Bury chairman Dale appeals for club’s reinstatement to Football League

Bury chairman Steve Dale has appealed to Football League clubs to vote for the Shakers’ reinstatement, insisting the club “is a victim, not a villain”.

The 71 members will convene for a regular clubs meeting on Thursday, with one of the items on the agenda understood to be a vote on how the EFL will look for the 2020-21 season.

One of the options available is to readmit Bury, who were expelled from the league last month after the collapse of a takeover bid.

At that point, the club had already had their opening five matches of the season suspended due to their failure to provide documentation showing they had the funds to see out the campaign.

A statement from Dale on the Bury website, titled ‘Request to our former fellow clubs’, read: “We would ask before you send in your votes, for our reinstatement to our former position in the EFL this Thursday, to consider your own circumstances, and then give a thought to what has happened to Bury FC.

“Bury Football Club is a victim, not a villain, so why was it treated so unjustly?”

A letter from the Bury Rescue Board to the EFL last week explained the Shakers were seeking “compassionate re-entry” to the league. The Rescue Board is chaired by James Frith, MP for Bury North.

The submission included a commitment to sell the club from Dale, who signed a separate supporting document, as well as confirmation of active bidders.

Messages from supporters are placed on a fence outside Gigg Lane
Messages from supporters are placed on a fence outside Gigg Lane (Dave Howarth/PA).

Dale, a deeply unpopular figure with Bury fans, said in Tuesday’s statement that the club had received “a lot of unjust vitriol”, which they have not be able to respond to publicly for legal reasons.

However, he said fans and other clubs would be “shocked at the injustice Bury has suffered”.

His statement continued: “We would not wish on anyone what we have been through and steps need to be taken to ensure that this can never happen to any of our fellow clubs again. It is unjust and wrong.

“Even through all our difficulties, we never took action against our fellow clubs for monies owed to us, and believe us when we say we needed it, but fellow clubs in our position need help and solidarity from fellow clubs, not writs.

The closed superstore at Bury's Gigg Lane stadium
The closed superstore at Bury’s Gigg Lane stadium (Dave Howarth/PA).

“There is a lot to address in our great sport to prevent injustice. A fairer slice of the pie to the lower leagues will help that before the TV rights disappear and there is no pot to help them.

“A body set up with people on the board who have been through tough times and indeed insolvency and specialists for advice, so clubs can go to them without retribution or being made public. And believe us when we say there are many clubs in need of help.”

Dale urged the other clubs to give them “time to allow us to put the facts forward as they unfold”.

“Believe us when we say it would leave little doubt to reinstatement,” he said.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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