Former Sale and England full-back Jason Robinson has expressed fears for rugby in the north of England if Sale are relegated.
The Sharks sit six points adrift of 11th placed London Irish and were thrashed 62-0 by Toulon in the Heineken Cup last weekend.
Club legend Robinson left the club as a coach in 2010 and the former British and Irish Lion is unable to pinpoint what is going wrong with the club.
"A Premiership without Sale would be a massive blow," said Robinson to the Manchester Evening News.
"It's so important for the north of England to have a professional club at the top level. But that hinges on results and Sale are in a dogfight with no guarantees.
"When people ask me what is wrong with Sale, I can't tell them," he said. "I am not in the inner sanctum anymore.
"I do know they have good players who need to work a lot harder, be a lot smarter and be more desperate.
"And when I mean desperate that is when it comes to defending, getting up off the deck, getting in the line and making tackles. However, if they believe in themselves there is no reason why they can't get themselves off bottom spot."
"If they were 15 points away you'd think this was going to be a very tough ask for them," added Robinson.
"But you get one Premiership win and things look a lot different. However, if you don't, then it adds more pressure.
"Hopefully, though, there will be some effect from bringing in John Mitchell before too long."