The Cardiff chairman, Peter Ridsdale, is in no doubt the club will be "materially damaged" if they lose their court case with creditors Langston, which is due to start at the High Court today.
The Swiss-based firm, who are City's major financial backers, insist the club's £24m debt dating back to the previous regime at Ninian Park is due for repayment now, but Cardiff are adamant that the majority of the money is not due until 2016.
Defeat could result in the FA Cup semi-finalists being ordered to repay the debt immediately, a situation which could force them into administration.
On the field, that would trigger an automatic 10-point deduction which would plunge them into the Championship relegation zone. The implications could be equally serious off it, with talented young players like Joe Ledley and Aaron Ramsey being put up for sale.
Ridsdale avoided talk of administration yesterday, but said that the "appropriate" action would be taken should they lose to Langston."If we lose the case, I will have to take legal advice – and obviously I will stand by that legal advice," he said. "There is no doubt that if we do lose then it will materially damage the club.
However, he confirmed the outcome would have no bearing on the future of the club's new stadium.
"The stadium will be built whatever happens," Ridsdale said. "The only question mark will be who subsequently is the beneficiary of the lease, because were the club to go into administration it would then revert back to the council. They would have to decide what happens to the stadium, but the stadium itself is secure."
Cardiff are due to face Barnsley in the FA Cup semi-finals next month, but the Football Association confirmed yesterday that the club would not be granted special dispensation to compete in European competition even if they were to win the competition. City are currently unable to be nominated to play in Europe by either the FA or the Welsh FA.
"I'm not going to get into hypothetical arguments at this stage," Ridsdale said, "but if it became a reality then be assured I would be looking after the club's best interests."