Bury could be SAVED as managers accept an offer for the club with a deal nearing completion, more than two years after being kicked out of the Football League.
- The administrators have reached an agreement with a group of fans for the sale of Bury FC
- The group Est 1885 could take over the keys to the stadium from December
- The 134-year-old club was expelled from the English Football League in 2019
- Bury were evicted after former owner Steve Dale failed to provide proof of funds
The administrators struck a deal to sell Bury and the club’s Gigg Lane land after a group of supporters stepped in to rescue the club.
Bury was kicked out of the Football League in August 2019 in a move that was expected to spell the end of the 134-year-old club.
Attempts have been made to negotiate a deal for the club since May 2021, but now manager Steven Wiseglass has revealed that a deal is nearing completion and could help save the club and the 12,000-capacity stadium.
Bury FC’s Gigg Lane gates were last closed after expulsion in August 2019
The expulsion was expected to be the end of the 134-year-old club but has been rescued.
A group of supporters called Est 1885 has reached an agreement to buy and save the club.
“We have accepted an offer to purchase the Gigg Lane Stadium and other assets, and we have agreed terms with the interested party,” said Wiseglass, director of Inquesta Corporate Recovery and Insolvency.
1885 – The club was founded on April 24 through a merger between two church teams, the Wesleyan Bury and the Unitarian Bury. Club leased a piece of land in Gigg Lane on the Earl of Derby estate.
1887-88 – Bury enters the FA Cup for the first time.
1889 – Bury becomes a founding member of the Lancashire League.
1892 – Clubs win the Lancashire Cup, beating Everton in the final. Before the game, it was reported that President JT Ingham had woken up the players saying: ‘We will shake them up. In fact, we are the Shakers! The 1892 Lancashire Cup was the first of 11 such titles that spanned 2017-18.
1894 – The Shakers are admitted to the Football League. They win the Second Division title in 1894-95 by nine points, earning promotion to the top flight.
1900 – Bury wins the FA Cup, defeating Southampton 4-0 in the final.
1903 – The club wins the FA Cup again, defeating Derby 6-0, without conceding goals throughout the tournament.
1925 – Bury ranks fourth in the First Division, the best result in history.
1929 – The club descends from the highest level and has not returned since.
1957 – Bury leaves the Second Division for the first time.
1971 – For the first time, Bury is relegated to the fourth level.
1997 – Two successive promotions under the leadership of Stan Ternent elevate Bury to the second level for the first time in 30 years.
2001-02 – Financial problems linked to ITV Digital’s collapse drive Bury into administration and close to its folding. The fans raise enough money for the club to survive.
2005 – Bury is the first club to score 1,000 goals in each of the four major leagues.
2012 – The Shakers have a transfer lien imposed on them after financial problems due to poor attendance.
2018-19 – Bury finished second in League Two to earn promotion. Entrepreneur Steve Dale purchases the club in December 2018 and pays an outstanding tax bill to avoid a liquidation order. But financial problems return in mid-2019.
“ We are hopeful that the agreement will be completed in a timely manner and will be an important step in securing the future of football at Gigg Lane.
“My hope has always been that Bury FC could be rescued and seek readmission into the pyramid system of football, and this now seems one step closer to becoming a reality.
“Until the sale is complete, we cannot comment further.”
A group of fans named Est 1885 have purchased Bury FC’s intellectual property, trade name, history and assets and are set to officially obtain the stadium keys starting in December.
‘This is a fantastic day for everyone who supports our beloved club,’ said a spokesperson for Est 1885 Sun.
“What has happened to us is well documented and we have always wanted Bury FC to play again at Gigg Lane.
Hopefully this is now the beginning of that process.
“There is a lot of work to be done and now we are going to be working so that the club is in a position to start the 2022-23 season after three years without playing football.”
On August 27, 2019, the EFL announced that the Shakers, two-time FA Cup winners, had become the first team since 1992 to be kicked out of competition under controversial owner Steve Dale.
Bury had been given until 5 p.m. to show that Dale had the funds to pay off creditors and finance the remainder of the season or complete a sale to C&N Sporting Risk Group.
However, the proposed deal collapsed 90 minutes before the deadline and, after a lengthy board meeting and despite a series of late offers, the League One team was expelled.
Bury had been promoted the previous term, but was unable to play a single game that season. Giving their reasons for the surprising move, the EFL said they were unable to make further suspensions to the match list, adding that “ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a major factor in the decision.”
Dale tried to get the club into the National League for the 2020-21 season, but the FA blocked the move as they were still not satisfied with Bury’s financial situation.
And after failing to keep up with a CVA settlement on debt totaling several million pounds, the club was put into management last November.
Meanwhile, a new Bury appeared as Bury AFC, a fan-owned Phoenix club hoping to follow in the footsteps of AFC Wimbledon.
Nearly 500 fans are enrolled in a community benefit society that owns the club and plays in Division One North of the Northwest Counties League, the 10th tier of English football, a step well short of Bury’s heyday.
But as the original club, Bury FC, under fan ownership, it is expected to be placed in a higher division, probably the National League North or the Premier League North.