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Ex-Bury midfielder McIlroy sickened by Shakers' demise

 

In shock: Bury fans congregate at the club’s Gigg Lane home
In shock: Bury fans congregate at the club’s Gigg Lane home
Sammy McIlroy

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland legend Sammy McIlroy has expressed his shock and sadness at the demise of his former club Bury.

The Shakers are still hopeful the English Football League will reconsider a £7m takeover bid that remains on the table following their expulsion this week.

But there is an outpouring of despair and anger since the team were removed from the EFL after C&N Sporting Risk pulled out of a proposed deal to buy the club.

Former Manchester United favourite McIlroy has fond memories from his time at Bury in the late 1980s, near the end of his playing career.

Northern Ireland's 1982 and 1986 World Cup hero moved to Bury, then managed by ex-Everton man Martin Dobson, after spells at Manchester City and Swedish club Orgryte IS.

"It's very sad, this is the way it's going with smaller clubs," said McIlroy who made 89 appearances for his country.

"Bury have a long and fantastic history, over 100 years and two FA Cups, it's absolutely tragic what has happened.

"There's only about five clubs who have been in the league for longer.

"What a shame, it's a lovely little town, they adore their football club and, with the money flying around football at the minute, you would have thought someone could help them but it hasn't come.

"I played there near the end of my career for three seasons. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was a lovely club with great fans and people behind the scenes. You had the Nevilles, Gary and Phil's parents and it's a shame.

"The supporters loved the club. They were loyal and followed them across the country. To stay in the league that length of time, they must have been doing something right.

"I'm not saying everyone who takes over a club and invests in them is wrong but sometimes when instant success doesn't come things can go wrong.

"The staggering thing is Bury got promoted last season and, all of a sudden, they have been expelled, it's crazy."

Bury have expressed their "astonishment and dismay" at the English Football League's decision to expel them from the competition.

The Shakers' EFL membership was withdrawn by the governing body late on Tuesday night following the collapse of a takeover and after the club had failed to show they could pay their debts.

But the club said they could not understand the EFL's decision as they have shown they have received another takeover offer from "a credible bidder".

Bury said in a statement: "Everyone connected with Bury Football Club were shocked, and disappointed with the EFL's decision to expel this wonderful, historic, community driven club from the Football league.

"This decision was taken despite a credible new bidder being made aware to them before Tuesday's 5pm deadline."

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