JJB are set to appoint administrators after finishing their attempts to rescue the business.
The move, which is expected in the next few days, is likely to be accompanied by the sale of certain parts of the business, JJB said.
Around 90 of JJB's 180 stores are expected to close in the sale process, threatening a large number of the 4,000 jobs at the firm.
– JJB spokesperson
"The board has determined that any sale of the trade, assets and brands will be effected through an administration process.
"Therefore it is expected that the process to commence the appointment of administrators of the company and certain of its subsidiaries will begin today although the actual appointments are only likely to take effect just before the completion of any such sale."
The company, which is based in Wigan, has requested the suspension of its shares and said it was clear that any offer for the company would not realise any value for shareholders.