Bury, one of English football’s oldest clubs, has been kicked out of the professional game after failing to prove they have solved their financial problems.
The club is the first team to drop out of the Football League since Maidstone’s liquidation in 1992. Bury, which has twice won the FA Cup, was founded in 1885.
Bury and Bolton both faced a 5pm deadline with the threat of being expelled of the English Football League (EFL) if they didn’t prove a takeover deal was done or provided reasons for needing an extension.
Shortly before the cut-off, Bury’s proposed buyer C&N Sporting Risk said it was “unable to proceed”, leaving the Lancashire side’s future hanging in the balance after 134 years.
The EFL has lifted the suspension on the notice of withdrawal of Bolton’s membership, giving 14 days to secure the club’s long-term future, the governing body has announced.
In a statement, it said: “The EFL board met earlier this evening and, after a long and detailed discussion, determined that Bury FC’s membership of the English Football League be withdrawn after the deadline passed at 5pm today (Tuesday 27 August) without a successful resolution.”
Debbie Jevans, EFL executive chair, said: “Today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the lkeague’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.”
Bury are yet to play a game this season having already been docked 12 points after being placed into administration.
The EFL had requested evidence that the Shakers could pay off creditors and had the funding to make it through the entire campaign.
Some 300 volunteers turned up at the club’s Gigg Lane home ground on Tuesday to help get the ground ready for Saturday’s scheduled game against Doncaster Rovers.
League One will now proceed with 23 clubs for the remainder of the season and only three clubs will be relegated in order to bring the division back to 24 teams next season. That plan, however, could change if Bolton are also expelled in the coming days.