Preston chairman Maurice Lindsay admits to being shocked at Manchester United's decision to recall their loan stars.
Sir Alex Ferguson has requested that Ritchie de Laet and Joshua King return to Old Trafford immediately, while he also plans to pull Matty James out of his Deepdale deal.
The United boss has acted in response to Preston's decision to sack his son Darren on Wednesday.
With that relationship broken, the Red Devils are no longer prepared to support the Lilywhites' cause.
Lindsay has been left disappointed by United's decision, but accepts that there is little he can do to prevent them taking such a stance.
"This has come as a shock to us and a bit of a blow," he said.
"Ritchie de Laet and Joshua King won't be available for Saturday's game [against Derby] because we got a message from Manchester United to inform us that they had been summoned back immediately and, under the terms of the agreement, they can do that.
"It's a big blow for us. These are two players, young and enthusiastic, who seemed to be enjoying it at Preston, so to be told by their parent club that they can't play for us again is sad indeed."
James' situation is slightly more complicated, but Lindsay admits there is a good chance he too will be returning to Old Trafford.
He added: "It's unfortunate but we recognise Manchester United's legal right and have to respect that.
"They have also suggested they would like Matty James back as well but it's a bit different legally and I will have to speak with [caretaker coach] David Unsworth first.
"David being the tough, effervescent, confident character he is, he will deal with it."