Leicester City boss Micky Adams has suggested that all three teams promoted to the Barclaycard Premiership this summer will go straight back to the Nationwide League.
Adams is fighting to ensure that fate does not befall his Foxes side this season, although it is looking increasingly likely as time runs out for the Midlanders.
Although the determined manager refuses to admit defeat, he accepts it will be difficult for Leicester to make up the six-point deficit from safety with only five games left to play. With Wolves seemingly doomed, a further three points adrift, and Portsmouth fourth from bottom with Leeds chasing, it could easily be a swift return to the Nationwide League for all last season's promoted clubs.
As for the top teams in Division One this year, Adams admits: "I have watched a lot of Nationwide League football this season and while it isn't going to make me popular, the fact is that the three teams who will come up will go straight back down.
"The financial aspect is too great. It's as simple as that. If you don't spend money when you are promoted it is extremely difficult and we are suffering the consequences of that this season.
"I am not having a go at my board because they have backed me as much as they can, but at this level, you have to spend to survive."
The difference in income between the Nationwide League and the Premiership is estimated at around £25million, giving the established top-flight clubs a significant advantage as they strengthen their squads for the seasons ahead.
Having achieved promotion with a club that had been forced into administration earlier in the season, Adams was always likely to find it hard to mould a team capable of staying up, and as Leicester head into Saturday's crucial Ewood Park encounter with Blackburn, he knows even three wins from their final five matches may not be enough.
"All we can do is approach every game now and try to win it," said Adams. "I have told the players to stick their chests out and show a bit of pride. That is what I got from them last night (at Old Trafford) and I can't ask more than that.
"I am not giving up yet, but the situation we are in just now hurts because since I have been in management I have always been a winner in terms of percentage of games.
"The sad thing is I really don't think we are one of the three worst teams in the Premier League. We have not been able to compete on a financial footing, but we have still had some great opportunities, but we have just not taken them."