Crisis-hit Bury fate sealed as EFL clubs reveal plans for Football League structure and League Two relegation spots
Bury's hopes of being re-admitted to the Football League as a Sky Bet League Two club under new ownership next season have been dashed.
The EFL and its members decided instead at a meeting on Thursday to press ahead with a plan to return the league to 72 clubs by relegating only one side from the fourth tier at the end of the current campaign.
At a quarterly meeting, discussions ‘established an agreement in principle’ whereby only one club - rather than the usual two - should be relegated from League Two to the National League at the end of the current season.
The board will now formulate proposals that will be brought forward for adoption by clubs at a general meeting.
An EFL statement said: “During today’s meeting, the EFL and its member clubs considered and debated a number of options, with all clubs given the opportunity to air their views.
“The debate included consideration of the proposal submitted by the Bury FC Rescue Board for the club to be admitted to League Two under new ownership in season 2020/21.
“Following in-depth discussions, it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support and that EFL clubs favoured extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 clubs now and for the future.”
Debbie Jevans CBE, EFL Executive Chair, commented: “While we are saddened that Bury FC is no longer part of the EFL, the Board’s difficult decision to withdraw membership was only taken after every opportunity to find a resolution was exhausted.
“Since then, in recognition of the efforts made on behalf of the club, the EFL has engaged with supporters’ groups, shared their submissions with our members and debated at length the issues raised.
“Following the discussion today, clubs have established that the preferred direction of travel is to reduce relegation from League Two as a means of returning to 72 clubs.”
As previously confirmed, the number of relegation places in League One will reduce to three for this season.