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  1. ITV Report

Is the English Football League's model unsustainable?

There's never just one reason why a football club runs into financial difficulties - but players' high wages, and the cut taken by their agents often play a part.

Bury could be out of the league by the end of the bank holiday weekend and Bolton is also in financial difficulty.

While the Premier League is highly lucrative, the Championship, League 1 and League 2 lost a combined £411 million in the year 2017-2018, according to Deloitte analysis.

The head of the English Football League (EFL), Debbie Jevans, told ITV News that she is looking into what needs to be done, suggesting one solution could be a wage cap - stopping clubs from spending more on wages than they have coming in.

Collapsing clubs, such as could happen with Bury, are "catastrophic" for the local community, the fans and staffs, the EFL's Executive Chair added.

Debbie Jevans says it is time for a player salary cap. Credit: ITV News

Bury's football club has survived 135 years - seeing off two world wars, the sinking of the Titanic, the invention of the internet and votes for women.

Fans of the club which was bought for just £1 at the start of the year, have had a dismal 2019, with every single one of the club's fixtures suspended.

It's owner Steve Dale - who has not proved he has the funds to continue is considering two offers but - so far - has not taken either.

Ms Jevans said Mr Dale's profile as a potential owner was reviewed before he took on the club, she said he had no history of bankruptcy, and that the club's issues are likely down to more than just factor.

Football finance expert Tom Cannon believes many clubs are of interest to buyers for their assets. Credit: ITV News

Like Bury, Bolton is another club teetering on the brink.

Part of a football model that many consider financially to be unsustainable.

Football finance expert Tom Cannon said: "You just have to look at the relatively small number of clubs who are operating at a profit.

"A number of them are vulnerable to types of takeover and have assets which are basically worth taking them over for."

But for Bury fans, that's too late - the club faces a bleak future as its final 24 hours in the league starts without a concrete plan to save it.