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Dale claims Bury have been sold with hours to spare

Bury could have been given an 11th-hour reprieve after owner Steve Dale told the PA news agency he had sold the club.

Dale had been given until 23.59 on Friday to either provide proof to the English Football League he could fund the League One side this season or hand it over to someone who can.

Extinction was the option if not but, after a day of claim and counter-claim, Dale told PA he had agreed a deal.

Time had been running out for Bury

Time had been running out for Bury (Dave Howarth/PA)

It is understood the EFL is aware of Dale’s claim of a sale and is investigating as a matter of urgency.

No details are known of who Dale has sold to, but it is understood Rory Campbell and Henry Newman’s C&N Sporting Risk did make a bid on Friday.

Dale’s declaration of a sale came just before 10pm, with a little over two hours remaining.

The Cheshire-based businessman said throughout the day he had a buyer lined up but was unsure if a deal could be concluded before the deadline, having also asked fans to pledge money, while Bury North MP James Frith had said a “credible bid” would be lodged along with proof of funding.

In a 5pm statement the EFL said it had seen little progress, but it was understood that by early evening it was aware of offers which Dale needed to consider in order to make progress.

“As of 5pm there has been limited progress made either by the current ownership providing the required evidence in regard to outstanding financial information, or through a change of control being achieved with new owners,” read an EFL statement.

“The EFL will continue to provide all support available and will keep working to find a resolution to the ongoing issues ahead of the notice of withdrawal deadline, which remains at 11.59pm on Friday August 23.

“If a successful solution is not found ahead of tonight’s deadline, the club’s share in the EFL will be withdrawn and its membership in the league will come to an end.”