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Bury on brink of expulsion from English Football League as deal falls through

Gigg Lane, home of Bury Football Club. Credit: PA

Bury are now almost certain to be expelled from the English Football League after a proposed takeover by C&N Sporting Risk has fallen through.

The data analytics company which was attempting to buy Bury Football Club has said they are "unable to proceed" with the proposed takeover.

In a statement, C&N said:

We are grateful to the EFL for the short extension they granted to us so that we could continue with due diligence, and for their acceptance of our proof of funds capable of mounting a credible takeover. This has been worked on around the clock by our team and advisors for the past 72 hours.

As part of our due diligence, we set ourselves a list of key criteria regarding the CVA, the ground and the overall financial state of the club that had to be met in order for us to be satisfied that we have enough knowledge to proceed with the takeover. The complexities involved in each of these matters escalated and continue to do so.

It is therefore with regret that we have decided not to proceed with the takeover of Bury FC. This decision has not been taken lightly.

We fully understand the importance of the club to the community and it is with this in mind that we have informed the EFL of our decision at the earliest possible opportunity.

– C&N

The news Bury had dreaded came with less than 90 minutes remaining before the EFL's deadline.

In a statement, The EFL said:

The League announced at the weekend that it was working exclusively with the Club and C&N in an attempt to finalise a change of control at the Club.

However, following a period of due diligence, C&N have opted not to progress matters.

The League continues to be in discussions with Bury FC in advance of today’s 5pm deadline and will provide a further update as appropriate.

– EFL
Bury FC Credit: PA

The League One club's owner Steve Dale was originally given until midnight on Friday to prove he could pay off Bury's debts and fund the next two seasons or find someone who could.

Two hours before that deadline expired, Dale told reporters he had sold the club to C&N, a London-based sports analytics company set up by former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell's son Rory Campbell and former Barnet caretaker manager Henry Newman, who met while scouting for West Ham.

This seemed to be the rescue Bury fans had been praying for and on Saturday morning the EFL extended its deadline until 5pm on Tuesday to give Dale and C&N more time to complete the deal.

In a statement, Bury Football Club sympathised with fans but said they are working hard to look at other potential avenues.

We understand that this is a difficult and emotional time for all supporters given the recent news regarding a potential takeover.

While the Club are working hard looking at other potential avenues with other interested parties, we would like to remind supporters that no one should gain access to inside the stadium (unless authorised).

– Bury FC

Around 300 fans turned up to Gigg Lane on Tuesday to clean up the stadium in hope it would be ready for Saturday's fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

  • Sports Reporter Chris Hall has this report:

Elsewhere, Bolton Wanderers are still trying to beat the 5pm deadline to ensure they can continue.

A number of parties are interested in purchasing the Trotters but a deal with Football Ventures collapsed over the weekend when it looked close to completion.

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