Barnet head coach Edgar Davids saw his Barnet side lose their Football League status with the highest number of points of any team to do so.
Needing a final day victory to ensure survival, the Bees were sunk 2-0 by two second-half goals from Roy O'Donovan and Luke Guttridge at Northampton, who now face Cheltenham in the play-offs.
The former Champions League winner, who played at some of Europe's leading clubs during an illustrious career, had turned the club's fortunes around since taking over as head coach. But it wasn't enough in the end as AFC Wimbledon beat Fleetwood 2-1 to climb out of the relegation zone at Barnet's expense.
The former Dutch international said: "It's a bitter pill to swallow and the players are very disappointed but they gave it everything. It wasn't all down to this last game, we had a lot of opportunities during the season but didn't take them.
"It's even more disappointing because we have reached all the objectives that the chairman set and reached the 51 points target but we've still gone down.
"The players can look themselves in the eye and know they have given it everything they had. But you have to be sharp enough to take the chances you create especially against a team like Northampton. They were clinical in the second half.
"Losing a Champions League final was a bad experience for me but I'm aware of the consequences for the club going out of the Football League. This is a different experience for me and there will be consequences of playing non-league football for the club next season. As for my position, I will have to sit down with the chairman and discuss things."
Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd can look forward to Thursday's play-off semi-final first-leg against Cheltenham but he spared a thought for Davids and his Barnet players.
He said: "That was us last year fighting relegation. It was very stressful for us but this time we've finished a good few points better off.
"I think we've got what we have deserved this season. It's been a long season, we've had some brilliant performances and some rubbish performances, and Barnet away was one of those. We knew we would finish in the play-offs and I want to have everybody 100 per cent fit for the big games we've got coming up."