Coventry City face a 15-point deduction next season after creditors turned down a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) - meaning part of the club faces liquidation.
The crisis-hit Sky Blues, FA Cup-winners in 1987, are nevertheless set to begin the League One season at Crawley Town on Saturday as scheduled.
Their plan to share Northampton Town's Sixfields stadium amid a row over rent with the owners of the Ricoh Arena is also likely to go ahead - but they must now wait on whether a 15-point deduction is imposed.
Coventry City Football Ltd went into administration in March following the rent dispute with Arena Coventry Limited. ACL, which runs the Ricoh, rejected the Company Voluntary Agreement on Friday.
A Coventry statement said: "It is with great regret [we announce] that a proposed CVA has been rejected by ACL.
"It means CCFC Ltd is likely to be put into liquidation, which is expected to result in a points penalty for the club going into the new season.
"The club will hold urgent meetings with the Football League to go through the next steps for the football club."
The situation could still change, with ACL having asked the administrators to come back with another proposed CVA.
ACL said the proposals that had been put forward by administrator Paul Appleton "simply do not address" their concerns.
In March, Coventry said part of the club had been put into administration. The club said Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) would continue as its trading arm, but they were deducted ten points.
A statement said Coventry City Football Ltd was "merely a property subsidiary which owns no material assets and has no employees, on or off the pitch".
It added: "It is important to stress that the football club itself is not under threat."