Wakefield Trinity Wildcats need to raise £500,000 by the end of January to secure their immediate future.
With the 2011 Super League season only five weeks away, Wakefield directors say the situation is so serious that the club's future is in danger.
"We are asking the people of Wakefield to buy £1,000 worth of shares to raise £500,000 with a deadline of 31 January for purchase," a club statement read.
A delay to the Wildcats' new stadium plans cost them £350,000 in December.
That money had been pledged by developers, but their plans for a ground on a site off the M62 at Newmarket have now been referred to a public inquiry, a move which chief executive James Elston called "a huge blow."
"Financially, the club has faced a tough economic climate during times of a deep recession and losing the £350,000 from cash flow creates a difficult environment in which to work," the club statement added.
A spokesman for the Rugby Football League said the organisation was "aware of Wakefield's problems" and it had been talking to the team for several months "in an effort to help them see through it, as we would with any club in difficulty."
This coming season will be Wildcats' last at Belle Vue, their home since 1878, as it does not come up to Super League licensing criteria.
One existing Super League outfit is set to lose its licence in favour of a Championship club for the 2012 season, and Wakefield know they need to make progress on the issue of the new stadium to strengthen their case.
It is believed the Wildcats have a contingency plan to play games 10 miles away at Oakwell, home of Barnsley Football Club, if the issue of the stadium is not resolved in time.
Shortly before Christmas, Wakefield were the subject of a winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill, but were saved by a donation of £164,000 from Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of Wakefield and District Community Trust.