Bury fans given hope of survival as Norman Smurthwaite plans new bid

BURY fans have been granted more hope their club can be saved, with Norman Smurthwaite planning a new bid.

The EFL have given the Shakers an extension until 5pm on Tuesday for C&N Sporting Risk to prove they have the means to take over from Steve Dale.

Bury fans given hope of survival as Norman Smurthwaite plans new bid1 Former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite is keen to buy Bury

But former Port Vale owner Smurthwaite, who had a bid rejected by Dale last Tuesday, is now considering sending a new offer straight to the league.

It would not contain any financial incentive for controversial Dale, who bought the club for £1 from previous owner Stewart Day in December.

Smurthwaite has no plans to give Dale back even the £1, given that League One Bury are £9million in debt and have a 12-point deduction.

Smurthwaite, 59, said: “The EFL knows I have the resources to buy Bury and get it back on its feet.

“If Steve Dale accepted that neither he nor any of his associates get anything from the CVA, or any other payment, then I am willing to step in.”

Smurthwaite is preparing to use the breathing space that has been granted to go back in.

The EFL have made it clear that — after granting a stay of execution from 11.59pm on Friday night — Tuesday is now the final deadline for the club.

A statement said: “The EFL Board remains firmly of the view that the league cannot be in a position whereby any more of the club’s 2019-20 fixtures will be suspended due to the integrity of the competition.”

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Should Bury remain in existence after 134 years, boss Paul Wilkinson will be faced with a race to bring in enough players to take on Doncaster on Saturday.

He is understood to have only four registered.

But Wilkinson, who joined from Truro City, said: “We have a lot of good players lined up to sign.”

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