Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has threatened to walk out on the club if their best players are sold this summer - and hit out at fans who have called for him to be sacked.
Saturday's controversial 2-1 defeat at Chelsea means Manchester City are now firm favourites to take the fourth Champions League spot, and Spurs are now in danger of missing out on Europe altogether with Liverpool finishing the season strongly.
Redknapp told the Sunday Mirror: "If you start thinking about selling your best players you might as well give up. What's the point in carrying on? It effectively sends out all the wrong signals.
"And when one player leaves the rest want to follow him straight out the door. Then you have situation where the quality of football goes into decline and you're going backwards on the pitch.
"I'm not sure the supporters would want to see a side whose only ambition is to secure a mid-table finish in the league.
"Clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool will not stand still so if the club want regular Champions League football we have to try and complete. I accept it's not going to be easy but you can't let all the good work you have done go to waste.
"Manchester City have spent a fortune trying secure a top four finish and I doubt they will have any hesitation doing the same this summer when the transfer window re-opens for business.
"I'm not suggesting we have to compete at that level because we have a very talented squad. You just need to add two or three players to freshen things up."
Some fans have been heard to call for Redknapp's head in recent months - despite taking the club to the last-right of the Champions League.
"You're never going to please everyone are you? With success come massive expectations," he added. "But it doesn't detract from the fact we have had a terrific season.
"We have been in and around the top four for most of the campaign and reached the quarter-final of the Champions League against all the odds. That's some turnaround in a couple of years.
"Yet you still get people moaning, it's still not enough. Although I suppose if we won either the Champions league or the league someone would complain that we didn't win both. That's football for you.
"Sometimes I think people need to look at the bigger picture instead of talking rubbish. It's always easy to complain and moan about things. If we don't qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four this season no one will be more disappointed than I am.
"We are hanging in there and won't give up but I accept it's not going to be easy now. More importantly we need to focus on next season and pushing on to ensure we do."