Bury fate rests on EFL decision after owner Steve Dale accepts takeover offer

23 August 2019, 18:51 | Updated: 24 August 2019, 12:55

Bury fans are facing an anxious weekend with the League One club waiting to see if the EFL grants an extension to help push through its sale.

Bury owner Steve Dale accepted a takeover offer from London-based consortium C&N; Sporting Risk late on Friday night.

With Bury under threat of liquidation and expulsion from the league, Dale had been given until 11.59pm to either provide proof he can fund the League One side this season, or hand it over to someone who can.

Shortly before the deadline, the EFL confirmed it had been notified of a bid from Rory Campbell and Henry Newman's C&N; Sporting Risk, which had been accepted by Dale.

The deal now requires EFL approval with SSN understanding a decision could be made on Saturday.

If C&N; Sporting Risk are deemed credible, the EFL could consider extending the deadline of the 'Notice to Withdraw Membership'. However, that would need to be completed within a window of 24-48 hours.

An EFL statement released on Friday night read: "We are currently in discussions with the potential purchaser and await information to allow the Board to consider a request for an extension to Friday's deadline."

Earlier on Friday night, Newman and Campbell confirmed they had submitted a bid for the club.

"We can confirm that over the past 10 weeks we have been in discussions with Bury FC, the EFL and others with a view to putting forward a proposal to buy the club," read a statement.

"It is a very complicated scenario and there remain a number of outstanding legal and other issues that have to be addressed.

"Our background is in football and data analytics and it should therefore not be surprising that we are taking a very detailed forensic look at the realities of Bury FC finances.

"A club like Bury ought to have a viable long-term future even if the short-term future is clearly very challenging. To that end, we have been in discussions with the EFL about an extension so that we can continue to explore the prospects for a purchase. We will be making no further comment at this stage."

Dale bought Bury for £1 in December after previous owner Stewart Day ran up huge debts following years of overspending at Gigg Lane.

Having initially claimed to buy Bury for "philanthropic" reasons, Dale put the 134-year-old club into administration this summer and engineered a debt repayment scheme.

The scheme, known as a company voluntary arrangement, would see creditors paid only 25 per cent of what they are owed, with him and his associates being the main beneficiaries.

His plan, however, depended on Bury being allowed to start the season - with a small squad and skeleton staff - and the English Football League handing over the club's share of its central income.

That, as desperate Bury fans are well aware, has not happened.

On Friday morning, Dale called on supporters and other interested parties to pledge a total of £2.7m to save the club.

Having previously greeted each EFL postponement of a Bury game - five league fixtures and an EFL Cup tie so far this season - with an angry statement on the club website, Dale announced he was willing to listen to offers for the club early last week.