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Bury's game against Gillingham at Gigg Lane has been suspended by the EFL

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham’s weekend game against troubled Bury has been called off.

Their League 1 opponents will be thrown out of the league on August 23 unless the club can prove they can meet their financial obligations.

Bury’s opening two league matches had already been suspended, along with their midweek Carabao Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday. The EFL confirmed on Tuesday that the Gillingham game is the latest to be suspended.

Mark Byrne in action for Gillingham against Bury at Gigg Lane in 2017 Picture: Ady Kerry
Mark Byrne in action for Gillingham against Bury at Gigg Lane in 2017 Picture: Ady Kerry

The Gills were due to play at Bury’s Gigg Lane this Saturday.

A statement from the EFl said: "The EFL Board has not received the outstanding evidence required by today’s (Tuesday's) 9am deadline.

"Clarity is still required on plans to meet the club’s commitments to football creditors, payment to unsecured creditors as part of the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), alongside source and sufficiency of funding for season 2019/20.

"As a result of the necessary evidence not being made available, the fixture has been suspended in accordance with EFL Regulation 28.2 and is the club’s fourth game of the season not to take place as originally scheduled."

Bury were promoted last season from League 2 but their manager Ryan Lowe walked out, along with their players, because of ongoing financial problems at the club.

The EFL have been trying to seek assurances from the club that they can pay off their current debts and that they have sufficient funds to complete the season.

Bury - a league member since 1894 - had been served a notice of withdrawal of EFL membership on July 25 but that had been suspended. It was activated on August 8, giving the club 14 days to provide the EFL with the relevant documents and assurances they need.

Bury agreed to a compulsory voluntary agreement (CVA) at the start of the season in a bid to wipe out some of their debt and that has already incurred them a 12 point deduction this season.

Max Ehmer challenges George Miller at Gigg Lane in their 2017 fixture Picture: Ady Kerry
Max Ehmer challenges George Miller at Gigg Lane in their 2017 fixture Picture: Ady Kerry

A Bury statement, issued before the weekend said: “Once we have supplied the EFL with the recently requested additional information, we are confident that our embargo will be lifted.

“In anticipation of this, we would expect that the EFL will not remove us from the Football League.

“A lot of people are working very hard to get this over the line.

Don't blame the EFL says Gillingham Paul Scally as both Bury and Bolton suffer financial woes Picture: Ady Kerry
Don't blame the EFL says Gillingham Paul Scally as both Bury and Bolton suffer financial woes Picture: Ady Kerry

“As a club, we would like to thank the players who are currently training at Carrington with a view to signing for our brilliant football club.”

Among the players who has been on trial with the club is former Gills defender Alex Lacey.

Owner Steve Dale, who took over the club in December, has been critical of the EFL throughout the long-running sage, recently calling them “the destroyer of clubs” in a recent statement released on their website.

In the last 24 hours a potential buyer has come forward for Bury and Mr Dale is open to offers.

The club's own staff used the club's website to ask Mr Dale sell up.

It said: "This offer is the only lifeline for the future of the club and we implore Steve Dale to accept it, as it has the full backing of all of the senior staff at Bury FC."

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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