Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai has confirmed that the club will go into administration unless a new buyer can be found by Friday.
The Hong Kong businessman is are in talks with four different consortia about a takeover but admits it is “unlikely” a deal will be completed this week.
With a winding up order due in the High Court on Monday, the decision has been taken to go into administration in order to save the club and ensure Pompey can fulfil their remaining fixtures this season.
Chainrai’s spokesman Phil Hall said administration would keep the club alive as the winding up order would be automatically suspended.
A statement read: “There is now only a short window of opportunity for buyers to come in with a credible offer. We have to be realistic and having the club wound up is not an option as far as we are concerned.
“They are the victims of circumstance, having injected funds in the form of a short-term loan to the Al Faraj Group, who subsequently invested the money in the club.
“The partners have put £17m of their own money into the club and have a responsibility to ensure Portsmouth Football Club survives.
“The serving of this notice means the winding-up order is automatically suspended. It means the club is safe, it can fulfil its fixtures and as far as is possible it is business as usual.
“Administration would mean the club re-emerging as a healthy financial entity. The club would then become an attractive proposition for a potential buyer who could invest new funds in rebuilding the club’s future.”
The statement continued: “We would like to ask the fans, the staff and management of Portsmouth Football Club for their support and patience should this step be taken, as they believe it is the only route left open to them.
“Mr Chainrai hopes the supporters will get fully behind the team as usual for their Premier League match at Burnley on Saturday and the following weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at home to Birmingham.
“Mr Chainrai has agreed to continue funding the club going forward until its long-term future is decided. He will also pay for the administration process out of his own pocket.”