Bury FC have been expelled from the English Football League (EFL) after a proposed takeover bid fell through at the last minute, leaving the club unable to meet the deadline set by the English Football League.
With just 90 minutes to go, the proposed takeover from C&N Sporting Risk fell through, with the firm being “unable to proceed”, leaving the Lancashire-based club in ruins.
The club had until 5pm (6pm GMT+2) to prove to the English Football League that a deal was being done or else to provide adequate reasons for having an extension, otherwise they would be kicked out of the league after being participants for 134 years.
Due to them not meeting the deadline, they have become the first club to be expelled from the league since 1992, with the last club to have this done to them being Maidstone United.
Whilst such situations have become common in European football, mainly in Italy, with clubs like Parma Calcio 1913 and Palermo FC, yet with the growing amount of money in English football, this is awfully strange to see.
The EFL executive chair, Debbie Jevans, called the day of Bury’s expulsion “one of the darkest days in the League’s recent history”.
She also said that she understands that “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.”
Fans of the club and also rival supporters tried to help the club in the best way that they could on Tuesday, volunteering to clean up the stadium and prepare it for their last ever matchday in the league, lowering the expenses of the club.
However, it all proved to be too much, as the two-time FA Cup winners had their license for the EFL withdrawn.
Bury are yet to play a game this season, after being docked 12 points in League One, after they were placed in administration by current owner Steve Dale, who had managed to purchase the club for just £1 in December, proposing that he would invest in the club, yet he did anything but that.
Bury FC are not the only club facing a turbulent time in the EFL, with fellow League One side, Bolton Wanderers, also having ownership problems, but unlike Bury, they have been granted a 14-day extension to try and avoid expulsion.
However, Bolton are yet to have a takeover actually go through, and could be facing a fate similar to that of Bury.
In recent years, there have been several other clubs that have struggled with administration and other financial problems, such as Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, and also Southend United, all struggling to pay any sort of wages to their staff.
Shockingly, Bury FC are just 24 kilometres away from both Manchester United and Manchester City, two of the richest football clubs in the world, with the former having one of the best marketing setups in football, and the latter having one of the wealthiest groups as owners.
Many have raised the question over whether such Premier League clubs should have helped Bury in this difficult situation, yet they are not obliged to do so.
Something that can never be questioned is the fact that there is a huge gap in funds between the top two tiers of English football and the other levels. Whilst the Premier League benefits from £5.1 billion in TV rights deals over three years, EFL clubs only have £595 million over five years. With this figure already being shared between 72 clubs, and the majority of the funds going towards EFL Championship sides, teams in League One and League Two are left to suffer as a result.
Unless something changes in the way money is distributed along the football pyramid, several English clubs will continue to suffer, with some limping on and others ending up in the same manner as Bury, whilst the rich only continue to get richer.