Northampton Town chairman David Cardoza has said relegation to the Conference Premier could cost up to £1m a year.
The Cobblers will guarantee League Two survival if they avoid defeat by Oxford United in Saturday's season finale
"It would cost the club anything between £700,000 and £1m a year in income," Cardoza told BBC Look East.
"What's important is if the worst comes to the worst we jump straight back up next season," added Cardoza, who took ownership of the club in 2003.
Last week Northampton pulled themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time since September with a win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
Survival is in their control, with Wycombe Wanderers needing a win to stand a chance of catching the Cobblers or fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers.
In January 2012, with Northampton bottom of the Football League, Cardoza said he had put £7m of his own money into the club.
Off the pitch the Sixfields club are set to redevelop their ground, but following last year's play-off final defeat, they have taken taken a step backwards on it.
"It's cost a fair bit more. But it's getting under control. The business is starting to make a bit more sense. As a lower league club it will never make real sense," said Cardoza.
"But now with the redevelopment coming through, the club should be able to stand on its own two feet and give the manager a decent wage bill."