Ajaccio owner Alain Orsoni is refusing to contemplate the idea of his team starting next season in Ligue 2 as he braces himself for tomorrow's relegation six-pointer at Reims.
Following their promotion in 2011, Ajaccio were favourites for an immediate return to the second tier, but despite being in the relegation zone before Christmas, the Corsican club managed to drag themselves to safety last season
Ajaccio have spent most of this campaign outside the bottom three, but a run of one win in six matches has left Albert Emon's team four points above the relegation zone with four matches left.
Orsoni, who took over the club in 2008, feels a great sense of pride at the team's achievements over the last few years, and he admits he cannot bear the thought of seeing them drop back down a division.
``It (relegation) is a painful subject to discuss, I do not even want to think about it,'' he told L'Equipe.
``For a club like ours it would not be a disaster, but it would be very frustrating, very annoying.
``We have created a number of jobs and our budget would go from 20 million euros to six million euros, so it greatly restricts our means.''
Should the team avoid relegation, Orsoni is looking for Ajaccio to develop next year - principally in terms of their entertainment value.
Given the size of the city, Ajaccio have yet to fill their 12,000 capacity Stade Francois Coty home this term - even against island rivals Bastia.
Orsoni has dispensed with coaches over the last year in his pursuit for entertaining football and it seems he is still not totally pleased with the current style of play under Emon, who replaced Alex Dupont in December 2012.
``We have not yet created enough excitement,'' Orsoni said.
``We also require more exciting play while maintaining results.
``The number of spectators has gone up, with a population of 80,000 it's hard to do much more, but at the same time the team has not created enough excitement.''
Reims go into the game in much better form than the visitors.
Hubert Fournier's team drew 0-0 at Bordeaux last time out and they have only lost once in their last six games.
With their last three fixtures coming against Lille, Lorient and Marseille, the Reims coach knows just how important tomorrow night's game at Stade Auguste Delaune II will be.
``We cannot underestimate Ajaccio,'' Fournier told Reims' website.
``It will be a special match for us. We know that afterwards we will only have three matches left, two of which (Lille and Marseille) are away, and they will be difficult.
``It's an important game. I cannot hide from it and we will approach it in the right way.''