Bury could be SAVED as administrators accept an offer for the club

Bury could be SAVED as administrators accept an offer for the club with deal nearing completion – more than two years on from being kicked out of the Football League

  • Administrators have struck a deal with a group of fans for the sale of Bury FC
  • The group Est 1885 could get the keys to the stadium as early as December
  • The 134-year-old club were expelled from the English Football League in 2019
  • Bury were expelled after ex-owner Steve Dale failed to provide proof of funds

Administrators have struck a deal for the sale of Bury and the club’s Gigg Lane ground after a group of supporters step in to rescue the club.

Bury were expelled from the Football League in August 2019 in a move that was expected to spell the end for the 134-year-old club. 

A deal for the club has been attempted to be brokered since May 2021 but now administrator Steven Wiseglass has revealed a deal is nearing completion that could help save the club and the 12,000-capacity stadium.

Bury FC’s Gigg Lane gates were locked for the last time following expulsion in August 2019

The expulsion was expected to be the end of the 134-year-old club but it has been rescued 

A group of supporters named Est 1885 have struck a deal to buy and save the club 

‘We have accepted an offer to purchase the Gigg Lane stadium and other assets, and have agreed heads of terms with the interested party,’ said Wiseglass, director at Inquesta Corporate Recovery and Insolvency.

BURY TIMELINE 

1885 – Club is founded on April 24 through a merger between two church teams, the Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians. Club leased plot of land on Gigg Lane on Earl of Derby’s estate. 

1887-88 – Bury enter the FA Cup for the first time.

1889 – Bury become foundation members of the Lancashire League. 

1892 – The clubs wins the Lancashire Cup, beating Everton in the final. Before the match, chairman JT Ingham was reported to have roused the players by saying: ‘We shall shake ’em. In fact, we are the Shakers!’ The 1892 Lancashire Cup was the first of 11 such titles stretching to 2017-18.

1894 – The Shakers are admitted to the Football League. They win the Second Division title in 1894-95 by nine points, gaining promotion to the top tier.

1900 – Bury win the FA Cup, beating Southampton 4-0 in the final.

1903 – Club wins FA Cup again, downing Derby 6-0, having conceded no goals throughout the tournament.

1925 – Bury come fourth in the First Division –  highest-ever top tier finish.

1929 – The club is relegated from the top level, and have not returned since.

1957 – Bury drop out of the Second Division for the first time.

1971 – For the first time, Bury are relegated to the fourth tier.

1997 – Two successive promotions under manager Stan Ternent lift Bury to the second tier for the first time in 30 years.

2001-02 – Financial problems linked to the collapse of ITV Digital take Bury into administration and close to folding. Supporters raises enough money for the club to survive.

2005 – Bury are first club to score 1,000 goals in each of top four leagues.

2012 – The Shakers have a transfer embargo placed on them after financial trouble due to poor attendances.

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2018-19  Bury finish second in League Two to win promotion. Businessman Steve Dale buys the club in December 2018 and pays an outstanding tax bill to avoid a winding-up order. But financial trouble returns in mid-2019.

‘We remain hopeful that the deal will be completed in a timely fashion and will be a major step towards securing the future of football at Gigg Lane.

‘My hope has always been that Bury FC could be rescued and seek readmission to the football pyramid system, and this now seems a step closer to becoming a reality.

‘Until the sale is completed, we are unable to make any further comment.’

A fan group called Est 1885 has bought the intellectual property of Bury FC, trading name, history and assets and are set to officially get the keys to the stadium as early as December.

‘This is a fantastic day for everyone who supports our beloved club,’ a spokesman for Est 1885 told The Sun.

‘What has happened to us has been well documented and we’ve always wanted to get Bury FC playing again at Gigg Lane.

‘This is now hopefully the start of that process.

‘There is a lot of work to do and we’re now going to be working on getting the club into a position to start the 2022-23 season after three years of not playing football.’

On August 27 in 2019,  the EFL announced that the Shakers, twice winners of the FA Cup had become the first outfit since 1992 to be thrown out of the competition under controversial owner Steve Dale.

Bury had been given until 5pm to show that Dale had the funds to pay off creditors and fund the rest of the season or complete a sale to the C&N Sporting Risk Group. 

However, the proposed deal collapsed 90 minutes before the deadline and, following a lengthy board meeting and despite a flurry of late offers, the League One outfit was expelled.

Bury had been promoted the previous term but had failed to play a single fixture that season. In giving their reasons for the stunning move, the EFL said that they were unable to make any further suspensions to the fixture list and added that ‘ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a significant factor in the decision’.

Dale attempted to get the club admitted into the National League for the 2020-21 season but the FA blocked the move as they were still unsatisfied with Bury’s financial situation. 

And after failing to keep up to date with a CVA arrangement on a debt totalling several million pounds, the club was placed in administration last November.

Meanwhile, a new Bury popped up as Bury AFC a fan-owned phoenix club hoped to follow in the footsteps of AFC Wimbledon. 

Almost 500 supporters signed up to a community benefit society that owns the club and they play in the North West Counties League Division One North, the tenth tier of English football – a far step down from Bury’s heyday. 

But as the original club, Bury FC, under the fan-based ownership, are expected to be placed in a higher division, likely the National League North or Northern Premier League. 




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