Southampton football club's parent company has warned that players will have to be sold in January "in the absence of significant new investment".
A statement read: "The directors would require to trade players during the transfer window to generate funds for the remainder of the financial year."
Hedge fund Sisu Capital Ltd recently made an offer for a majority stake in Southampton Leisure Holdings plc.
However, the move would require the support of major shareholders.
The proposed offer would be executed by means of a placing of new shares at 40p per share - 20% below its current share price.
Ex-chairman Rupert Lowe, Michael Wilde and Leon Crouch, all major shareholders, stated last weekend that they would not back the deal as it stands.
The plc statement added that if significant investment is not forthcoming, "further cost reduction measures would also be taken.
"The sale of players in January would, in the opinion of the directors, be likely to have an adverse impact on the company's ability to achieve promotion to the Premier League.
"While the company's bankers continue to support the company, they have indicated that they will not passively sit by and watch the liquidity position of the company deteriorate over the coming year.
"The company remains in discussions with Sisu Capital Ltd, but requires the support of the major shareholders to finalise any transaction with this investor."