Owner Steve Dale calls for private ballot on EFL reinstatement for Bury

Dale has written an open letter to Bury supporters reacting to the club’s expulsion from the EFL.

By Press Association Published: 31 August 2019 - 9.35am


Bury owner Steve Dale has called for a “private ballot” to reinstate the club in the English Football League.

In an open letter to supporters, in which he condemns the actions of the EFL, Dale comments for the first time since the decision was made to expel Bury on Tuesday.

Dale published the strongly-worded letter, which is over 1,000 words in length, on the club’s official website to offer his take on the positives and negatives of the club’s current plight.

In it, he claims that the club are only expelled by the EFL for one season, leading to suggestions he is currently plotting a return to competition next year – possibly under a new owner.

He wrote: “I can confirm I have an offer from an individual, however, the NDA (non disclosure agreement) prevents me from disclosing and if the fans want me out I will sell to him.

“(EFL executive chair Debbie) Jevans keeps saying we act for 72 clubs, so given the magnitude of their actions would you not think a sealed private ballot would be taken from all the clubs so there could be no retribution from the league.

“I request an independent report is carried out and a ballot taken to reintroduce Bury to the league”
- Steve Dale

“The chairmen I have spoken to would not have backed removal…I request an independent report is carried out and a ballot taken to reintroduce Bury to the league.”

It remains unclear if Bury will suffer liquidation and if they will keep hold of their stadium at Gigg Lane or whether a phoenix club will be formed and enter a league lower down the football pyramid.

A bid to save Bury collapsed at the 11th hour on Tuesday, with suggestions the club had an offer on the table at the time of expulsion which was not heard by the EFL.

Dale continued: “Buyers James Frith brought Sporting Risk to the table and I was hopeful that they could buy Bury but they would never provide proof of funds to me, just kept requesting more information.

Messages from supporters placed on a fence outside Bury's Gigg Lane stadium
Messages from supporters placed on a fence outside Bury’s Gigg Lane stadium (Dave Howarth/PA).

“One of the first I gave them was on the stadium loan so it came as a shock they pulled out at the last minute for a debt they had known about for months.

“Another bid came in and, once again I have never seen proof of funds or heard from them since. We also had a handful of time wasters but nothing concrete.

“I am hopeful that the Serious Fraud investigation will see the perpetrators brought to justice soon and disclosures can be made, this will allow fans to see what really was going on behind the scenes that seriously added to our current situation.

“We need to clear out and start again, time and events have shown we have a handful of trustworthy staff who care for Bury but the rest need to go it’s time for a change, new blood.”