Bury expelled from the Football League after 125 years of membership, while Bolton given 14-day deadline to avoid same fate

Bury have been expelled from the EFL, the governing body has announced.

The Shakers were set a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday to complete a sale of the club but were unable to do so and have now had their Football League membership revoked.

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Bury had their first five games suspended and have now had their membership revoked
Getty Images – Getty

Bury are one of England’s oldest football clubs, having been formed in 1885, and have been members of the Football League for 125 years. They will almost certainly now be liquidated.

It had been hoped that C&N Sporting Risk, a sports analytics company, would rescue Bury but the London-based firm pulled out of the deal 90 minutes before the EFL’s 5pm deadline, citing concerns over the club’s confusing debt structure.

Owner Steve Dale then claimed he had received three new bids for the club, prompting fans, politicians and pundits to call for more time to explore these options. But shortly after 11pm, the league revealed its verdict.

Bury are the first club to drop out of the Football League for off-field reasons since Maidstone United went into liquidation in 1992.

League One will now comprise of 23 teams for the remainder of the season, with only three teams to be relegated.

Debbie Jevans, Executive Chair of the EFL, 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.”

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Bury’s Gigg Lane ground has hosted Football League action for 125 years
Getty

Fellow League One club Bolton, meanwhile, are also facing expulsion from the EFL.

They have been given an additional 14 days to either sell the club or prove they can fund them for the rest of the season.

But as the administrator Paul Appleton has already revealed that there is no money left to fund the club without a takeover by the Football Ventures consortium, the EFL verdict looks terminal.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, the EFL said: “Despite further exchanges with the administrators over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend, and right up until today’s deadline of 5pm, a resolution to ongoing impasse in negotiations regarding a completion of sale at Bolton Wanderers has not yet been found.

“The EFL board has therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal, which was issued as per the EFL’s insolvency policy when the club entered administration in May 2019.

“As per the league’s articles of association, this will now give the club 14 days (11.59pm on 12 September, 2019) to meet all outstanding requirements of the league’s insolvency policy or its membership in the EFL will be withdrawn.”

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