The English Football League have confirmed that Luton Town's relegation rivals Wigan Athletic will be deducted 12 points after becoming the first English professional club to go into administration since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The Latics have been struggling to manage their finances and say there was no alternative if they were to safeguard the club.
After three wins since the season resumed last month, Paul Cook's side had climbed up to what appeared relative safety, sitting in 14th place, on 50 points, eight points above the drop zone and 10 ahead of Luton.
A move into administration will be met with up to 12 points deducted though, which will drop them to the bottom of the division, with six games to play.
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A statement from the English Football League said: "As a result of Wigan Athletic confirming they have entered into administration, the Club will be subject to a 12-point deduction and, in accordance with EFL Regulations, the timing of the sporting sanction can only be determined once final league placings in the Championship are determined.
"If in the event the Club is relegated by virtue of their final position following the conclusion of the Championship season, then the deduction will apply in League One in 2020/21.
"However, if the Club is not in the relegation places following the final game of season, the sanction will be then be applied to their season 2019/20 total and final league standings amended as appropriate.
"The EFL is awaiting formal notification from the Administrators and once the League has received this it will commence discussions with the relevant individuals with the aim of achieving a long-term future for the Club."
Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators and Stanley said: "We understand that everybody connected with the club and the wider football world is seeking clarity on the future of Wigan Athletic.
"That's exactly what we are seeking to provide as we move through this process and we seek out interested parties to rescue this famous old club here in the region.
"It is a fast-moving situation and we will provide updates on key developments."
Krasner, a former chairman of Leeds United, added: "Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures this season and to urgently find interested parties to save Wigan Athletic FC and the jobs of the people who work for the club.
"Obviously the suspension of the Championship season due to Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the recent fortunes of the club.
"Wigan Athletic has been a focal point and source of pride for the town since 1932 and anyone who is interested in buying this historic sporting institution should contact the joint administrators directly."