Bury expelled from the Football League after no viable takeover offer emerged for the 134-year-old club
- Bury kicked out of the Football League after failing to find a suitable buyer
- Bury had seven late offers to save the 134-year-old club from extinction
- EFL had given Bury a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday to find new ownership
- Bolton have been given 14 days to secure their future or face similar outcome
Bury have been kicked out of the Football League in a move that is expected to spell the end for the 134-year-old club.
Late on Tuesday night – despite a number of last-minute takeover offers – the EFL announced that the Shakers, twice winners of the FA Cup had become the first outfit since 1992 to be thrown out of the competition.
Bury had been given until 5pm on Tuesday to show that, under controversial owner Steve Dale they had the funds to pay off creditors and fund the rest of the season or complete a sale to the C&N Sporting Risk Group.
Bury had been given hope of survival with seven bids lodged at the last minute to save club
A Bury fan wears an England flag emblazoned with the club’s name on Tuesday night
1885 – Club is founded on April 24 through a merger between two church teams, the Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians. Club leased plot of land on Gigg Lane on Earl of Derby’s estate.
1887-88 – Bury enter the FA Cup for the first time.
1889 – Bury become foundation members of the Lancashire League.
1892 – The clubs wins the Lancashire Cup, beating Everton in the final. Before the match, chairman JT Ingham was reported to have roused the players by saying: ‘We shall shake ’em. In fact, we are the Shakers!’ The 1892 Lancashire Cup was the first of 11 such titles stretching to 2017-18.
1894 – The Shakers are admitted to the Football League. They win the Second Division title in 1894-95 by nine points, gaining promotion to the top tier.
1900 – Bury win the FA Cup, beating Southampton 4-0 in the final.
1903 – Club wins FA Cup again, downing Derby 6-0, having conceded no goals throughout the tournament.
1925 – Bury come fourth in the First Division – highest-ever top tier finish.
1929 – The club is relegated from the top level, and have not returned since.
1957 – Bury drop out of the Second Division for the first time.
1971 – For the first time, Bury are relegated to the fourth tier.
1997 – Two successive promotions under manager Stan Ternent lift Bury to the second tier for the first time in 30 years.
2001-02 – Financial problems linked to the collapse of ITV Digital take Bury into administration and close to folding. Supporters raises enough money for the club to survive.
2005 – Bury are first club to score 1,000 goals in each of top four leagues.
2012 – The Shakers have a transfer embargo placed on them after financial trouble due to poor attendances.
2018-19 – Bury finish second in League Two to win promotion. Businessman Steve Dale buys the club in December 2018 and pays an outstanding tax bill to avoid a winding-up order. But financial trouble returns in mid-2019.
However, the proposed deal collapsed 90 minutes before the deadline and, following a lengthy board meeting and despite a flurry of late offers, the League One outfit was expelled.
Bury, promoted last term, had failed to play a fixture this season. In giving their reasons for the stunning move, the EFL said that they were unable to make any further suspensions to the fixture list and added that ‘ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a significant factor in the decision’.
The news has been met with dismay and anger from some of those involved in a number of bids which went in before the EFL’s 5pm deadline on Tuesday. Some of those involved are intending to examine an appeal, Sportsmail understands.
As a result of Bury’s expulsion, League One will consist of 23 clubs for the remainder of the campaign, with three teams relegated instead of four.
Debbie Jevans CBE, the EFL’s Executive Chair, said: ‘Today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the League’s recent history. The EFL has worked determinedly and tirelessly to avoid this outcome and it is with a heavy heart that this situation has been forced upon us. The EFL has to place the integrity of our competitions at the heart of every decision we make, and we simply cannot allow this unacceptable situation to continue or countenance the prospect of postponing further fixtures.
‘I understand this will be a deeply upsetting and devastating time for Bury’s players, staff, supporters and the wider community. There is no doubt today’s news will be felt across the entire football family.
‘No one wanted to be in this position but following repeated missed deadlines, the suspension of five League fixtures, in addition to not receiving the evidence we required in regard to financial commitments and a possible takeover not materialising; the EFL Board has been forced to take the most difficult of decisions.’
Meanwhile, Bury’s neighbours Bolton have been given 14 days to secure their own future. The founder members of the Football League have been unable to complete a takeover which would see the Football Venture group take control. That failure has prompted the EFL to lift the suspension on a 14-day withdrawal notice. However, it is understood that following the collapse of the deal over the weekend, those involved are back around the table and steps forward have been made. Sources close to the deal say they are ‘cautiously confident’ it will go through.
Joy Hart, a former director of Bury, handcuffed herself to Gigg Lane last week
Jevans added: ‘Despite repeated assurances, we are extremely disappointed that we are still not in a position to reach a successful resolution with the sale of Bolton Wanderers and have therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal. I again urge all parties to finalise the proposed takeover.
‘The reality of this action is that there are now 14 days to secure the club’s long-term future, and I sincerely hope we can find a way through these challenging circumstances for the benefit of all those who have an association with the club.’
Resignations from the league had been reasonably commonplace prior to the Second World War but Accrington’s was headline news. The original Accrington Stanley were members of the Football League between 1921 and 1962. Financial difficulties caused by the purchase of a new stand plunged them into severe trouble and they resigned from the Football League in March 1962 after a last-gasp rescue bid was rejected. The club spent four seasons in non-league before being disbanded. Stanley were reformed in their current guise in 1968.
Founded in 1926, Aldershot FC were elected to the Football League in 1932 and stayed there until they went out of business on March 25, 1992 and had to resign from the league. The club had been in serious financial trouble for several years and mounting debts eventually became too much. Aldershot Town were founded immediately and competed in the league between 2008 and 2013, and are currently in the National League.
Maidstone United became Football League members in 1989 but had spent outside their means in order to get there and, with their ground not up to scratch, they had to play at Dartford. The purchase of land in Maidstone backfired when planning permission for a new stadium was rejected and the club were liquidated on August 17, 1992 following the postponement of their first match of the season. A reformed club currently plays in National League South.
Maidstone were the last club to go out of business while in the Football League but a number of former league clubs have folded since including Darlington, Rushden and Diamonds, Hereford United and Chester City. The latter were relegated from League Two in 2009 and wound up less than a year later in March 2010.