Hearts will challenge the Scottish Premier League after being hit with an indefinite transfer embargo over a failure to make payments to players, manager John McGlynn announced.
The SPL announced Hearts have "not paid a number of bonuses and appearance payments" and also face a disciplinary hearing, with a full range of sanctions at the league governing body's disposal.
"We're going to challenge it," McGlynn said. "It's difficult to talk about it because we're going through lawyers."
Hearts insisted bonus payments from the William Hill Scottish Cup final win over Hibernian on May 19 had been paid. However, it is understood bonuses had not been received last week, so the payments were likely included in this month's pay packet, on December 16 - six months late.
Payments of bonuses due this season - such as a goalscoring or clean-sheet fee - are understood to be in arrears, amounting to a six-figure sum. Hearts contend there is no defined date by which bonus payments must be made.
McGlynn added: "There are other clubs who don't pay their bonuses until the end of the season either. That's why this can be challenged. The board of directors have looked at it and went to get legal advice. They want to take that a stage further. This has not come from the players. The players are not concerned by this at all."
McGlynn also disputed the suggestion the Hearts first-team squad declined to sign a notice deferring bonus payments until the end of the season. The rules Hearts have been cited for relate to a failure to pay players and club officials and were brought in during the summer following a series of late payments by the Edinburgh club last season.
Hearts were initially placed under a 60-day transfer embargo on October 24 for failing to pay their players and some staff their monthly wages on time for two consecutive months.
That sanction was due to end on December 23 and its extension effectively ends the prospect of a deal for Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius, who arrived in Edinburgh last week on trial.
Hearts face a myriad of financial difficulties and players voluntarily deferred their wages last month but they were paid before receiving their full salary for this month on December 16.