Championship football club Leeds United have been issued with a winding up petition by shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance.
The managing director of Enterprise Insurance, Andrew Flowers, was part of the Sport Capital Consortium that failed with a bid to buy the club last week due to insufficient funding.
The winding up petition was issued on 29 January over an alleged unpaid debt. The case will be heard in March at the High Court.
Italian Massimo Cellino, owner of top flight Italian club Cagliari, agreed a deal to buy with club with owners GFH Capital on 31 January, although confirmation is still pending from the Football League.
A statement issued by GFH Captial, owners of the club, slammed the petition.
The statement said: “The winding up petition issued by Enterprise Insurance, a sponsor whose managing director, Andrew Flowers, claims to support the club, is misconceived and an abuse of legal process.
“It is being vigorously contested by the club’s lawyers and there are no valid grounds to issue the petition.
“Under the ownership of GFH Capital Leeds United has always met its financial obligations, and it will continue to do so.”
The petition comes at a bad time for the club, following on from a bizarre incident as the clubs manager, Brian McDermott, was reportedly sacked on 31 January, only to be reinstated the next day.
The promotion hopefuls currently sit 11th in the Championship table after an indifferent run of form so far in 2014.