The final nail is set to be hammered into the Rushden & Diamonds coffin in a matter of days.
The club withdrew an appeal against its expulsion from the Football Conference yesterday after Japanese investors pulled out of a proposed takeover deal.
The investors had said they still wanted the takeover to go ahead if the club remained in the Conference, which had prompted chief executive officer Steve Beasant to launch the appeal.
Now, former Diamonds chairman Keith Cousins – who still owns the Nene Park stadium – is likely to put the club into administration either today or tomorrow.
The club still has a provisional place in the Southern League Premier Division, but with a County Court winding-up order scheduled to take place next Monday and no new investors in the pipeline, its demise has become almost inevitable.
Mr Cousins said: “The bottom line is that the Japanese group pulled out of the deal very late on Sunday night and that was a big surprise to me.
“They weren’t going to be dictated to by the league and they were really concerned about all sorts of issues.
“We felt we had a good shot with the appeal to the FA over expulsion from the Conference.
“Even if we had won the appeal we would have to ask ourselves how we could keep the club alive.
“But no-one else has stepped forward to take over the club or offer to pay any money.
“Frankly this can’t go on any more. I feel the right thing to do for the club is to put it into administration for the chance of someone to buy it.
“I’m extremely upset about the state of the club and I’m equally unhappy over the attitude of so many people.”
The Evening Telegraph was unable to reach Mr Beasant for comment.
Plans are already afoot to create a phoenix club.
A statement on the Diamonds Supporters’ Group website said that if the club was wound up, fans have agreed a mandate to form a new club called AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
This was agreed on Friday, before it was known the expulsion appeal had been withdrawn.