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Bury's takeover went through without full Football League approval

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PL & EFL Divide

The money in football now is like nothing we've ever seen in the sport.

At the top level we're seeing teams spend £30m on players like it's nothing, whilst making hundreds of millions from broadcasting, prize money and various other revenue streams. The Premier League sets the standard in terms of marketability and demand, with the love for the English game stretching all over the world.

During the close season we're seeing many of the 20 top flight clubs jetting off around the globe for their pre-season tour, giving them the chance to break into commercial territories.

But whilst we love watching the Premier League, the financial aspect of it is genuinely mind-blowing. Clubs receive huge parachute payments following relegation and there's even players are earning over £300k a week which really highlights the gap between it and the EFL.

The top division broke away from the Football League in 1992 to form the Premier League and the divide between the two is bigger than ever.

When you work your way down the divisions and the levels of money starts to decrease, you find some of the most passionate people in the game.

Football clubs lower down the ladder are vital pillars of communities, they provide fantastic memories for all generations of supporters and they also produce many top players. But sadly some of them are being mistreated, mismanaged or in the case of Bury Football Club, being ran into the ground.

Founded over 130 years ago, The Shakers are a club with a proud history and they should be riding a wave of optimism at the moment after winning promotion from League Two at the first attempt last season, but unfortunately that's not the case.

These are scary times for everyone involved with Bury Football Club

Crippling financial difficulties have left the club facing the terrifying prospect of extinction, something which should be unthinkable but it's the damning reality. Bury supporters are now left wondering if they'll even get the chance to see their team play ever again, which is absolutely crazy.

This is a story that's gathered momentum throughout the season which has led to both players and staff not being paid, promotion winning manager Ryan Lowe and his backroom staff leaving for League Two Plymouth Argyle and a host of key first teamers all moving on. Meaning that if they can even string a side together next season, it will be a completely different to the one that won promotion.

But that is the last of the fans worries. They just want their club to survive which is the sad reality. There's a number of people to blame for the state of the football club, none more so than controversial owner Steve Dale who despite running it into the ground, claims his innocence.

He has an enormous amount to answer for but so do the EFL, who are supposed to take measures to ensure that these situations never surface.

A football club sadly facing extinction

Any potential owner of a football club has to go through a 'fit and proper' test. This is run by the EFL and it's supposed to evaluate their wealth, intentions and overall ability to run, maintain and develop the club.

This was brought in after several clubs were financially crippled in the early 2000s (one of which was Bury) and despite this we're still seeing big football clubs go under. Bolton Wanderers are a prime example who currently have just 7 first team players on the books after being relegated from the Championship, with them rumoured to be receiving a -12 points deduction.

But in the case of Bury this time around, they were purchased by Steve Dale back in December for just £1 but these checks that the EFL are supposed to carry out were nowhere to be seen, reports The Guardian.

Normally when a takeover is proposed, the potential buyer is to notify the EFL in advance for the test to take place, with the main cause of concern being the "source and sufficiency of funds". EFL rules state that “up to date future financial information” must be submitted by a club “as far in advance of the change of control as reasonably possible” or if that's not possible, then within 10 working days.

Bury have been let down by the EFL

Dale though did not go through ANY part of that process and even now seven months after purchasing the club, hasn't provided the authorities with the correct information to prove that he can indeed fund the club - a shocking revelation.

If EFL procedures were true to their word and they carried out their test on Dale, then we'd perhaps be reading different headlines about Bury right now, which is very worrying.

But now the Shakers are placed under a transfer embargo until they can prove to the EFL that they have money to pay their players, which doesn't like it'll happen anytime soon. Far from ideal when they've already lost several members of their promotion winning squad. It's also reported that there's still many of their team haven't been paid despite guiding them to promotion last year which is shocking.

These are deeply worrying times at Gigg Lane and we really hope that Bury can get through this and continue to compete in the EFL.

They're one of the longest serving football clubs and their loyal, passionate supporters don't deserve this at all.