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A dark day for football as League One is reduced to 23 clubs as Bury are expelled from EFL

PUBLISHED: 08:31 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:31 28 August 2019

Bury have been expelled from the EFL. Picture: PA

Bury have been expelled from the EFL. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

League One will be comprised of just 23 teams this season after Bury were expelled from the EFL last night.

Bolton mascot Lofty the Lion (left) and Bury mascot Robbie the Bobby at Gigg Lane, Bury.Bolton mascot Lofty the Lion (left) and Bury mascot Robbie the Bobby at Gigg Lane, Bury.

The Shakers had been granted a deadline of 5pm yesterday for a takeover to be completed and secure the future of the club.

The club had previously had all six games suspended this season after failing to provide proof they could pay off creditors and had the funding to make it through the season, as they emerged from administration.

After weeks of uncertainty the proposed takeover by C&N Sporting Risk had offered hope of a reprieve, however the group's move broke down yesterday before the expulsion from the league was confirmed.

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Bury have been expelled from the EFL. Picture: PABury have been expelled from the EFL. Picture: PA

Bury are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Maidstone's liquidation in 1992.

In a statement last night, the EFL said the decision had been made 'with enormous regret' but had been done so after all other options were exhausted.

"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interest provided to the EFL, the EFL Board has unanimously determined with enormous regret that Bury's membership be withdrawn," the statement said.

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"The EFL Board had maintained that there could be no further suspensions to the fixture list and that these ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a significant factor in the decision.

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"Recent events have highlighted how decisions taken at Bury FC over the last few seasons have caused the Club and individuals close to it significant financial distress and there are a number of matters which, in our view, will require further investigation."

The EFL also last night removed the suspension of withdrawal notice previously placed on Bolton Wanderers, meaning the Trotters now have until September 12 to complete their protracted takeover or face expulsion from the league.

Bury's expulsion means League One will now include just 23 clubs, with the number of relegation places reduced from four to three.

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Four teams will be promoted from League Two as usual, while it's expected just one side will be relegated from the fourth tier.

The EFL have previously said Bury would be free to re-apply for a position lower down the football pyramid from next season, if the worst fears of expulsion were realised.

Ipswich Town were due to host Bury on November 2 and then visit Gigg Lane on March 28.

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