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Ex-director looking forward as Bury hope for salvation

Club have until 5pm.

Fans have descended on Gigg Lane on Tuesday to help clean up (Dave Howarth/PA)
Fans have descended on Gigg Lane on Tuesday to help clean up (Dave Howarth/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Former Bury director Joy Hart believes the club’s battle to preserve their English Football League status is “looking fairly positive” with today’s deadline looming.

The League One club have been given until 5pm to secure their future, with current owner Steve Dale in talks with data analytics company C&N Sporting Risk over a potential takeover.

However, EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans has suggested that deadline could be extended if only “one per cent” of the deal remains to be completed.

Hart, who protested at Gigg Lane on Friday ahead of the original deadline, told BBC Radio Manchester: “It’s all looking fairly positive, but one can never tell until the final whistle, as my father used to say.

“I’m expecting anything, but hoping for the very, very best. The emotion is still raw. Your stomach turns over every morning that you wake up. We hope the EFL let us live for another 134 years. It’s very emotional.”

Jevans revealed that a dialogue between the relevant parties was ongoing on Sunday morning, with hopes high that an agreement can be reached after C&N demonstrated the necessary financial strength to pay creditors and cover the cost of running the club for the season.

Jevans told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek show on Sunday: “If we get to 5pm on Tuesday in the board meeting and there is one per cent, it would depend what that one per cent is.

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Former director Joy Hart handcuffs herself to a seat inside Gigg Lane (Richard Sellers/PA)

“What we’re not going to do is this cannot go on for weeks and weeks and weeks. We are not going to postpone any more matches and we see no reason why they cannot reach agreement by that time.

“There is enough time to do that, so I would just urge all parties to get around the table, which I know they are doing – as I said, we have been working already this morning on this – and that we’re in a place where Bury Football club can survive.”

Bury are yet to play a game this season having already been docked 12 points after being placed into administration by Dale, who bought the club for £1 in December.

However, buoyed by recent statements, fans are optimistic their side will be back in action against Doncaster on Saturday and have answered a call to arms to clean up Gigg Lane ahead of the potential fixture.

James Frith, Labour MP for Bury North, told Tower FM: “The deadline of 5pm today looms large.

“There’s a huge amount of work still to do in what is essentially day three of unravelling six years of mismanagement of the club, after very late engagement from the current owner, and an EFL deadline that recognises an extension was warranted but may yet prove to time us out.

“There’s huge amounts of complication on the structures of the debts and what’s been sold and who owns those debts, that’s where they’re at at the moment, which has itself implications for both the valuation of the club and also the liability of the new owners.

“The new owners are rightly cautious of signing blind on a deal that then renders the club unsustainable.”

PA

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