Bury FC owner Steve Dale accepts takeover bid for debt-ridden club from London-based consortium

Bury could have been given an 11th-hour lifeline after owner Steve Dale accepted a takeover offer from a London-based consortium.

Dale had been given until 23.59 on Friday to either provide proof to the English Football League he could fund the League One side this season or hand it over to someone who can.

GettyImages 817159488 - Bury FC owner Steve Dale accepts takeover bid for debt-ridden club from London-based consortium
Bury may have landed themselves a get-out-of-jail card

Extinction was the option if not but, after a day of claim and counter-claim, Dale told PA he had agreed a deal.

It is understood the EFL is aware of Dale’s claim of a sale and is investigating as a matter of urgency – with the deal requiring approval before the deadline.

Dale has not confirmed who he has sold to, but Rory Campbell and Henry Newman’s C&N Sporting Risk did make a bid on Friday, having been working closely with Bury North MP James Frith, and appear to be in the box seat.

They told PA in a statement: “‘We can confirm that over the past 10 weeks we have been in discussions with Bury FC, the EFL and others with a view to putting forward a proposal to buy the club.

“It is a very complicated scenario and there remain a number of outstanding legal and other issues that have to be addressed. Our background is in football and data analytics and it should therefore not be surprising that we are taking a very detailed forensic look at the realities of Bury FC finances.

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“A club like Bury ought to have a viable long-term future even if the short-term future is clearly very challenging.

“To that end we have been in discussions with the EFL about an extension so that we can continue to explore the prospects for a purchase. We will be making no further comment at this stage.”

Dale’s declaration of a sale came just before 10pm, with a little over two hours remaining.

The Cheshire-based businessman said throughout the day he had a buyer lined up but was unsure if a deal could be concluded before the deadline, having also asked fans to pledge money, while Bury North MP James Frith had said a ‘credible bid’ would be lodged along with proof of funding.

In a 5pm statement the EFL said it had seen little progress, but it was understood that by early evening it was aware of offers which Dale needed to consider in order to make progress.

It now remains to be seen if the EFL will grant an extension, as had been said earlier in the week.

“As of 5pm there has been limited progress made either by the current ownership providing the required evidence in regard to outstanding financial information, or through a change of control being achieved with new owners,” read an EFL statement.

“The EFL will continue to provide all support available and will keep working to find a resolution to the ongoing issues ahead of the notice of withdrawal deadline, which remains at 11.59pm on Friday August 23.

“If a successful solution is not found ahead of tonight’s deadline, the club’s share in the EFL will be withdrawn and its membership in the league will come to an end.”

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