Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler placed the A-League club into voluntary administration with debts of $2.7 million - days after he failed to pay the wages of players and staff.
But Tinkler contended that a sale to Scottish Premier League club Dundee United for $5 million is imminent - if given the green light by Football Federation Australia.
"I've been in negotiations with the FFA over the last few days and wasn’t able to get them to guarantee the licence and I haven’t been willing to pay wages unless they guaranteed that so I’ve put the club into administration just now," Tinkler told News Corp on Wednesday.
He said the sale to Dundee United hinged on whether FFA, angered at Tinkler's financial woes, revokes his ownership licence.
"We have had an offer in for a couple of weeks from Dundee United. That offer is well in excess of the debts of the club and I have asked the administrator to get that sale done and that will see everyone get paid," Tinkler said.
"Then I can move on.
"The only risk to that is if the FFA decide to act in a morally bankrupt manner and take the licence and that presents a whole bunch of other issues."
Comment was being sought from the FFA, which is believed to also be in discussions with Dundee United.
The Jets' off-field woes were compounded by a horror season on-field, winning just three games on the way to winning the unwanted wooden sppon. Several players departed in acrimonious circumstances while star winger Andrew Hoole has joined Sydney FC.