JJB Sports has said it could close up to 95 stores over the next two years.
JJB announced plans to enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which would release it from certain liabilities to its landlords.
If the deal goes ahead, JJB would close up to 45 of its 246 stores over the next 12 months, with another 50 under review over the next 24 months.
"The group's future viability is dependent upon the successful implementation of a CVA," JJB said.
It would be Wigan-based JJB's second such deal in two years, after it narrowly avoided going into administration in 2009 by striking a CVA with its landlords and creditors, which allowed it to walk away from leases on 140 stores.
Sales at JJB slumped during the recession as it struggled to manage its debts.
Last week JD Sports said it was in "early discussions" about making a takeover bid for JJB - its High Street rival.