Bury FC, one of England’s oldest football clubs, has been expelled from the Football League after 125 years of membership.
The EFL Board cited the concerns over the integrity of the competition and continued the fixture suspensions as being a ‘significant factor’ in the decision.
The Football Association also confirmed that following the suspension, the club won’t be allowed to compete in this season’s FA Cup competition.
The news comes after data analytics company C&N Sporting Risk pulled out of a deal to buy the club from owner Steve Dale shortly before yesterday’s 5pm deadline.
As a result, League One will now be competed by 23 teams for the rest of the season, with the number of relegation places to League Two also being reduced from four teams to three.
A statement released by the EFL read: “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and, after a long and detailed discussion, determined that Bury FC’s membership of the English Football League be withdrawn after the deadline passed at 5pm today (Tuesday, August 27) without a successful resolution.
“Despite repeated requests to its owner, Mr Dale, over a sustained period of time, the necessary evidence in respect of how the club would meet its financial commitments, has simply not been provided and, as a result, attentions turned to securing new ownership at the club.
“At its meeting on August 24, 2019, the board agreed a short extension to 5pm today (Tuesday, August 27) to enable Mr Dale and the club to explore the possibility of a proposed sale with C&N Sporting Risk Limited, with Mr Dale having accepted their offer. Following due diligence, C&N Sporting Risk Limited opted not to pursue its interest.
“Therefore, having fully considered all available options, including a number of late expressions of interest provided to the EFL, the EFL Board has unanimously determined with enormous regret that Bury’s membership be withdrawn.
“The EFL Board had maintained that there could be no further suspensions to the fixture list and that these ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a significant factor in the decision.
“Recent events have highlighted how decisions taken at Bury FC over the last few seasons have caused the club and individuals close to it significant financial distress and there are a number of matters which, in our view, will require further investigation.
“League One will now comprise of 23 clubs for the remainder of the campaign and relegation places in the division reduced to three, which will result in a full complement of 24 clubs in 2020/21. A discussion will take place with EFL clubs on the consequential impact in League Two when clubs next meet in September 2019.”