James at Bury FC
James at Bury FC

Updated 30th September 2019

Click here for the statement agreed by me, Forever Bury, Mayor Andy Burnham, Ivan Lewis MP, GMCA and Bury Council following our meeting on 2nd September

I have been in regular contact with the owner, with fans, with the English Football League, with Bury Council, with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, with fellow MPs and with many others since the crisis at Bury FC began.

I pulled together a Rescue Board of all interested parties to discuss the best way forward to rescue the club and put it on a solid footing going forward into the future.

I have made clear to Steve Dale that the club needs new ownership and urged him to proceed with a sale to a suitable party, who we will have the chance to scrutinise beforehand. I have been in direct conversation with a number of prospective buyers.

I met Nigel Adams MP, Minister for Sport, on 9th September to seek his support for our efforts. And following the agreement of the Sport Select Committee to my request to hold an inquiry into the situation at Bury FC, I’ve asked that they hold an evidence session in Bury to hear directly from local stakeholders and fans.

It is clear that we are united behind one aim; that Bury FC and football at Gigg must survive. The hundreds I’ve spoken with since the decision to expel us has confirmed this. And why we must now unite behind a bid backed by the community, with new ownership, to the EFL and the FA following work we must now complete.

Despite the distressing news that the EFL will not permit our re-entry to League 2 next season, our single aim remains; to keep Bury Football Club alive with football at Gigg Lane.

Following the last Rescue Board meeting on 27th September, which included the Forever Bury board and Mayor Andy Burnham, I can provide the following update:

It was agreed that we will enlist the support of the FA with national meetings with them in the next fortnight, and apply for National League football for the 2020/21 season. This effort builds on our success to agree new ownership with the current owner, our commitment to securing the ground and a club rebuild plan which we will present in the coming weeks. The active credible bidders remain active and credible and we’ve still all we need to get this done.

For those asking – the winding up order is for the current owner to address but none of the above is prohibited by this and though whilst there are no guarantees (liquidation remains a possible threat as it always has) there is faith in the process involving the FA as a next and ultimate next step for our future. In a timely fashion.

Legal threats are not for now. And nor is the occupation of a Phoenix club or suggestions of a council magic money tree to buy the debt on the ground.

We can confirm though that the ground is protected as an Asset of Community Value. And that the Mayor of Greater Manchester today (27th September) passed an emergency motion to support all of the above. Our efforts continue to have the support of all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Bury FC only dies if we walk away and we’re not walking away.

We keep the faith and we keep going.


James with Shakers fans
James with Shakers fans

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