Bolton Wanderers, relegated from the Premier League in 2012, face expulsion from the English Football League and liquidation by the end of this week, following the collapse of a proposed takeover of the League One club.
In a statement issued by the club's administrator on Monday, it emerged that the EFL have given Bolton a deadline of 5 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) on Tuesday to resurrect a takeover deal, or their membership in the Football League will be revoked.
Talks between Bolton owner Ken Anderson and prospective buyers Football Ventures collapsed on Saturday.
Bolton are second from bottom in League One, on minus 11 points due to being in administration, and the team suffered a second consecutive 5-0 defeat on Saturday at home against Ipswich Town.
"At 5 p.m. on Friday Aug. 23, the completion of the sale of the football club and the hotel had been agreed by all parties and undertakings had been issued by all solicitors except those of Ken Anderson," Paul Appleton, joint administrator for Bolton Wanderers, said in a statement.
"Devastatingly, on Saturday morning that deal collapsed. At this stage, there seems little point in apportioning blame because that makes no difference to the staff, players, management, supporters and the community who have once more seen their club taken back to the brink.
"My team have spent the last 48 hours working around the clock, striving to get a deal back on track and trying to convince the parties still in conflict that the very fate of Bolton Wanderers depends on them finding a compromise.
"The EFL have made their position clear by insisting on a 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday for a deal to be completed or give compelling reasons for an extension. They have also written to everybody concerned in the process to underline that sense of urgency.
"On Sunday evening, there was some tentative dialogue, but we are still some way from reaching a solution. Therefore, I am appealing to those parties whose position seems intractable to do everything to reach a compromise.
"In just over 24 hours, the club will have its membership of the EFL revoked. Over and above that, the club is currently not in a position to carry on trading and, as such, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday.
"This will ultimately lead to its liquidation, the expulsion of the club from the EFL and the inevitable loss of over 150 jobs. More than that, it will devastate a community for whom the football club is a beacon of hope and expectation.
"I reiterate, unless there is a change of position from any of the parties involved, the process of closing down the club and ultimately placing Bolton Wanderers into liquidation will begin this week."
Bolton's next home game is due to be against neighbours Bury on Sept. 8, although Bury also face a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday to prove to the EFL that takeover talks involving the club have progressed sufficiently to prevent their own expulsion from the league.