(Reuters) - Bury’s proposal that they be allowed to return to League Two, the fourth tier of English football, next season has been rejected, the Football League (EFL) said on Thursday.
Bury, one of English football’s oldest clubs, were expelled from the EFL last month after failing to resolve their financial problems or find a new buyer.
The side, which joined the Football League in 1894, became the first team to be expelled since Maidstone in 1992 when a takeover bid fell through before an EFL deadline.
The EFL, which was reduced to 71 member clubs from 72 after Bury’s expulsion, said that the proposal to re-admit Bury did not have the necessary support and that it would reduce the number of relegations this season to return to full strength.
"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," EFL Executive Chair Debbie Jevans said here
“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.
“The clubs felt that, in a difficult situation, this approach maintains fairness for all members and upholds the principle of the football pyramid.”
As a consequence of the decision, the number of relegation places in the third-tier League One will be reduced to three in the current season, while only one club rather than the customary two will be relegated from League Two.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis