The Football League has been granted a speedy hearing of its multi-million claim against the owners of ITV Digital.
Mr Justice Thomas granted the application at the High Court in London after hearing that several clubs faced "financial hardship" because the television contract with the League had been withdrawn.
A trial will now be heard in July - before the August 1 date when the first of the contract money was due to be paid by ITV Digital.
The League has filed a claim for £178.5m (€282m) against Carlton Communications plc and Granada Media plc but is preparing a case against the whole ITV network for damages of almost treble that figure with the liquidators of ITV Digital when they are appointed.
The League are claiming that Carlton and Granada are liable for ITV Digital's debts for their television contract with Nationwide League clubs.