Southampton boss George Burley revealed he sold his best players this summer to ward off the threat of administration.
Burley sold Gareth Bale to Tottenham and Chris Baird to Fulham - in deals which could be worth £10million and £3million respectively - while midfielder Pele went to West Brom for £1million, and forward Kenwyne Jones has been strongly linked with a £5million move to Derby.
"I did not want to sell my best players, but the reality was to save the club from the possibility of going into administration, and we did that," Burley said.
"I am not saying it would have happened, but it could have done. But we staved that off.
"After last season finished, we had to look at things - as any club without a backer does. We had no choice. We had to make sure things were right, and then build for the new season."