Widnes Vikings go into administration and are deducted 12 points by RFL

Anthony Gelling in action for Widnes Vikings against Toronto Wolfpack
Widnes have started the season with two wins from three Championship matches

Widnes Vikings have been deducted 12 points after going into administration and face liquidation if suitable investment is not found by next week.

The deduction is applied by the Rugby Football League once a new consortium takes control, as the current business has had their membership terminated.

A proposed takeover fell through on Tuesday, while Sunday's game against Sheffield Eagles has been postponed.

Widnes were relegated from Super League last season after a seven-year stint.

In a statement, the Vikings board said it felt "sadness and disappointment", adding that some board members have received "sinister threats".

"Having made extensive efforts in recent months to find investment opportunities, we have been unable to avoid this situation," the statement read.

"The administrators have extensive experience in supporting businesses with the same challenges faced by Widnes Vikings and have a strong understanding of rugby league. We believe that they are the right appointment for the club and sincerely wish them success in their endeavours.

"Members of the board have received sinister threats, as well as threats to their property and families. These threats will not be tolerated and have been passed on to the police for review."

It was confirmed at a news conference on Friday that talks had been held with one consortium, while two further parties have also come forward.

Earlier this week, the Championship club received March's central distribution money from the Rugby Football League early so that they were able to pay their players.

The Vikings are one of the most recognisable names in English rugby league and enjoyed their most successful era in the 1970s and 1980s, winning three league championships, four Challenge Cup finals and the World Club Challenge in 1989 during that period.

But they fell on hard times after being relegated from Super League in 2005 and went into administration two years later, before being taken over by local businessman Steve O'Connor.

The Vikings returned to the top flight under the licensing system in 2012 but did not finish any higher than seventh in the table during their most recent spell in Super League.

Widnes won their first two Championship matches this season, before losing 30-6 at Toronto Wolfpack last weekend.