Bury expelled from EFL, Bolton given 14-day reprieve
The English Football League has given Bolton Wanderers a fortnight to secure their long-term future, but has kicked Bury out.
Bury have been expelled from the English Football League (EFL) after a takeover bid collapsed, while Bolton Wanderers have been given a 14-day extension to avoid the same fate.
The EFL said on Saturday a takeover for Bury needed to take place by 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT), or their membership of the league would be withdrawn.
Analytics company C&N Sporting Risk pulled out of a deal to buy Bury earlier on Tuesday following a period of due diligence.
A statement on the EFL website read: "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interest provided to the EFL, the EFL board has unanimously determined with enormous regret that Bury's membership be withdrawn."
Fellow League One side Bolton, meanwhile, have been given until September 12 to "meet all outstanding requirements of the League's insolvency policy or its membership in the EFL will be withdrawn."
Bury have had all of their competitive fixtures postponed since winning promotion from League Two last season, with off-the-field troubles causing significant problems.
Just received the news. Absolutely devastated for everyone . My thoughts go out to all the fans . Who i have developed a special bond with. Still can’t believe it. it’s best I hold my tongue at this moment . Thank you to everyone and thank you for the memories Bury FC pic.twitter.com/2ElUf8cq0z— neil danns (@dannzy1) August 27, 2019
In its statement, the EFL said 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."
It also confirmed League One will now comprise of 23 clubs for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign and relegation places would be reduced from four to three.
EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans 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.
"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."
A deal to buy Bolton collapsed over the weekend, leading to joint administrator Paul Appleton saying "the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday" if the involved parties did not find a compromise.
The EFL, however, have said they now have two weeks to "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."
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."
Bolton's administrators released a short statement saying: "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."
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