Bolton Wanderers have been set a deadline of 17:00 BST on Tuesday to complete the club’s sale or provide “credible plans” they can complete this season, or else face expulsion from the English Football League.
The League One club have been in administration since May.
They are the subject of a takeover bid by Football Ventures but the EFL are “concerned” by ongoing delays.
“The current situation cannot continue,” the EFL said in a statement.
“If a successful conclusion to a sale is not found or there are no credible plans for the club to continue the season in administration by the planned board meeting at 17:00 BST on Tuesday 27 August 2019, then the EFL board will consider lifting the suspension on the notice of withdrawal of the club’s membership of the league.”
Fellow League One side Bury were earlier given the same deadline to complete the sale of their club.
The proposed takeover of Bolton by Football Ventures has been beset with problems for weeks and is still waiting to be completed.
Laurence Bassini, who failed with his own bid to buy the club before it went into administration, was awarded a court order blocking the sale on 8 August.
That was amended and adjourned six days later, but it is still to be finalised.
The EFL added: “While it is understood as recently as (Friday) the parties were once again in a position to complete the formalities, there appears to be additional frustrating delays that are only serving to have a negative and detrimental impact.
“The EFL urges all parties to communicate and come together to find the necessary and final solutions so that Bolton Wanderers can start to plan for its long-term future and end months of uncertainty for all those associated with the club, in particular the players, staff, supporters and the local Bolton community.”
Wanderers, who started this season on -12 points for entering administration, have endured a difficult time on the pitch as a consequence of the ongoing uncertainty.
Boss Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin quit in midweek before Bolton were beaten 5-0 at home to Ipswich on Saturday in front of 5,454 – the lowest attendance for a league game in the stadium’s 22-year history.
It is the third game in a row that Bolton have conceded five goals.