Photo : Christopher Furlong ( Getty Images
)  a deadline came and went and now one of the oldest football clubs in England has been expelled from the English Football League. Bury was on the ropes financially for most of this year with neither a sale nor proof of financial stability coming before 5:00 pm on Tuesday. the deadline, the EFL had withdrawn from their membership .
Bury's problems began even before current owner Steve Dale bought the club for £ 1 in December, but his tenure accelerated the breakup of the 125-year-old club between Manchester and the EFL. Salaries were not paid, matches had to be stopped or canceled, and finally, after Dale either refused or failed to sell the club, despite reporting a handful of offers, the EFL decided to expel them from the English football pyramid. (EFL controls the second, third and fourth divisions in the country).
Dale was unusually candid about the upcoming deadline until Tuesday, essentially shrugging off all the work in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live :
I never went to Bury. This is not a place I went to. So getting away from Bury and never going back is a very easy thing. I'm not doing anything there. I didn't even know there was a football team called Bury to be honest with you. I'm not a football fan.
After the offer to take over from sports consultancy firm C&N Sporting Risk fell out at the last moment, it was only a matter of time before the club received the dark news of the expulsion. Although this is not necessarily the end of the club, their path to normalcy is difficult: the club may apply for membership next season, although it will start from a much lower position in the football pyramid. The difficult climb is long and if Dale or one of the future owners does not have the stomach for it, the club could also be liquidated.
Before the deadline, Bury fans headed to the club's home ground, voluntarily cleaning it up if the club survived the weekend when they were scheduled to play at Doncaster Rovers. The cleanup turned into a vigil, with Mike Minay Maye of BBC Radio Manchester reporting that some fans "went to tears in an instant and others dropped to the floor" after hearing the news of the expulsion.
In the meantime, Bolton Wanders – the other club sent for expulsion on Tuesday – received a two-week extension at their due date, as talks progress on a possible bid, possibly will save them from Bury's fate. Whether the takeover is anyone's guess, but unlike their Manchester counterparts, at least Bolton still has a fighting chance of saving over a hundred years of football history.