Dover Athletic Football Club has just over a month to raise £48,000 or face going under, according to bosses at the Ryman Premier side.
Former referee David Elleray is launching fundraising at the club
The club has been hit by an unexpected £25,000 VAT bill for hot food sold inside the Crabble Athletic Ground.
Creditors from a successful cup run two seasons ago are also asking for a large payment the club had not budgeted for.
"We need the full £48,000 by the end of the year or it could mean football could cease," said chairman Mick Kemp.
"We have put two-and-a-half years of hard work into the club and were looking in two to three years to be clear of debt and to advance the club.
"There are lots of things going on in the youth set-up and plans we have for next year.
"It is very disappointing that these plans might not come to fruition."
An emergency trust fund has been launched and fundraising kicks off on Thursday night when former referee David Elleray is speaking at the club.
"We will be working very hard over the next four weeks," said Mr Kemp.
Debt going down
Mike Webb, trustee of the fund and Dover Town Centre manager, said it was very cruel that the club had been hit with the double hammer blow of the VAT bill and extra demand from creditors.
He said the creditors had been paid month in, month out and the club's debt was going down.
"It would be absolutely dreadful if football had to end," he said.
"Dover is one of the best-supported teams in its division.
"It is yet another blow to Dover when we really don't need it."