GARETH SOUTHGATE fears more clubs will suffer the same fate as axed Bury.
The England boss, who watched his first match at Gigg Lane, has issued a stark warning to the game.
Bury’s Football League exit came as Bolton just survived – while Coventry, Oldham and Macclesfield face cash struggles.
And Southgate said: “It’s a tragic story and I think it could be something we see more frequently.
“I’m not sure the game is sustainable in its spending, outside of money that comes in from television.
“So, that is each club’s responsibility, to manage their finances. Their decision-making as a club has not been right.
“What is clear to me is that, in a 92-team pyramid and professional teams — and at non-league level as well — there are so many clubs in deficit and in debt.
“That can’t be sustainable so that has to be addressed now.”
The Shakers, crippled by debt and mismanagement, were expelled from the Football League on Tuesday night.
Southgate continued: “My first thoughts are with people who have lost their jobs.
“The human element of that is the players at that level have much more financial difficulty than players in the leagues above.
“And, of course, I feel for the staff — it’s like any other business that goes under. It’s a massive blow for the families.
“For the supporters, for whom the club is part of the community and a real sense of identity, it’s tragic.”
Southgate lived in Bury as a kid when dad Clive’s job took the family north.
And he explained: “The first game I ever went to was at Gigg Lane — Bury against Watford. Derek Spence scored the winner, so it sticks in your mind.”