Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson has warned that his family can no longer bankroll the Tannadice wage bill and cost cuts will be inevitable.
Thompson also told BBC Scotland that United would have entered administration if his family had not bought the club eight years ago.
"There's a lot of players out of contract at the end of the season," said Thompson in a BBC interview.
"And the wage budget will be cut for next year."
Thompson is celebrating two years as chairman of the Tayside outfit, having taken over when his father died in October 2008, and he has already made it clear to manager Peter Houston that the transfer and wage budget for next year will be significantly reduced.
"The manager already knows all that and we are working for the future," said Thompson.
"It's very tough, crowds are down across the board in Scottish football.
"Our crowds were down 10 per cent last season, despite probably our second most successful year ever.
"When we took over the club eight years ago the club was about £4.2m in debt.
"That year we lost about £2.8m, which takes you to a higher debt than we currently are today.
"If it hadn't been for someone like my father coming in this club would have been in administration back in 2004 or something like that."
Asked whether the Thompson family could continue to fund the club the United chairman said: "In the last 18 to 20 months we've put £450,000 in and we'll have to put some more in this season.
"But the answer is no.
"The net figure my father got from the sale of (his former) business was £9m and £5.5m of that has gone into the club - that's over 60% of his worth."