Bury FC to fight for way back into EFL if season scrapped and annulled – EXCLUSIVE

Bury FC to fight for way back into EFL if season scrapped and annulled – EXCLUSIVE

Bury will look for a way back into the Football League if the current season is scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Shakers were expelled from League One in September without playing a match because they failed to provide proof of funds following Steve Dale’s takeover of the club.

However, many other sides now face financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis and the remainder of the League One and League Two campaigns look in major doubt.

If all previous results are voided, which is one of many potential outcomes, then Dale is hoping the EFL will start the season from afresh with Bury readmitted after alleging his club was treated unfairly.

“The EFL treated Bury FC in the most biased way I have seen in all my years of business; manipulation of the press. Bury was the brunt of it all whilst other clubs went unchallenged,” Dale told Express Sport.

“I have been collating all the information and documentation to take the EFL to court to address and we are ready to take it to the next level having now chosen our QC, then along came COVID-19 which has highlighted the precarious nature of dozens of clubs which vilifies our take on how biased our treatment was.

“The first cancelled game was wrong, they’re alleging we did not provide the funding.

“Their whole case was on a projected cash flow for the coming season, which we proved to be correct but they would not agree. The club was in its best position in many years, we had made the club sustainable.

“If the season is cancelled, we need to take action quickly and let the public see the truth and if there is justice we will be placed back in the league from whence we came.”

However whilst Dale is hoping to challenge the EFL decision, the case has already undergone an independent review which ruled: “The EFL gave Mr Dale as much opportunity as it reasonably could to find a willing purchaser/investor.

“When he was unable to find one, the EFL was powerless to help the club, and ultimately it had no choice but to expel the club from membership in order to protect the integrity of its competition and the interests of its other member clubs.”

Great Big Lockdown Survey: Tell us what life’s like for you by answering THESE questions

According to Dale Bury FC has launched an application to join the National League for the 2020/21 season.

But top sports lawyer David Seligman and supporter of Bury FC, of Brandsmith’s law firm, reckons the 1900 and 1903 FA Cup winners could have a strong claim to be reinstated in the EFL should the past nine months be declared void.

“As a fan we shouldn’t have been kicked out in the first place. As a lawyer we shouldn’t have been kicked out in the first place,” Seligman said.

“Do I think there will be a legal case to be added back in if the season is voided? Of course, as long as we can prove whatever financial things we need to prove going forwards.

“That will be a hell of a lot easier to prove because a lot of other clubs wouldn’t be able to prove cash flow etc. because they’ve had this hit.

“But that might be another reason why the EFL don’t want the season voided because of a legal challenge there.”

Express Sport contacted the EFL for comment and they insisted their stance has not changed since their previous update in September and point out that their decision had already been reviewed and upheld by law firm Bird & Bird.

They plan to restore the EFL to its full membership of 72 clubs for the 2020/21 campaign by reducing the amount of teams relegated from League Two to one.

Two sides will be promoted from the National League to make up the numbers.

Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 23:00:00 +0000