Former Bundesliga club Arminia Bielefeld stand on the brink of financial ruin after the East Westphalian city rejected a rescue plan.
Bielefeld, who were relegated to the second division last year and failed to make an immediate return to the top flight, had sought a financial injection of almost €5 million from the city, but they failed to win a majority vote in favour of the plan on Thursday.
That leaves the club, who earlier this week appointed former Germany international Christian Ziege as their new coach, on the verge of being declared bankrupt.
According to local reports, the club have just a few weeks to find over &euro10 million to secure them a licence to play in the second division next season.
If they are unable to find the funds, the club could fold and be forced to start again from the bottom of the footballing ladder, a fate which befell their local rival Gutersloh in 1999 when they were wound up with debts of nine million Deutschmarks (4.5 million euros).
Gutersloh are currently still playing in the sixth division of German football.