Bury Supporters Groups agree exclusivity to buy Bury FC and Gigg Lane stadium
Bury FC fans have never stopped hoping
An association of Bury Supporters Groups and Bury-supporting Benefactors have today signed a "Head of Terms" agreement for exclusivity to buy Bury FC and the Gigg Lane stadium.
In August 2019, it became clear that Bury FC were in trouble, facing expulsion from the Football League.
Owner Steve Dale had missed a series of deadlines to either provide the EFL with evidence of the club's financial viability or conclude a sale. Patience had run thin and eventually ran out when a proposed sale to C&N Sporting Risk collapsed.
After 125 years of continued membership, an EFL board stripped Bury of their Football League status - plunging the fanbase and local community into new depths of uncertainty.
The club - or the shell that remained - finally entered administration in November 2020, over a year on from their ejection from the Football League. Then came the news that Gigg Lane, two years on from hosting its last competitive game, had been put up for sale by the administrator.
Despite this, and all of the pain caused, the love and support for Bury FC has never stopped.
Pickup - one of a band of supporters behind Est. 1885, a movement also comprising of legal experts, former club directors and local business owners - have continuously worked alongside Forever Bury, the supporters' trust, as they seek to unite the club's fans as part of a bid to return Bury FC to Gigg Lane.
"For me personally, I'll just lose interest in football."
It's the first Saturday of the Football League season but Bury won't be in action. We spoke to fans about the threat to the club's existence. pic.twitter.com/7IkfZx2CU2
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) August 3, 2019
On Friday (22 October), news broke that an association of Bury Supporters Groups and Bury-supporting Benefactors had agreed a deal for exclusivity to buy Bury FC, as well as the Gigg Lane stadium.
The process - which is expected to take up to 2 months to complete - will allow them to begin the process of working with the FA on re-insertion of Bury FC into the footballing pyramid for the start of the 2022/23 season.
Est. 1885 have released a statement updating their fellow supporters on the situation.
The statement read: "We are pleased to announce that an association of Bury Supporters Groups and Bury-supporting Benefactors have today signed a “Head of Terms” agreement for exclusivity to buy Bury F.C. (all memorabilia and intellectual property including trademarks) and the Gigg Lane stadium.
"The process to completion is expected to take up to 2 months, which is standard for this kind of transaction.
"During the due-diligence process, we will formalise our previously-stated intention for the club and ground to be held by an organisation that is and will always be majority fan-owned, democratic and debt free.
"It will also be a platform for capital influx to Bury, and the current bid includes funds from overseas and a pending application from the UK Government.
"We were happy to see that the Bury Council-sponsored Site Options Appraisal Report showed that the Gigg Lane site had merit for football in Bury, and would be suitable for improvements in a phased approach over time.
"We believe we can achieve much of what is needed in the short to medium term with grants, donations and volunteers, again keeping the club debt-free and enabling funds to be funneled-back into the team.
"This would also allow us to make Gigg Lane a multi-use community asset that we can all be proud of, and hopefully a platform for unification of all football in Bury.
"This agreement also allows us to begin the process of working with the FA on re-insertion of Bury F.C. into the footballing pyramid for the 2022/23 season."
- Bury FC: A club on the brink
- Two years on, Bury supporters fight to reunite fanbase for chance to reclaim Gigg Lane
- The unseen impact of Bury’s collapse