The Football League's battle for their £178.5million TV money took a giant stride towards the courts last night.

The 72 chairmen of the league clubs refused to budge over the ITV Digital crisis.

The digital broadcaster could be put up for sale today as the League signalled their intention to pursue the money owed from their contract to the bitter end.

The administrators of ITV Digital withdrew their offer of £74million on Wednesday and a legal fight now looms.

Following a meeting of the chairmen at Maine Road, League chiefs called on Carlton Communications and Granada - ITV Digital's owners - to come to the negotiating table.

League chief executive David Burns said some clubs would not be able to operate at the start of next season if the £89.25million due in August is not paid.

Burns claims the League have evidence the two media giants sought legal advice as to whether they were liable for the ITV Digital debts back in November, while at the same time telling the Stock Exchange they were supporting the company.

ITV Digital said today that they were still open to 'constructive dialogue.'