Bury’s fate is sealed as EFL clubs reject a proposed return next season

Bury defeated Morecambe twice last season on their way to promotion
Bury defeated Morecambe twice last season on their way to promotion

Bury’s bid to be readmitted to the EFL as a League Two club under new ownership next season has been rejected.

The Shakers were expelled from League One following the postponement of their first five fixtures after they were unable to provide proof that they had the finances in place to see out the campaign.

The Bury FC Rescue Board, chaired by Bury North MP James Frith, had been working to bring an end to current owner Steve Dale’s reign and had issued a plea ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the remaining 71 EFL clubs to consider their return.

Their hopes were dashed as members opted for a plan to relegate three clubs from League One and one from the fourth tier this season.

An EFL statement said: “During today’s meeting, the EFL and its member clubs considered and debated a number of options, with all clubs given the opportunity to air their views.

“The debate included consideration of the proposal submitted by the Bury FC Rescue Board for the club to be admitted to League Two under new ownership in season 2020/21.

“Following in-depth discussions, it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support and that EFL clubs favoured extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 clubs now and for the future.”

The EFL’s executive chair Debbie Jevans added: “While we are saddened that Bury FC is no longer part of the EFL, the board’s difficult decision to withdraw membership was only taken after every opportunity to find a resolution was exhausted.

“Since then, in recognition of the efforts made on behalf of the club, the EFL has engaged with supporters’ groups, shared their submissions with our members and debated at length the issues raised.

“Following the discussion today, clubs have established that the preferred direction of travel is to reduce relegation from League Two as a means of returning to 72 clubs.

“The clubs felt that, in a difficult situation, this approach maintains fairness for all members and upholds the principle of the football pyramid.”