London: Historic football club Bury on Tuesday became the first team to be expelled from the English Football League in over two decades.
The two-time FA Cup winners, who only a few months ago were celebrating promotion to the third tier, lost all hope of salvation when a takeover bid collapsed shortly before the deadline.
The club from northwest England are the first club to be expelled from the league — comprising all the divisions below the top-tier Premier League — since Maidstone United in 1992.
Bury’s historic rivals Bolton — one of the founders of the Football League but who have been in administration since May — won some breathing space on Tuesday when they were given 14 days to find a buyer.
For Bury, though, the bell has tolled on their time in the Football League, ending over 100 years of participation which yielded two FA Cups and produced players like former Manchester City and England great Colin Bell.
“Today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the league’s recent history,” said EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans.
“I understand this will be a deeply upsetting and devastating time for Bury’s players, staff, supporters and the wider community.”
Four-time FA Cup winners Bolton, who were in the Premier League as recently as the 2011-2012 season, have been given more time to try and sort out the proposed takeover by a company called Football Ventures (Whites) Limited.
“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,” sad Jevans.
“I again urge all parties to finalise the proposed takeover.”