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Bury will not be readmitted to English Football League next season
26 September 2019, 20:26
The 71 member clubs of the English Football League have rejected a proposal to allow Bury back into League Two under new ownership for the 2020-21 season.
In a meeting on Thursday, the clubs also agreed to relegate just one side from League Two this year in order to restore the the number of teams in the EFL to 72.
Bury were expelled from the football league in August after failing to secure a deal in time with prospective owners C&N Sporting Risk.
The bid fell apart 90 minutes before before the deadline, with the organisation saying it was "unable to proceed" with the takeover.
A plan to give Bury "compassionate re-entry" to League Two was submitted to the EFL on Friday 20 September, however an EFL statement said "it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support".
Bury North MP James Frith chaired The Bury Rescue Board, hoping their plea would save the club who had been in the English Football League for 134 years.
However, and EFL statement confirmed the board's proposal "did not have the necessary support" from the 71 member clubs.
It read: "During today’s meeting, the EFL and its Member Clubs considered and debated a number of options, with all Clubs given the opportunity to air their views.
"The debate included consideration of the proposal submitted by the Bury FC Rescue Board for the Club to be admitted to League Two under new ownership in season 2020/21.
"Following in-depth discussions, it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support and that EFL Clubs favoured extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 Clubs now and for the future."
As a result, only one team will be relegated from League Two this season with two sides being promoted from the National League.
Meanwhile, three clubs will move down from League One at the end of the campaign with four clubs moving up to replace them.
EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans said: "While we are saddened that Bury FC is no longer part of the EFL, the board's difficult decision to withdraw membership was only taken after every opportunity to find a resolution was exhausted.
"Since then, in recognition of the efforts made on behalf of the club, the EFL has engaged with supporters' groups, shared their submissions with our members and debated at length the issues raised.
"Following the discussion today, clubs have established that the preferred direction of travel is to reduce relegation from League Two as a means of returning to 72 clubs.
"The clubs felt that, in a difficult situation, this approach maintains fairness for all members and upholds the principle of the football pyramid."
The two-time FA Cup winners will now need to apply to the Football Association for a place in non-league football.
James Frith MP said Thursday's decision was "devastating" and thanked those who had helped save the club.
Devastating to hear self-interest was served cold by many @EFL clubs today & their decision to relegate one less from L2 than admit Bury to League. Thank you to all those who spoke in support of it. I’m meeting @forever_bury and others now. Will make further statement later. #UTS pic.twitter.com/ckDQpA0BIw— James Frith MP (@JamesFrith) September 26, 2019