Clubs in League One and League Two have written to the English Football League asking for salary caps to be introduced next season.
The letter was sent on behalf of 37 of the 47 teams by Mansfield Town chairman John Radford.
It follows a meeting on Monday of senior club officials in the third and fourth tiers to discuss salary caps.
There are big doubts the 2019-20 season will finish because of the number of players out of contract on 30 June.
An EFL Board meeting on Wednesday was told the majority of League One and Two clubs were supportive of concluding the season whenever it is safe to do so.
However, in the letter, Radford says that, ideally, clubs want to end the campaign no later than 31 July.
Clubs believe their players will still be available at that stage because of an additional severance payment that is written into their contracts and paid if they have not been able to find another club.
However, of greater concern is the huge costs that will be incurred next season given the increasing likelihood that matches will need to be played behind closed doors until the end of the year.
"The clubs are committed to wage caps for the 2020-21 season and beyond," wrote Radford in his letter. "This recognises that revenue in 2020-21 is likely to be reduced by as much as 50%.
"The clubs want to urgently look with the EFL into creative ways of setting the wage cap, which guarantees the long-term future for all EFL clubs.
"This is not a list of demands but is the desired direction of travel from the clubs."
It is anticipated further discussions will take place over the issues, although it could be another two or three weeks before any greater clarity is achieved.
However, the EFL, which declined to comment when approached by BBC Sport, is in a tricky position.
It has so far aligned itself closely with the Premier League, which is committed to ending the season if it is practical.
The letter makes no mention of how complex issues such as promotion and relegation would be decided.