Senior management at shoe chain Faith are set to leave the business as it is expected the chain will be put into administration this afternoon.

Faith chairman Steve Cotter and managing director Steve Swaby had hoped to find backers to proceed with a management buy-out and had approached several private equity firms.

However, it is expected that Faith will be put into administration in a pre-pack deal later today, then immediately sold on to retail entrepreneur John Kinnaird and his backer Agilo.

A source close to the situation said: “This was not something the management would have done. There are not a lot of loss-making stores and they are not behind the transaction.”

Another source said: “Senior management will depart the business within a fortnight and there could be a significant reduction in head office staff.”

Kinnaird bought Dolcis in 2006 but the business fell into administration earlier this year as many specialist shoe chains continue to struggle against tough competition and the consumer downturn.

Kinnaird also owns young fashion chain Envy, which he bought from the Alexon group for£1 in February.