Football League clubs have until 5pm on Thursday to go into administration and an automatic ten point deduction this season rather than next.

Leyton Orient Chairman Barry Hearn has painted a bleak picture for football and predicted that up to ten clubs could go into administration in the coming months.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Hearn said: "If this recession continues, and if clubs don't take the appropriate action of cutting their operating costs, you will see double figure clubs going into administration in the next 12 months. There will be lots more lower league teams going into administration due to the weight of the economic crisis."

Darlington went into administration last month and manager Dave Penney added: "I've had contact from people, not just in this division, but the division above. There's a cut-off date and I know a lot of clubs that are close to administration. From talking to people, we might be the first but we won't be the last. I'd say five will go this year."

Whether this financial crisis extends to the highest level of the league, only time will tell. The Championship is full of clubs who have paid high wages and chased the Premiership dream or have retained high costs as a result of relegation from the top tier.

For now, Barnsley have it in their hands to stay in this league on merit, but I will personally view this deadline with interest.

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Ian Wilkinson

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