BURY, England (AP) - Bury, one of the oldest clubs in English soccer, has been expelled from the Football League after 125 years of membership following its failure to find a new owner.
The club from Greater Manchester had until Tuesday to provide evidence to the English Football League that it could meet its financial commitments, but was unable to after a takeover bid collapsed.
The EFL said that “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interest provided to the EFL, the EFL board has unanimously determined with enormous regret that Bury’s membership be withdrawn.”
Bury is the first Football League club to be kicked out since Maidstone in 1992.
The team has been unable to play any of its first five games in the third-tier League One this season.
League One will now comprise 23 teams for the remainder of the season and the number of relegation places will be reduced to three instead of four.
Debbie Jevans, executive chair of the EFL, said “today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the league’s recent history” but added that the EFL “has to place the integrity of our competitions at the heart of every decision we make.”
Bury was founded in 1885, joined the Football League in 1894, and has won the FA Cup twice.
Meanwhile, administrators running another financially stricken northwest team, Bolton Wanderers, have been given 14 days to either sell the club or prove they can fund them for the rest of the season.
Otherwise, the EFL said Bolton’s membership will also be withdrawn.
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