It is first and foremost for the supporters of Bury Football Club to decide its future, but we as a group of organisations want to assist them in saving Bury FC as an English Football League (EFL) club.
We accept that the EFL has had to take action given the mismanagement that has brought Bury FC to this position. However we believe the expulsion and proposed readmittance several levels below its current league is unduly harsh, particularly on the supporters who have done nothing more than back their club through thick and thin.
Such a sanction would put the future of the club into severe doubt, and set a dangerous precedent for the many other clubs who might find themselves in a similar situation.
We believe it is time to put forward a fair resolution that the club, the town and the wider game can unite around.
We are establishing a working group to develop a proposal to the Football League that would allow Bury to be admitted to Sky Bet League Two for the start of the 2020/21 season, subject to the submission of a credible plan to rebuild Bury FC before the end of this year.
First, we will work to develop a clear proposal to the Football League, by Friday 20 September, that will allow us the opportunity to work towards re-entry to League Two.
Second, if the EFL agree to that proposal, we will then work on a credible plan to rebuild the club, which all signatories to this statement will feel able to endorse.
Third, if that credible plan fails to emerge within the deadline then we accept the league’s right to impose their original decision.
We are pleased that Steve Dale has agreed to give us a short period of time to identify a suitable new owner for the club – we ask in good faith that the current owner allows us the opportunity to take forward this proposal.
To give the EFL confidence in the process, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Bury Council will work together to provide the necessary external challenge to ensure any proposal is financially viable and can deliver stability for both the club and the league in the long term.
We firmly believe it is better to work to save Bury FC as a trading entity rather than the club be forced to start again from scratch next season.
This statement has the full support of the following organisations: Supporters’ society Forever Bury, James Frith MP for Bury North, Ivan Lewis MP for Bury South, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Bury Council.