Bury Expelled From EFL as Bolton Have 14 Days to Complete Takeover
Tuesday, 27th Aug 2019 23:42
Bury’s expulsion from the EFL was confirmed late this evening after their proposed takeover collapsed this afternoon prior to today's 5pm deadline, while Bolton Wanderers have been given another 14 days in which to find a resolution to their takeover’s ongoing impasse.
An EFL statement on the expulsion of Bury, the first club to be expelled since Maidstone's liquidation in 1992, reads: “Despite repeated requests to its owner Mr [Steve] 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 24th August 2019, the board agreed a short extension to 5pm today (Tuesday 27th August) 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interest provided to the EFL, the EFL board has unanimously determined with enormous regret that Bury’s membership be withdrawn.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.”
Debbie Jevans CBE, the EFL’s executive chair, said: “Today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the League’s recent history. The EFL has worked determinedly and tirelessly to avoid this outcome and it is with a heavy heart that this situation has been forced upon us.
“The EFL has to place the integrity of our competitions at the heart of every decision we make, and we simply cannot allow this unacceptable situation to continue or countenance the prospect of postponing further fixtures.
“I understand 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.
“No one wanted to be in this position but following repeated missed deadlines, the suspension of five League fixtures, in addition to not receiving the evidence we required in regard to financial commitments and a possible takeover not materialising; the EFL Board has been forced to take the most difficult of decisions.”
Bury’s expulsion means League One will now comprise of 23 teams this season with only three relegated. Town will have fixture free Saturdays on November 2nd, when the Shakers were due to visit Portman Road, and 28th March when the Blues were set to visit Gigg Lane.
Meanwhile, the EFL have given Bolton further time to conclude their takeover by Football Ventures which was close to being completed on Friday before collapsing on Saturday.
A statement on the EFL website reads: “Despite further exchanges with the administrators over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend, and right up until today’s deadline of 5pm, a resolution to ongoing impasse in negotiations regarding a completion of sale at Bolton Wanderers has not yet been found.
“The EFL board has therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal, which was issued as per the EFL’s insolvency policy when the club entered administration in May 2019.
“As per the League’s articles of association, this will now give the club 14 days (11.59pm on 12th September, 2019) to meet all outstanding requirements of the League’s insolvency policy or its membership in the EFL will be withdrawn.
“In respect of the situation at Bolton Wanderers, the administrators now have this period of time to successfully conclude a change of control with a preferred purchaser, or provide sufficient evidence that they are in a position to fund the club for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.”
Executive chair Jevans added: “Despite repeated assurances, we are extremely disappointed that we are still not in a position to reach a successful resolution with the sale of Bolton Wanderers and have therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal. I again urge all parties to finalise the proposed takeover.
“The reality of this action is that there are now 14 days to secure the club’s long-term future, and I sincerely hope we can find a way through these challenging circumstances for the benefit of all those who have an association with the club.”
A statement on behalf of Paul Appleton, Bolton's joint-administrator, reads: "We note the statement from the EFL lifting the notice of withdrawal of suspension and giving 14 days to find a solution and complete a deal for the sale of the club.
"All parties have been in continuous dialogue throughout the day and are working closely together this evening in order to bring a deal to completion. We will continue to work through the night if necessary. There will be a further update as soon as possible."
A previous statement from Appleton said that "the club is currently not in a position to carry on trading and, as such, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday", however, this is unlikely to begin while the current discussions are continuing.
If Bolton are unable to complete their takeover before the new deadline then they will join Bury in being expelled from the EFL and their results this season - including Town’s 5-0 win at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday - will be expunged.
Photo: Action Images
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