What next for Bury Football Club?

Bury FC expelled from the EFL

The fate that Bury Football Club have suffered this week is a national travesty.

The Shakers have been expelled from the EFL, who have stated that they will not reverse their decision despite gallant late appeals.

Late appeals

James Frith, the Labour MP for Bury North, will ‘up the ante’ with Parliamentary and legal action, including calls for enquiries into the financial irregularities driven by Stewart Day and then Steven Dale that caused the club’s current mess.

There is, one hopes, a possibility that the EFL will see that they have made an error of judgement – that they should re-instate Bury into the league to give the club a chance to complete a takeover.

C&N Sporting Risk deal fell through

Beforehand, the problem was that chairman Dale was rejecting numerous offers to drive the price up for himself.

Then, an analytics company called C&N Sporting Risk were able to agree in principle a price with Dale, only for the deal to fall through following their due diligence.

Because C&N Sporting Risk pulled out very close to the deadline, because the EFL only extended their previous deadline of 11:59 on Friday 23rd August by one working day with the bank holiday weekend and because Dale had not been considering other offers during the negotiations with C&N, too much had to happen in too short a timeframe for Bury to find an alternative solution.

Inconsistency from EFL?

There were, however, several interested parties very close to the final deadline – these included an international consortium that was reportedly ready to pay up to £7 million to complete a takeover and provide proof of funding.

The EFL were not willing to treat that potential buyer as credible and thus maintained the deadline for Bury, yet gave Bolton Wanderers – in a very similar situation – another two weeks to resolve the issue, which they have done successfully.

Of course, it is absolutely wonderful news that Bolton still have a club and many at Bury have been gracious enough to say as much, but one cannot help but wonder about consistency.

Whether the situation can be resolved now, depends on whether Debbie Jevans and the EFL have the humility to acknowledge that they might have made a mistake – and be willing to overturn it.

In an ideal world, that will happen – but some Bury fans have begun looking at alternative scenarios.

Bury Gigg Lane
Gigg Lane

The other options

There are reports that the club, in its current guise, could move into the North-West Counties League Premier Division – the ninth-tier - for the 2020-21 campaign.

Were that to happen, we could see Bury getting huge away attendances due to the higher number of local games: the longest away trips could be Hanley Town and Whitchurch Alport, barely further away from Gigg Lane than Crewe.

There might be concerns about this from a police perspective, because there will be scores of fans wanting, for example, to go to Avro FC, less than a half-hour drive from Bury – but the Whitebank Stadium, similarly to many others at that level, can only hold 1,500, so the situation may require a certain amount of crowd control.

Although, if Bury were to restart higher up the pyramid in the National League or National League North, that would necessitate a structural re-think involving changes to the number of teams in each division, or changing the number of promotion/relegation places that might open up a can of worms.

Future for Bury

One thing is for certain: there will be a future for Bury.

Whether that be in their current guise or as a phoenix club, whether they next play in League One, League Two or any non-league division, whether they gain fresh investment, still have Steve Dale as chairman or even if a group of fans club together – the spirit of that football club is too strong, it’s history too great, to disappear completely.

In certain respects, this next chapter for the club might be almost appealing for supporters of a romantic persuasion – in worst case scenario, the idea of short journeys to visit friendly and welcoming clubs, paying no more than £10 for tickets whilst re-connecting the club with it’s core, fan-led principles might not sound too bad.

This has been a horrible time for Bury – but the darkest hour is always just before the dawn. Hope will come again.


🔴 Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 🔴
FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 BET £20 & GET YOUR STAKE BACK AS CASH IF YOU LOSE! 🏆
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Money Back As Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Bet Loses + £10 Casino Bonus! 🟢
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.
Claim Bonus
Get up to £30 in FREE BETS! ☑️
New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.