A CLOUD of uncertainty hangs over Widnes Vikings after the club revealed that the failure to attract new investment has left them without the money to pay employees.

The board had hoped that a consortium of investors would take over the club today - but that has fallen through.

It has left the club, who were relegated from Super League last year, without the money to pay the staff and players tomorrow - although they say that the game against Championship leaders Sheffield is still scheduled to go ahead. 

In the longer term the spectre of administration looms if that investment is not forthcoming - and these are worrying days for the town's key brand.

A statement from the club issued today said: "Widnes Vikings have been facing a significant cash-flow gap, which must be resolved in the coming days.

"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 However, at a late stage, key member of this consortium have withdrawn from this process.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 club continues to invite other expressions of interest from individuals or groups that may wish to support Widnes Vikings at this time.

"The club is taking advice in response to this matter. Widnes Vikings continue to trade and, at this stage, our scheduled fixture against Sheffield Eagles will be unaffected by these challenges."