Bury could be granted an extra 48 hours to avoid expulsion from the English Football League after it emerged four parties are interested in a takeover.
Owner Steve Dale has received four offers for the financially-threatened club, one of which has his backing, reports BBC Radio Manchester.
The club has until 23:59 BST on Friday to prove their financial viability.
"If something credible came through I'm sure the board would look at it," said EFL chief executive Debbie Jevans.
"We've already suspended five matches and those five matches will have to be fitted into the rest of the season.
"We could potentially look at 24 to 48 hours but two to three weeks is simply not possible." Jevans confirmed to BBC Radio Manchester the EFL was aware of parties who had shown an interest in the Shakers and had subsequently passed them on to Dale.
"Our position is that we are still searching and asking for the information that we require from Mr Dale to run the football club," added Jevans.
"Separate to that, we have received some communication from people interested in purchasing the football club and we have communicated that with Mr Dale and asked him whether or not we can share financial information, because it is privileged and he is still the owner.
"He has given permission for that so we have shared the information and put A in touch with B, so there are people that are interested."
Earlier this week, Dale turned down a fresh offer to buy the club, understood to be from former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite.
Bury's match against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday has already been postponed, the club's sixth successive fixture to be suspended.
A 'one-off' extension Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has written to Jevans asking for the EFL to show leniency towards the Shakers as they bid to avoid expulsion.
He also requested an urgent meeting with the EFL, the Football Association, Premier League, Professional Footballers' Association and "other local stakeholders" over the issue.
Referencing the respective financial situations at both Bolton Wanderers and Bury, Burnham said: "To lose either team through financial difficulties would be a real tragedy.
"Given the urgency of Bury's plight, I ask you to consider intervening on this occasion and granting the club a one-off extension based on an explicit agreement that new ownership would be actively sought and demonstrated."
The EFL have granted Bury Football Club an extension in order to complete a life-saving takeover after an 11th hour bid to save the club.
Things looked bleak for Bury who were on the verge of facing explosion from League One on Friday after the EFL set a Notice of Withdrawal deadline for 11:59pm.
The Shakers have already had four league games and a Carabao Cup tie suspended due to a lack of funds and faced the drastic outcome of being kicked out of the league until the EFL were alerted close to the deadline that an offer for the club had been accepted by owner Steve Dale.
Though the club has not yet been sold, Bury have been granted until 5pm on Tuesday, August 27 to complete the takeover, by C&N Sporting Risk.
Should the deal not be concluded by the new deadline that Bury will once again face having their share in the EFL withdrawn and membership to the league revoked. The full EFL statement is as follows: "Shortly before Friday’s 11.59pm Notice of Withdrawal deadline, the EFL received notification that an offer for the Club had been accepted and a request was submitted to extend for a further period in order to successfully conclude a sale. "The Board has fully considered the information that has been made available by C&N Sporting Risk and whilst no formal sale has been completed, despite reports to the contrary, enough credible information was presented to allow the Board to agree to work exclusively with the Club and C&N Sporting Risk over this Bank Holiday weekend in an attempt to finalise the change of control and achieve a positive outcome for Bury FC.
"The EFL Board, however, remains firmly of the view that the League cannot be in a position whereby any more of the Club’s 2019/20 fixtures will be suspended due to the integrity of the competition, the impact on other clubs in the League and therefore has stated that matters must be concluded by 5pm on Tuesday 27 August 2019. "If in the event a successful outcome is not achieved by this point, then Bury FC’s share in the EFL will be withdrawn and its membership in the League will come to an end."
Executive Chair Debbie Jevans, CBE, said: “The Board has considered the evidence presented and has determined, in a final effort to allow the Club the opportunity to survive, to grant an extension and work exclusively with the Club and C&N Sporting Risk to see if a takeover is possible.
“No one wants to see a Club lose its place in the League and we will now work with the potential purchasers over the weekend and ahead of the Tuesday deadline in an attempt to find the solutions required for a sale to take place.”
2002 – ITV Digital collapses. It is the rights holder for the Football League, having signed a multi-million pound deal that it ultimately couldn’t afford. Massive effect on clubs like Barnsley, Bradford, and Bury who are forced into administration. Bury also owe a £1m mortgage on the ground, at 15% interest, guaranteed by former chairman Hugh Eaves… who had run out of money after losing £20m shortly prior.
Forever Bury is formed to stop the club being liquidated. Their Save our Shakers campaign masterminded by Neville Neville stops the club from folding and eventually allows the club to exit administration. Bucket shakers! One of my earliest memories – £10 in the pot.
Bury jumps from local businessman to local businessman as chairman over the following years, and FB retains a major shareholding. A little-known goalkeeper called Kasper Schmeichel keeps Bury in the Football League at Notts County in 2007 and later calls it an experience more stressful than a Premier League title race. The community continues to pledge that we’d never end up in the same situation as 2002…
Cut to 2013: Bury is ‘hours away’ from folding. Stewart Day, a Burnley-based property developer, steps in and stops the club from going under. Stewart Day announces a 5 year plan for Championship football at Gigg Lane, including a 20,000-seater out-of-town stadium and hotel facilities. Thus begins the borrowing…
Like at the turn of the century, Stewart Day’s company, Mederco, takes out a £1m mortgage against the ground. Unlike Hugh Eaves, it’s at 138% interest, and the club itself acts as guarantor. This is just the start…
By the start of 2018, Stewart Day has invested millions through his company Mederco, and the club has a £2.2m mortgage on the ground. Of that £2.2m, 40% is never even seen by the club and goes to a still-ascertained third party.
Meanwhile, having signed the likes of Jermaine Beckford, Harry Bunn, and Chris Maguire on a last-ditch attempt to make his 5 year plan come true and ensure promotion to the Championship, Bury are relegated to League Two that season. County court judgements and winding up petitions continue to pile up, as they have throughout Day’s ownership, including 3 in quick succession throughout 2016.
In December 2018, Stewart Day runs out of money and quickly sells the club to a businessman called Steve Dale. Fans research Dale and realise his entire business history is that of asset stripping insolvent companies. He assures the public that he’s had a new lease of life since battling leukaemia and that he’s in it to rehabilitate kids on Carrington.
Early 2019: Stewart Day’s property empire, Mederco, collapses into administration, taking out the P2P lender Lendly with it. Bury Football Club reportedly owes it £7m in inter-company loans A Financial Times investigation follows. Meanwhile, staff start to report not having their wages paid since Dale took over, and the club has a winding up hearing adjourned brought by former player Chris Brass.
In May, Chris Brass reaches an agreement with Steve Dale to withdraw the WUP, however HMRC take over the petition. The winding up petition gets adjourned yet again on the basis that there are 3 credible parties ready to take over the club. Bury, with players still not being paid, win promotion to League One. With Dale’s promised bidders nowhere in sight, staff and players still aren’t being paid. Instead, at the end of June, he negotiates a CVA with the club’s creditors to pay them 25p in the pound, and full repayment for footballing creditors (the minimum under EFL regulations). The mortgage on the ground, now standing at £3.7m with interest accruing at a rate of £1,500 a day, is not part of this CVA.
The CVA is rejected, with a majority of creditors failing to pass it. Almost immediately, a claim is added to the CVA from a new company called RCR Holdings, who have bought the right to claim the £7.1m of Mederco debt from Mederco’s administrators. With the support of RCR, the CVA passes, and Bury FC are deducted 12 points for the upcoming 2019/2020 season.
Meanwhile, still not being paid, players and staff are starting to leave the club. Lowe goes to Plymouth, taking Mayor, Moore and Telford with him. Pre-season friendlies are farcical, with the one I attended at Nantwich naming a team sheet comprised almost entirely of trialists.
As August approaches, and with it the start of a new season, the EFL is still waiting for Steve Dale to provide proof he has the funds required to complete the season. He contends that a £1.5m credit facility has been made available to him, but the EFL wants to see the proof – which he cannot provide in an adequate manner. As such, they suspend the first game of the season, with Bury having a grand total of 5 or 6 contracted players.
Game after game is suspended, with no resolution in sight. The buyers that Steve Dale mentioned have vanished. Community groups and local MPs are trying to find and introduce buyers, to no avail. Eventually, the EFL activates the notice of expulsion, giving the Steve Dale 14 days (until Friday 23rd August) to prove he has the financial ability to complete the season, sell the club to someone who does, or face expulsion.
Two weeks come and go, with Bury FC being expelled from the Carabao Cup after failing to complete a tie against Sheffield Wednesday. Steve Dale clashes on TalkSport with Stephen Dawson, ex-club captain, who tells him he’s about to lose his house if Bury go under. Dale says he’s paid him, Dawson (and other players) correctly maintain that 50% of their wages for 2 months from the PFA doesn’t count as payment.
Steve Dale rejects a myriad of offers in this time, including from the ex-chairmen of Gateshead, Notts Forest, and Smurfwaite from Port Vale: hardly known for running clubs well.
Friday 9AM. Steve Dale starts a nationwide media tour instead of listening to offers. He starts trying to raise £2.7m from fans so that he can keep control of the club. He’s laughed out of the room, and by 2PM is telling everyone what a great job he’s done. At 7PM, he tells two prospective bidders and Forever Bury, who have been working with them, that he will be “the last chairman of Bury Football Club”.
Pandemonium, chaos, and panic at Gigg Lane. One of the bidders goes on Sky Sports News and goes public about Steve Dale’s threat to wind up the club. At 10PM, he texts every journalist in sight saying that he’s sold the club… and Forever Bury confirm that he’s accepted a bid. Pandemonium, chaos, and joy at Gigg Lane!
The new buyers, C&N Sports Management, comprise of Henry Newman (ex-Barnet coach) and Rory Campbell (Alistair’s son, analyst for sports and gambling) request an extension from the EFL in order to complete due diligence and get the deal over the line. The EFL gives them until Tuesday 5PM – 1 working day. C&N Sports Management indicate their frustration via a statement on Saturday, indicating their legal advisor was unavailable until Wednesday.
Sunday dawns, and Debbie Jevans stars her own media tour. She tells the Sportsman than an extension would be possible if the deal was 99% done, and tells Radio 5 Live half an hour later that the deadline was “definitive”.
Monday – when we’re recording this – there’s no news. As we record this, there’s less than 24 hours for a deal to be done, and no update on if it will be. Due diligence and agreeing the terms of sale and particulars takes weeks in any regular company, let alone football: fans and Forever Bury are quietly confident that a deal can be done. However, if it does get completed, then it will be an absolutely spectacular effort from the legal team to get it over the line in such a short space of time. At the club, people are preparing the stadium, volunteers are cleaning and painting, and tickets are being sold. Smurfwaite maybe – EFL regs? One way or another, we’ll know on Tuesday…
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, just 90 minutes before a league-set deadline for the deal to be completed.
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.
C&N, however, was disappointed not to be given more time and has now issued a statement to say it simply cannot proceed - a decision that leaves the 134-year-old club needing a miracle.
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.