RELEGATED Cambridge United visit the Racecourse tomorrow with their chairman Gary Harwood spelling out the possible consequences if the Football League fails to win back its television money.
Warning of a 'doomsday' scenario for a number of smaller clubs if ITV Digital and its owners, Granada and Carlton, are allowed to renege on the three-year deal agreed last summer, Harwood claimed it could also spell curtains for the Abbey Stadium club.
"Cambridge United were already facing enormous financial difficulties," he said. "Relegation from the second to the third division compounds these difficulties and losing some or all of the television rights income might turn out to be be the straw that breaks the camel's back."
Around £189 million remains outstanding from ITV Digital's contract with the Football League, whose management committee has rejected a one-off payment of £50m from the stricken broadcaster.
Harwood said: "As a second division club our share of the television rights works out to be approximately £180,000 a year.
"For third division clubs that share drops to a little under £120,000 a year.
"Our budgets and plans assumed that our share of the television rights were secured for three years as the Football League entered into a binding contract with ITV Digital for that period."
His comments will have particular significance at Wrexham, whose second division status is hanging by a thread, although managing director David Rhodes said they have not entered into any major commitments on the back of the television deal.
But the television rights row is currently on the back-burner for Racecourse boss Denis Smith, who has to pick up his players following a disastrous 3-0 Easter Monday defeat at Blackpool, which leaves them teetering on the brink of the third division.
"Against Cambridge we have to perform as we did against Huddersfield last Saturday and not like we did on Monday," he said. "We are still in with a very small chance and as long as it's there we have to do our best to take it."
But Wrexham will be without striker Lee Trundle, who starts a two-match ban and there are doubts over the fitness of Jim Whitley, Steve Thomas and Andy Morrell. Michael Blackwood, who damaged a hamstring in the midweek reserve team match, is another definite non-starter, together with Brian Carey, Steve Roberts and Martyn Chalk.