It's looking testy for League One football clubs Bury FC and Bolton Wanderers as they face possible expulsion from the Football League.
Bury very nearly had a reprieve on Friday evening when a last-minute takeover deal was offered by C&N Sporting Risk, allowing the EFL to offer an extended window for the club to resolve its situation until 5pm today. However, shortly before 4pm this afternoon, C&N Sporting Risk made the following announcement:
“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.
“It is therefore with regret that we will be unable 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.”
This leaves fans heartbroken and The Shakers in an untenable position, with the EFL making the following announcement shortly after:
The EFL Board has been informed that C&N Sporting Risk will no longer be pursuing their interest in Bury FC.
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.
With less than an hour to go until the 5pm deadline, it remains to be seen whether the EFL will offer a further extension to Bury FC before making a decision to expel the club from the League.
And it's not just Bury FC facing liquidation as an administrator for Bolton Wanderers announced that this club is also threatened with expulsion from the League. However, the Bolton News reports that discussions about the takeover of Bolton Wanderers by Football Ventures are still looking optimistic, and that this club at least may still have a shot at financial resolution. Given that a decision is unlikely to be reached by 5pm today however, the EFL is expected to issue a 14 day extension to prove that they are able to fund the 2019/ 2020 campaign.
Will Bury FC be offered a further extension? We kinda hope so - having been around since 1885, it seems churlish at best to refuse this desperate club another 2 week shot at resolution.
For now, our thoughts are with Bury & Bolton fans - we hope your clubs are still around for another 100+ years to come!
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