• Football rules prevented direct help being given to crisis club
• Bury could be put into liquidation on Wednesday
The Everton chairman Bill Kenwright offered around £1m to help ease the crisis at Bury but was told that football’s rules do not allow financial assistance from a club director to another club.
Everton themselves also discussed with the English Football League whether they could offer some support to Bury, a smaller north-west professional club then in severe difficulties, but were also told the rules prohibited direct assistance.
Kenwright’s offer of financial support is reported in a documentary to be aired on Monday by the BBC’s Inside Out programme in the north-west. The broadcaster asked the five north-west Premier League clubs – Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Burnley – whether they had done anything to support Bury during the crisis.
City are understood to have pointed out that Bury have had use of their former training ground at Carrington rent free for five years. Everton confirmed that they had explored with the EFL whether they could offer strategic support, and that Kenwright had discussed making a substantial financial contribution, understood to be in the region of £1m, in a personal capacity.
The EFL responded that although the Premier League centrally does distribute “solidarity” money to the league, which is shared among the 72 clubs, an individual club or director cannot directly subsidise another club. The rules are designed to govern the competitive independence of clubs.
Debts under the CVA are understood not to have been paid at all yet. Bury face a further winding-up petition in the high court on Wednesday, and the club, formed in 1885 and previously a Football League member since 1894, are expected to be put into liquidation.
However, Bury said in a statement on Friday that the winding-up petition “will be dismissed” and added: “Bury football club is not dead as some are asserting and will again be playing football.”