 31 in order to earn a licence to play in Europe next season. Although there is no specific ban on clubs in administration playing in Europe, it is understood it would be very difficult for such a club to meet the other financial criteria needed for a licence.
The SPL confirmed a 10-point deduction and a transfer embargo would only be put in place when administration was confirmed. The SPL spokesman said:
“At this point in time Rangers are not in administration and we await developments. The instant that they are technically in administration there will be an automatic 10-point deduction and, perhaps of less relevance, an embargo on player registrations. If administration is confirmed, as we have done previously, we would be looking to work with the administrators and would be looking for a very early meeting.”
The 10-point deduction will all but end Rangers hope for a fourth successive title.