Bury fans complete deal to buy back Gigg Lane from administrators… marking the start of the club’s rebirth following their expulsion from the Football League three years ago
- Bury supporters have completed a deal to buy Gigg Lane from administrators
- The club were expelled from the Football League in 2019 due to financial issues
- A fan group have acquired the trading name, history and memorabilia of Bury FC
- It is hoped that football can return to Gigg Lane in August for the 2022-23 season
Bury supporters have completed a deal to buy the club’s Gigg Lane stadium from the administrators.
The 137-year-old football club was placed into administration by then-owner Steve Dale in November 2020, having been expelled from the Football League in August 2019 due to financial problems.
A consortium led by fan group Est. 1885 started negotiations to buy the club and its ground in October last year and an agreement has now been reached.
Gigg Lane – which holds 12,500 fans – has been home to Bury FC since its foundation in 1885
The ground has been under the control of administrators since November 2020
As well as owning Gigg Lane – which has been home to the club since its foundation – it means that the fan group can now trade as Bury FC and they have also acquired the club’s history and memorabilia.
An Est. 1885 statement said that they were ‘delighted’ to complete the acquisition and that they are thankful for the ‘outpouring of volunteer support for the refurbishment of the stadium’ as well as the ‘many local businesses [who] have made kind donations’.
In December, a government-run community ownership fund pledged to give Bury fans £1million towards buying Gigg Lane if they could raise the same figure. There was also additional funding from America and local benefactors.
The fan group Est. 1885 said they were ‘delighted’ to complete the acquisition on Friday
Est. 1885 have also acquired the trading name, history and memorabilia of Bury FC
Since Bury’s demise, phoenix club Bury AFC has been set up and they are currently ten points clear at the top of North West Counties League First Division North, having lost just once all season.
Est. 1885 expressed their desire to find ‘a consensual path’ with Bury AFC going forward, with discussions to restart next week.
There is a hope that football can return to the 12,500-capacity Gigg Lane for the start of the 2022-23 season in August.
EST. 1885 STATEMENT IN FULL
We are delighted to announce that today we closed on the purchase of Gigg Lane from the Administrator, and it is now a community asset, free of debt or liabilities.
We have also acquired the trading name, history, and memorabilia of Bury FC. In this process we have attracted funding from the UK Government, America and a number of local benefactors, none of whom expect any more return from their support than the satisfaction of seeing football return to the ground, and its expanded use for community sports and wellbeing.
We are very grateful for the outpouring of volunteer support for the refurbishment of the stadium; more than 500 people have signed up and many local businesses have made kind donations. Details of when the refurbishment can begin will be announced in the coming days.
As we move onto the next phase towards the return of Bury FC, there are other details that now need to be worked out. Gigg Lane is in better condition than we expected and we will be publishing a fast-track timeline for recertification of the ground to become the biggest and best facility in the borough in short order.
In the next few days we will be announcing the rebranding and future role of Forever Bury and the transition of Est. 1885. We remain fully committed to finding a consensual path with Bury AFC and will be restarted these discussions next week.
Henceforth, all major decisions will be subject to member vote, and an updated membership scheme will be announced next week. If you want a voice, we encourage you to become a member and vote. We will also communicate to our member far more regularly and with greater transparency.