(CNN) -- Crisis club Portsmouth are on the verge of becoming the first-ever English Premier League side to enter administration, unless a buyer can be found for them by the end of this week.
Portsmouth have debts of over $100 million, including nearly $12 million to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and owner Balram Chainrai has admitted he is in talks with up to four different groups who have all shown an interest in purchasing the club that is currently adrift at the bottom of the table.
However, a deal is no nearer to being done and, with the club facing a winding-up order at the High Court next Monday, going into administration would appear to be the only hope of avoiding them going out of business.
Going into administration would automatically carry a nine-point penalty -- spelling certain relegation for the club -- although the winding-up order would then be suspended.
In a statement on the club's official Web site, spokesman Phil Hall admitted: "There is now only a short window of opportunity for buyers to come in with a credible offer.
"We have to be realistic and having the club wound up is not an option as far as we are concerned.
"Administration would mean the club re-emerging as a healthy financial entity. The club would then become an attractive proposition for a potential buyer who could invest new funds in rebuilding the club's future.
"We would like to ask the fans, the staff and management of Portsmouth Football Club for their support and patience should this step be taken, as they believe it is the only route left open to them.