Portsmouth and Rangers face the very real threat of going out of business. But would that really be the end? We look at clubs who went belly-up, only to come back from the grave.
This week the financial problems facing Championship club Portsmouth and Scottish Premier League outfit Rangers mounted, with Pompey administrator Trevor Birch admitting the South coast side may not see the end of the 2011/12 campaign, while the Glaswegian giants face a seven-figure cost-cutting spree in order to survive.
Should the 2008 FA Cup winners or the Scottish league champions be liquidated, it would spell disaster for their supporters. But said fanbases are sizeable enough to do what many clubs have done: return from extinction and perhaps even thrive in their second incarnations.
Britain boasts countless examples of this, but to start we'll head to Italy and look at arguably the two highest-profile examples, both of whom are currently competing for European places in Serie A this season.
AC Napoli (1926-2004); SSC Napoli (2004-)
Less than two decades after their greatest ever player, Argentine legend Diego Maradona, led the Partenopei to a domestic double and the UEFA Cup, the Naples club gradually went into decline in the early 1990s, both on and off the field. The departure of players such as Gianfranco Zola and Daniel Fonseca preceded their relegation from the top flight in 1998, after a campaign which saw them pick up two wins all season.
Despite returning in 2000, they were soon sent back down to Serie B before being declared bankrupt four years later with their total debts estimated at a whopping €70 million (£60m).
It was filmmaker Aureilio De Laurentiis who backed a rebirth, under the name Napoli Soccer with their old name AC Napoli prohibited. From the humble beginnings of Serie C1, however, Napoli broke attendance records with their phenomenal and loyal support, even drawing 51,000 to one league game.
In 2006, De Laurentiis was able to 'buy back' the club's history and changed their name to Societa Sportiva Calcio Napoli in May of that year. The Azzurri capped their comeback by earning a second straight promotion and returning to the top flight.
Five years on, Walter Mazzarri is currently guiding Napoli in a fruitful Champions League campaign which has seen them defeat Manchester City and Chelsea, the latter needing to overcome a 3-1 first-leg deficit to prevent the Neapolitans from powering its way into the last eight.
While Napoli enjoy a top six position in the Serie A standings at present, Fiorentina are having a disappointing campaign in 15th, just four points from safety. But the Viola have certainly been in worse positions…
AC Fiorentina (1926-2002); ACF Fiorentina (2002-)
While the wheels began to come off at Stadio San Paolo in the 1990s, Fiorentina were beginning to turn heads thanks to the managerial prowess of Claudio Ranieri and the firepower of Gabriel 'Batigol' Batistuta. The striker, along with the likes of a young Rui Costa and left winger Stefan Schwartz helped the Tuscan club to a Cup Winners Cup semi-final in 1995-96 where they were ousted by eventual winners Barcelona.
Further European campaigns, including wins over Manchester United and Arsenal in 1999-2000, were scant consolation for the financial problems which were threatening to go into overdrive, much like when Portsmouth welcomed AC Milan to Fratton Park in 2008. And at the end of the 2001-02 campaign, their debts of nearly €40 million led to judicially-controlled administration which prevented the club from entering Serie B in the following campaign and effectively ceased their existence.
It took just two months for Associazione Calcio Fiorentina e Florentia Viola, shoemaking businessman Diego Della Valle's upstart incarnation, to begin life in the fourth tier of Italian football, Serie C2. Notably, the club were able to secure the services of just one member of the last AC Fiorentina squad: Angelo Di Livio.
The engine room midfielder, highly respected for his spells at Padova and the dominant Juventus side of the 1990s, would evolve into a club icon in Florence for his loyalty and for guiding the club to a dominant promotion from C2, before the side were able to skip a tier and head straight for Serie B courtesy of the Caso Catania controversy which saw Italian football supremos increase the second flight from 20 teams to 24 as a diplomatic exercise.
No doubt with their rich, yet troubled history in mind, ACF Fiorentina were selected as one of the four expansion sides and celebrated the double-promotion by re-purchasing their name and history rights, including their famous purple shirt design.
Two years after their demise, Fiorentina won a two-legged play-off against Perugia to take their place in the top flight. And despite only avoiding relegation due to the infamous 2006 match-fixing scandal on appeal, they went on to secure Champions League football for the 2008-09 campaign under current Italy boss Cesare Prandelli.
Wimbledon FC (1889-2004); AFC Wimbledon (2002-)
Of course, when it comes to domestic examples of returns to prominence, the first place to look is South-West London.
The 'Crazy Gang' formed a staple part of underdog culture in football in the 1980s after rising from the old Fourth Division (now League Two) to the top flight in just four seasons, nine after being elected to the Football League in 1977, and following their 1986 promotion to Division One (now the Premier League) with a remarkable 1988 FA Cup win over then-league champions Liverpool.
But after 15 seasons of big scalps and tiny home attendances, the latter made worse by the club's forced move from its Plough Lane ground to Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park in 1991, the club chiefs' desire to find an ideal new home would ultimately lead to the end of the road.
When permission was requested and granted to move the club 56 miles to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, many of the fans reacted by denouncing the club and forming a splinter team: AFC Wimbledon.
In a move which would later inspire the likes of FC United of Manchester to take similar action from the roots of Manchester United, and attracted a crowd of 4,657 to their first ever game, a pre-season 4-0 defeat against neighbours Sutton United. The side at the time comprised of unattached and part-time footballers who had impressed at a three-day trial on Wimbledon Common.
Less than a decade after starting out under Terry Eames in the Combined Counties League, Danny Kedwell scored the winning penalty in a dramatic penalty shoot-out with Luton Town after a goalless Blue Square Premier play-off final to earn league football.
With the Dons now aiming to establish themselves in League Two, and hated spin-off siblings Milton Keynes Dons (following a change of name for the old Wimbledon) currently residing just one division above in League One, the long-awaited first meeting between the two is potentially months from happening either in league or cup.
AFC Wimbledon's League Two neighbours Aldershot and Accrington Stanley are also in their second incarnations following collapses, while non-league versions of Scarborough, Halifax, Chester and Bradford Park Avenue continue on the traditions of their clubs, hoping to one day become the latest comeback act to become one of "the 92".