In sad news for fans of Bury FC, and football in general, the club has now officially been expelled from the Football League.
The news broke last night, after a takeover deal to rescue the club fell through at the last minute. C&N Sporting Risk, who were looking to take over the League One side, confirmed they had pulled out.
While the Shakers become the first side to drop out of the EFL since Maidstone resigned in 1992, they’re also the first team to be kicked out of the Football League since Leeds City in 1919 - who came back that same year as Leeds United.
Owner Steve Dale has come under fire from fans for failing to get a deal done, and essentially leaving the 134-year-old club to face liquidation.
Shockingly, 43 of the 51 businesses Dale has been associated with have been liquidated, and he took over Bury from previous owner Stewart Day without EFL approval, paying just £1 for the club.
Before their expulsion, Dale said he was ‘tired of being blamed’ for the club’s demise. Trying to shift blame away from himself, he told the BBC:
It's disappointing obviously but everyone who has come to the table looks at the debts at the club from Stewart Day's era and the deal collapses. [C&N Sporting Risk] came forward and they wanted to get the deal done. They couldn't get anything done on the stadium. Without a stadium, they couldn't continue. As you know the loan on the stadium was taken out two years ago way before my time. What I'm getting tired of is me being blamed for it.
While that may be true, it’s his attitude in another interview with Radio 5 Live that has really angered fans, as Dale showed his total disregard for Bury FC and the local community.
Over the weekend he said:
I never went to Bury, it was not a place I frequented. For me to walk away from Bury and never go back is a very easy thing to do. I don’t do anything up there, I didn’t even know there was a team up there to be honest with you. I’m not a football fan.
Before that he commented on the fans’ passion for the club, sounding almost shocked about how much Bury meant to people: “I think it’s fantastic that they are that passionate. But what they need to do is temper it, and not be silly and not show themselves up by disgraceful behaviour when they're full of beer.”
🔵⚪ The Club are taking stock of recent developments and will update supporters with regards to season ticket refunds as soon as we can, please give us time to take all this in... pic.twitter.com/moEMexwLB5— Bury Football Club (@buryfcofficial) August 28, 2019
And so ends the 134-year journey of Bury FC, 125 of which were spent in the Football League, where they won two FA Cups, numerous division titles, as well as holding the record as the only club to score 1,000 goals in all four English divisions.
Hopefully a solution can be found for Bolton Wanderers quickly, so another Greater Manchester community doesn’t have to go through the same heartbreak.